The series takes place in a post-apocalyptic future. All electricity on Earth has been disabled within a single night, ranging from computers and electronics to car and jet engines. Trains and cars stopped where they were, ships went dead in the water, and fly-by-wire aircraft fell from the sky and crashed.
People were forced to adapt to a world without electricity over the next fifteen years. Due to the collapse of government and public order, many areas are now ruled by warlords and militias.
It starts with the surviving Matheson family: Ben, Charlie, and Danny, now living near what used to be Chicago, who possessed a pendant-shaped device (a USB flash drive contained in a pendant) that is the key to not only finding out what happened fifteen years ago, but also a possible way to reverse its effects. However, Sebastian Monroe, the General of the Monroe Militia and self-appointed President of the Monroe Republic, an area of the former United States east of the Mississippi River northward of Kentucky and the Carolinas, now possesses that power for himself seeking conquest of the entire former United States of America. The remaining Matheson family, joined initially by Miles Matheson, Aaron Pittman, and Nora Clayton now strive to counter the Monroe Militia. Monroe's new benefactor, Randall Flynn, a former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense who 15 years earlier ordered the deployment of the weaponized technology that caused the blackout, now seeks to fortify Monroe in his efforts after Rachel escaped from his custody.
We lived in an electric world. We relied on it for everything. And then the power went out. Everything stopped working. We weren't prepared. Fear and confusion led to panic. The lucky ones made it out of the cities. The government collapsed. Militias took over, controlling the food supply and stockpiling weapons. We still don't know why the power went out. But we're hopeful someone will come and light the way.
In Season 1 Episode 5, "Soul Train", a map of North America is shown. The map showed the former continental United States, Canada, and Mexico divided into six parts: the Monroe Republic in the northeast, Maritime Provinces and Great Lakes region; the Georgia Federation in the southeast; the Plains Nation in the northern Midwest and Rocky Mountain states; Texas which controls portions of Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana; the California Commonwealth which has the Pacific Coast from Baja California to British Columbia; and the Wasteland in the vicinity of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Mexico.
The same episode also indicates that the Georgia Federation and Plains Nation have allied against the Monroe Republic. Border skirmishing in southwest Illinois, near St. Louis, is mentioned.
According to the wife of Captain Thomas Neville (Julia) in a letter to her husband, the Monroe Republic capital of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is relatively safe; however, life outside west of Pittsburgh is subject to rebel attacks and other dangers such as bandits.
In April 2013, the series was renewed for a second season of 22 episodes. According to NBC, the new season will air on Wednesdays at 8:00pm (ET) as opposed to the previous time slot of Monday at 10:00pm (ET). The season premiere aired on September 25, 2013, took a mid-season break before Thanksgiving 2013, and returned with new episodes on January 8, 2014.
The second season takes place six months after the events of the first season.
Promotional image showing the main characters
Billy Burke as Miles Matheson, a former U.S. Marine CorpsSergeant-turned-tavern owner, pursued by the Monroe Republic Militia. As Ben Matheson's brother, he is later revealed to be one of the founding fathers of the Monroe Republic, having established it with Sebastian Monroe after the collapse of the United States. He is also the former commanding general of its militia, and is responsible for making them as brutally efficient as they are now. However, he later became disillusioned with the Republic, unsuccessfully attempted to assassinate Monroe; and deserted, becoming dependent on alcohol over guilt of the Republic's atrocities against civilians. The militia now considers Miles a traitor, and seeks to capture him as well as the rest of the Matheson family. Miles is shown expressing regret for his role with the militia, although not without conflicted feelings about his former best friend, Sebastian Monroe, who offered him his old job back after liberating Rachel. After rescuing Danny, Miles resolved to defeat Monroe once and for all when he realized that the various pendants Rachel and Ben invented can grant Monroe massive firepower (including nuclear capability) against countless people who are reduced to fighting with swords and bows and arrows after the blackout.
Tracy Spiridakos as Charlotte "Charlie" Matheson (Ben Matheson's daughter and Miles's niece). Miles described her initially as unusual, insisting that it's not meant as an insult. Charlie has strong remorse for the things around her in the new world and is very caring, but is increasingly at odds with trying to find a balance between concern and self-preservation in the post-blackout society, often choosing to emulate her Uncle Miles more than her own family. After Rachel left, she took responsibility for looking after her brother, Danny, whom she actively pursued in the first half of the season. After her brother's death, she was determined to assist Miles in stopping Bass Monroe, while attempting to reconcile with her estranged mother. She had a small relationship with Jason Neville .
