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While visiting the graveyard of his beloved wife with his daughter Jesse, the physics professor John T. Neumeyer finds a case with a police dossier relating his death in five days. He initially believes it is a sick prank from the brilliant but deranged physics student Carl Axelrod, but when a series of events related in the documents occur, he realizes that the file has been sent from the future. With the support of Detective Irwin Sikorski, whose name is indicated in the file as in charge of the investigation of his death, and suspecting of everybody including his girlfriend Claudia Whitney that has a blurred hidden past, J.T. tries to change the future and his fate. But Carl believes that any modification in the time-line will jeopardize mankind and the future of the planet. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The events in the mini-series take place Monday, 7 June 2004 through Friday, 11 June 2004. The show premiered on the SciFi Channel (USA) on Monday, 7 June 2004 and consecutive episodes were shown each night through Friday, 11 June 2004 roughly following a real-time schedule. The fourth episode (with events ending at or slightly past 3.55am according to the script) was actually first shown at 9.00pm on Thursday, 10 June 2004, so the series did get ahead a bit. Additional date-specific product placements (for instance, a poster for The Chronicles of Riddick (2004), playing in theaters at the time, as seen on a slow pan at the university outside Neumeyer's office) and current popular culture references (for example, a reference to the popular show, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000), airing at the time on network TV) in conversation help reinforce this setup. See more »
In the fist part of the mini-series, J.T. Neumeyer promises his daughter that they will look for Orion with her new telescope. He is shown looking at Orion's Belt a little later that night. Orion's Belt is only visible from Washington in winter evenings, not June. See more »
once I figured out what was going on with the discs, I was OK
After a fashion, I really enjoyed this miniseries from 2004, "Five Days to Midnight," starring Timothy Hutton, Randy Quaid, Kari Matchett, Hamish Linklater, Angus Macfayden, and Gage Golightly.
Hutton plays physics professor J.T. Neumeyer who, while visiting his wife's grave on the anniversary of her death, finds a briefcase with his name on it. Inside are news clippings that talk about his death five days from now. At first, he thinks it's a joke but ultimately believes it was sent by his brilliant but eccentric student Carl (Linklater) and perhaps is not a joke. With an 11-year-old daughter to care for, Neumeyer isn't about to go down without a fight.
Complications abound, including a secret his girlfriend (Matchett) has been keeping, and his brother-in-law's financial difficulties. Then there's the implication of actually changing the future - which Carl warns him can't happen.
Quantum physics is extremely interesting to me -- parallel universes and the like, time travel - unfortunately, there was not as much emphasis on this in the plot; instead, the focus seemed to be on making it into a detective story. Less interesting.
My big problem was the way the discs were set up. I watched the first disc, returned it to Netflix, got the second, and immediately realized I hadn't seen one episode. I found out I wasn't the only one this happened to - the discs separate the episodes, one hour each, rather than one episode, two hours.
Timothy Huttton was excellent, and all the acting was good - Hamish Linklater is always wonderful -- and all of the acting is good. Because of Hutton, you really get involved in the story and in this man's plight.
If you watch this, you'll have questions - there is an excellent post on the message board that explains it all.
Can we change the future, and if we do, what are the implications? Are the past, the present, and the future occurring at the same time? If we try to change it, are we doomed to the same fate even if the circumstances change? Movies have been asking these questions for years. "Five Days to Midnight" also deals with the future sending us messages. It's all fascinating -- I just wish there had been more of it.
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