Episode Review: Global
Written by Craig
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are rumors of a conspiracy called the Global Frequency. A group
of spies, experts, and ordinary people... They save us from threats
that no one else sees or understands. The Global Frequency is
starts the pilot episode of television's Global Frequency,
which finally leaked its way
onto the Net after being completed for nearly 8 months. The
pilot was filmed for the WB Network last summer, but a change
in regime caused the network to pass on their plans for a midseason
what's the verdict? A casting choice or two aside, the pilot is
VERY true to the vision of Warren Ellis in the
graphic novel series published by DC/Wildstorm. Michelle Forbes
proves herself to have perfectly embodied Miranda Zero in a way
that fits; like Christopher Reeve as Superman, Lynda Carter as
Wonder Woman, or Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, she is everything
you'd expect from the mysterious leader and founder of the Global
little touches such as chyrons in a font that matches the comic's
logo also made the pilot a nice example. I don't know if the music
in the leaked pilot was temporary, but it fit the action and the
mood very well. The Global Frequency phones with the familiar
logo did appear and looked great.
effects, featuring a man who was a walking bomb, again, just like
something you'd see/read on the printed page, were also top-notch,
and gave Global Frequency an X-Files element that
I wish we had seen more of.
direction by Nelson McCormick (Alias) was very good in
some scenes, although there were some choices in the acting I
may not have been fond of (more on that later). I also felt some
shots were done so up-close that I couldn't really see the action
that was going on around them.
script by John Rogers, however, was flawless, and had the kind
of lines and banter that make for a good television show. I'm
not sure, though, how some of these things connected with the
cast, which is where I start to get critical.
am no network executive, and I have no idea about casting. I get
the impression that Warren Ellis himself liked the actors who
were cast in the program, so, really, defer to the master, but
I'm just going to go into it with how I am as a viewer. There
were several who just didn't work for me. If the Global Frequency
pilot/project isn't dead, of course some of these things would
have to change as some of the actors have moved on anyway. So,
here I go into the realm that may piss off some people who worked
on the program....
we'll start with the two new characters, Sean and Dr. Finch. Great
characters, again, wonderful on the printed page. But also both
very, very different in their approach and portrayals on the screen.
imagine Dr. Finch was supposed to be the Dana Scully of this new
generation. The problem, however, is that Jenni Baird in the role
suffers from that "hot girl in glasses and a ponytail"
syndrome. While her "hotness" is seen later in the episode
once she gets wet and lets her hair down, I don't really know
that she'd catch on in the same way Gillian Anderson did. It's
almost like she's too conventional, yet at the same time, not
conventional enough. It may be something with her look, or with
her performance, but she seemed a bit too dry and didn't have
the kind of chemistry I expected with Sean.
Flynn (formerly referred to as "Sean Ronin") as played
by Josh Hopkins had a different reaction. I really got that "actor
in an independent film" feel from him; like he's trying too
hard to sound grizzled or bad ass. Clint Eastwood he's not. I
thought the actor could be found to be appealing to the viewer,
but something about the way the character was portrayed felt unnatural.
Yes, it's all based on a comic book here, but the best performers
on TV (think Ron Rifkin on Alias) take the campy and cheesy
stuff and *make it work.*
was my ONLY complaint with the otherwise-flawless Michelle Forbes
as Miranda. It's a role that was perfect for her. Though there's
one scene or two (like when she's about to break in to a facility
to speak with someone who may know the key to Bomb Man's affliction)
where she just becomes camp. It's the problem Birds of Prey
had at times - where it seems like the actor knows they're reading
something out of a comic book, and it just doesn't work.
from comics to film land, there's Aleph, played by Aimee Garcia.
Aimee impressed me with her knowledge of various languages and
such, but I'll admit - I REALLY wanted a punky British girl. Aleph
didn't scream "bad ass" to me at all here; in fact,
she was the only reminder that this was intended for the teenage
WB audience. Even worse, she seemed shoehorned in and translated
more like - sorry for another Birds of Prey reference here
- Rachel Skarsten as Dinah in Birds of Prey. A young person
for the audience to "connect" to, but really not having
chemistry with anyone else. I'd have LOVED to have seen Michelle
Forbes' Miranda Zero sparring with and bossing around someone
with a little more bite. But really, Aleph's scenes of calling
people on the Global Frequency looked and felt like something
out of Birds, and we know how that turned out. I will give
Garcia points for the multi-lingual stuff, though, and I will
have to say she did approach the role very enthusiastically and
well - she just wasn't the Aleph I love.
pilot has some terrific moments. There's a scene where Miranda
tells someone to get the secretary of defense on the line, and
she says "Tell him I know what happened in Tecumseh, Idaho."
Miranda gets her way and gets what the wants, and I would have
loved to have seen more scenes like that one. The show works its
best when the character of Miranda Zero is doing her thing, and
I know, with perhaps a differently-cast Sean and Kate with a better
chemistry between the actors, those characters would have been
a lot more fun too.
really liked when random members were called in to the Frequency,
such as a gymnast who helps Sean and Kate save the day. Those
characters give the show a diversity and a really open format
that I think really spiced things up a bit.
still like to see Global Frequency as a regular series,
and I hope that the project is not 100% dead. I think a Sean and
a Kate with a better banter would've lightened things up a bit,
and the sci-fi element could possibly break the show away from
being one of those standard 24/Alias/The Inside types of
shows. It's a great adaptation of the comic book page, which is
a plus, but if it were a bit more perfect, with the right promotion,
it could have been a hit. It certainly was better than The Mountain
or a show of that vein that the WB actually did air, although
it might be better suited for FX or some kind of cable channel.
One thing is for sure though, if the Frequency ever does
hit the air, I hope Michelle Forbes is present for it and that
some of the same writers who were originally scheduled to write
for the show will still be around. And, of course, I'd hope for
some conspiracy and intrigue within the Global Frequency, because
the pilot rarely got a chance to touch upon that. Fans of the
graphic novel series would not be disappointed, and hopefully
the pilot will someday legally see the light of day, be it at
a Comic-Con screening, a DVD release, or a one-shot airing on
a TV network.