Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Power begets power in new Dark Ages

Plenty of action in Revolution.

Plenty of action in Revolution.

According to the new drama Revolution (Nine, 8.30pm), in our post-apocalyptic future we will tend toward either the Amish or the Armyish. And so it is that peace-loving, humble farming folk called Caleb meet cross-bow wielding warlords in a pitched battle to work out how to turn the lights back on.

Revolution is set in the future, where everything looks like the past. A global blackout has sent aircraft plunging from the skies, turned cities into high-rise nature strips and created political anarchy. Whoever has power, has power.

And, horror of all horrors, there's literally nothing to watch on television. Yes, it's the new Dark Ages. After witnessing the moment of electrical failure, we are sent 15 years forward to follow a family linked to both the hope of salvation and the dark forces that are roaming the joint.

It's all good, clean swashbuckling fun, in a pilot episode that has an alarming body count - particularly when the troubled Miles Matheson (Billy Burke) is about. He tends to slaughter first, ask questions later. And he's one of the good guys.


With J.J. Abrams involved in production, there's a little of the Lost feel to the show and, naturally, comic relief through a slightly lumpy, smart bloke who tends to chafe when outrunning villains.

If you're looking for blatant escapism, you could do much worse.

By that stage of the evening, most of you will still be celebrating massive wins from the Melbourne Cup (Seven, from 10am), or experiencing your own personal blackout after too much punting juice.

Ah, yes. The race that stops a nation long enough for everyone to describe it as the race that stops a nation.

Before the starting gates are flung open on the main event, Seven will have given us hours of terrific coverage of the races, led by the lovely Bruce McAvaney, the delightful Richard Freedman and the drop-dead gorgeous Francesca Cumani. (See, not sexist, because I objectified all of them.)

We will also have been fed, for the eleventy-squillionth time, a rich diet of Seven "talent" and visiting celebrities who have talked their way into the sponsored marquees in the famous Birdcage - the world's most upmarket caravan park.

So, as we sit in the pub watching another horse we've backed turn right instead of left at the last bend, we can at least enjoy seeing famous types getting quietly squiffy on expensive plonk. Huzzah!

As for the race itself, who knows? The sweep ticket you hold in your hand and the $10 each way you've thrown at Gai Waterhouse breaking through for her first win means that horse racing will again be a major television event.

For roughly 3½ minutes.

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