SDCC 2016 [Panel Reviews]: Incorporated / Time After Time.
INCORPORATED (Saturday) – You know when those futuristic shows come out that take a big jump into time and try to tell us how things are going to turn out? That’s this show! From the SyFy Network, Incorporated is set in a near future where corporations seem to run everything because — of fucking course! — the government has fallen apart. The show focuses around Ben Larson (Reign’s Sean Teale), a young executive who conceals his true identity to infiltrate a very dangerous corporate world. Why? Something to do with trying to find a certain woman from his past that he lost track of. Awww! A lost love. Well that would be fine and all, except that he’s already in a relationship and living with another woman named Laura Larson (Terra Nova’s Allison Miller). Whoops. Well there goes his heroic and moral fiber! Laura is the daughter of Elizabeth (Mad Men’s Julia Ormond) who runs the mega powerful corporation SPIGA where…Ben works! Let’s just say when you see 24’s Dennis Haysbert‘s Juluan you know there’s some bad shit to come.
(Cont.) The pilot did its best to explain the world that Incorporated is set in, and at the same time trying to give us enough scenes to build characters and relationships. Unfortunately the “Divine One” finds that the show lacked a bit focus, throwing too much at the audience all at once. I was far more interested in the Red Zone/Green Zone dynamic (basically the Have and the Have Nots), which at least goes to show that enough imagination has been put forth for at least a second look. Side note: I’m worried that a show with Ben Affleck and Matt Damon attached as producers had zero representation at SDCC! No Q&A panel and no cast. I suppose the producers are hoping the show speaks for itself. 3.5/5 Bibles.
TIME AFTER TIME (Saturday) – From ABC and producer Kevin Williamson (The Following, Dawson’s Creek) comes a new TV show that deals with historical figures and time travel. Time After Time is not inspired by Cyndi Lauper, yet it however is based on the 1979 science fiction novel of the same name by Karl Alexander. The plot speculates what might have happened if H.G. Wells had built a real time machine to travel to the 1970s in search of Jack the Ripper; change the time to present day, and that’s the premise wrapped up like a bacon hotdog that’s frequently seen in San Diego. THE GOOD: The three main leads for the show are all fine choices. You have Freddie Stroma (Unreal) playing Wells with an innocent and good natured sense. Then there’s Josh Bowman (Revenge) playing John Stevenson (AKA Jack the Ripper), who’s all about the slimey asshole you would imagine him to be — suave to the ladies, but every bit the sadistic killer that history has taught. Then there’s Genesis Rodriguez (Tusk) playing Jane Walker, a museum curator who is also the first person to discover Wells when he appears out of her time machine exhibit. All three bring credibility to their roles, and if the writing would get better they might have something here…
(Cont.) THE BAD: So… Wells and Stevenson wind up in 2016 and are barely phased by any of the technology we have! There’s even a scene where Jane is using the internet, where Wells just stares and shrugs it off. Yeah, I’m sure he used a lot of Google back in his day. And then there’s Stevenson, who mysteriously checked into a hotel room with no ID and somehow had the awareness to purchase a mobile phone to make a call. Bollocks! At least the very end of the pilot had a nice surprise, which might be enough reason to peep episode 2. Following the panel, I went up to Williamson in the hall and gave him credit for casting Genesis, but–being GHG’s TV guru–I had to let him know my issues with the fast-paced relationship between Jane and H.G. Of course, the producer backed away and got defensive of his pilot, claiming that they had to do some editing for.. (haha) time/Time. Despite the constructive criticism, Kevin couldn’t get away from me fast enough before I let him know that the pilot’s ending had me hooked for more, to which he thanked me with a smile and an “Oh good!” Looks like fanboys are only appreciated if geeking out correctly? 2/5 Bibles. – Derek Vigeant