The honor of the very first panel of the day in Ballroom 20 went to CBS's midseason Bajillion Dollar Man remake Intelligence, starring Josh Holloway as a government weapon with a microchip in his brain that allows him to be part of the Cloud, basically. But really, the reason to show up for the panel was to get the sweet Beauty and the Beast poster they handed out! And I'm guessing most of the people in the room were waiting for the Sherlock panel, which would start a few hours later.
I'd already previewed the pilot, which I kinda liked, but how would (potential) fans react to a show they hadn't seen and won't see for, like, seven months? Here are my real-time notes from the session:
– The panel was hosted by TV Guide's William Keck, who said Intelligence won't debut until February... on ABC. Oopsie! Les Moonves is gonna be pissed.
– The first footage we saw was from the opening of the pilot, which showed hunky Josh Holloway looking hunky and doing that freeze-frame backstory exposition trick with his Wi-Fi that I talked about in the preview. He walks through a frozen scene of a terrorist attack, with surrounding people slightly pixelated and information about them that he pulled from the "information grid" popping up. It's very cool-looking, no one can deny that. It also looks even cooler than the rough-cut screener I saw. Good work, effects people!
– God that Josh Holloway is handsome! (repeat this bullet point as necessary.)
– Now Sawyer is totally kicking people's asses, and these people DO NOT speak English. YAY AMERICA! WE WIN AGAIN!
– Cold open over, moderate to thunderous applause from the audience.
– Oh, they're showing even more. Meghan Ory from Once Upon a Time has arrived and there are well-deserved cat calls from the crowd. Is now a good time to mention that I rode in an elevator with her this morning? I was basically doing wolf whistles for like 29 floors. Honestly, the best part of Comic-Con is riding in elevators because every single elevator has someone famous riding in it. If I didn't have to work, I'd just ride elevators all day with famous people and press all the buttons so they couldn't escape.
– Meghan Ory's character is Gabriel's fiery handler, and methinks these two might suck each others' faces at some point, based on the combative flirting going on.
– Marg Helgenberger (CSI) plays Lillian, the head of the secret microchip division of the government. She's no-nonsense and was born without the mouth muscles that facilitate smiling. I think. She's hear to chew gum, bust balls, and spew exposition. And she's all out of gum.
– Spoiler alert! There's a kidnapping! And the Chinese are responsible!
– Wow, they're showing a lot. It's 10:32am. The cast will have time to answer two questions, maybe.
– Ory's character asks Gabriel where he learned Chinese, and Gabriel says, "I didn't. I have an app for that." And you know what? It's the perfect amount of corny funny that this show is going to need to succeed.
– Ory saves Gabriel's life by tackling him to the ground and they breathe heavily into each others' mouths. Steamy! Will they/won't they? More like WHEN will they and where do I buy my ticket?
– Okay, it's 10:39am and we're still watching the pilot. I guess they're showing the whole thing.
– Meghan Ory (I really should look up her character's name at some point) saves Gabriel's life AGAIN. Jeez, Gabriel. Aren't you good for anything?
– Now there's a pretty cool shootout against some Chinese mafia dudes in a black-lit paintball arena with techno music playing and that sounds about right. Also, there's a bit of artsy style with quick freezes when Gabriel shoots, and I hope the show does more of this because it's sweet.
– Meghan Ory is wearing a red hoodie. Sneaky little Red Riding Hood nod there, producers. She's still blindingly attractive.
– Gabriel is once again walking through a "snapshot," as he calls them. Still cool-looking!
– Is there anything weirder than live-blogging a pilot episode without being able to give out concrete details for fear of spoiling everything to readers who won't be able to see what I'm talking about for like seven months?
– Unapologetic homage to Raiders of the Lost Ark, and it totally works because Holloway would make the perfect Indy in the inevitable "reimagining" of the Indiana Jones franchise.
– Why is everyone applauding!?!? A man just died! Comic-Con attendees have no compassion.
– The good guys win! And there's one heck of a cliffhanger. Now can we see Josh Holloway in PERSON?
– Moderator William Keck must have gotten chewed out backstage, because he came back and said CBS CBS CBS CBS CBS and reminded us of how they're number one.
– Helgenberger, Ory, and Holloway are here, along with producers Michael Seitzman and Tripp Vinson.
– First topic: Was The Six Million Dollar Man inspiration? Yup. Specifically, how augmented humans retain their humanity while being super-duper.
– Holloway admits he barely knows how to use a computer and recognizes the irony of his casting.
– Obvious question alert: If you had this microchip in your brain, what would you do with it? Ory: Take tests and pretend to be really smart. Holloway: Become addicted to Korean dramas and polka dancing, and stream as much video as he could. Helgenberger: Learn every language she could.
– Gabriel's wife is missing on the show (she's presumed dead), and yep, we'll eventually meet her. But also, his character and Ory's character will likely shoot off fireworks together. Holloway will have plenty of options for ladies.
– Keck asks Holloway which is more painful, Gabriel's loss of his wife or Sawyer's loss of Juliet? Holloway nails the answer: "The loss of any love is tragic."
– Ory says Ruby never died in OUAT and that she's probably running around the woods somewhere and we'll probably see her again. (We will. In fact, I heard some juicy details on the elevator ride with Ory but I can't say what they are, otherwise I will be killed. Respect the elevator ride!)
– And it's over! I'll be joining the cast and producers of Intelligence in a press room later this afternoon, so look for that!
AIRED ON 3/31/2014
Season 1 : Episode 13