Elizabeth Mitchell as Rachel (née Porter) Matheson, Ben's wife and Charlie and Danny's mother, who is initially believed to have died following the blackout, but later revealed to be alive and working under duress for Monroe. She has told Monroe about the existence of the pendants and provided other information to the militia concerning them and a need for amplification in order to enable vehicular use. Later, it is revealed that Rachel had been equally involved in the blackout as she and her husband know the exact science behind why it has happened. After learning that activated pendants can be tracked by Flynn, she sought instead to destroy them as they are found instead of using them to counter Monroe.
Zak Orth as Aaron Pittman, an MIT graduate, former Google executive, and friend of Ben Matheson. Aaron was a teacher in the community, educating children about pre-blackout life. He abandoned his wife after feeling unable to protect her from looters and thieves, leaving her with a group they were traveling with. Aaron has a great deal of suppressed guilt and remorse over abandoning his wife. Just before Ben's death, Aaron was secretly entrusted with a pendant (flash drive) onto which Ben downloaded files from his computer just before the blackout. Aaron and Maggie decided to keep the pendant's existence a secret from the rest of the group, fearing Miles' reaction and complicating the pursuit of Danny's captors. The others later discover the pendant's existence, and it is eventually stolen by Nora's sister (a double agent) and handed over to Sebastian Monroe. Once reunited with Rachel, Aaron is concentrating on the study of her notes and any information concerning the blackout. Rachel suspects that Ben deliberately cultivated a relationship with Aaron because unknown to Aaron, some of his early work in programming at MIT may have been used in the development of the nanites.
Giancarlo Esposito as Major Tom Neville, a former insurance adjuster who joined the Monroe Republic militia after the blackout. As a Captain, Neville is the first antagonist in the story - his troops are responsible for both Ben Matheson's death and Danny's capture. He is very calculated and committed to the militia, seeking primarily to survive and to keep his own family safe. Originally a mild-mannered and compassionate family man, the blackout forced him to become more ruthless; he is frequently encouraged to be even more ruthless by his politically ambitious wife who wishes for him to replace Sebastian Monroe as president. Afterward, he is promoted to major. Following the capture of Danny Matheson, Neville loses favor with Monroe when his son defects and he is subsequently captured by the rebels (he later escapes). This prevents him from completing a critical mission for Monroe. Realizing that Monroe will kill him for his failure, Neville and his wife defect to the Georgia Republic, where he is rewarded for the intelligence he provides with a commission as a major in the Georgian militia. He now works with Miles Matheson, who is leading the rebel forces fighting Monroe and is allied with Georgia. In the season one finale, he leads a coup against Monroe.
J.D. Pardo as Jason Neville (originally seen under the alias, "Nate Walker"), a former lieutenant of the Monroe Militia, tasked with tracking down Miles. He is the son of Tom Neville. Initially loyal to the Militia, he develops feelings for Charlie, which results in him choosing to protect her on several occasions. When the militia start hunting down the rebels with their helicopters, he defects because he views the massacres as inhumane. He joins the rebellion to fight alongside Charlie, with a reluctant Miles refusing to trust his motivations until he agrees to help interrogate his own father. He has an extremely difficult relationship with his father, Tom, until the end of the first season. Throughout season 2, Jason travels with his father and remains loyal to him even after having his memories altered.
David Lyons as President/General Sebastian "Bass" Monroe, a former U.S. Marine Corpssergeant who co-founded the Monroe Republic. He was the president (de facto dictator) of the republic, as well as the commanding general of the militia. Monroe and Miles had been best friends prior to the blackout, while they grew up and served together in the military. Seeking at first to defend innocent people and restore order to society after the collapse, they used their combined military experience to organize a standing militia. Monroe knew the Matheson family well before the blackout. After Miles defected, he kept Rachel in seclusion for many years, letting the world believe she was dead. She was key in turning electrical power back on. After Rachel's escape, Bass cooperated with Randall Flynn, who has a supply of pendants and amplifiers, allowing vehicles and weaponry to work under Monroe Republic control. He loses power in a coup and some of his men try to kill him. In Season 2, he later teamed up with Miles and the others to fight against the Patriots.
Stephen Collins as Dr. Gene Porter (season 2-present), one of the civic leaders of the town of Willoughby, the town doctor and the father of Rachel Matheson.
