Last Night’s TV – FlashForward

by Lynn Connolly


As regular Primetime readers will know, I’m an absolute Lost addict, so when I heard this show was being hailed as the “new Lost”, I knew I’d be hooked. And I am.

After just one episode, which bore more than a few resemblances to Lost – and contained enough Easter Eggs to have us Lost theorists going bonkers, such as a billboard advertising Oceanic Airlines – I just know I won’t be able to miss a single episode, no matter what.

And as with Lost, there was the weird placement of an animal in a setting where one wouldn’t expect to find it. With Lost, it was a polar bear, with FlashForward, it was a kangaroo hopping about in LA…


FlashForward opened, as Lost did, with a scene of carnage; people were on fire, cars crashed, planes crashed… a lot of stuff crashed, and one man, as per Jack in Lost, surveyed the scene with growing horror but with the authority granted to those who can remain calm while all about him, people are – literally and metaphorically – losing their heads.

That man was FBI Special Agent Mark Benford, played by our very own Joseph Fiennes who does a very convincing American accent. The carnage was brought about because everyone in the world – well, nearly everyone – “blacked out” for exactly 2 minutes and 17 seconds, during which time, they all had visions of their future selves – hence the FlashForward title – and what they’d be doing on April 29th, 2010.

I just mentioned that “nearly everyone” blacked out; there was one man seen on CCTV footage of a football stadium, clad in a long dark coat, his face too unclear to see, walking among the insentient crowds, very much awake. Who is he? Well, that’s one of the many, many questions that this first episode hurled at us.

Sonya Walger played Olivia, Mark’s wife – and she’s also Penny Widmore in Lost – and in her flash forward, she saw herself with another man, as in biblically, and she was, understandably, upset by it.

Mark meanwhile saw himself working on finding out what happened during those lost 2 minutes 17 seconds, a project which had been code-named Mosaic, and boozing again. Mark is a “recovering alcoholic” so that wasn’t terribly good news for him and he rather hoped he could change his vision of six months hence too.

However, his AA buddy and sponsor, Aaron, had a flash forward in which he saw that his daughter was very much alive in an Afghan field hospital, even though she’d been believed dead. Just as an aside, Aaron is of course the name of Claire’s son in Lost…

Anyway, Mark’s FBI partner, Demetri, saw nothing in his flash forward, which led him to suspect that he will be dead in six months. Again, not the best of news for the guy.

So we left episode one with lots of questions; Why did everyone – except seemingly that one shadowy figure – black out? Why did they all see visions of themselves six months ahead and can the future be changed if you know what’s coming?

Oh it’s so good!! And it’s going to get better soon too as Dominick Monaghan who played Charlie in Lost is due to make an appearance as a character called Simon, and again, in a nod to us Lost addicts, Simon was the name of Charlie’s dad. You may have noticed too that Mark and Olivia’s daughter is called Charlie.

I so can’t wait for the next episode and in the meantime, I know I’ll be trawling the ‘net looking for more tie-ins with Lost, and if/when I find them, I’ll let you know. If in the meantime, you’ve noticed or found any Lost and FlashForward Easter Eggs, please do let us know!

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.