|Page 1 of 8:||       |
|Index||73 reviews in total|
CBS has canceled Threshold, the best new show of the 2005 fall season. Surface, and Invasion totally sucked compared to Threshold, yet Viacom/CBS decided to can it, just like they did with Star Trek: Enterprise, and Joan of Arcadia. So lame. There's a built-in audience with a well-written sci-fi show. There must be something wrong with their rating system. Whoever they rely on to collect data about how many viewers they have must not be sampling from the right demographic. But of course Ghost Whisperer is an awesome show, right? Cause Jennifer Love Hewitt's last show worked so well... remember Matchmaker? No, of course not, who does?
I am NOT a sci-fi nut and only watched because a friend recommended it,
but the two hour opener was simply MESMERIZING. The show has flavors of
several hits of the past and present, including "X-Files" and "The
4400", but has a style all its own. It was well-written, brilliantly
directed, and managed to blend suspense, drama, and humor extremely
well. I was very pleased with the casting. Peter Dinklage steals the
show as he did in "The Station Agent", you just can't take your eyes
off of him. Brent Spiner (Star Trek Next Generation's "Data") and
Charles S. Dutton ("Roc", "Rudy") are the big names in the fine
supporting cast. Rob Benedict is wonderful as computer geek Lucas and
Brian Van Holt has the SWAT/military hero role nailed.
Was not a fan of Carla Gugino before, but she plays the lead role Dr. Molly Caffrey to perfection. She somehow manages to pull off intelligent, self-assured, and vulnerable all at the same time. She is a striking woman but manages to be believable in this role. You don't feel as if they inserted the requisite starlet in the lead, she's THAT good.
This show works on so many levels that I would be shocked if CBS didn't have another hit on its hands. The music was effective without being intrusive. Even the digital imagery was interesting and I generally HATE computer generated stuff..it only added to the overall texture. This show is similar to "24" in one way; you don't waste time questioning every single plot twist, (like the previous IMDb reviewer did) you just sit back and enjoy the ride.
I couldn't disagree more with the previous poster. I thought this show was fantastic. It held my attention for the entire two hour premiere, and I felt there was film-quality direction and editing. I like the premise, and I enjoyed the (pseudo?)science. There were a couple of times it scared the heck out of me. I enjoyed most of the cast, and it's nice to see Brent Spiner back in the public eye. However, if they're not careful, on a weekly basis at least a couple of the characters - Spiner's and Peter Dinklage's character - could become annoying and one-note. The writers need to work on keeping those characters surprising and fresh. I will definitely continue to watch this show.
Of the three new "Sci-Fi" dramas, Invasion, Surface, and Threshold, I have decided that Threshold is, hands down, the best. Invasion has the better pedigree (Sean Cassidy did create American Gothic, after all...), Surface instills more awe and wonder, but the one that I must watch every week is Threshold. It has learned that most important of lessons from the X-Files: keep 'em guessing, but give a little bit up every now and then. It doesn't try to keep you in the dark all the time. And on the subject of casting, I believe that this show has some of the best choices going. Carla Gugino is, as usual, brilliant. Beautiful, sexy and oh so smart. Charles S. Dutton does the best he can with a limited role. Peter Dinklage will be a favorite as soon as the writers figure out what to do with him. But the biggest surprise is Brian Van Holt as Cavennaugh, the muscle. In what should have been the obvious gimme role in the show, the guy who shoots, Van Holt has proved to be multi-faceted. Yes he is a true believer, but he has a soul, too. Not what I expected from the pretty boy with the gun. All in all, great show. Will be very upset when it gets canceled.
Well, I've seen a fair bit of Sci-Fi, and to me this one weighed in at
above average. I'd never say fantastic, but certainly above average.
The story was a twist on the Alien Invasion theme that has been done with other series such as "First Wave"... Anybody remember that? A probe from another planet comes to earth and "infects" a small group of people on a ship with an alien signal that over time re-writes their DNA code transforming them into Aliens with super human abilities (ala 4400). These "aliens" in human form have an overriding genetic urge to propagate this signal by whatever means necessary to endure the rest of the human race join them.
A top strategist and a select team of experts are employed by the government, under a plan called "Threshold" to counter this would be invasion.
So, why above average....