Daniella Alonso as Nora Clayton (season 1), a woman who has a history with Miles. She has connections to the rebels, who fight against the Monroe Republic to restore the United States of America as part of an organized rebellion. Her primary expertise is in explosives, and Nora's connections to the rebellion help at various points throughout the story. Upon learning that her sister was alive and wanted to return to Texas to seek out their family, Nora was going to leave Miles, Charlie, and Aaron to assault Bass. After her sister betrayed the Matheson family to the militia, however, Nora returns, rescuing them and leaving her sister to travel alone. While trying to help the group at a critical moment, she was killed in the season one finale, from massive blood loss after being shot.
Tim Guinee as Ben Matheson (season 1, guest afterward), Charlie and Danny's father. Along with Rachel he initially developed the nano-robot technology that caused the blackout, which was researched and developed by the other scientists including Grace, John and others. Initially meant as a method of cheap green energy, the project's failure had the unintended outcome of suppressing all electronic activity within a given radius. After the DOD deployed the nano-robots at an area of conflict, Ben was able to warn his family in Chicago and his brother Miles moments before the blackout occurred as the nano-bots spread out of control. Fifteen years later, he was murdered in the first episode by the Monroe Militia, and shortly before his death he sent his daughter to find his brother Miles in Chicago in order to help her find and rescue Danny. Ben's past involvement in the story is revealed throughout the first season.
Graham Rogers as Danny Matheson (episodes 1-11), Charlie's brother who gets captured by the militia. Danny is asthmatic and before being kidnapped, was constantly watched over by his sister. Similar to Charlie, Danny feels sympathetic for various people, and in a moment when Capt. Neville was vulnerable, chose to help free him and get recaptured rather than escape and let the Captain die from collapsing rubble. Danny is killed from random fire after shooting down a helicopter. Post-mortem, Rachel pulled a device out of Danny, which has a faint blinking light that is still working, years after the blackout. It is later learned that the nanites helped power the device to keep Danny alive.
Anna Lise Phillips as Maggie Foster (episodes 1-4), a British medical doctor who became stranded and separated from her children following the blackout. She became Ben Matheson's girlfriend following his wife's supposed death. Maggie's relationship with Charlie is often strained, since she is her de facto stepmother, but Maggie cares for Ben's children as her own. She came to the midwest and met Ben after failing to find a boat to cross the Atlantic to return to her own family in the United Kingdom. She is killed by a bandit during the pursuit for Danny.
Colm Feore as Randall Flynn, the Assistant Secretary of Defense who was working with Ben Matheson and his team to fund and support their project to weaponize Ben's research for military purposes in response to the death of his own son in Afghanistan. After the blackout, he seeks to "collect" the remaining scientists on the project (by force or by will) who worked with him in the Department of Defense in the continued production of pendants and amplifiers to further his own plans. Flynn has chosen to cooperate with the Monroe Republic after he became convinced that Monroe didn't have "his own head up his ass" and provides enough information to re-enable the vehicles and weaponry that Monroe collected over the years. He committed suicide in the season 1 finale. It was later revealed that Randall has been working for a group called "The Patriots".
Maria Howell as Grace Beaumont (series regular: 1 episode, recurring thereafter), a woman who hides Danny from the Monroe Militia and also has a pendant matching the one Ben Matheson gave Aaron. It is revealed that as one of the scientists who worked at the Department of Defense, she is in contact via a computer with an unknown party until Randall Flynn abducted her. When Aaron and Maggie discover the house she lived in, the pendant she possessed was missing and her computer destroyed. Randall keeps her in captivity with other scientists fixing equipment at the Tower to further his pursuits. After Aaron, Rachel, Miles, and the others restore the power from the Tower, Flynn detonates bombs that drop on the Monroe and Georgia Republics. After this event, Grace moves to Spring City Oklahoma. The nanotech leads both Aaron and Priscilla to Spring City where they meet up with and seek information from Grace before traveling to Lubbock, Texas.
Malik Yoba as Jim Hudson, an ex-Monroe Militia captain who helped Miles with his initial assassination attempt on Bass and defected after their failure. He went into hiding as a town librarian after marrying a local woman. Miles and Nora seek his help after Miles agrees to aid the Rebellion, but Jim refuses because Miles had abandoned him. After fending off a kill squad sent by Monroe to capture him, Jim ends up joining Miles after his wife witnesses him kill an attacker and learns about his past as a soldier. However in the 18th episode he is revealed to be a traitor. He is killed by Jason.
