Interview: Revolution’s Executive Producer Eric Kripke Discusses Secrets, Returning Characters and the Reason For One Character’s Death

Revolution (NBC) The Plague Dogs Episode 4 (10)

Revolution is gripping the nation, and TV Equals was able to learn more about the hit apocalyptic drama from Revolution’s creator and executive producer, Eric Kripke. During the conference call, we learned about upcoming characters, a character who is making a return and the reason behind killing off one of the main characters.

The genesis of Revolution

Kripke said classic adventure stories were the basis for his idea about a world off the grid.

“I’m a huge fan of Star Wars. I’m a huge fan of The Lord of the Rings. I’m a huge fan of that kind of Joseph Campbell, classic, mythic storytelling–those big grand adventures,” he said. “Those are the kind of stories that are serviced in stories rather than television. But I think TV is actually the perfect format for that kind of format because they’re such big, sprawling stories and you have so many more hours in TV to explore all of the different facets of a world and the characters in that world and that you could give it epic scope but very intimate character focus.”

Stephen King also gets a credit of inspiration. “..I’m also a huge fan of Stephen King’s The Stand and I really like the idea of rather than setting it in some fantasy kingdom, to set the storyline in some kind of transformed America, which, in a very strange way, relatable and familiar to your audience,” he said.

The reason for Maggie’s death

Audiences were shocked when Maggie Foster, the group’s doctor, was killed. Kripke gave the reasoning for her death.

“Anna Lise [Phillips] is a wonderful actress and I love that character. I’m sort of have a bad habit in the shows that I run of killing off the people that I love. And I think Maggie was one of those,” he said. “We decided internally early on that this world had very real stakes and was truly dangerous because you’re not close to hospitals, you’re not close to paramedics, you’re not close to help. And we very quickly realized the scariest thing we could do is kill the doctor among them. I twas purely a creative decision about giving the world a real charge of danger so as we move forward, we want the audience to really understand that nobody is safe, including the main characters and just bring that suspense as the series continues because we think that’s honest to the world we’re trying to create here.”

Neville’s backstory

During the season, more about Captain Neville (Giancarlo Esposito) will be uncovered, such as his former life as a mild-mannered man.

‘What’s interesting about the blackout in the show… is what a transformative experience it was for people and who they were in the old world has nothing to do with what they are now,” said Kripke. “There was a bit of that in the pilot and we were always amused by the idea that he’s this kind of a violent strongman post-blackout but pre-blackout, he was an insurance adjuster. So we were really interested in exploring that backstory more and seeing how his character, who, before the blackout, was pretty mild-mannered and maybe a little submissive–how did he transform into the violent psychopath that he is today.

Later on in the season, more about Neville’s wife, Julia will be discovered.  “Right now we’re basically we’re planting him now and then we’re going to meet her in the present day[.] [W]e’re going to explore her character a couple of episodes down the line,” said Kripke. “we’re going to see how a very normal, suburban life before the blackout transformed into Lady Macbeth.”

The return of Grace

Grace (Maria Howell) will soon come back to the forefront of the main storyline, and when she does, her storyline will have a big impact on the show’s mythology.

“I can’t reveal too much because she’s right in the dead center of where the mythology is. But, I will say that we continue to explore and expand on that mythology,” said Kripke. “We see her again in Episode Seven [I think], so not too far away. And we see who Randall is, this person who kidnapped her in Episode Two, and we get to learn more about him. And we start to expand it because she is under duress with this character Randall and she’s in a dangerous position right now. Right now, we’re really dropping breadcrumbs because Grace and Randall and what’s happening in their storyline begins to play a huge, huge part in the main storyline of the show.”

Possibly revealing the mystery

‘You should look for clues everywhere,” said Kripke when talking about where in the show to look for clues to the cause of the blackout. “Right now, we’re currently in the writer’s room. We’re talking dangerously about revealing that secret before the end of the first season. The secret of what caused the lights to go out.”

If Revolution happened in real life

Kripke thinks that if a mass blackout occurred in real life, we’d be in for a lot worse than his characters on Revolution. “If anything, we’re glamorizing it,” he said. “I think what would actually happen in the result of a global blackout would be much hairier than even what we’re depicting.”

Revolution airs Mondays at 10/9c  on NBC.