RogerBW's Blog

Minority Report 10 May 2016

2015 science fiction, ten episodes, sequel of sorts to the 2002 film. After the PreCrime programme is shut down, the three precognitives try to live normal lives. Of course, one of them ends up Fighting Crime.

That's the basic problem here, I think: given even the watered-down Dick of the film, there are a lot of places you could take a story like this, but the primary line of what Max Borenstein (screenwriter of the 2014 Godzilla remake) developed was, at least at the start, a very stock "she's a cop, he's a quirky not-a-cop" detective story with a futuristic setting.

If it hadn't been touted as a sequel to the film, that might actually not have been too bad. OK, it was broadcast on Fox, who are always readier to cancel SF series than anything else, but as a stand-alone it probably wouldn't have performed any worse than other Fox shows such as Almost Human, The Sarah Connor Chronicles or Dollhouse. But the name and the background meant that people were thinking of the film, which raised expectations the show was unable to meet. The initial 13-episode order was cut to 10 after the first three had been broadcast to collapsing ratings, and although even at the time of writing there hasn't been a formal announcement of cancellation one can't realistically expect it to come back.

If one can ignore memories of the film and calibrate one's expectations to standard TV SF, this does have occasional good spots. The first half of the season is mostly crime-of-the-week, allowing the viewer to get to know the characters, while the second half is built round an attempt to return the three precognitives to their drugged and passive state, to get them working full-time on seeing murders again, "justified" in part by a series of terrorist attacks (the visible face of these played by the always-excellent Christopher Heyerdahl).

The visual design of both sets and props is excellent, with lots of translucent display surfaces, and some good CG shots of the futuristic city. Shooting is generically dystopian, with excessive darkness and blue-tinting to remind us that we're in a Grim Future, with occasional bright colourful CGI-boosted outdoor scenes that actually work quite well. Acting is mostly adequate, with the standout for me being Li Jun Li as The Cop's technically-inclined friend on the force.

Scriptwriting, alas, is mostly uninspired, and the dynamic between the three precognitives never gels. There's too much standard procedural here and not enough of what makes the setting unique, or even interesting; it's television-making by the numbers with only occasional charming moments. Mixing up the ongoing plot with the very generic police show filler, and getting some better writers, might have generated more early interest and kept the thing alive.

See also:
Minority Report

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action advent of code aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech aviation base commerce battletech beer boardgaming book of the week bookmonth chain of command children chris chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup covid-19 crime crystal cthulhu eternal cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics en garde espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 essen 2019 essen 2022 essen 2023 existential risk falklands war fandom fanfic fantasy feminism film firefly first world war flash point flight simulation food garmin drive gazebo genesys geocaching geodata gin gkp gurps gurps 101 gus harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo 2020 hugo 2021 hugo 2022 hugo 2023 hugo 2024 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life javascript julian simpson julie enfield kickstarter kotlin learn to play leaving earth linux liquor lovecraftiana lua mecha men with beards mpd museum music mystery naval noir non-fiction one for the brow opera parody paul temple perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics postscript powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha python quantum rail raku ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs ruby rust scala science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance the weekly challenge thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel type 26 type 31 type 45 vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1