Instructables

Changing the Natural Laws for Science Fiction

Ok, so there's a new show in the U.S. called Revolution. I haven't watched it, but it seems the premise is a world where all electronics suddenly stopped working. No iPhones, no lights, no vibrobots. nothing.

My question is, what possible explanation could they have for this? A world where electrons won't flow doesn't make sense to me. They still have lightning. They still have fire. Their brains work. Does anybody know if there is any science behind this? What could stop electricity from working in all technology and still allow the natural functioning of electrical processes in nature?

I refuse to watch the show because I'm pretty sure they will never answer this question, or worse, they will blame it on aliens.

justbennett (author) 2 years ago
Okay, so I talked to a friend who read the book the series is based on. He says that the cause of the blackout is eventually revealed in the story and that it actually doesn't break natural laws. He didn't want to spoil anything, but I'm assuming there is a new man-made technology at work. Some sort of perpetual EMF network?

Anyway, after reading the book, which was pretty good, he said; he thought the show was kinda lame. Maybe I'll read the book.
Sometimes we have to suspend reality to enjoy a work of fiction, like "Reptilicus", “Independence Day”, “Jackie Chan Adventures (cartoon)” or “Shadow of the Vampire”.

I have not watched “Revolution” myself, so I don't know if they are following the rules they set down for themselves at the beginning. I am assuming the writers started with the question of "What would happen if there was a huge EMF pulse that affected the whole world?" but did not understand that new electrical devices would work even though the old devices were fried. I’d have trouble sitting through that, but I’d be okay with “we are in an alternate dimension/Twilight Zone” kind of thing.

The trouble with most TV & movie writers is that they usually have only the vaguest idea how the science & technology they are writing about works, and make horrible mistakes when trying to write serious sci-fi or crime drama. The “dark matter” episode of X-Files leaps to mind, as does “The Core”. And that awful movie about blowing up a hurricane – where did all of the energy in the storm go? Energy does not just disappear. And the whole premise was flawed – a strong eyewall is the result of a strong storm, not the cause of a strong storm. Did everyone sleep through every science class??? Deep breaths……

Silly 50’s B-movies are exempt from the laws of physics, but should know that intestines would never spill out of a chest wound.

I have a tendency to make agonized noises and point out the really ludicrous stuff when watching on TV or DVD at home. The very rare times I am at a theater, I confine myself to muffled snorting sounds when orcas emit humpback whale song, a tectonic mountain suddenly spews lava, or a dust mite is swimming through someone’s cerebro-spinal fluid. Bwha ha ha ha ha!

Some changes can be necessary for artistic reasons. A good example is light from an unknown source when a scene would be pitch-dark in real life. The audience prefers to see what is going on.
Writers enjoy creative licenses thus sometimes bending the truth to make works of fiction. One movie that I did not care much was 2012 and its theory of the hollow earth. The special effects were too chaotic.
Sorry about the rant, but sometimes I wonder about the state of education in this country.
I have watched the show online and just so you know they don't tell you what happened. It's part of the plot. But there is some electrical that works if you have the set up for it (it's in the pilot but they don't explain it, part of the plot I suppose). It's not the worse show I've seen, but far from the best. It seems to me they are trying to draw the Hunger Games crowd, but it is what it is, a TV show. Will I watch it again, yes. Will I be upset if I miss an episode, nope.