Flash Forward

So I’ve watched the first two episodes of Flash Forward. It’s been a few years since I read Robert J. Sawyer‘s novel, on which the show is based. It seems to be a fun show so far. Joseph Fiennes and John Cho are great leads for the show.

In the first two episodes, they’re really been slamming the audience with the “is the future predestined” question. Yes, we get it. Don’t remind us every five minutes. Maybe wait until after the next commercial break before telling us again, ok?

I really enjoy the image of the corkboard that Joeseph Fienne’s character, Mark Benford, sees in his Flash Forward. However, this poses an interesting paradox.
Some of the clues which he sees, such as the name D. Gibbons, are then placed on the corkboard in the present. We are led to believe that the only reason some of these clues are on the board are because of his vision. Some of the other items in his vision appear later, such as the photograph of the burned dolls.
It’s an interesting problem. If he saw the name “Sawyer” on the board in his vision, and wrote it on a new index card in the present, how would he know that it’s a relevant research point, instead of a dead end? D Gibbons has proved a useful starting point so far, but I’m curious as to how reliable these notes can be, without a “true” point of origin.

This of course, is far from the first time that television shows have played fast and loose with time paradoxes. Most of the different, conflicting theories of time travel, etc are already covered by one or more of the Star Trek series. There are even Fan Collective DVD box sets for Time Travel, and Alternate Realities.

Apparently Lost started something with time travel too. I stopped watching that show at the beginning of season three however. Hopefully the Flash Forward writers have a coherent plot in mind. Presumably they do, as the action will heat up towards the season finale date of April 29th.

Busy with classes

Life’s been fairly hectic lately. In addition to my day job, I somehow decided that it would be a cool idea to take three courses this term. This term I’m taking English 362 (Shakespeare 1), English 350B (17th Century Literature 2) and English 335 (Creative Writing 1).
Creative Writing is a night course, and is workshop based. I’m enjoying the opportunity to focus on the writing craft. Thus far, we’ve focused on poetry, which is a nice change. The importance of precise diction is challenging.  The other two courses are distance education courses. Audio lectures, web based discussion forums, and regular assignments.
English 350B is primarily a study of Milton’s Paradise lost. It’s an impressive work of literature, made more so as Milton composed it while blind.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, during the summer term, I took a selected studies reading course on the works of Philip K. Dick. I think the course went really well. I’m currently reworking my final paper, expanding on some of the ideas I touched upon, and hope to submit it to one of the science fiction journals at a later date.