Premiered September 9 at 8pm
J.J. Abrams' newest series is a highly intriguing show with lots of potential that I'm not sure it will live up to. The framing for the pilot episode was interesting, but the whole idea of fringe science is a bit much, and eccentric John Noble certainly makes everything seem quite kooky. It's all good fodder for exciting exploration, but it needs a little more as far as I'm concerned. The "fringe science" they used isn't quite as engaging as it should be. My main problem with the show is lead actress Anna Torv, who I just don't like. She doesn't have what it takes to carry this show, and Joshua Jackson isn't quite up to the task of supporting her effectively. I fear that too much of an open-ended sci-fi exploration here could keep the show from capturing the feel it should have. This is at its heart a procedural with a running theme, akin perhaps to "NCIS," or more appropriately, according to Abrams himself, "ER."
For more info on the show itself, read my article detailing my conference call with creator J.J. Abrams and star Joshua Jackson.
How will it work as a series? Well, Abrams says that you don't need to be part of the club to watch it, so a procedural with this added recurring hook could function remarkably well. Sci-fi fans are sure to eat it up.
How long will it last? Recent sci-fi fare like "Surface," "Invasion," "Threshold," and "Jericho" bit the bullet quite quickly, but this series has showrunner Abrams behind it and one hell of a marketing campaign. I think it should stick around for a while if the plot stays consistent enough.
Pilot grade: C