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Newton (2003)

TV Movie  -  Drama | Sci-Fi
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A family moves to a utopian small town that serves a testing ground for strange, futuristic consumer products. In the pilot, the family receives a phone that may or may not dial the dead.

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Title: Newton (TV Movie 2003)

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Credited cast:
Dwight Pryor
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sandra Allen ...
Series regular
Matteo Crismani ...
Lee Pryor
Adam Jeffries ...
Tom the Mailman
Alice Pryor
Holly Pryor (as Alessandra Toreson)


A family moves to a utopian small town that serves a testing ground for strange, futuristic consumer products. In the pilot, the family receives a phone that may or may not dial the dead.

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Summary of Newton
28 April 2006 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

I hope the story of this pilot is not a secret because this is a jewel deserving of discussion.

Newton was a fascinating enigma. The story itself was a mix of genres. It was set sometime in the past, such as 70's, 80's or 90's and was about a family who move into a housing estate (called 'Newton') that is operated by a corporation that produces technological products (on or beyond the par of technology that we have today). The mysterious corporation running the estate then gives its products to a mailman who delivers them to households in the estate, who then test the corporation's state of the art prototypes.

In the pilot the family move in, the prototype they receive is a phone through which they begin to get calls from people they could not get calls from. For example one of the character's dead mothers calls him. The question for the audience was whether she was actually calling him from beyond the grave or whether something else was going on altogether.

*SPOILER WARNING* What becomes clear is, that the characters have conversations with the phone itself- not people, or dead people- the phone picks up on issues they need to talk about and by talking to an imagined dead mother about unresolved issues- it helps the character to resolve the particular issue and move on in life.

As well as this, there was the continuing story of the children within the estate who are suspicious of the motives of the corporation and decide to investigate whether it is a malevolent force or a benevolent one. Is the corporation the friendly body it seems to be? How does the corporation, set in the past, possess technology almost superior to ours' today?

In this way, Newton was a refreshing and innovative change to uninventive family dramas. It had this creative mix of genres that Dave Nadelberg and Craig Silverstein pulled off so well. On one hand it was a '7th Heaven' kind of family drama. Mixed with this was a thriller type theme revolving around the children as in 'The Secret World of Alex Mack.' And on top of this, it asked addictively, intriguing questions such as shows like 'The X Files' and the more recent hit 'Lost.' It was a pity it never hit TV screens. It was a definite precursor to concepts such as 'Lost' and could have gone a long way.

The fresh and brilliant writing should be applauded too. Craig Silverstein has gone on to continue a uniquely successful TV career. And Dave Nadelberg has hit comic success through another creative idea with his hit stage show- 'Mortified.' (Google it). I'm a definite Nadelberg fan- what will he come up with next?

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