Well, first off, it does manage to give genuine creep effect in places. Some of the these moments are actually pretty effective in a way that is often so lacking in TV series. The show doesn't (didn't) shy away from a little graphic horror, which big TV networks often bawk at, especially if the show is designed to fit earlier timeslots. It was actually refreshing to see, but occasionally, admittedly, overdone as to be gratuitous.
The characters can come across as a little two dimensional, but to be fair to the series, perhaps it was never given time to expand and develop them. They did try later on in the series but earlier on it was difficult to empathise with a lot of characters due to this. Having said this, no one can disagree that the characters that were supposed to come across as dislikable, really did so. None of them would have won awards for individuality, but I feel that the could have been developed in time, with the possible exception of Brian Van Holdt's character, that I found annoying at times and a little stereotypical.
For me, it did seem to have a little "Cheese" factor in places. The Lettuce growing teeth springs immediately to mind. Which as mild comic relief in a well established series can work well (ala X-Files), but in a series that is attempting to get off the ground, such things can be dangerous as more serious and perhaps less forgiving Sci-Fi fans will be turned off by it. On one level the series came across as quite intelligent, but punctuating it with story's such as this spoiled the atmosphere in my opinion (And no, I wouldn't count myself as a hard-line Sci-FI fan).
On the story level, it did take the alien invasion theme and try to do something a little different and interesting with it, although every now and again, especially half way through the series, I got that distinct feeling of "The Invaders" at times, though it's difficult to say where, and not give story away to those that have not seen it.
The last aired episode added several new dynamics to the show, and could have taken it on to better things, giving it a more individual and unusual story thread, however, sadly, it was already too late for the show, the decisions had been made.
I had been silly enough not to check to see the status of the series before I embarked upon watching it, and to say I was disappointed when I found after watching the 13th episode that there we in fact no more, would be an understatement. Not necessarily because I thought that the series was exceptional and deserved to run forever, but because I had invested many good hours getting into the story and trying to understand the characters.
Networks are there to make money and we can't forget that but they seem so happy and willing to drop a show in it's first or second series if it's not spinning bucks from near inception. They know there will always be another 100 hopeful would-be shows in the wings, and one of those may make more cash.
However that having been said, it's *grossly* unfair and unethical towards the audience that "support" these networks by watching, to drop a series half way through a story, and not even allow it to come to any sort of conclusion.
If this trend continues I, and I suspect many others like me, will become too nervous to start watching a series in case it too doesn't spin enough cash, and gets dropped before it has really begun.
I get into the mood where I want to wait until I know it's got ratings, a second series, some backing, and a future before I invest time in watching. However, over time this is surely going to end up being self defeating both for the networks and the fans that never were, as series after series will suffer in its first season with people afraid to buy into it, for fear of an unfinished story. From there ratings in first series will go down while people wait to see if it's a success or not, and so many future series that could go on to great things, and incidentally, make good money, will get canned before they have had a proper chance to flourish and fulfil their potential. There are many successful series of past years that would never have succeeded had the Network execs of today been making the calls.
In short, it *is* worth a watch as long as you don't get disappointed when you only see the first half of a film...
I really liked Threshold. It showed the government aware of aliens and prepared to do something about it. Carl Gugino and Brent Spiner were great as actors. The aliens were intelligent. I'm glad CBS gave an almost unknown producer a chance. It shows that science fiction is back in vogue. I'm hooked! Please approach this show with an open mind. It has the makings of something great and will grow on us like the X-Files did. Carla gives Gillian a run for her money! It shows a strong female in a lead role. I like this change. The methods the aliens use to invade and their use of the 4th and fifth dimension are also very intelligent. It is probably how a real visitation would happen. If I was going to send humans to the stars. I would send DNA and build a human when a landing was ready on some far away star system planet.
Network: CBS; Genre: Science Fiction; Content Rating: TV-14 (for brutal
violence); Perspective: Contemporary (star range: 1 - 4);
Seasons Reviewed: Complete Series (1 season)
The unprecedented success of USA's "The 4400", the death of reality television, rise of serial shows and the increasingly low cost of computer animated visual effects has given rise to a wonderful network fad for 2005 - the science fiction series. "Threshold" is CBS's entry into the year's 3-pronged alien invasion attack that also includes NBC's "Surface" and ABC's "Invasion". Its probably the cheapest, with a plot that hinders more on human action than visual effects and it is also the first to bite the network dust.
