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I have been for some years trying to recall the name of this TV series. I saw only a few episodes, but am now curious to see if it's still available (streaming, DVD, reruns on SciFi, etc.) Unfortunately, my recall of the details of the show are sketchy:

  • For sure, it involved some kind of global phenomenon that affected humans primarily (at least in the few episodes I saw).
  • I don't recall the specifics of the phenomenon very clearly, but it seems to me it involved specific individuals having some aspect of their awareness of reality disturbed. It might be that certain people disappeared; if so, I don't recall if this was something where only some other people realized they are missing, or everyone realized they were.
  • There was some sort of investigation, probably government-sponsored, into the phenomenon.
  • The show features several different, completely independent groups of characters (which in later episodes I supposed might have eventually come into contact with each other, but I didn't follow it long enough to find out).
  • The one feature I consider unique to the show was that as the investigation proceeded, it became apparent that at more than one site around the world, a large flock of birds appeared to have been killed instantaneously. I vaguely think that the type of bird was some kind of crow or raven, but I might be mistaken about this (crows and ravens show up so often in "mysterious circumstances" that I can't be sure my memory is just conflating normal sci-fi tropes with an actual recollection about this show).

The show would have been broadcast sometime in the late 1990's or early 2000's (or, apparently, the late 2000's, as it turns out). I don't recall whether it was on one of the "big-three/four" or on one of the cable channels.

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  • I guess it's not the answer, but there's some similarities with the German language show 'Dark' as well. It's too recent and it's not about a global phenomenon but it's got mass bird die-offs, missing people, an investigation of sorts, and several apparently unconnected groups of characters.
    – N. Virgo
    Commented May 3, 2020 at 10:01
  • This is also not the answer, but the graphic novel Dr. Stone is about a global event that causes swallows and later humans to be turned to stone.
    – qazwsx
    Commented May 3, 2020 at 23:44
  • I recommend the book FlashForward by Robert J Sawyer which is much better than the series. The book centres around experiments at CERN that cause the flash forward. Trying to move the action to the USA did not work. Commented May 4, 2020 at 11:23
  • see also scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/239661/… (about the book on which the series was based)
    – Otis
    Commented Nov 27, 2020 at 20:46

1 Answer 1

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Except for the "late 90s/early 2000s" bit, this certainly makes me think of FlashForward (2009).

From IMDb:

After the entire world's population blacks out for approximately 2 minutes and 17 seconds, which in effect causes the entire world to see a glimpse of life 6 months into the future, an elite FBI task force is formed to investigate who/what caused the global blackout, whether the events foreseen were simply flashes or true events of what's to come, and whether or not it could possibly happen again...

  • global phenomenon: check, the whole world is affected except a dozen of people

  • only some persons have their reality disturbed: check, some people didn't see anything (because they'd be dead in the 6 months to come)

  • investigation: check, the main character is from the FBI, who's obviously very interested in knowing what caused the blackout (it's quickly made evident that it was man-made)

  • different groups of people: from the FBI folks to a Japanese young woman wanting to work in mechanics, and a suicidal doctor having dreamt of her... Check

  • birds:

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    Excellent. How my sense of time is so far off, I can't imagine. But that is definitely the show...I recognize the clip, including the tower radiating "whatever", distinctly. Commented May 2, 2020 at 19:01
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    @PeterDuniho eh, memory's tricky, especially if you've only watched it sporadically. Glad to have helped! First TV show I've ever watched, I remember enjoying it a lot. Glad to be able to provide it as an answer :)
    – Jenayah
    Commented May 2, 2020 at 19:04
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    It was scandalous that this show was cancelled. Commented May 3, 2020 at 14:02
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    Premature cancellation of this show and The Event is why I never watch network TV shows during their first run anymore.
    – Mattman944
    Commented May 3, 2020 at 23:19

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