Wednesday, 31 March 2010

The 4400 Season 1

4400 people go missing throughout the last fifty years or so and all turn up at the same time. But why? The Wild Bore checks out whether this series should have gone missing instead or whether this cancelled show should be brought back itself.

It's a tough break for something originally pitched as an alien abduction piece that goes up at the same time as Spielberg's 'Taken'. In fact, the whole reason why I got it is because I mistook it for Taken. Instead this, which was a present for my girlfriend left lovingly still in it's clingfilm wrap thing beneath other DVD's, gets a fair outing while she's away in New York and giving me a break from The Shield (we HAVE to watch it together by punishment of death).

The original premise is great, people have been disappearing from all over America at different times and suddenly all turn up at once with no memory of what's been happening. The first was a little 8 year old girl taken in 1948 or something, making her the oldest child ever - and the freakiest - because the thing is, they've not come back alone! Bwahahaha! Instead, they've come back with certain powers. Sounds a bit like Heroes? Well, it is a little bit.

The main protagonist is the father of a son who is in a coma after seeing his cousin float away. Oh dear. While the partner he's been assigned with is a lonely scientist obsessed with work - luckily both work for Homeland Security. Their relationship doesn't really get a chance to properly bloom, but they keep the series engaging enough and become a good anchor point to the narrative.

Different interesting social themes come up during this series, racism, immigration, morality etc but the story is actually quite well written. I was engrossed throughout and the pace was fast enough, however it does feel a bit too much like an American soap or a copy off of different TV series' put together. Yes Heroes because of the powers, The X Files because of the male/female sci-fi partnership, but also traces of The OC and more. That's the problem. I feel like it could be so much more and at a meagre five episodes it must be less a season and more a mini-series.

There is quite a lot I like though, the idea of a resort for the 4400 to stay in (or keep an eye on to take advantage of later), the idea of meeting your daughter or old lover thirty years later is heartbreaking, the fact that there's so many of them means that storylines could be limitless and I randomly quite enjoy the title sequence, though I have no idea why.

You do find out why they are there by the end, which I thought would be stretched out a bit longer but it's quite exciting to see where it will go. As an opener, it works, but is in danger of tipping into either the crap area or the sublime cult area that tends to inspire more than succeed. I'm hoping for the latter, but after hearing it was axed after the fourth season on a cliffhanger, I'm guessing it's the former. For the moment, it'll do.

Rating: 6/10

1 comment:

  1. Tried watching this and really couldn't get into it. The premise sounds good in theory, but I didn't feel like it was executed well enough.