Leland Orser as John Sanborn, a scientist who worked with Ben and Rachel in developing the blackout technology. After Rachel and Miles sought him out for assistance, John captured them and turned them over to Randall for interrogation. Miles and Rachel escaped from capture, with John following Randall to Philadelphia to aid the Republic. He is killed by Jim in the 18th episode.
Kim Raver as Julia Neville, Tom Neville's wife and Jason's mother. While supportive of her husband's military efforts seeking to encourage his rise to power, she is also protective of Jason, and after learning of his defection from the militia, confronts Neville and agrees to leave her life of luxury and social elevation to be free of the Republic. Following the nuclear attack on the capital of the Monroe Republic, she is presumed dead. However, in season 2 it is revealed she survived and is currently married to a member of the Patriot high command.
Mark Pellegrino as Jeremy Baker, a militia captain and former friend of Miles Matheson due to Miles rescuing him from murderous looters six months into the blackout. He is later executed when Monroe believes him to be behind an assassination attempt.
David Meunier as Will Strausser, a Sergeant in the Monroe Militia who admits his sociopathy, adding that his militia work is a good fit. He was the only Sergeant who scared Miles when he was in the Militia. He offers Nora's sister safe passage to Texas if she gives away the positions of her sister's accomplices. After returning to Rachel, Strausser is killed by her after he threatens to kill her children in order to motivate her to complete an amplifier.
Maureen Sebastian as Priscilla Pittman, Aaron's ex-wife. Aaron left her in a group after the blackout because he didn't believe he had the capability to protect her. While traveling to the tower, Aaron finds her being held hostage by a bounty hunter and finally saves her by using brute force. After the rescue, she tells him that everyone in the group he left her with died and she was left alone. She fled the Monroe Republic after killing a member of the militia who attempted to hurt her 11-year-old daughter. The rest of her family had already made it to Texas and were waiting for her. She told Aaron that she loved him and always will, kissed him and told him to stop worrying about her. She then left to join her family in Texas. She returns in the second season when she and Aaron cross paths in Spring City, Oklahoma and later travel to Lubbock, Texas.
Leslie Hope as President Kelly Foster, the president of the Georgia Federation. She is assumed to be dead from a nuclear explosion set by Randall Flynn.
Nicole Ari Parker as Secretary Justine Allenford, a now renegade member of the Patriots. Before she was a traitor, she came to Savannah, Georgia to announce the re-establishment of the United States government and to help pass out some food to the refugees. She encountered Tom Neville, after he saves her from assassination. She allowed Tom to become the member of the Patriots. Later, Justine and Tom were attacked by the Patriots, who had been sent to silence her, but she and Tom Neville manage to escape. After they escaped, she told Neville that she spoke out against the Patriots after she discovers that the Patriots have been brainwashing people into members of the Patriots and the Patriots declared her as a traitor. She convinces Tom to help her after she is wounded, but only after she leads him to Jason, who has been brainwashed by method of mind-altering drugs by the Patriots into a savage killing machine. The same thing happened to Justine's son, and after seeing Tom bring Jason back to his normal self, she gains hope that the same thing can be done for her child. However, Tom betrays Justine by exposing her to her husband, who is a member of Patriot high command. Her husband, Roger Allenford, blames her for betraying the Patriots. Fearing disgrace at the hands of the Patriot government, Roger executed her for treason.
Jessica Collins as Cynthia, Aaron's girlfriend. Calvin Horn uses her against Aaron in order to enlist his help by wounding her, but Aaron manages to use the nanites to heal her. However, Horn later shoots Cynthia in front of Aaron and she dies, causing Aaron to kill Horn in his rage. She has since reappeared as a manifestation of the nanotech, guiding Aaron and Priscilla on their journey to Lubbock, Texas.
Steven Culp as Edward Truman, a member of the Patriots.
Jim Beaver as John Franklin Fry, a Texas Ranger. He is killed by Monroe in an attempt to start a war between Texas and the Patriots.
Matt Ross as Titus Andover, the leader of a war clan, attacking the town of Willoughby.
Željko Ivanek as Dr. Calvin Horn, a member of the Patriots and a prominent antagonist in the first half of Season 2. Horn becomes the leading force in the occupation of Willoughby, retaining control by means of his terrifying reputation. Horn's sociopathic mentality can be traced to his childhood; his deeply religious father blames him for her mother's death after his sick mother died of a drug overdose (Horn did not believe his father's prayers for a miracle were helping his mother with her sickness, and sought out medicine to cure her instead). The Doctor develops an obsession over Aaron, after discovering his abilities to interface with the nanites. His primary goal is finding Aaron and exploiting his abilities, even at the cost of the lives of Aaron's loved ones. Horn reveals that he has brain cancer, and believes that Aaron can use the nanites to save his life. In his desperation, he kills Cynthia, causing Aaron to use the nanites to ignite the air and kill Horn, burning him alive.