This is why there isn't more good, serious, comprehensive TV criticism. With a movie you at least get to see the whole thing, but with a series we're given a show and have it ripped from the line-up before the final episodes have aired and story has wrapped up. For what its worth, "Threshold" deserved the benefit of the doubt. Its not Shakespeare, even as science fiction shows go its on the campy side of a Sci-Fi channel original movie. But it is entertaining contemporary genre fair. Somewhere between the seriousness of "Invasion" and silly fun of "Surface".
But, 10 episodes. What the hell am I supposed to do with this, CBS?
The premise: a mutant infection is invading the human race, this time, however, the vehicle is auditory - through an alien frequency that plants itself in the brains of those with susceptible genetic dispositions and turns them into violent super-soldiers at worst (sort of "The X-Files" meets "28 Days Later ") and lumbering zombies at best. The entire crew of an ocean freight has been infected (as well as our heroes investigating them) and escaped into the population. Thankfully, scientist Molly Caffery (Carla Gugino, "Spin City") had devised a contingency plan that combats just such an invasion called Threshold, that involves quarantining subjects in a secret facility and... well, I'm not exactly sure what else.
Charles S. Dutton plays the typically gruff leader. Gugino makes a fine heroine, believably strong while going toe-to-toe with the super-soldiers. But Brent Spiner and Peter Dinklage lends some agreeably goofy life to the show as scientists with an endless supply of one liners. Uncharacteristic in usually serious science fiction shows, that quirky little attitude running through this show works for it and is what makes "Threshold" stand out well from the other network genre efforts.
* * ½ / 4
The two hour premiere was a barn burner. Let's hope they can keep up the same level of suspense, drama and creepiness from that. What appears to be the best thing is the unusual ensemble cast, with Peter Dinklage and Brent Spiner stealing scenes and making the best of well written one liners. With a great premise and off to a good start, let's see if they can keep the momentum. Since science fiction is a difficult thing to do well on television ( the "X Files" not included on this ) it will be interesting to see how the story unfolds. The advantage is having the wonderful Brannon Braga at the helm of the writing, who I consider one of the best scifi writers in the business today. Friday nights not be the best time for this series to find an audience, but if CBS is wise, they will give this show the chance it deserves.
Threshold is a pretty decent scifi show. I won't say it's brilliant,
because there are flaws in the storyline which I'll come to in a
moment. But it does entertain and has characters you actually like.
The basic premise is that aliens are trying to re-engineer human and animal DNA into their own vision - essentially making us into them (as the show would have us believe). It's an interesting concept (although I doubt it's new to scifi) and works surprisingly well with the "enemy within" mentality. Normally I dislike shows which do this as it is usually a cop-out because they don't have the budget to do anything flash. But here it works well.
If I have one gripe about the show it's that the aliens (although apparently having access to the memories of the hosts they infect) show a singular lack of imagination when it comes to finding ways to spread the disease. The internet is the most obvious medium, yet so far it seems to have gone unused apart from one half-hearted attempt.
But apart from this, the show is good fun and entertaining. The characters are fairly diverse, although they all fit into the usual stereotypes - expert, soldier, geek, scientist etc. But at least they all have charisma, though I suspect poor old Brent Spiner is being typecast as the scientist/doctor now.
Anyway, worth a look. There are far worse shows out there.
EDIT (15.12.05) Just heard this series is cancelled. Good one CBS! Gotta love the networks' slavish attention to viewing figures. Bah!
I disagree with crazy wabbit. "Threshold" was a breath of fresh air.
The debut was unlike any series we've been treated to this summer.
Could be because it isn't a cop drama. Nice to see a different concept
for network television. Whether it lasts or not is anyone's guess but
get the DVR ready, this show is worth the memory. The special effects
were believable and probably limited due to budget but who cares, it
gets the point across. Most of the Red Team characters were blah, blah,
blah, but they'r supposed to be scientists and Gugino makes up for
their inadequacy and if the show continues perhaps the red team will be
properly disposed of.
Oh, and did I say it is nice to see Carla Gugino again, she's been missed ever since Karen Sisco was canceled.
|Page 1 of 8:||       |
|Ratings||External reviews||Official site|
|Plot keywords||Main details||Your user reviews|
|Your vote history|