Thursday, 10 September 2015

FOX's Minority Report Is Worth A Watch

Written & produced by Max Borenstein (Godzilla 2014). Executive produced by Justin Falvey (Falling Skies, Under The Dome, Extant), Kevin Falls (Franklin & Bash, Sports Night, The West Wing) & Darryl Frank (The Americans, Under The Dome, Smash). Directed by Mark Mylod (Entourage, Shameless US, Game Of Thrones). For FOX, 20th Century FOX Television, Amblin Television & Paramount Television.

Description: small screen follow up to the 2002 feature. The year is 2040 and three young siblings, Agatha, and identical twins Dash and Arthur, have the unique ability to see the future, specifically murders before they are committed, and researchers are closely monitoring their every move. Fast forward to the year 2064, the siblings are now in their 30s, and Arthur has been separated from his brother and sister for quite some time. Dash believes his brother is nearby and he is determined to be reunited with his twin. Meanwhile, Dash would like nothing more than to do something to prevent the horrible murders that he knows are about to occur. Circumstances partner him with Detective Lara Vega, and they become a formidable secret crime fighting team.

With Meagan Good (Deception, Californication, My Wife & Kids), Stark Sands (Inside Llewyn Davis, Generation Kill), Laura Regan (Mad Men), Wilmer Valderrama (That 70s Show, Awake, From Dusk Til Dawn), Daniel London (Minority Report), Li Jun Li (Damages, The Following)…

Firstly, I have nver seen – or heard of – Minority Report before the television project was bought by FOX late last year.

Initially, I thought “maybe I should try and see the movie before watching the trailer for the TV show in order to gain some backstory for the project” and I was tempted to watch the movie trailer, just to gain some context as to when, where the story is set and the possibilities for a TV series. In the end, I decided it was best to approach the project without seeing or knowing anything about Minority Report because, a large majority of viewers of the TV show probably haven’t seen the movie either.

The television pilot looks just like a big blockbuster movie (okay, maybe not as big as a movie but, it looks pretty good for a TV show). The special effects and futuristic sets are astounding although,  I doubt this level of special effects can be maintained for a weekly series. Plus, the more expensive a television show is per episode and the lower its ratings, the more likely it is to be pulled from the schedule without much hesitation (Almost Human).

Although, for a television show to please its viewers, not only are special effects important but the content of the show is also vital. From what I understand, Minority Report is about special humans called “pre-cogs” which have the psychic ability to see the future. The police worked with pre-cogs in order to prevent crimes by arresting the perpetrators before they commit a crime. At some point, one of the pre-cogs used the program for their own personal gain leading to the program to be discontinued (although pre-cogs continued to exist). The three main heroes are pre-cogs who are secretly using their abilities to prevent crimes.

While Minority Report is at its core a police procedural cop show, the strength of the cast, especially Meagan Good as Detective Lara Vega and Stark Sands as Dash who make a likeable combination on screen. The science fiction elements also create outstanding science fiction focused special effects, and the future element also leads to quite a few jokes (like thelong running sitcom The Simpsons). It will be interesting to see how long Minority Report lasts before becoming ‘boring’ or longwinded and how long the producers can keep up the fantastic special effects and futuristic sets.

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