Why Newt Gingrich Will Love J.J. Abrams’ New Post-Apocalyptic Show Revolution

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
May 14 2012 4:40 PM

Why Newt Gingrich Will Love J.J. Abrams’ New Post-Apocalyptic Show Revolution

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J.J. Abrams.

Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Monsters like zombies (The Walking Dead) and aliens (Falling Skies) have dominated post-apocalyptic TV of late. But J.J. Abrams hopes to change that this fall with his new show Revolution. In Revolution, an electromagnetic pulse destroys all electronic goods, leaving people without lights, the Internet, cars, or other modern technology. The show picks up 15 years after the EMP, when people are still muddling through without electricity. Watch the preview below.

One person sure to tune in to Revolution is Newt Gingrich. In 2009, the sci-fi fan wrote the foreword to a thriller in which an EMP sends the world into chaos.  In his introduction to One Second After, by Gingrich friend and co-writer William R. Forstchen, the former presidential candidate warned, “Millions would die in the first week alone.” As a December 2011 New York Times article described, Gingrich also invoked the danger of an EMP—in his nightmare scenario, caused by the explosion of a nuclear bomb high in the sky—while campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination. "In theory, a relatively small device over Omaha would knock out about half the electricity generated in the United States,” he told a group of veterans. Gingrich in particular fears that North Korea or Iran could carry out such an attack.

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Despite the warnings of Gingrich, the Heritage Foundation (which in 2010 established EMP Awareness Day), and some of the participants on Doomsday Preppers, most experts don’t take the EMP threat too seriously.

In the video below, filmed in 2009, Gingrich pitches One Second After while making the case for worrying about an EMP.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Torie Bosch is the editor of Future Tense, a project of Slate, the New America Foundation, and Arizona State that looks at the implications of new technologies. 

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