Monday, June 13th, 2005
10:11 pm - What's the Frequency?  
I downloaded the Global Frequency pilot, which was based on a Warren Ellis comic I knew nothing about, and was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Part of it had to do with the presence of Michelle Forbes, whom I have loved since her days as Ro Laren, but the story itself was just... neat. I liked it a better than pretty much anything I'm watching regularly, which is a true shame, because the WB decided not to pick it up. Bother.

The pilot follows an ex-cop named Flynn who stumbles across half a body in a dark alley one night. When the cell phone on the body rings, Flynn discovers that the body was a person belonging to a mysterious organization known as the Global Frequency, a loose knit, enormously large collection of people selected for their distinct talents by the mysterious leader of the group, Miranda Zero (Forbes). Zero, who is sort of a combination of M and Emma Peel, has recruited people all over the world who are the very best at what they do, be it physics or cryptography or library research, and will recruit more folks as needed. Zero asks Flynn to help track down who or what killed their agent, so he sets off with another agent, a former female Doogie Hauser, Dr. Finch. They make a good team, she with the knowledge, he with the intuition and ability to make connections. The plot involves thwarting a long forgotten Soviet scheme that threatens to wipe out San Francisco.

I do have some quibbles, mostly to do with another person who is recruited to help as the action nears its climax. First, 15 minutes doesn't seem enough time for Flynn to get out of a power plant, drive to the person's residence, convince this person to help, drive back to the plant, get into the plant, show her what to do, and then have her do it. Second, how many people would just go out in the middle of the night with a total stranger who shows up at their door with a story about a semi-mythical organization? She was really, really trusting.

The third quibble was the thing the new person had to do, which involved getting to something useful that is in a completely inaccessible place simply to serve the needs of the plot. In any real-life situation, the thing would never be that frelling inaccessible. Sort of like how the folks in Galaxy Quest had to run through a hall full of giant pistons because the TV writers put them in a script.
Gwen DeMarco: What is this thing? I mean, it serves no useful purpose for there to be a bunch of chompy, crushy things in the middle of a hallway. No, I mean we shouldn't have to do this, it makes no logical sense, why is it here?
Jason Nesmith: 'Cause it's on the television show.
Gwen DeMarco: Well forget it, I'm not doing it, this episode was badly written.

For all that, it was a great deal of fun. The science is about what you'd find in a comic book, but that's to be expected, so I could've lived with it. It's a shame it wasn't picked up. I liked it a lot better than The Inside. If you're interested, there's a torrent here, and the showrunner's blog is here.

---
Spent the weekend holed up in ther A/C for the most part. I did do some yardwork, and the laundry, but most of the time was spent playing Civ III. An odd thing happened last night. I got a good night's sleep for a change, with dreams and everything. The main dream was a remarkably coherent dream about the neighborhood around my old apartment, complete with Buffista friends, firemen, bikers, and a crazy man living in the little house next to the railroad who was charging a toll to let people cross the tracks. (I said it was coherent. I didn't say it made sense.)
 
 
Current Mood: tired
 
 
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Hecubothecubot on June 13th, 2005 - 07:57 pm
>> Second, how many people would just go out in the middle of the night with a total stranger who shows up at their door with a story about a semi-mythical organization. She was really, really trusting.

She wasn't a total stranger. She knew him - in fact it was sort of implied she might be an ex. That's why Flynn asked if there was anybody else. And why she almost closed the door before he started talking.
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grime and livestockcofax7 on June 13th, 2005 - 08:56 pm
::blinks:: Wow, I totally missed that. I read it as DX did, that he was a stranger and it was an incredibly trusting thing for her to do.

Also, who gets anywhere and back from anywhere in SF in fifteen minutes, even late at night? *g*
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serenadaserenada on June 13th, 2005 - 10:17 pm
Ahah. I read it that she'd already been recruited, and was just being activated.

But the asking for someone else ... that makes sense.
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DXMachinadxmachina on June 14th, 2005 - 04:51 am
Okay, I can almost buy that, and the dialog does back it up, except... he didn't live in the Bay area. He was from Boston.
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smonsterbite: choco cracksmonsterbite on June 14th, 2005 - 06:26 am
That would also explain why he thought of a gymnast right off.
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Hecubothecubot on June 14th, 2005 - 09:54 am
I think she had been already activated. The turning point for her in deciding to help was seeing that he had the Global Frequence cell phone. Then she knew he wasn't there for a late night booty call or to hash over old issues.

>> Also, who gets anywhere and back from anywhere in SF in fifteen minutes, even late at night? *g*

Parking, of course, being the deal breaker. If he'd had a motorcycle, maybe...
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serenadaserenada on June 14th, 2005 - 06:19 pm
I think it's a semantic thing -- recruited meant she already had a phone, etc. Activated was being called in to do something, which happened for the first time that night.
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smonsterbitesmonsterbite on June 14th, 2005 - 06:26 am
In any real-life situation, the thing would never be that frelling inaccessible.

Oh, yeah, this bugged. There was a fair amount of hand-waving needed. But I loved it anyway.
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DXMachinadxmachina on June 14th, 2005 - 07:43 am
Yeah, there was hand-waving (Hawking radiation? I don't think so.), but I really liked it.
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