John Doe

Season 1 Episode 1

Pilot

1
Aired Friday 9:00 PM Sep 20, 2002 on FOX
9.2
out of 10
User Rating
104 votes
4

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
In the opener, Doe awakens to find himself stranded on an island off Seattle. His uncanny newfound abilities are soon apparent to him, however, when he is rescued by Asian fishermen and begins to speak the sailors' language fluently. Later, as he watches a news report about a kidnapped girl, the color-blind Doe realizes that he is seeing the child in color. Sure that she holds the key to the mystery of who he is, Doe is eager to find her and offers his assistance to the skeptical cop who's working the case.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Promising series, too bad it was cancelled

    8.0
    Promising series, too bad it was cancelled
  • Flat entertainment, poor character development, unoriginal cop story and smoking fillers

    4.0
    Considering John Doe apparently inspired Kyle XY's creator I was expecting its pilot to be quite interesting. However I probably had too high expectations because I was quite disappointed by it. First they turned the protagonist into a freak who had the crazy idea of showing off his amazing knowledge in front of an audience, in a public area. So after that scene I began to worry that it was just entertainment. But the problem is that it got worse as none of the other characters were properly introduced. They focused too much on John Doe which made the story far less intriguing. I was also slightly disappointed by Dominic Purcell's performance because I found he didn't make a believable John Doe. An other problem was the police story. It really felt like déjà vu and it wasn't a pleasant sensation. It leads us to the worst issue in the bunch, the episodic format. I could already see the fillers coming one after an other.



    So overall I was very disappointed by it and don't recommend it to anyone. Considering how bad it was I better understand now why the show got canceled. In some way I have the impression that it missed its target, developing characters to help the protagonist find his own identity. It's sad because there was potential, like the people he met at the club. The production quality was also quite good and the casting correct. But I'll never know if it got better, probably not, because I don't plan to watch the next episode.moreless
  • What would you do if you woke up with all the knowledge of the planet? I'd like to find out for myself.

    8.5
    Saddly Doe is relagated almost immediately a buddy/cop formula of a hundred shows before it.

    Dominic Purcell as Doe. his character was dynamic and likable. The writing intelligent and whity with a humor you can't find just anywhere. I was unhappy to see it was one of FOX's many brilliant shows they cancelled before it could gather a loyal vewier base. They gave Wonderfalls all of three shows before it was yanked, and they had already filmed 13 episodes.

    I hope there is a DVD out there with John Doe's lost "episodes" I would at least enjoy some reruns?moreless
  • HE SHINES WHEN ASKED QUESTIONS

    10
    JOHN DOE goes to the information desk at a library to test himself, and is able to answer any factual question put to him. These few minutes are one of the Great minutes of any episode. Its the moment that pulls you into the real story line. The Crowd he draws is electricfing. John Doe manages to scrape up money from phone booths and vending machines and begins gambling at the races, using his knowledge to compute the statistical odds.-



    Worth getting hooked on.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (10)

    • If he knows everything, why did John have to call everywhere to know who uses one specific washing machine? It would be likely that he would simply know where those machines are used.

    • John's final balance is $12,000. The bookie holds six stacks of twenty dollar bills (presumably 100 bills in each stack), but counts the stacks at "$800, $900, $1,000, $12,000." Until the final stack, the bookie is considerably off. His dialogue, in conjunction with the stacks, should have been, "$6,000, $8,000, $10,000, $12,000."

    • Helicopter scene: The closeup shows one person in the helicopter, but a distance shot shows two people.

    • At the start you can see that the island John is on is alone with no others around it, but when he falls off you can clearly see an island directly opposite. Does this just appear magically?

    • How long was Nichols hiding beneath the locker room? It appears that at least several hours have passed since the "kidnapping" - how long did he stay down there? There doesn't seem to be a great deal of police security around the place - why did he stick around so long?

    • Not exactly a goof, but why does John bother doing a crossword puzzle? He knows all the answers - what's the point? Jigsaw puzzles, for instance, there's a challenge of putting the pieces in the right order, but there's no challenge in filling in words you know and where you know they're supposed to go.

    • So...where did Nichols get the body from that he used to make it look like he died in the car crash? At the very least this makes him a bodysnatcher, and at worse it means that he killed someone else so he could fake his death, evade the charges filed against him, and leave his wife and daughter to face the music and pay his bills. And yet he's presented as a sympathetic character here.

    • So why does John swim away from the island? It's the only apparent land mass within miles. He might be confused, but it seems odd to start swimming away from the only apparent shelter.

    • John describes the laundry token on the phone as "green", but when we saw him look at it from his black-and-white point of view it was not in color, unlike other stuff relating to the girl's kidnapping.

    • The folks at the library are impressed by John reciting the binary code for MS-DOS: I'm impressed by the normal guy who asked him to do so and knew what John was saying was correct! So did the guy really have the MS-DOS code memorized to know what John was saying was right, or he was just bluffing?

  • QUOTES (12)

    • John: You in charge of the Jenny Nichols kidnapping?
      Frank: Maybe. Who are you?
      John: The guy who's gonna help you find her.

    • John: There are 342,204 inactive social security numbers allocated to dead or missing persons. So, I had my pick of names.

    • Jenny Nichols: Daddy says you're the mystery man here to fly me home.
      John Doe: I guess I am the mystery man.

    • John: So what am I? Escaped mental patient? Alien that sees in black and white? Government lobotomy experiment? What else was I to think? For a guy who had all the answers, I didn't have the ones that mattered the most.

    • John: Did I mention that I know everything, from the exact ingredients in a box of Apple Jacks to the mating rituals of a Quagis Zebra, and everything in-between.

    • John: Alas, there's one sure thing in this life – the fact that there are no sure things.

    • John: (playing the piano) It's one thing to know the notes, it's another to feel them. Like they know you. Like something from before, piercing through. A memory. A beginning. A place to start. My Funny Valentine by Rodgers and Hart. Had I played it in a high school piano recital? Something I danced to at a college formal? No idea.

    • Digger: The name's Digger. Don't ask.
      John: The name's John. Don't ask.
      Digger: Cool.

    • Hayes: Oh come on! Do you know how many 1970 purple Impalas there are in this town.
      John: One hundred and fifty seven.
      Hayes: Forget I asked.

    • John: I don't know things I'm supposed to know. But I do know things I'm not supposed to know.

    • John: I don't remember who I am.
      Police Officer: If only I were so lucky.

    • Sailor #1: (in Khmer) You speak Khmer?
      John: (also in Khmer) Khmer? No I don't.
      Sailor #2: But you are speaking it.
      John: I don't know what you're... I guess...I do speak it.

  • NOTES (1)

    • Music: 1) "We Luv U" - Grand Theft Audio (Doe drives), 2) " My Funny Valentine (played on piano), 3) "Mondo 77" - Looper (When Buying apartment), 4) "Trouble" - Coldplay (End of episode)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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