NEW YORK - The cast and crew of J.J. Abrams' post-apocalyptic drama "Revolution" are kicking off season two at the United Nations to discuss the basis of the show: what happens to people when the power goes off.
Show runner Eric Kripke and stars Billy Burke, Giancarlo Esposito and Tracy Spiridakos sat down with officials at the U.N. Tuesday to talk about the plight of the one-fifth of the world's population that lives without electricity.
The event was sparked by two U.N. Undersecretaries General - fans of "Revolution" - who reached out to Abrams' Bad Robot production house and said they could use some help shining a light on the global energy crisis.
"When J.J. and I were cooking up `Revolution' we really talked a lot about how we are this technology-dependent society and if you remove that infrastructure, much of a society would collapse as a result of something so simple and basic - and `Revolution' is basically about that at its core underneath all the action and sword swinging," Kripke said. He said the U.N. outreach was "surreal."
Rebecca Goldman, director of Good Robot, Bad Robot's philanthropic arm, says the U.N. foundation's focus on energy access seemed like a perfect match. The show's writers are sitting down with five U.N. workers with experience in places like Syria, Sudan, Afghanistan and the Republic of Congo.
"These are people who were negotiating directly with warlords for the release of child soldiers and trying to create infrastructure in places that don't have any power," Kripke said, "and can give you boots on the ground perspective on what life was like."
Kripke and his crew are writing some of those real experiences into the show. "We have a character this season who was a warlord and so we were really interested beyond what you hear in headlines and stories, what makes these kinds of people tick, how are they motivated and most importantly how do they motivate and manipulate people to fight and die for them?"
There have also been changes in production design and even a line in the premiere episode about a polio outbreak at a school - a reference to how diseases thought to be eradicated turn up in places that lack proper treatment.
Kripke says this all fits perfectly with season two of "Revolution," which premieres on NBC Sept. 25 at 8 p.m. EDT.
"It's still within its tone where it's fun and it's swashbuckling but we're putting in a little more danger and a little less civilization."