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WonderCon 2013: ‘Revolution’ Panel
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WonderCon 2013: Revolution panel

Natalie Abrams from TV moderated the Revolution panel on Saturday at WonderCon 2013 in Anaheim, CA. She introduced panelists co-executive producer David Rambo, and actors Zack Orth, Elizabeth Mitchell, Billy Burke, Tracy Spiridakos, David Lyons, Daniella Alonzo, and Tim Guinee.

The cast was asked, when you first found out you would be back on the air, how did you feel? Burke said that taking a break during the hiatus was a relief, but he loves being back.

The moderator asked, how Danny’s death was going to affect the characters moving forward from that point. Rambo said it was emotional behind-the-scenes to say goodbye to a fellow cast member, particularly since finding him was the motivating force of the first half of the season. In his absence, it really ups the stakes, and the emotions are hotter. The cast were all surprised when they found out he’d be killed off, and they’re all waiting for the axe to drop on their own characters. Mitchell was asked what that capsule was that she removed from Danny’s body. She said we’ll find out in two episodes, and more about the capsule through the rest of the season.

Spiridakos was asked what it’ll be like for her character to mature as the series progresses, in the wake of Danny’s death. She said she’s really turning into a warrior and with the loss of Danny, something inside her has died, and audiences are going to see her harden.

Lyons said that his character revolves around the relationship with Miles, and we’ll see more of that evolving as the series progresses. Orth said that his character, Aaron, discovers he’s way over his head and is about to realize the extent of which is more than he can imagine. Guinee’s character, Ben, while killed off in the season opener, will return in a couple of weeks in flashback, and we may see more of him throughout the season as well.

Burke said Miles will realize a sense of compassion he never had in Monroe’s forces. We’ll come across a character this season who was Miles’ first love and there’ll be a love triangle conflict between him and Monroe over this, deepening their backstory. Burke noted that the actors who play himself and Monroe as teens are better actors than the adult versions.

In the trailer that prided the panel, we saw scenes of Nora being kidnapped and tortured by Monroe, but Daniella said Nora’s a survivor and may come out of it alive, but not without doing some badass ass-kicking stunt work. Spiridakos’ favorite stunt this season was when she gets to stab someone with an arrow, and said, “it looks awesome.” Orth said he’s never disappointed and always impressed by the amazing sets they get to play on and how detailed the production design is on the show.

Executive producer Rambo said they learned early on that the key to writing a show like Revolution is not to string out the secret from season to season; tell the audience right away why the lights went out, and let that lead the audience to other questions for the next season. Rambo said he invited physicists to give their opinion why the lights when out, and when the show’s producers told the physicists what the writers’ ideas were, the physicists agreed it was very plausible.

We’ll be seeing new territories in the coming season, including the Plains nations, California and Texas, which will have resorted to a Wild West atmosphere after the blackout. Rambo said the show will continue to mix present day with flashbacks and in that, we’ll see how the blackout affected other parts of the country. Atlanta, GA and its yet to be revealed leader will look a lot different than Philadelphia under Monroe. Rambo said ultimately we’re leading up to a huge Miles/Monroe confrontation. The actors don’t get to see the scripts until before they film, so they have no idea what the season will lead to before they shoot it.

Burke said he spent a lot of time in the Twilight movies “not knowing what the eff was going on,” and it’s nice being more heavily involved in the Revolution storyline. Spiridakos said they don’t do much weapons training, except on the spot, before the scenes require it. Burke joked that he came in with a huge skill set of sword fighting.

The cast was asked what attracted them to the show: Mitchell was intrigued by the script and wanted to work with the cast, Burke was sold on the cast and concept alone, as was Spiridakos. Lyons was intrigued by wanting to explore the idea of society having to survive without power. Danielle was sold by the pitch which she was told will be a cross between Indiana Jones and Alias.

Orth joked that outside of the savagery and the bloodlust, the post-blackout society is “actually kinda nice.” Burke wondered aloud if they’ll actually want the lights back, now that they’re used to having no power. Rambo hinted that in human history, since mankind has been without power more than it has with, we could potentially go a LONG time without power, save for a few pockets of power. We’re going to see how attractive power is, both literally and metaphorically, and how destructive it can be.

Finally, the cast was asked if, when they learned that J.J. Abrams (whose Bad Robot production company produces Revolution, and who has worked with many of its cast members previously) was to helm Star Wars, did any of the actors call him up and put in a good word for themselves? Most of the actors said they hadn’t thought of it, to which Burke joked, “Oh, he didn’t call you?”

Panel Photos

[Photo credit: Revolution panel photos from 2013 WonderCon in Anaheim, CA, by Andrew Sorcini (Mr. Babyman) for Geeks of Doom.]

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