"For me, what makes it interesting is it's all about conspiracies," said Scott Michael Foster, who plays Arron Martin in ABC's new series Zero Hour. "I'm a huge conspiracy buff, and I think this will appeal to your inner conspiracy theorist."
While a conspiracy thriller on TV is not a new concept (remember ABC's own Traveler? Or Day Break?), speaking to BFTV Tuesday, Foster explained what sets Zero Hour apart from other shows of the same nature. "We sort of deal with real history," he said. "When you watch the show, you'll want to get online and find out what that real story is all about or what that real time period is all about. You can engage with the show. It's a lot of fun." He added that in tonight's episode, "We introduce a historical figure that may or may not be involved."
Zero Hour's mystery is centered around Hank Galliston (played by ER's Anthony Edwards), a lifetime skeptic who is forced to believe in a huge conspiracy when his wife Laila (Jacinda Barrett, Suits) is kidnapped - because hidden in one of her antique clocks is a treasure map that sinister forces are after. Foster plays Arron, one of Hank's two associates who assists him in his hunt to find his wife and figure out the secrets of the map.
Tonight's installment, "Pendulum," involves not only the aforementioned historical figure, but a secret that Hank's parents may be hiding, and another face-to-face confrontation between Hank and White Vincent (Michael Nyqvist, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol), the man who's abducted Laila. The series certainly isn't skimping on the clues and plot twists that make conspiracy shows great.
For those of you nervous about committing to a serialized adventure, Foster wants you to know that you don't necessarily need to have seen every episode to enjoy Zero Hour. "There is a story that we're telling through the whole season," the actor explained, "but at the same time I think each individual episode is just as exciting [with] the story that we're telling in that hour that you're going to have a good time either way."
But did he keep up with the show's sprawling story, which may have ramifications for the whole of humanity? "It's kind of hard to not keep up with all the other storylines, but I do for the most part try to focus on my character and what the people involved with my character [are] doing," he said. "In real life, you wouldn't be up to date in other storylines unless someone was going to fill you in."
Even so, he admitted to being curious about the answers. "I get torn, because when we're shooting the episodes, I want to know what's going on. I want to know where the show is headed," he continued. "But at the same time with a show like this, when we're dealing with mysteries and twists, it kind of helps to not know what's going on. You can actually have a real reaction. Even though I'm dying to know, it helps the performance [not to]."
He's also just enjoyed the experience of making Zero Hour, in which New York has doubled for countries all around the world. "Shooting in New York is awesome," he raved. "I've never filmed anything here. Just being able to go out and work on the streets of Manhattan or Long Island, I think it's absolutely brilliant."
The show is a great fit for Foster, who is a fan of epic science-fiction and fantasy series. "I watch The Walking Dead and I was a big fan of Battlestar Galactica. I'm definitely into the X-Files aspect of TV," he said, adding that he thinks Zero Hour can attract the same type of audience - those who like to be active watchers. "That's what really drives me to watch a TV show, when I can engage in some way," he continued.
He doesn't have to wonder anymore about the secrets of his own show, however. "We've already done the season, so I know what happens. It's exciting," Foster confided. So does that mean he's he started thinking about what he'd like to see if Zero Hour returns? "I would hope for big, exciting things to happen," he said, "not just for my character but everybody." That sounds like a conspiracy that would be worth looking into.
Zero Hour airs on ABC tonight at 8 PM ET/PT.