• 07.02.12

The First Look at Yahoo and Tom Hanks’ “Electric City”

The web behemoth’s first foray into complex storytelling gets a sneak peek and a debut date: July 17

The First Look at Yahoo and Tom Hanks’ “Electric City”

The first trailer for Electric City, Yahoo’s long-awaited collaboration with Tom Hanks and his production company Playtone, has just debuted.


Electric City shows you a world in which that thing we take most for granted — electricity — is the thing that everyone needs most,” Yahoo’s VP and head of TV Erin McPherson told Co.Create about the animated and serialized apocalyptic mystery, which will touch on themes of energy consumption and crime and punishment. “It’s a very cerebral piece. It will require the audience to work to figure it out.”

Here is the trailer as well as Electric City’s just-launched Twitter feed and Facebook page.

“It’s been called a utopia–a paradise, a new civilization–born from the darkness, where information is power and power is protected,” an ominous narrator intones. “Where truth is the courtesy of the few, and the weapon of those who rebel. Ask no question and be told no lies…here in the Electric City.”

Though presumably set in the future, Electric City‘s trailer suggests a world populated by figures and images from the past. The old-fashioned looking animation, full of dark corners and mysterious figures, even boasts a knitting circle.

Each episode will be roughly five- to seven-minutes long. The first ten episodes will debut on July 17 on Yahoo! Screen, with the remaining to follow on the 18th and 19th. “It’s written very much as a complete arc, in three acts,” McPherson said. And there will be layers of information–3D maps and grids–ideally accessed by using a tablet; an interactive mobile app for iOS and Android, featuring a character from the series, will deepen the mythology. Electric City will feature the voices of Hanks and Holland Taylor (Two and a Half Men), as well as those of two former stars of the Playtone-produced HBO series Big Love, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Ginnifer Goodwin.

Will you be watching on July 17?

About the author

Ari Karpel is a frequent contributor to Fast Company and Co.Create and an instructor at UCLA Extension. His writing about culture, creativity and celebrity has also appeared in The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Men's Health, The Advocate and Tablet.