David Aaron Baker as Commander Roger Allenford, a member of the Patriots and the husband of Justine Allenford.
Waleed Zuaiter as Martin Shaw, the member of the Patriots, who recruited Gene Porter to become the member of the Patriots.
Mat Vairo as Connor Bennett, Sebastian Monroe's son. He has allied himself with his father, and has supported him in his plan to overthrow patriot control and restore the Monroe Republic.
Cotter Smith as President Jack Davis, an abusive and dictatorial President of the United States and a tyrannical leader of the Patriots. He was responsible for sending Randall Flynn to nuke Atlanta and Philadelphia, so that the Patriots could take over the East Coast and form a brutal dictatorship in the United States. He is de facto dictator of America and also serves as the main antagonist of Season 2. After Tom Neville was caught, Davis sent him to execute Monroe or he'll kill his wife, Julia.
Nations and factions
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The Rebels are a faction fighting against the Monroe Militia. They profess to be fighting to restore the United States of America. They began working with the Georgia Federation, which supplies the rebels with more weapons and troops. Given the destruction of both Philadelphia and Atlanta, and Monroe's absence, the state of the rebels is unknown.
The Georgia Federation
The Georgia Federation ("Georgia") was a prosperous nation led by President Kelly Foster, covering the former southeastern United States. The capital of the Georgia Federation was Atlanta. Georgia had a tense relationship with the Monroe Republic that devolved into war. The northern border appears to be the Ohio river, continuing to the western border of West Virginia, running south to the southern border of Virginia, then diagonally (possibly following the Roanoke River) to Albemarle Sound in North Carolina. The eastern and southern borders are the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico shore, from Albemarle Sound to part way through Louisiana. The western border is the Mississippi River from the Ohio River south to approximately Baton Rouge, then due south to the Gulf of Mexico. The atomic bombing of Atlanta by Randall Flynn sparked a massive refugee crisis, with at least one camp being set up in Savannah, Georgia.
Texas has had tension with the Monroe Republic for at least part of the time after the blackout, but, assuming they would lose, the Monroe Republic did not want to go to war with them. The eastern border of Texas is the Mississippi River from the Arkansas River south to approximately the Atchafalaya River, then due south to the Gulf of Mexico. The extent south is unclear from the maps shown in the show (it extends further south than the map does), but it extends well into former Mexico. The western border coincides with the western border of the U.S. state of Texas north of the Rio Grande, but extends diagonally west from about midway between El Paso/Juárez and Big Bend to the Gulf of California. Rangers have become a sort of military police force in the country. In season two, a war clan from the Plains Nation enters Texan territory.
The Plains Nation is dominated by several individual tribes who dictate their own laws. The people in the Plains Nation live in tribes, similar to those of the Native Americans. Eventually, all of the main characters travel into the Plains Nation to get to a DOD facility in Colorado Springs known as "The Tower". The southern part of the Canadian province of Manitoba has been annexed by the Plains Nation.
Little is known about the California Commonwealth, other than the head-of-state is known as Governor Affleck. Monroe was set to send Jason Neville with an Emissary to California before Major Neville talked him out of sending his son. It is unknown if the emissary was sent or what relationship the Monroe Republic has with California. California takes up all of the land of the states of Baja California Sur, Baja California, California, Oregon, and Washington, as well as parts of Nevada and Idaho. The northern border is unclear as it extends past the edge of the map, but it appears to extend into British Columbia.
The wasteland is not mentioned in the show, only shown on the map. It appears to take up parts of Mexico, Utah, Nevada, and Idaho, as well as all of New Mexico and Arizona. It mostly bordered the California Commonwealth in the west, and the Plains Nation in the east, and Texas in the southwest.
The Patriots are a mysterious group who claim to be the former members of the United States government. In the season one finale, it is revealed that Randall Flynn has been working for the Patriots, a group that supposedly includes the last President of the United States and the remnants of the last U.S. government, who have been sheltering at the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In season two, they are reclaiming U.S. soil after an absence of sixteen years, and are hiring bounty hunters to gather Monroe and Rachael Matheson, among others. They are responsible for the nuclear bombs dropped at the end of season one, and they framed Monroe for the nuclear attacks. Whether the Patriots represent a true continuation of the U.S. government has been questioned by Major Neville. Their official documents are marked with a symbol resembling the Eye of Providence. They have proven themselves to be cruel, selfish, violent, brutal, and deceptive, as demonstrated in their blatant abuse of the trust of the people in Willoughby.
