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The show is about a guy named Hobbes who is put into a sort of alternate reality (like the matrix, but knowingly). Hobbes wants to get out of this alternate reality and the only way is to kill a guy called Santiago. Chris Carter's (creator of the x-files) directing makes the show very good and have a great plot and acting. Another cool thing is the constant use of the song "Climbatize" by prodigy. Overall a great plot and very well made show. Was one of those summer shows on fox that was really good but never made it.
I vaguely remember this show when it was on television. I think I may
have only seen the Pilot episode and then it got pulled soon
thereafter. But when I saw copies on DVD at the library I had to get it
and watch the rest of the episodes.
The show is about Lt. Hobbs (Scott Bairstow) who X-Files fans may remember from "Miracle Man" in season 1. He has entered into a war game virtual reality where he can not escape until he finds and kills the infamous Santagio who is played by one of my favorite actors Terry O'Quinn. The most likable character in my opinion is Hobbs' sidekick Mike Pinnochio played by D.B. Sweeney. Pinnochio represented me as a viewer in trying to talk some sense into Hobbs and let him know just how annoying he can be but then also turning around and admitting that he is right when he is right.
Many stand alone episodes are very intriguing such as "Kein Ausgang" where Hobbs and Pinnochio get stuck in a battle reenactment from World War II that repeats over and over again. Another great stand alone episode is seen in the final episode "Camera Obscura" about two feuding families in a post nuclear holocaust New York setting.
Many of the supporting actors are easily recognized from the X-Files and Millennium. All in all I loved this show and wish they would have been allowed to run the show for at least a 24 episode season so they could make a conclusion to the Santiago mythology arc that had been setup.
I loved every minute of this show. D.B. Sweeney has been a favourite of
for years and it was pure delight to see him on TV again.
I was told that the show was cancelled after the first season - I would
personally like to slap the person who made that decision.
For all those poor souls who didn't watch the show - you have no idea what you were missing. I did not expect Carter to make another
"X-Files" (of which I am a huge fan), and he didn't. He was very original and created something that I've never seen before. Thanks for making this show - it was great!
Virtual reality, a video game in which everything and everyone seems real.
The bullets, fire, even people you'd know might turn up in it and try to
shut you down. That's the problem Lt. Tom Hobbes (Scott Bairstow, "Wild
America", "Lonesome Dove: the Outlaw Years") has to put up with in Chris
Carter's new FOX show "Harsh Realm", about a soldier whose forced to play
a dangerous VR game that acquires the title of the show!
Before watching this show, I never really was a fan of Chris Carter's shows or of Scott Bairstow. I don't like "The X-files" that much, and I thought Bairstow played weak roles prior to joining the ansemble cast of "Harsh Realm". This is a really cool show, with cool graphics, great performances (especially of Bairstow's, who really shines in this) and a nicely-woven plot. This is a great way to spend Friday nights, proving that virtual reality doesn't bite!!
I enjoyed this series more than anything I've seen on TV since X Files. Maybe because the same people did it. I thought it well scripted, acted and produced with the limited budgets TV gets. For Sci-Fi it was really pretty damn good. To bad it died on the vine. Maybe some other cable network will pick it up and run with it. The way it was set up it was a bit like the old Twilight Zone or The Fugitive, where the over arching theme of the show remains the same from week to week but there are different adventures from week to week. There were a couple of character links and disassociations that didn't make sense. That was the only thing I noticed - but hey! It's TV
I have never been a fan of the sci-fi type shows, although I did like Star Trek (the original). However as a die-hard D.B.Sweeney fan, I had to buy this series when it came out on DVD. I have only had a chance to watch four of the episodes, but I am so intrigued by this series, I am making time on my calendar to watch the rest. I cannot imagine why Fox cancelled it. It is fun to watch, it is thought provoking and I thought the actors all played their roles well. When I look at the TV shows in the lineups, all of the so-called "reality" shows, I cannot help but wonder WHAT ARE THEY THINKING? I am so sick of the bachelors, the bachelorettes, now wife-swapping? Come on somebody give us a good storyline. One like the Harsh Realm. We know it's not real, it's not supposed to be, but it is just good acting, adventure and what-are-they gonna-encounter-next viewing. Good old time TV, kind of like the shows that we used to be able to watch, "The Streets of San Fran,", just to name one of many. I agree with the previous comment, FOX would do a good thing if they would make a mini-series or a theatrical movie of this show. Only please use the same actors, I hate when someone creates a character and then the Hollywood moguls replace them with another so-called "name" actor for the box office draw. If you're afraid, make a TV mini-series. I've seen the Matrix, yuck, (my husband made me) I've watched the X-files, so-so. If you risk your money on these why not Harsh Realm?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Harsh Realm is one of those series that was cancelled even though it
was pretty good. I mean, in the murky waters of TV series there are
plenty other series floating belly up that just needed to be 'removed'.
