Is ‘The Crossing’ safe for your kids to see? Answering this & other questions in this exclusive ABC’s The Crossing Interview | Is This Time Travel Show ‘Lost?’ Disney & ABC invited me out to L.A. to interview the creators Dan Dworkin & Jay Beattie of The Crossing. All opinions are my own. Travel and accommodations were covered.
ABC’s The Crossing Interview | Is This Time Travel Show ‘Lost?’
Are you coming to this post already skeptical? I get it. When I sat down to preview the first episode of ABC’s newest drama, ‘The Crossing,’ I had my TV critic hat on. Remember ‘Lost?’ Yeah, I loved that show too. But with all of the plot holes, time travel confusion and so many unanswered questions – I ended 7 seasons with a bit of a let down. Are we ready to invest in another time travel show? We sat down with creators and executive producers Dan Dworkin and Jay Beattie in this exclusive ABC’s The Crossing Interview to find out if we are going to end up ‘Lost,’ what we can expect from this new series and if this show is safe for kids to watch.
What is The Crossing About?
The plot line, the story, the theme – having not heard about ABC’s The Crossing beforehand, I can usually sum up the “am I going to want to watch a show” in about a paragraph. I had to say, the summary of The Crossing had me.
THE CROSSING – “Pilot” – After 47 refugees mysteriously wash up in a small fishing town, local sheriff Jude Ellis teams with DHS agent Emma Ren to assess their unusual claim … that they’re fleeing a war 180 years in the future. The mystery deepens when Jude realizes that one of the new arrivals possesses heightened abilities and is a threat to his town, setting the two of them on a collision course. As the rest of the refugees acclimate to their unfamiliar surroundings, Emma learns that one has information that calls into question everything she thought she knew about our present time.
It Began with a Photo
A photo is worth a thousand words…and also 11 episodes of a new TV drama. It’s always fascinating to learn where new show concepts come from. The Crossing interview began with the creators discussing a photo that you may recognize.
It started with a photograph. It was 18 months ago or so. It was one of the many photos that were kind of besieged by every day in the press, refugees. It’s a father holding his little boy. It was very specifically a photo of a dad who had come from Syria to Greece and had crossed the Mediterranean in a raft and barely made it. The photo won a Pulitzer actually last year. Just the look on the guy’s face, as a father, killed me. And that was the spark, initially. That’s when I emailed Jay and said ‘refugees.’ We don’t normally write kind of straight ahead, ripped-from-the-headlines dramas. We usually like to put a little spin on it. So, we figured out a way to put a spin on the refugee story.
Finding The Level of ‘Whoa’
The first episode immediately sucks you in. Of the many different pilot shows I have seen over the years with this ABC TV events, this is the first one in a long time that I was really excited to see where it was going next. I was immediately a fan. But can we expect the same level of ‘awesome’ throughout the season of The Crossing? Dan Dworkin explains how they achieve that same level of the pilot in every episode to keep the audience coming back.
When we set out the beginning of the season, we said we need to figure out a way to replicate the level of ‘whoa’ from the pilot in every episode. The pilot has a scope and an epic feel to it that you can’t quite achieve episode two episode necessarily. But idea wise I think we do.
The Time Travel Pact
That whole time travel confusion thing? We’ve been there before too. And the creators both agreed that we now have this ‘gag reflex’ when it comes to time travel shows. So they made a pact.
Initially, when you say time travel when you’re trying to brainstorm ideas for TV shows, there can be a little bit of a gag reflex because it’s an incredibly challenging subgenre of storytelling. It can get very confusing.
We made a pact early on in the writer’s room. Let’s not go down any time travel rabbit holes. Let’s not get into paradoxes. Let’s not get into parallel existences. Let’s not get into things that are going to distract from the stories we’re trying to tell. So, we warmed to the time travel idea early. And also, the notion of what will our world be like in 180 years? Will it potentially be a place that people will go to these lengths to escape from? We thought was compelling.
The Challenges, The Research, & What’s Up with Meat?
Like any TV show, there will be lots of questions, challenges and research going into a successful show. Dan Dworkin and Jay Beattie really pondered the question ‘What will our world be like in 180 years?’ Bringing in futurist experts, scientists and even a little politics (not the way you think), had The Crossing taking a different twist on what the future holds and will is be a place that people would want to escape from?
Talking to all of them, they are all very optimistic about how technology can solve the problems of the future and the here and now. And how it’s not politics that create change. It’s technology and the adoption of technology. So, that was heartening to hear.
There were lots of little fascinating curls that we would try to drop in like in the pilot, like the notion that there won’t be real meat in the future, which is essentially right around the corner. They are already creating meat in labs. Futurist Pablos Holman said ‘I believe that in my daughter’s lifetime, she will come to look back on the fact that we actually used animals for meat, she will look upon it with incredulity. She will think it’s the most absurd thing she’s ever heard.’ And to me, I was like wow, I never even thought of that.
So is this show just another ‘Lost’ reboot?
Now I know what you’re thinking – is this just another ‘Lost’ reboot? Time travel, supernatural and cliffhangers? Seemed a little too familiar. But the creators assured us that this isn’t another one of “those shows.”
Obviously, there’s a lot going on. There’s a lot of questions. We resisted the impulse to kind of answer too much too early. But at the same time, we’ve watched shows where you don’t get anything answered and then at the end of the season you’re like “I was entertained but I feel like I’ve been cheated.” So, we don’t want that. We’ll be giving people more than enough.
In short, we’ll get answers, folks.
Is The Crossing a Family Show?
Both Dan Dworkin and Jay Beattie drew from their roles as fathers to tell the story of The Crossing. But does that mean that this darker TV drama is safe for kids to watch?
I think so. I feel like the pilot is a family show. And I think we maintain that tone throughout the season. There’s certainly darker themes that we explore later on in the series but I think it is a bigger tent show and families could watch it together.
After watching for myself, I feel that my older 9-year old son would enjoy and could potentially bring out some really good parent-child discussions on what the future looks like. But The Crossing is definitely a little too dark and wordy for my wiggle-worm 5-year old daughter. Either way, I will be making sure to watch The Crossing on ABC. I was hooked the moment I saw the pilot. Hope you enjoyed a little more insight in this exclusive The Crossing Interview.
The Crossing premieres TONIGHT April 2, 2018 at 10 | 9c, only on ABC.
Will you be watching ABC’s The Crossing? Are you ready to invest in a time travel TV show?
I was invited to attend an all-inclusive press trip to cover this ABC’s The Crossing Interview, with post sponsored by Disney. Be sure to follow Raising Whasians for more Disney insider information, movie updates and entertainment!