Nations other than the United States
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President Foster of the Georgia Federation stated that her nation received aid from England.  The fate of most other world nations is not specifically mentioned, but Miles mentions that the Georgia Federation made its trade with the European nations and some other foreign nations. The world was also seen on the satellite view at the Tower as the world's cities are possibly abandoned or not. It is therefore implied that other nations continue to exist in some form.
Mexico apparently is one of the richest nations as mentioned in episode 10 of second season, and they have a large tall concrete wall to keep Texans and Californians out of their wealthy nation. Miles has to pretend to be a tomato pick-up guy to enter to the Mexican Republic that seems to be intact. Sebastian Monroe jokes about the "Mexican dream" when they steal a wagon going into Mexico. Despite its wealth, a series-sponsored map shows much of northern Mexico occupied by the American nations.
The same map provided by the series suggests that the post-American nations have not invaded or occupied the Canadian provinces of Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Alberta, and Saskatchewan as they have with all or parts of the other provinces. However, it is not indicated if these surviving provinces continue to function as political entities nor whether Canada still has a central government in Ottawa or any other location.
Executive producer J.J. Abrams told the Los Angeles Times' Hero Complex blog that series creator Eric Kripke "came to us with an idea that was undeniably good. It was such a great premise for a series that it was just that feeling of the misery that you’d feel if you had a chance to be part of that and didn’t take advantage of it. I’m really looking forward to that show. He’s so obviously the real deal, and we’re just really lucky and honored that he wanted to collaborate with us on it."
The series - described by its creators as a "romantic swashbuckling sci-fi adventure" - debuted in the United States on September 17, 2012. In October 2012, NBC announced it would pick up the series for an additional nine episodes after achieving an average of 9.8 million viewers for the first three episodes. After November 26, 2012, Revolution went on hiatus for a holiday break and to catch up on post-production. Following this, the show resumed broadcast on March 25, 2013 for the remaining episodes of season 1.
Eric Kripke says: "I definitely like to know where it’s going. I know what Season 1 is. I have a really solid idea about what Season 2 is, and I’m starting to think about notions for Season 3, knock on wood."
Revolution was renewed for a full 22 episode second season in April 2013.
In Canada, the series airs simultaneously with the American broadcast on City. It premiered in Australia on Fox8 in September 2012 and re-screened on free-to-air on Nine and Go! from November 2013. It premiered in New Zealand on TV2 on October 16, 2012. The series is being broadcast by DSTV in South Africa and to the rest of Africa via satellite; it is delayed by a week from the USA broadcast. In the United Kingdom, the series started airing on Sky1 from March 29, 2013. The episode "The Plague Dogs" was watched by 1.191 million UK viewers, with an additional 123,000 on +1. The episode "Soul Train" was watched by 1.058 million UK viewers, with an additional 172,000 on +1.
In the summer of 2012, NBC had a voting campaign on Revolution's Facebook page where visitors could vote for which American city should have an advance screening of the series' pilot in early September. The top-10 markets selected were: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City and Seattle. New York City's screening was held on September 4 for 1,000 guests; 80 of them seated on stationary bicycles to generate electricity for lighting. The remaining cities' screenings were held on September 6, 2012. The pilot episode is available for download in Apple's iTunes Store.
This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. The specific problem is: The Critical Reception area needs critique on the whole series rather than just the series pilot episode and beginning of the first season. Please help improve this section if you can.(June 2013)
The first season currently has a Metacritic score of 64 out of 100 based on 32 reviews, indicating generally positive reviews. Glen Garvin of The Miami Herald described the show as "big, bold and brassy adventure, a cowboys-and-Indians story for end times". Dorothy Rabinowitz of The Wall Street Journal praised the production quality of the pilot: "If the quality of this one, so irresistible in its vitality and suspense, does fail to hold up, its creators will have delivered, at the least, one remarkably fine hour". Ed Bark observed that the show "has the overall look and feel of a big budget feature, delivers some consistently terrific action scenes". Some have compared the show to Dies the Fire, The Hunger Games and Lost.
Verne Gay of Newsday however, gave the premiere a negative review saying "There's an almost overwhelming been-there-seen-that feel to the pilot, which doesn't really offer any suggestion of 'well, you haven't seen this.'"