This worked for me for the better part of the first half. When it began to get political and potentially mirror the past I found myself fading toward disinterest. When it ended with them turning around and getting the man to remember his past (in an amoral way) they apparently so delighted in tormenting this man who was arrogant about the technology he created that they decide to waste precious remaining resources and time by going back and reassigning someone to reinterrogate him and continue to rub his families death and his mistake in his face until perhaps he has a psychotic break that drives him into insanity. I wish he had been perhaps meaner, uglier or something but you felt sorry for Sam Waterson and turned to greatly dislike the rest. A mediocre morality play with a bent sense of morality.
As pilot episodes go, this one left me wanting more. I've been anticipating the show since the commercials started a few weeks ago. Being a fan of the Twilight Zone and the Outer Limits and science ficion in general, I was anticipating some kind of "twist", but this one.... I saw it coming.
A pale, pill-popping psychiatrist questions a confused man who seems to think he's there for a check up of some sort but the questions and tests indicate that he's there for some sort of memory lapse.
As the episode expands, we realize that the psychiatrist has a chip on her shoulder and has some sort of personal beef with the man. I kept expecting to find out that he was her husband who had done something horribly wrong 20+ years before but then when they showed her husband, I realized that wasn't it. Then, I expected it to be that she was the one with the mental/memory problem and that the "patient" was really the doctor, playing along with an unstable patient who had identity issues.
When we find out that he was the POTUS who made a deadly decision to drop a bomb... literally... that wiped out life and sentenced them to live in a shelter, that was a bit of a surprise, but not on the "OMG!" level. (ok, did anyone else wonder why he was saved and why his family wasn't there with him? I mean, if they had time to save him and his psychiatrist, surely they could have saved his family?)
In the end, the gunshot didn't surprise me and the victim didn't either. Maybe they shouldn't have shown the gun prior to the gunshot. That might have shocked me a little. I hope next week's episode is better because the show has so much potential. Aside from USA's shows, the summer television season has left me renting a lot of DVDs.
A good punchy opening gives way to a drawn out series of dull conversational confrontations that finish with a predictable albeit logical ending.
It fails from the beginning as the situation isn't really made clear and the story isn't framed enough.
Clever use of special effects frame the timelime as somewhere in a mid-term future. This quickly gives way to a series of repetitional confrontations between the two main characters of the story. I found these to be dull and uninspiring. The drama is conveyed through the adverseral situation and dialogue between these two. Unfortunately it is such a letdown, it never allows the episode to recover from the initial middle act which I found to be confusing at first and then cliche. As the story is revealed from the lost memories of Watermans' character and the physchiatrists interrogatory questioning, That said the screenplay does hint at the gem of a troubling story that it is based upon. While neither of the main actors really convinces you of the serious nature of their plight, there is something here to at least satisfying in the latter half of the show.
Fortunately in the UK this was not shown first, and probably a good choice to as it isnt the best episode in this intentionly short season. Its episodes like this that keeps SF from returning to mainstream TV.
The premiere episode, based on a short story by Nebula award winner John Kessel, tells the story of a psychologist, Dr. Evans, who has spent the past ten months interrogating a man who is missing the past 24 years of his life, and whose short-term memory lasts for a mere 40 minutes. During Havelman's missing years, Dr. Evans reveals that numerous nuclear explosions were launched that destroyed most major cities and left the Earth's surface in ruins, forcing the 871 people that remained to seek refuge in an underground bunker.
While "A Clean Escape" got off to a slow start, it did improve later on as more was revealed about the occurrences leading up to the catastrophic events that all but wiped life from the planet. The storyline was intriguing and no doubt piqued and held the interest of a fair portion of its Saturday night audience, but was still highly predictable and the twist at the end was definitely not unforeseeable. The show was saved, however, by powerful acting, and the fact that there was little competition in its given timeslot, with most other networks airing repeats.
With a show such as "Masters of Science Fiction", featuring a different story and writer every week, it is difficult to tell whether the series will prove to be worth watching or not, but if you are a fan of the science fiction genre then this is a show that you may enjoy.
This first episode reminded me of the outer limits series that ran for so long back in the mid 90 's or so, I'm really excited to see what they will do next with this series will they keep it dark feeling like this episode or try to do some light hearted things with it. I loved the O.L. how a single choice can change the world and I believe that people will make that choice eventually. but there was some very obvious hints as to what was going to happen, although I was thinking husband 1st not ... anyways we as humans are doomed... cackle
Aussie Actress Judy Davis is superb. She has been in the blockbuster movie a passage to India, and more recently (the one I have seen) The man who sued God. - The plot has loads of twists and turns. At the beginning I was wondering where it was going, and was a little confused. But once the one to one story unfolds the viewer gets to grips with what is going to happen.
Basically the plot centers around two characters Judy Davis and Mr Hubbleman. It seems he has lost his memory, but as the story unfolds he has lost a lot more than that.
He gets told more and more things and cannot believe any of it. The ending is a little predicatable, but the story is fresh and riveting. If you have not watched it yet - do. It was worth it for the great writing and one of my fav actresses Judy Davis.
OK, first off, this wasn't the most original story - post-apocalypse with a twist. And I'd like to go on record being Sam Waterston's worst fan - I hate the way the man overacts in the same way in every role he takes. He's a hack. Period.
So, why did I rate the episode so high? Purely on Judy Davis' performance. She's the most amazing of actresses and the series was lucky to get her in their opener. Whether it's a big-budget movie or a small television show like this, she always manages to breathe life into her character. Dr Deanna Evans springs from the screen. Amazing work. If only the rest of the cast (and maybe the rest of the series) could keep up.
Ok, aside from being set in the future there is not much sci-fi to this episode. That being said it is a good psycholigical thriller episode. As stated by other reviewer it is reminiscent of the old Twilight Zone or Outer Limits episodes. And several of the best of those episodes had little sci-fi elements to them, but were more about your head.
However I do hope in future episodes there will be more of those sci-fi elements, maybe a good Asimov robot episode. There are still several more episodes to come so I am still hopeful that we will see more there.
This episode was wonderful. The acting and writing were crisp. I guess the biggest problem with an anthology series is that you can't know what to expect in the next episode. If I had any problem with it it was because of a technique used my many shows that I tend to find somewhat annoying. We listen to conversations with so many pronouns or unknown antecedents that it's hard to know what they're talking about. It does come together in the end but it still feels annoying to me. There is a twist at the very end that isn't too surprising because it's so obvious that there is going to be a twist that it couldn't have been anything else. The real twist would have been if they had figured out something else, but I can't imagine what it could have been. It didn't ruin the story, but I couldn't help feeling a tiny bit cheated somehow. But it was still wonderful
This episode is a whole-closed up story so don't expect for soap opera...:) After you watch it you will probably ask a lot of question and of course it is also advised to people who are sci-fi fans. Everyone can think about how big responsibility is it to give such a power in one man's hand and what happens to this man if he fails.... Making wrong or good decisions and living with them are not always simple.
Excelent storyline with two great performers who are keeping the vievers excited until the end of the film. And the End is very fascinating everyone will be shocked at the end of the movie.
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