Web series have garnered an incredible amount of attention in the last ten years. What began as an independent movement, which allowed artists their own creative voice, has captured the attention of network studios and successful producers such as Bryan Singer (X-Men, House, M.D., The Usual Suspects).
Bryan Singer took to the web to show what a web series could be with a big budget to back it up, in the large scale project, H+: The Digital Series. The series takes viewers into the not too distant future when technology is so embedded in humanity it is literally implanted. H+ Nano is a microchip implant that allows the user access to entertainment and global communications via a transmitter that adheres directly to the human nervous and optical systems, displaying the interface in a virtual heads up display. In an age when technology has infiltrated everyday living, what happens when the system goes offline?
The first episode opens with a corporate promotional video highlighting the features of H+ Nano and a series of news coverage clips, interrupted by a hacker's warning, "the creator, a.) does not support it anymore; b.) has been missing for weeks." From there, the audience is thrust into action.
In a San Francisco airport parking garage, people prepare for travel when the H+ network is hacked. Suddenly, people begin dropping where they stand and planes crash on the surface as the disabled implants sever the users' brain functions.
From there, you will want to take notes.
The few to survive are those without the implant, including children, or those who were out of the network signal range. Somehow, those who remain must find a way to to survive and discover what went wrong.
The plot spans vast spaces, both in location and time. The story follows groups of people in locations around the world, such as Italy, the Republic of Congo and India, with the intention of communicating the expanse affected by the H+ virus. Though these small pockets of survivors are separated by distance, make no mistake, their stories are intertwined.
With each episode, the audience is presented with only morsels of information to piece together the over-arcing conspiracy. To tackle the timeline, which stretches from 8 years prior to the virus through 2 years after, the series uses the time honored device of flashes, back and forward.
The first season is comprised of 48 episodes, averaging 5 minutes per episode. When watching the series one episode at a time, the flashes are of little consequence. However, when viewing multiple episodes in a single sitting, they become quite tiresome.
Taking into consideration the flashbacks, the survival aspect and the grand plot, one cannot help but be reminded of the television series LOST. Since the finale, many projects have attempted to capture the magic Lost brought to the small screen. H+: The Digital Series does a wonderful job of presenting a series with similar ambitions.
In addition to the 48 episodes of the first season, the production team schedules and makes public Google Hangouts, as well as vlogs and other behind the scenes content, to discuss the making of the series. The additional video provides an interesting look at the creative process, as well as content to hold audiences over until season 2.
Here's the trailer. Watch the complete season 1 on the H+: The Digital Series YouTube Channel.