Electric City (web series)

Electric City
Genre Science Fiction
Created by Tom Hanks
Directed by Joel Trussell
Starring Tom Hanks
Holland Taylor
Jeanne Tripplehorn
Ginnifer Goodwin
Jason Antoon
Chris Parnell
Joey Kern
Paul Scheer
June Diane Raphael
Georg Stanford Brown
Composer(s) Leo Z and Ali Noori
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 20
Producer(s) Tom Hanks
Gary Goetzman
Bo Stevenson
Josh Feldman
Running time 4-7 minutes
Production company(s) Playtone
Six Point Harness
Reliance Entertainment
Original network Yahoo.com
Original release July 17, 2012

Electric City is an animated, post-apocalyptic, science fiction, web series published through Yahoo!. It was released July 17, 2012 and for now contains 20 short episodes totaling 90 minutes in length.[1] Erin McPherson, vice president and head of video for Yahoo, claims this is a first project in what will be known as online digital blockbusters.[2] The series stars the voices of Tom Hanks, Holland Taylor, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Antoon, Chris Parnell, Joey Kern, Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael, and Georg Stanford Brown.[3]

Created by Tom Hanks, the series begins after the world has ended. Electric City represents peace and security in the midst of rubble. Even though it seems to be an orderly utopia, there are still secrets, back-alley dealings, daring chases and murder.

The episodes are available to view for free on Yahoo.com. Episodes continue to be available to purchase through apps for iOS and Android devices.


Animation services for Electric City were provided by Six Point Harness in Los Angeles under the direction of Joel Trussell.


Tom Hanks, Josh Feldman, and Bo Stevenson, all of whom voice characters, began writing Electric City in 2003 without intending it as necessarily a web series.[4] Tom Hanks wrote the first story in 2003 on an Olivetti Lettera 22 typewriter.[5] Tom Hanks said that during the development the idea was just worked and reworked at Playtone, Hanks' production company, without a production or distribution plan until Yahoo! purchased the distribution.[6]


It's the first project in what we call online digital blockbusters. This is new for Yahoo and new for the Internet — this is maiden territory.

--Erin McPherson, Yahoo! Vice President[7]

In a post-apocalyptic setting, mankind is reduced to small settlements whose main business is to produce electric power. With fossil and nuclear fuel sources mostly depleted, the communities are dependent on naturally created electricity, be it by air, water, or muscle power (the latter of which is used as a punishment for criminals and other undesirables of this society). Under the motto "All in service to all" everyone must contribute to society's welfare.

Electric City is actually a collective name for several geographically separated precincts. Central cultural and social administration takes place at Central Stations. Other precincts include:

The precincts' main connection is by their power cables and a wired radio service, but free communication, trading, and traveling has been made illegal, since it entails the wasting of precious electrical power reserves as well as the gradual loss of influence for the "knitting society", a matriarchal group of war survivors who founded Electric City and are ruthlessly trying to maintain their power base. The Tap Coders, an underground movement of free-thinkers trying to circumvent the current social restrictions by establishing an illegal communications network, especially present a considerable thorn which they seek to eliminate.


There appears to be a limited use of technology in this new society, wood seems to be the primary construction material instead of metal or plastic. Also firearms appear to be absent. Some conveniences are shown, such as electric light and electric heat. There are no horses or other pack animals, but bulk transportation appears to be available by freighter boats that traverse the canals. The Skytrain appears to be a crude electric tram system that runs on an elevated suspended cable. The Walking Post delivers interpersonal communication, but it seems to be of limited use, and does not carry parcels. The Wire Service is a form of radio that is broadcast to sets that are hardwired into the main studio at Wire Central. Electricity is generated through several sources, but the city is powered down overnight to conserve energy, except for the Wire Service. Citizens are discouraged for and punished if they are found to be tapping off of the Wire Service power supply. The use of recording wire is also seen, a technology that largely disappeared in the 1950s with the advent of magnetic tape. A newspaper is published called The Daylight, but it appears only in the old "broadside" format, posted in kiosks in town squares and no subscribers or single issues sold.

An encampment on The Outside is shown to have a full library of vinyl records, as well as stereo players, supposedly salvaged from "the lost cities."


Little is known about the actual location of Electric City, though some references have been made to the "swollen lakes" which could be a reference to the Great Lakes, which could place Electric City somewhere in Michigan or Wisconsin, or somewhere in the American Midwest.

Cast of characters


Along with the release of the web series, the mobile application was also released for iOS and Google Android. In addition to the 20 episodes, it includes 2 comics, a behind-the-scenes sneak peek, and character profiles.[13] In addition to this, there is also a game called Electric City: The Revolt. It allows the player to become a key character as he attempts to undermine the power of the knitting society and restore people's freedom.

Electric City: The Revolt

Electric City: The Revolt
Developer(s) Jump Games Pvt. Ltd.
Series Electric City
Platform(s) iOS
Release date(s) Jul 17, 2012.
Genre(s) Role-playing

Electric City: The Revolt is a role-playing iOS game based on the animated post-apocalyptic science fiction web series Electric City. It was developed by Jump Games Pvt. Ltd. and released on Jul 17, 2012.

Critical reception

The game has a Metacritic score of 39% based on 4 critic reviews.[14]

Pocket Gamer UK wrote "A not particularly impressive experiment in cross-platform storytelling, Electric City The Revolt has its moments, but they're too few and far between."[15] 148Apps said "There's a fascinating storyline underneath the poor gameplay."[16] Gamezebo wrote "It's just a shame the actual game aspect is nearly unplayable. "[17] SlideToPlay said "This part of Electric City needs to have its power turned off, as it truly is the most Revolting thing attached to the series. "[18]


Electric City won the Streamy Award for Best Animated Series.[19]

See also


  1. "Online Blockbuster?: Tom Hanks' Electric City Debuts on Yahoo Today". Time. 17 July 2012. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
  2. "Tom Hanks' 'Electric City' could be an online blockbuster". USA Today. 16 July 2012. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
  3. "Tom Hanks' ELECTRIC CITY Teaser Introduces an Animated Dystopia". Retrieved July 17, 2012.
  4. http://www.fastcocreate.com/1681236/tom-hanks-talks-electric-city-web-content-economics-expletives
  5. Warner, Kara (17 July 2012). "Tom Hanks' Online Series 'Electric City' A 'Different Brand Of Noir'". MTV. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
  6. Time. 17 July 2012 http://entertainment.time.com/2012/07/17/for-web-only-viewing-tom-hanks-created-series-debuts-today/. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. Puente, Maria (18 July 2012). "Tom Hanks, Jerry Seinfeld to debut online-only shows". USA Today. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
  8. Electric City ep. 12: "Lost Souls"
  9. Yahoo.uk Movies: Electric City Character Guides
  10. Electric City ep. 8
  11. Electric City ep. 10: "Never The Two Shall Meet"
  12. Electric City ep. 14: "Strategic Casualties"
  13. "Tom Hanks' Electric City Goes Mobile: Jump Games Partners With Playtone to Launch Official iOS, Android Apps". Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  14. http://www.metacritic.com/game/ios/electric-city-the-revolt
  15. http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Multiformat/Electric+City+The+Revolt/review.asp?c=43332
  16. http://www.148apps.com/reviews/electric-city-revolt-review/
  17. http://www.gamezebo.com/2012/07/20/electric-city-revolt-review/
  18. http://www.slidetoplay.com/review/electric-city-the-revolt-review/
  19. Hill, Naja. "Streamy Awards 2013: Winners List". The Hollywood Reporter.

External links

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