Wednesday night, ABC launched the pilot of a controversial political and disaster thriller, “Designated Survivor”, created by David Guggenheim, directed by Paul McGuigan. ABC’s link is here.
Kiefer Sutherland plays the HUD secretary Tom Kirkman in the Cabinet, who has just been “fired” at the beginning of a president’s second term and offered an ambassadorship. Right before the State of the Union speech, Kirkman is hustled into a bunker and told he is the “designated survivor” in case of attack.
As he watches the speech, the Capitol is bombed and all of Congress and the rest of the administration is killed. A mild-mannered Kirkman takes over (after taking the oath of office and almost immediately vomiting) and then decides he wants to challenge the hawkish generals and stay “in power”.
There is a mushroom cloud, but there's no mention so far of nuclear weapons or radiation fallout. A second bomb is found and it is said to be an elaborate device used in Afghanistan.
There’s not much attention yet to what the nation faces. Maybe something like martial law.