The Carrington Event is widely known as the massive solar flare incident of 1859, but the phrase is about to take on a whole new meaning. Energetic producer Rob Underhill’s passion about the solar storm prompted the creation of a six-season television series. The show is a science fiction/disaster/survival style show that may likely attract the attention of die-hard The Walking Dead fans.
The Walking Dead finale means 12 million fans will soon be left with nothing to do for one whole hour each week, until Season 4 starts in October. The Carrington Event is a well-written drama that also focuses on what happens in America after an end of the world as we know it disaster.
The series begins after an Earth-directed solar flare takes down the power grid. The series focuses on how the Carrington family and their community is forced to quickly deal with the shock of the downed power grid. Although there won’t be any zombies roaming the Earth after a massive solar flare, the characters are still forced to hone skills quickly in order to survive.
The Carrington Event synopsis:
Joseph Carrington runs an organic mini-farm on the outskirts of a large, southern town. His rustic lifestyle means he is a bit removed from his family. Carrington’s wife has spent the last 10 years pursuing a pediatrics career. His teen daughter’s goal at the moment is to ditch life in the small town for a big city existence. Joseph Carrington’s 10-year-old son is a typical modern child who would likely go into withdrawal without video games, television, and the internet.
The solar flare (CME) happens and power on the Carrington family farm is soon non-existent. The group learns soon after that the entire area is in the midst of a blackout. The family quickly realizes that they have no way to know what is going on in the outside world.
Little do they know, they outside world is experiencing the same woes and rapidly descending into chaos. The Carrington family must look past their individual differences and work together in order to survive in the dark new world.
The Carrington Event producer recently sat down with The Inquisitr to discuss the upcoming television series premiere.
IQ – How did the idea for The Carrington Event come about?
RU – Larry Gardner, longtime friend, collaborator, and editor on many of my film projects, was originally intrigued about the historic event that took place in 1859, called The Carrington Event, when he ran across a NASA report from 2005. The report sought to determine what effects a solar storm of the same magnitude would have today on the nation’s power grid and communications apparatus. The prognosis was very bleak.
Such a powerful electrical current would be generated that transformers, the heart of the electric grid, would literally have inside components melted, rendering them irreparable. The US only has enough replacements for 2 or 3 percent of the nation’s transformers. Transformers require 2 to 3 years to build. Doing the math, that’s years in the dark. Larry and I sketched how the world would descend into chaos once electricity was removed from the equation.
I ran with Larry’s concept and initial feature film draft, working it into a pilot episode for a proposed 13 one-hour episodes—currently written and being marketed to networks and investors. Larry and I wrote the featurette that will have its world premiere Saturday, May 11 at 6:30pm at the 13th Cape Fear Independent Film Festival in Wilmington, North Carolina. The 13 part first season was written in large part by my longtime writer friend Allen Gies from Michigan. I’ve played a supporting and editorial role in that process.
IQ – Did the cast and producers get a crash course in the science behind space weather and solar flares as they prepared for their roles?
RU – They did. And our film’s Facebook page is a wealth of links to real science on the subject, reports of big solar flares happening in our time. We spent time discussing real world effects and in filming this we made every effort to keep it as close to the science as possible. It’s grim enough as is, no need to embellish in it.
IQ – The trailer for The Carrington Event appears to hint at a fusion of the Sci-Fi with docu-drama genres. Does the movie boast both educational and entertainment aspects?
RU – It is educational because we stick to the science of how a modern day Carrington Event would affect the world, the psychology and sociology of how individuals and whole groups would react, and showcasing preppers versus folks that relay on the modern day system to sustain them day-to-day. It is entertaining to the utmost because the audience follows the unknowable developments with the characters, they are on the ride from the beginning of the event, and the TV series, as well as the featurette, takes the viewer over the course of a two week period.
IQ – The Carrington Event trailer gives us a brief glimpse of what to expect from the movie. Does the film focus primarily on the human aspect of life after a massive solar flare hits Earth?
RU – Without modern conveniences, we find out who of us can lead, who has the mindset for challenges ahead. So this is about the transformation of character, of interpersonal relationships, of struggle. There is a huge psychological component. We also see the dissolution of government civil services, police, fire departments, hospitals—so we explore how infrastructure is affected.
IQ – Should we expect to see the characters move from the stages of bewilderment to shock, then fear, before adapting either a survival or hopeless victim mindset?
RU – Different characters will be affected differently. While The Carrington Event is a disaster as dangerous as a meteorite impact or super virus, it is a quiet one with pretty northern lights across the hemisphere for a day or two and the electric grid poofing out. The real danger and the epic struggle is slow to being. The first night a family may barbecue and have fun with the situation. By the following day, unease will creep in without radio and television to relay that the world is okay.
Producer Rob Underhill has a decade of experience as a writer, producer, and director. He is the producer of The Lynching of Emmett Till – which won film awards. He is currently in post-production on the feature film, Box Brown. The movie is based on the true story of a slave who mailed himself to freedom in 1849. Underhill has also been at the helm of more than 50 short films that have been screened at more than 100 world-wide film festivals.