Now, there are many things you might expect from a series like this... first off it is not like the X Files... or pretty much any other Chris Carter show. Secondly it isn't a rip off of the Matrix. Though the plots are similar and Harsh Realm was released after The Matrix... it was actually made before the film (which explains the lack of 'bullet time' shots) Thirdly it isn't like the graphic novel. though it's true it was inspired by the Harsh Realm story. Carter only liked the idea, he didn't feel there was an audience for dragons and true fantasy...he wanted something real... or at least real enough.
The plot of the series is pretty straight forward ... sort of. The military created a virtual world exactly like ours... using medical records and census they created a 'Virtual Character' for everyone. It's purpose was as a training programme. Sending army guys in (think Matrix chair) for battle Sims and terrorist stuff. But suddenly they have a problem. Harsh Realm is taken over by Santiago (the high scoring player) who is now going around creating his own super power and plotting terrorist action against the real world so that Harsh Realm is the only thing left. Hobbes is sent in to kill Santiago in the game (thus reclaiming the harsh realm) but it's never as easy as that. Apart from the fact Santiago has an army, everyone lives in fear of him plus him being a pretty smart guy. Harsh Realm is well Harsh, and the true nature of game is as simple as survival. the people are desperate and gangs, violence and some nasty bounty hunters make what was a fairly simple mission almost impossible.
Of course, he finds friends (in way of another guy sent to kill Santiago), his old dog dexter (i know it doesn't really make sense) and a woman that doesn't speak but can maigcally heal people.
some epsiodes aren't that good, they drag a little... though there are some that showed promise. like X files, those that dealt with the 'big plot' were some times a bit crap, where as the stand alone episodes were more fun. it's the same here. 'Three Percenters' is one of the best. and the WW2 battle Sim glitch was also well worth the watch. they have a bit of fun and creepiness about them. which i won't ruin for you.
if you are hoping that they saw they were being cancelled and made a ditch attempt at an ending, you are gonna be let down. the series ends annoyingly at episode 9, romeo and Juliet story that gives no clue as to what would happen to our heroes. I imagine eventually they would get another chance to kill Santiago and he'd finally go home...
the show itself had great potential had people where it counted not
dropped it after 3 shows. Carter also should had separated it better
from the x-files motif and let it stand on its own, it would have
succeeded. THis includes music, narration by Scully etc. Still for what
it is worth, if you are a sci-fi fan the show is a valued watch and
owning. Bairstow it seems can be a great actor (if you remember his
character from Lonesome Dove) if he is put in the proper setting and
this includes this show. However if you have seen him in other shows or
movies i.e Bone Snatcher, you may have misjudge him. A fine actor who
needs to find success.
3 out of 5 stars
MAKE AT LEAST A TV MOVIE TO FINISH IT OFF
It happens again a amazing and truly unique television show comes along with great acting and a great script and what happens it gets cancelled.
I'm sure with all the money fox have made from the DVD sales they can see that there is interest there so how about following it up either with one movie or even a series.
Even a made for TV movies series maybe 1 or 2 could give the show the end it deserves or even spark a mini franchise. Kojak was made it to a series of TV movies years after it was ended why not this.
Harsh Realm was an intriguing premise which was unfairly dismissed out of
hand before it got a chance to show what it could become. Aside from
such as 'The Matrix', or if you want to go back even earlier, 'Tron', the
concept of virtual reality is still largely unexplored in popular
and cinema. Had it been allowed to develop naturally, who knows where
Realm might have led us as it explored the worlds within our
Scott Bairstow, the quietly earnest Tom Hobbes, and D.B. Sweeney, throwing a more cynical view on things as Michael Pinocchio, were great leading men, giving wonderfully nuanced performances that were just beginning to grow in strength as they worked out their characters quirks and foibles. Supporting players Rachel Hayward as Florence and Max Martini as Mel Waters did much with little, while Terry O'Quinn's Santiago was a suitably driven dictator and Sarah Jane Redmond added many shades of grey to the ambiguous Inga. Perhaps the only performance that failed to impress came from Samantha Mathis as the saccherine Sophie, but given time she to could have shone.
That's not to say it was all good. The dog, although very cute, quickly became a plot liability, while episodes like 'Three Percenters' and 'Leviathan' were hardly stand-outs and the pilot needed a second and even third viewing for this reviewer to understand the complex story line. But in the mix you also get episodes such as 'Reunion', 'Manus Domini' and 'Cincinnati' which are rich in character development and great stories to boot.
Who knows what might have happened had Harsh Realm been allowed to run a full season. It might not have lasted the distance, but then again, maybe it could have. With careful nurturing it could have turned into a thoughtful, contemplative show that questioned our very reason for being, or else simply a rollicking good adventure series.
As it is, Harsh realm lives on in the minds of a few dedicated fans and is a prime example of why nervous network executives should give second thought about pulling the plug too early.
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