J.J. Abrams is a pop culture battery hen and currently nestled snugly under his haunches is a Star Wars egg, full of Jedi yolk. His mothering of this tarnished but adored legacy is a tremendously exciting prospect, given how he revitalised Star Trek into a witty and relevant franchise.
Meanwhile, one of his TV chicks that’s just hatched is Believe, a fantasy drama/thriller/fortune cookie which centres around a young girl with psychic powers. As ever with someone possessing supernatural abilities there are some rapscallions who want her for their own ends and, as ever, a group prepared to defend her to the death.
Now chicks are indistinguishable from one another – apart from the Dixie Chicks – and there are certainly shared traits in this new Abrams vehicle we’ve seen before, and the pilot has several classic Abramsisms.
1) There’s a big idea which you can’t help but wonder if it’ll one day be resolved in a satisfactory way
Lost had an mysterious island full of missing people, Alcatraz had an island where people were mysteriously missing, and Revolution is set in a future where electricity, mysteriously, has gone missing. The odds are strong that Bo, the girl with mysterious powers, will go missing and/or end up on an island.
2) The series opens with a spectacular accident
Both Fringe and Lost opened with catastrophic air disasters, so at least the car wreck at the start has fewer victims. It’s also very well shot, as were the aforementioned sequences.
Walt in Lost, who caused birds to headbutt windows, had psychic powers although these were never addressed or explained. Bo’s abilities surely
will won’t suffer the same treatment.
Walt had Vincent, Bo has a toy turtle. Both of these real/fake creatures lead to significant bother. TV kids – don’t have pets, because they always end up causing trouble.
5) There are mysterious animals
At the end of the first series of Lost a parrot said Hurley’s name; in Believe, the heroic Tate sees a colourful butterfly flitting through the air at important moments. If this butterfly says his name, we’ll be delighted for a few nanoseconds and then a bit down.
‘Hey, everyone loved Sawyer and his hair and cheekbones, right? Let’s have another one of them’.
The Orchestra Project is run by Roman Skouras, but what’s their game (apart from world domination obvs because they need to be more original than that)? While we’re on this, Roman needs to use a different assassin recruitment agency because the one he’s using is underperforming.
Every week, week in, week out, there’s hiding in cupboards. The Star Trek deleted scenes DVD is full of them.
9) Script hokeyness
Channing, meet Kate, Sydney, Juliet, Olivia, Astrid, and Sarah ‘Alcatraz‘ Jones. The reason Sienna Guillory’s assassin doesn’t make the list is because she’s flustered by some pigeons.