When we left Jack Davenport’s character, Lloyd Simcoe, on FlashForward last year, he was kidnapped by a group of men and driven away in an ambulance. That was after he and Simon (Dominic Monaghan) had appeared on a televised press conference to say that they believed they were responsible for the massive blackout in which every one in the world passed out and saw their future.
In last week’s episode, Lloyd is ironically saved by FBI Agent Mark Benford (Joseph Fiennes), as in Lloyd’s flashforward, he is having a relationship with Benford’s wife, Olivia (Sonya Walger), which indicates the second half of this season is going to be very interesting!
On the set of FlashForward, I asked the debonair and amusing Jack Davenport about his role in this intriguing series.
When you first got the role of Lloyd, how much did you know about him?
Honestly, in the pilot I say nine words, and with the best intentions in the world I wasn’t going to sign up for a long term contract if I didn’t have a vague idea about where he was going to be going. So when I first met the show’s creators I talked at some length to them about who he was and what his involvement would be.
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work out if your place of work in the story is somewhere that has a central relationship to how and why this event might have occurred, and you turn up half naked in the leading man’s wife’s flashforward, you might have some stuff to do, I don’t know! I kind of worked it out myself.
How has your relationship with Dominic’s character, Simon, changed now?
It’s defined by a general spikiness, we’re long time work colleagues in the show and even though my wife finds it vaguely hilarious that I’m playing one of the five cleverest people in the world apparently, I find it equally hilarious that Dominic is playing one of the five cleverest people in the world. Obviously, two super brains is better than one super brain, and in terms of helping to unravel the mystery of how this happened, we’ll be spending a certain amount of time together as the next episodes unfold.
I think there might be something suspicious going on. Are you really the good guys now trying to figure it out?
Well, there’s a question that if I answered I would immediately be killed by the Disney ninja assassins. We have a complicated relationship with the truth, what can I say? Who doesn’t?
What is it like on a daily basis to work on this series?
Well it’s all essentially the same as anywhere. There are lights and cameras and you’ve got on costumes and you film the script, but this particular show does have a pretty gigantic scale to it, which I’ve experienced in movies but not so much in TV. I would say just the general scan of the story really.
Would you like to know what is going to happen six months from now?
No way, no way.
Would you try and change it?
If someone forced me to find out, if I really didn’t like what I saw then I’d probably have a go. Whether or not I’d succeed is anyone’s guess. But I genuinely would not want to have a flashforward. I’m frightened enough of the future as it is. Who needs to know, ignorance is bliss, right?
Is it fun to open up the second half of the season more and play with these actors, because you were more confined in the beginning?
I was. I barely left the hospital. Yes, it has been. With a story as complicated and in a frame as big as this, it takes ten episodes to set things up. We’re not even halfway there yet, and the thing that you’ll find from the second half of the season is there’s a huge increase in pace and revelation and interconnectedness, but you can’t do that straight away.
These are long network seasons, and if it’s a serialized show you can’t reveal all these secrets immediately otherwise suddenly you go, ‘Oh, we’ve shown 12 episodes and we’ve got nothing else to tell.’
Have there been surprises where you open and script and go,
Loads. Not one that makes no sense. More like, ‘Oh, wow, yeah, that’s quite clever. I hadn’t thought of that.’ If you trace it all back it’s very, very intricately plotted, and whatever the revelation is if you work backwards there’s always clues, they haven’t just gone, ‘It’s that guy,’ or, ‘That girl,’ for no reason. Once you look at it altogether it all makes sense somehow.
Did you have any input into your character, talk with David Goyer (the show’s creator) about it?
Is playing him as English one of them?
Funnily enough, when I met them about this job, I’d just been doing a different show here playing an American, and I was like, ‘I supposed he must be an American?’ David said, ‘Well, he doesn’t really have to be.’ The point about this show is it’s about a global event, and the stories should reflect that. There’s no reason on earth why my character has to been an American. I’m sure I’ll play Americans again, but I’m not this time round. But it is a relief from a dialect coaching point-of-view, hell yeah, it’s one less thing to worry about.