Dreams don't necessarily stay in dreamland—at least when you enter them through a brain-computer interface.
“What's your all-time favorite memory? The most beautiful mind-blowing place that you can remember?” This is the question to consider as you enter the dream world of NBC’s upcoming sci-fi series Reverie. Then you seriously need to think about whether you’ll be able to let that memory go and return to the waking world, because once the Reverie device is injected into your arm and you are transported into a virtual reality system that seems less virtual and more like reality, you may become too transfixed ever to cross back into this universe.
The Reverie panel at New York Comic Con took fans there with an exclusive screening of the entire first episode. This show is basically what would happen if Elon Musk’s wildest neuro-tech ambitions ever came into being. The Reverie device is “the science of creating dreams,” as dream specialist Paul Hammond (Sendhil Ramamurthy) explains to detective-turned-dream-warrior Mara Kint (Sarah Shahi). Mara, haunted by trauma in the shadows of her consciousness, was recruited by Reverie CEO Charlie Ventana (Dennis Haysbert) to bring back those who ventured too far into that alternate dimension.
Lingering too long in Reverie is otherwise known as a coma.
Who wouldn’t want to just say the Latin word for “open” and be able to access a place where the dead are suddenly alive again and everything fantastical (and sometimes against the laws of physics) could happen? The danger is in the lure of Reverie over the real world. This could have something to do with a glitch in version 2.0, but also the painfully human desire to stay suspended in a half-life where nothing ever went wrong. You never turned to booze and Vicodin. Your fiancée was never diagnosed with a terminal illness. Your husband never shot himself.
This is what has kept some now-comatose users from ever telling that virtual portal to close.
“Reverie is about delving into people and their deepest emotions,” said executive producer Mickey Fisher, who went on to confess he would never, ever submit to being injected with a brain-computer interface. Mara is damaged herself and facing an enormous risk in an undertaking that bitter neuro-programmer Alexis Barrett (Jessica Lu) would be only too satisfied to see her fail at, because she may be just as vulnerable but half as brave. You are only interacting with empty digital versions of actual human beings in Reverie. There is no computer program that can reverse death.
"Technology has isolated us, and I think it's by design," added Haysbert, who only needed to look past the stage to the digital glow of hundreds of smartphone display screens.
Say “abertus” to enter Reverie in 2018, but don’t forget to say “exodus.”