Humanity Goes Offline. Survival Goes On.
Imagine a world where you don’t have to sneak out your phone to check the latest sports scores, where you can browse the latest headlines without the click of a button and where you can chat with friends half-way around the world without any hardware.
Now, imagine a world torn apart by the same technology.
This is the story of “H+ The Digital Series”, and we’re introduced to a world on the ragged edge between technological normalcy and world-altering change.
Technology has taken several massive leaps forward, connecting people to information and each other in new ways, using implants to replace cellphones and Internet connectivity… literally linking their brains and their physiology to the new world wide web 24/7.
People can watch their favorite programs, keep up to date with the news, talk with friends and family anywhere in the world, even be able to monitor and get instant feedback on their own physical wellbeing, completely altering the doctor-patient relationship. The newest version of this technology is called H+, and everyone has been quick and eager to upgrade to it.
There are also problems behind the scenes with the company and the technology that the general populace knows nothing about, and this story starts us off right where everything begins to go wrong.
But that isn’t the whole story. This is where being a web series is a great thing, and also a terrible thing. Great, because of the flexibility in story-telling and presentation, terrible because the episodes are sometimes very short and that means the wait for the next chapter is both tantalizing and irritating!
In the first few episodes, several different story lines are presented: one where disaster has just struck, one where a law enforcement investigation is taking place 7 years earlier, one just 5 months earlier where a couple is making preparations for a surrogate pregnancy. The various chapter leaps to the different time lines add layers to the overall story, both pulling the viewer along and also allowing them enough room to make an intuitive leap here and there to put the pieces together to try to get a feel for the bigger story.
Whether or not some of these viewer assumptions turn out to be false leads or intriguing clues to what really happened and what’s really going to happen is also part of the fun.
Having already seen the first 12 episodes, I am not exaggerating when I say I could very easily have watched the next 12 without pause. This is a series that I honestly cannot wait to see in its entirety, and just like with Dr Horrible, I’m already in line (virtually speaking) waiting for the DVD. I even went to iTunes and purchased the song featured in the trailer, “Letters from the Sky” by Civil Twilight.
Viewers who subscribe to the H+ YouTube feed this week can actually get a sneak peek at the first 6 episodes, which are well worth seeing as soon as possible. The official series website is interactive, and you might be able to discover clues to the rest of the series.
This is a series that I would highly recommend, and the type of non-traditional scifi programming we definitely need to see more of. I hope this inspires a few other filmmakers and writers to jump outside of the boxes they’re used to and give this method of storytelling serious consideration.
And if you want to get a little deeper into the work that went into the making of this series, check out our interview with some of the driving talent behind this series: writer/creator John Cabrera, director Stewart Hendler and producer Jason Taylor — this week on Slice of SciFi #492.