Ross Lincoln is a Deadline contributor.
With an average of 8.4 million viewers per episode, the apocalyptic sci-fi series Revolution has been a relative hit for NBC in a humiliating turn of events that recently saw the network finish fifth — behind Univision — for the first time in its history. Despite that success, Revolution was put on a 4-month hiatus after 10 episodes. In advance of the series’ March 25 return, Night 2 of PaleyFest 2013 featured a Revolution panel with series creator and executive producer Eric Kripke, co-creator and executive producer J.J. Abrams, and executive producer Jon Favreau. Also along for the ride were cast members Billy Burke (Miles Matheson), Tracy Spiridakos (Charlie Matheson), Giancarlo Esposito (Major Tom Neville), David Lyons (Sebastian Monroe), Daniella Alonso (Nora Clayton). and J.D. Pardo (Jason Neville). The discussion centered heavily on the show’s return and based on what the executive producers said, fans can expect a much more fast-paced experience.
Set 15 years after an unspecified event caused all electrical devices to stop working, Revolution hangs on a heavy myth arc, but as revealed during the panel the series is bucking the tradition of genre TV shows by refusing to draw things out. “Every question that has been asked,” Kripke said, “at least in the first 10 [episodes], we answer in the first season.” That includes not only plot points like the apparent unhappy history between some characters and a couple of cliffhangers. The central mystery of what caused worldwide power to go out will be answered as early as episode 13, which airs April 8.
The decision to reveal that mystery so early was partly a result of having time during the long hiatus to think about the show carefully. It was Favreau who pointed out to the writers that if a character who has an answer to a specific mystery can’t be given a plausible reason for keeping it to themselves, they should reveal the answer. That kind of thinking what the producers thought was lacking during the first half of the season. Kripke said “I started feeling as a viewer towards the last couple [of episodes] a certain impatience, like I was ready for [the story] to go”.