A few summers ago, during the slow summer season when hardly anything new is on TV, I started binge watching The Highlander series every day on one of those obscure higher package cable channels. I have always been a fan of time travel stories, and although immortals are not technically the same as time travellers, the similarity in story was enough for me. I had seen the movie later in life, but I really liked the series. I often find myself day dreaming about what it would be like for me, if I could live a few hundred years. As I got older, I even started telling people I’ll be darn pissed off if I die an old man, and THEN find out I was immortal.
Over the years I have considered a few immortal scenarios I could write about, if I ever started writing fiction. The concept leads well to fiction, and I’m still surprised we don’t see more movies and TV shows about immortals.
Tonight that all changed, and a new modern day immortal debuted in the fall TV lineup. Another cop procedural with a twist, which seems to be such a common storyline these days. Character X helps a regular cop or federal agent solve crimes. I’ve blogged previously about how many cops in the USDA seem to need the help of strangers to do their job. I suspect the real cops get a little disturbed by this. There are almost no shows were good cops do their own crime solving these days. Yesterdays blog was about another premier using the same plot, except with government cop and consultants were 5 geniuses instead of an immortal.
In FOREVER, the lead character is unexplainably immortal. Much like the immortals of The Highlander series. They actually die, but then come back to life. In The Highlander, they used the same body, which was logical. In this new series, they’ve added the twist that they are reborn somewhere lese, always naked in water. We’ll no doubt see this twits used for humour and suspense as the show continues. In episode two, we discover their original body just seems to disappear, which is a plot point that will surely get him in trouble. It also passes into the realm of magic and unbelievability for me. I am actually OK with the concept of immortality, but a disappearing body pushes the limits of reality a bit farther than I’m comfortable with.
Like Duncan Mac Leod, of the clan Mac Leod, he has lived for a few hundred years, and has learned many languages, although he still speaks with a British accent. He has mastered skills as he lived from life to life around the globe, moving on and starting over every few decades. Undoubtedly we will see his past memories of war and love become part of the story each week as the writers introduce us to more of him.
His other attribute seems to be a sharp mind, modelled after the kind of obsessive attention to detail we’ve been seeing a lot in shows from Sherlock Holmes to Monk, Psych, The Mentalist and others. He’s smarter than the average cop. I’m actually a little surprised they didn’t give him a photographic memory too.
I am excited to see episodes three and on. I’m curious to see whether he’ll reveal to his Lois Lane cop partner early on, or her whether the mystery of how he isn’t afraid of death, and doesn’t seem to get injured will last a few weeks. It might even stay a secret all of season 1. If the show gets picked up for a second season, it will no doubt start down another path of TV co-ed partnerships, and we’ll get to see them fall in love… which is extra tricky for an immortal. We’ve already seen how much he daydreams of his first love lost from the 1940’s
I can’t yet decide which decision will make for better story lines, but as long as they keep trying to solve dangerous murders, he will continue to be killed each week at least once, so it might start to get silly if he doesn’t explain himself sooner rather than later. Everybody used to complain when Superman didn’t do something super at least once per episode. It is the same for an immortal. There is no point unless they keep killing him. Currently the only Daren Stevens character that knows his secret is his adopted son, who is now the age his father would be. A nice twist.
FOREVER really is two shows in one A cop procedural with a super-hero twist. Well see whether the plot goes more towards a show solving murders, or an immortal hiding a secret. I’m hoping for a nice balance that keeps the series going with interesting plots. I’ve seen from 5 years of The Highlander, there are a lot of places the story can go.
When my mind gets creative, it thinks up futire directions for season 2 and beyond. I think it’d be cool if every season they pulled a reverse Doctor Who and changed every character but the lead. One death is public and instead of being exposed, he must pack up and move on, much like The Highlander did when he moved to France for a year. It would be something we don’t see often on network TV.
I like it. I’m a first episode fan. It stays in the rotation.