Revolution 1.04 “The Plague Dogs” TV REVIEW(opens in new tab)
Writer: Anne Cofell Saunders
Director: Felix Alcala
THE ONE WHERE Miles decides to pack it all in and the gang are set upon by angry dogs.
VERDICT No sooner have our gang got back together in search for Danny than it's run! Mad dog attack! Do they have rabies or some other horrible disease picked up from the decaying urban sprawl? No, apparently not.
Another good episode, but not enough teeth to make it a great one. The strength of the show is in the characters and there’s barely a mention of how to turn the lights back on this week, instead turning to Miles’ revelation, Maggie’s flashback and a man who lives in an derelict funfair with his dogs.
Billy Burke is charming as Miles Matheson and a great swash-buckler, selling the sword fighting and action scenes well, but I'll need to be convinced by his darker side. The reveal of his evil reputation accrued as founder of the republic militia doesn’t quite come across in his performance. There’s a slight inkling of something at the end of this episode, but it’s more to do with him saying nothing and looking moody. Hopefully it's a side that will be developed as the show goes on.
This week’s flashbacks come from Maggie, Rachel (who I suspect we’re going to see more of) and Charlie, who feels the need to remember she had a mother but again serves little purpose to current events, feeling like an emotional signpost for the attention deficient.
It’s tragic to see Maggie’s predicament, and a nicely-layered performance from Lise Phillips. A crusty old expositional fisherman tells her it’s unlikely she’ll get home to her kids, long distance boat travel being now nigh on impossible. The militias have long since stripped ships for raw materials for their armies, which sounds a bit short-sighted and Lord Of The Flies to make sense.
By focusing more on the emotional ramifications for the characters, we're led away from thinking too much about the science of the blackout. Electricity still exists as we've seen with the pendant carried by Aaron, but is it still possible to create electricity? Why haven't we seen other attempts at making electricity? People wrapping copper wires round tin foil, or wearing thick knitted jumpers and rubbing balloons on their chests vigorously to generate static for a bit of fun now there's no telly?
Even at four episodes the writers are willing to pull the rug on characters only just established which is a brave move; I just wish they'd chosen a different character to the one they did this week.
Good news that Revolution has been pick up for a full season, so Danny might have to wait a bit longer to get saved, which serves him right for being a total idiot in a cellar. Hopefully we'll see a UK broadcast very soon.
UNFORTUNATE VICTIM OF THE WEEK Why Maggie, why! Such a needless waste of a good character. Please say we’ll see you again in flashbacks?
ELECTRIVIA Elton John and Captain Beefheart both sang songs called “Electricity”; Phil Oakey sang about Electric Dreams.
A Van der Graff Generator is a machine which generates electrostatic charge and is also the name of a progressive rock band. They didn’t sing a song called “Electricity.” Unless they did and Elton John cover version at some concert or other.
Miles Matheson: “My Name is Miles Matheson.”
Militia Soldier: “You're joking?”
Miles Matheson: “No... And all the stories are true.”
John Cooper JohnCooper_uk
UK airing information: None As Yet.
Read our other Revolution reviews