New Fox TV Series – Minority Report

Minority Report is a new TV series that aired on Fox this past Monday. The series is based on the Spielberg film of the same name that was released in 2002. In the film, set in Washington DC in the year 2054, crime is prevented rather than solved. The premise is easy to understand. Precogs or psychics were able to see into the future. They would see crimes before they actually happened.

A report of the crime would be filed, and the future perpetrators were arrested before they could commit their crimes. However if one of the three precogs had a different vision then the other two, then a Minority Report would be filed. Tom Cruise played John Anderton, a detective working in the pre-crime department.

All is well until Anderton becomes aware that a crime report has been filed on him. So he goes on the lam, with Colin Farrell as Detective Danny Witwer on his trail.

The new TV series is set in 2065. Precrime systems and operations have been decommissioned and taken off-line. Precogs themselves have been outlawed. But there are three precogs still out there. They do not work as precog analysts anymore but they possess the same abilities – either as individuals or in a small groups. As it turns out, they are all related – an older sister and a pair of younger twin boys.

As the series opens one of these precogs is attempting to live a normal life – only he still has the visions. He cannot get all the details on his own as he is only able to to determine the what and the when but not the who. For that he needs to be working with his twin brother.

In the opening minutes her rushes to a location that he has ‘seen’ hoping to prevent a crime. Without all the data, he is unable to prevent it, and we see a woman (she’s been pushed through a window) fall about 10 stories from a building to her death.

Now as the series went to the trouble to tell us we are in Washington DC, I thought it was rather telling that in the first few minutes of the series we see that we are no where near Washington.

Dash looking at the HNR Building

Dash looking at the HNR Building

The building from which the woman is pushed out of the window is in fact the HNR Building – which is located in Toronto, and is a very real location.

As soons as he turns away, the woman falls to her death landing on the roof of the red bus

As soon as he turns away, the woman falls to her death landing on the roof of the red tour bus

Why tell us we are in Washington and then have that proven wrong almost immediately. The views we get of Washington are matte’s showing the Capitol Building and other DC landmarks with a futuristic skyline in the background. Now this skyline kind of resembles Oz, only the buildings are taller and rendered in much sharper detail.

Okay, maybe I am being a bit picky on that. The lead precog is Dash played by Stark Sands. The twin brother Arthur is played by Nick Zano, and the lead cop, Lara Vega is played by Megan Good.

Wilmer Valderrama is on hand as Detective Good’s boss Lt Will Blake. An actress called Li Jun Li plays the police techie.

Yes ,the show has some flashy visuals – computers work without hard screens. Instead everything is a holographic projection and info is requested by hand movements and wipes by the users hands. But methinks that will become tiresome rather quickly. And so far there is no sign of the magnetic-levitational autos that Tom Cruise as Anderton ‘cruised’ around in.

The leads aren’t particularly effective either as Dash and Megan have little to no sexual chemistry. This is not the X-Files where we were always waiting for Fox Mulder and Dana Scully to take the next step. Here, Dash’s next step always seems to be approaching a seizure or convulsion.

There’s some mystery aside from the crimes that Precog Dash sees. His brother Arthur is apparently super successful and at this point we can only assume he is more bad than good. And the sister has an aura to her as well that doesn’t bode well.

Megan Good, as Detective Vega, wears some revealing clothes, and we have been led to believe that Dash has noticed. But there’s Lt. Blake who may or may not have a history with Vega.

I don’t see this series as one that we can watch on a weekly basis. The original premise, from the Philip K. Dick short story which took on the topics of seeing into the future and altering it, free will, self determination and so forth may or may not become paramount in this series.

Can we see into the future, probably not, but here is my take on what will happen.  Evil brother Arthur will set up his brother Dash for a crime. It will take Dash a few weeks to determine that he himself is the perp. Detective Good will have to pursue the trail of the future crime at the urging of the Lt, and will be troubled by it.

Dash goes on the run.

Can this sad tale go anyplace else? I don’t see it happening. What I see is another crash and burn series that no one will watch .

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3 thoughts on “New Fox TV Series – Minority Report

  1. An email comment from Reader FD:

    Maybe I remember this wrong, but I thought a “minority report” was only filed in the film version when one of the three precogs disagrees with the other two (similar to a dissenting opinion at the Supreme Court). This dissent which the justice system stripped away for greater efficiency, gave the movie considerable depth. The story hinged on why the precogs identified Tom Cruise (the police officer who heads Precrime) as a future killer. And the premise was supported by a clever ending in which Cruise is about to murder the crime defeating politician who secretly suppressed the use of minority reports.

    Be that as it may, Minority Report, the TV series, has none of the sharpness of mind that made the Tom Cruise film an instant classic. There seems to be a penchant now for repackaging a hit film as a television series without doing any of the hard original story work that gave the film resonance. A similar disservice is the television version of Limitless, which premiered this week on CBS.

    Although a strong premise is often the most important factor the producer looks for in a screenplay, re-purposing the same premise only takes a TV series up to the starting line. I may be in the minority, but I think Minority Report will not air very long once the FOX execs get together to consider which shows to renew.

    • Actually you are half correct. A Minority report would be filed if a third precog’s vision was different that the other two.- in that you are right.

      But the Lamar Burgess character played by Max Van Sydow is not a politician. He is John Anderton’s boss. He is the director and founder of Pre-crime. The Pre-crime division is a part of the Washington DC police force. Burgess wants to take the system national – but it wouldn’t happen if the Minority Report aspect became public.

      Actually Anderton is not about to kill Burgess. He tells Burgess that if Burgess kills him – Burgess will go to jail for life, and PreCrime will live on on. But if he spares Anderton, PreCrime will be shutdown because of the inherent flaw – the Minority reports created by a different vision of one of the pre-cogs and the fact that the future can be altered . Burgess is facing either a lifetime in prison or the public humiliation. So Burgess kills himself

      I also predicted a crash and burn for the Minority Report series.

      • E-mail response from Reader FD

        Thanks. I agree. Burgess has a political agenda (deploying Precrime on a wider scale), but he’s not actually a politician. Anderton confronts Burgess in the climax, “killing his political ambition,” but you’re right Burgess kills himself.

        My larger point is that the movie has a smart premise (if we could prevent crime, should we?). As you probably know, A Clockwork Orange had a very similar premise. Both movies check in pretty high on the intelligence scale, especially compared to their TV offspring.

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