DXMachina (dxmachina) wrote,

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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.)
Tags: dreams, games, television

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