FLASHFORWARD Pre-Game 10/08 with Writer Lindsey Allen


On last week's second episode of FlashForward, the show revealed a few key answers to the mysteries presented in the series premiere, but introduced new questions for viewers to ponder.

The premise of FlashForward is that the whole planet blacked out for two minutes and 17 seconds and saw a vision of what they would be doing on April 29th, 2010. The show, which is being compared to ABC's other sci-fi hit Lost, counts among its lead writers a couple people comic book fans know well from their work on DC and Marvel comics – David Goyer, who also co-wrote a little movie called The Dark Knight, and Marc Guggenheim, co-writer of the upcoming Green Lantern film.

While the first episode of FlashForward focused on FBI agent Mark Benford finding the cause of the flashforwards, the second honed in on "Suspect Zero" and "D. Gibbons," who were awake during the blackouts, and gave clues about what was seen by Mark's daughter Charlie that made her say there would be "no more good days."

And apparently, the two mysteries are linked, because Charlie said of her flashforward: "D. Gibbons is a bad man."

(And by the way, writers have confirmed the name "D. Gibbons" is paying homage to Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons, although there's no comment on why he's such a bad man.)

Viewers were also introduced to a woman in Hong Kong whose vision indicated Mark's partner, Demetri, is going to be murdered on March 15, 2010 (which explains why he experienced no vision of the future). And more clues were given about Lloyd Simcoe, the man seen by Mark's wife Olivia in her flashforward, while the sight of his son Dylan made Charlie strangely emotional.

The writing staff has agreed to take turns answering a few questions each week for Newsarama readers, so be sure to return to this thread after you watch tonight's episode to post your questions for next week's discussion.

Last week, we talked to Guggenheim in the first of our "Pre-Game" interviews with the writing staff of FlashForward. This week, we talked with Lindsey Allen to get insight into some of the show's details.

Nrama: Lindsey, some of our readers have mentioned that they read the novel and are concerned they might know some answers to the mysteries as a result. How closely will the television show follow the story in the novel?

Allen: Reading the book will not spoil the mysteries of the show for you. What would be the fun in that? If anything, the book is a great source to read to understand where this all came from, and while the show takes elements from the book, it will not follow it page by page. So please, feel free to read the book. It won't spoil any surprises.

Nrama: Were the dolls – bins of body parts and some hanging by a noose – in last week's episode indicative of something related to D. Gibbons? Or was it just a cool, creepy visual you guys wanted to use?

Allen: I can really only advise everyone to stay tuned. I will say I saw that set, and it was just as creepy in person as it was on the screen, perhaps even creepier because of the random doll parts you step on when you enter it. Gave me the heebie-jeebies.

Nrama: Another reader was wondering, what's with the toy that Charlie is carrying through most of the episode? Is there some meaning behind it?

Allen: The red squirrel is Squirrlio, a character in Charlie's favorite cartoon, "Tim-Tim & Squirrlio," [which Charlie was watching in the first episode]. It comes into play later.

Nrama: The woman in Hong Kong who told Demetri about his own murder – will she be in future episodes? Or was that a cameo? Will we find out more about her and why she was viewing his file?

Allen: The Hong Kong woman will definitely show up later to answer some questions, and cause more to come up. She's incredibly interesting, and I can't wait for everyone to find out more about her.

Nrama: A Newsarama reader asked: In Mark's FlashForward, we see some people who seem to be coming after him. Are they bad people? Is it possible they're the good guys? And is there anything we should note about them?

Allen: Well, they're holding guns and seem to be after Mark, so my first inclination is "bad men, run and hide." And perhaps you should note a certain tattoo...

Nrama: Yes, the three stars. With all of these clues in so many places, how difficult is it to keep everything straight when you guys are coming up with writing ideas for the episodes? Is there a database – or better yet, a wall-sized bulletin board like Mark's – where you keep your own "mosaic" of all the clues and connected flash forwards, just to keep yourself from messing up?

Allen: There is the huge bulletin board that maps out the season. Our script coordinator keeps track of everything else, the timing of the flash forwards, how much we saw, etcetera. As for the "Mosaic" board itself, we have photos of it up in the writers room, and a list of everything that's on it to refer to when we start confusing ourselves. We tend to be pretty good, but we argue over the tiny details every now and again, and that's when all our references help us out.

Nrama: When do we find out more about the Red Panda reference on the bulletin board?

Allen: I can't speak to when, but it will come up. For now, please check out the website, redpandaresources.com, for more fun. Our actors post every now and then, as well as the EPs and the writers.

Nrama: One question a reader asked was, if the people of Earth know they're going to see the future of April 29th, then by the time they got to that day, wouldn't they show themselves something important?

Allen: That's a really good question. I guess I would ask, aren't they showing themselves something important? Mark happens to be in the office during his f lash-forward, which leads him on his investigation in the present. Doesn't that seem like a good place to be for a flash-forward if you know it's going to happen? That being said... stay tuned. That question will get specifically answered.

Members of the writing staff will continue answering questions each week from Newsarama readers, so post them below. FlashForward airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.

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