Why FlashForward Shouldn't Have Been Cancelled

This superb prophecy-based show deserved a future of its own.

Flashforward show

"On October 6th, the planet blacked out for two minutes and seventeen seconds. The whole world saw the future."

A compulsive sci-fi drama broadcast from 2009 to 2010, FlashForward was unfairly cancelled at the end of its first season. The show began as the consciousness of the human race was blasted six months into the future, and followed the journeys of a variety of characters as they hurtled towards their destinies.

FlashForward quickly established itself as a complex, gripping programme at a time when quality sci-fi on the small screen was still fairly scarce.

Sadly, audiences failed to realise just how good it was, and declining ratings doomed the series to an early demise. An imaginative campaign, which involved fans staging blackouts outside ABC offices, was unable to convince the network to bring it back.

While FlashForward may not have been the best sci-fi show to be cancelled before its time, its untimely end was still a huge loss for fans of the genre, given that it had comfortably proven its worth and had so much more to give.

With that, the time has come to explore exactly why a future with more FlashForward would have been a better one!

5. Brilliant Premise

Flashforward show

A strong core premise is vital to a programme’s success, and FlashForward’s was excellent.

While plenty of stories had already been told based on the idea of visions of the future, the concept itself remains fundamentally compelling, and its application to the entirety of humanity took it to the next level.

The writing team did a superb job of exploring how both the core cast and the world at large responded to their flashforwards (not to mention the 20 million deaths caused by the blackout). Because the visions all featured the same moment on 29 April 2010, the series had a terrific sense of momentum as it moved ever closer towards that fateful day.

Some characters were desperate to ensure that their flashforwards came true, while others were just as desperate to prevent them.

Ominously, some saw nothing, which was quickly revealed to be an indication that they were destined to die on or before Flashforward Day. This enabled the show to explore the idea of fate vs. free will in a variety of ways, as characters carried out both incredibly heroic and highly questionable acts to secure the futures they wanted.

FlashForward also made brilliant use of the “self-fulfilling prophecy” concept, particularly as the investigation into the blackout that served as the series’ central narrative was based on clues from the visions.

On a larger scale, explorations of how the blackout affected politics, religion and wider culture meant that the stakes felt truly global.

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