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ABC’s new drama series, Flash Forward, achieves addiction level quality faster than any pilot I’ve watched in years. Immediately this show becomes a must watch program. Based on a novel, or actually based on a core idea in a novel with most everything else altered, Flash Forward tells the story of the world blacking out for 2 minutes and 17 seconds. During the worldwide siesta everyone has a vision of the future, specifically 6 months from the present day. This is also known as the time when season finales are airing.

What makes Flash Forward work so well is that it doesn’t get into the sci-fi trappings of a show like Lost. Despite this freak occurrence with the world everything about the show remains grounded, including how the FBI goes about investigating the event. Joseph Fiennes plays FBI agent Mark Benford, who heads up the investigation because in his vision of the future he was working on the investigation. At no time does the show get bogged down in time paradox debate, it’s clear to the FBI that Mark should be the lead investigator just because he is. At the same time it’s not thrown away or forgotten, the show does address these concerns.

While it’s been compared to Lost in recent months, I can’t help but feel that people are reaching for a comparison where little to none exists. Flash Forward is quite a bit more like Battlestar Galactica with its message of hope through the actions of man, if we’re just given the chance to prove ourselves. The show, or at least this first season, is going to focus heavily on fate and destiny. If the conventions of god, fate, free will, and similar philosophical topics are handled with the same deftness as is found in the pilot then we may have the most balanced and beautiful examination of the human spirit since the first season of BSG. Throw in a little tense and serious early 24 action in the mix and you have a winning combination.

Flash Forward Series premiere THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on ABC.

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