It’s right here, recently (and quietly) released by SyFy channel for a January premiere. Watch first, then… let’s talk:
Okay, that’s a trailer. And it has the same name as the Terry Gilliam’s bizarre and beautiful classic. But other than that? What have we got here? Let’s talk about it…
First, to make it clear: we here at Se Fija! and AmityvilleNow Int’l Headquarters and Wine Bistro (weekends only) are Terry Gilliam fanatics. Monty Python, Brazil, even friggin’ Baron Munchausen, we love his stuff. Which is why we were both excited and full of bubbling trepidation at the notion of a television series based on one of his works. And it appears our fears may have been a teeny bit justified.
There’s nothing wrong with the series as viewed through the squinty lens of the trailer. High production values, a challenging premise that sounds (vaguely) like the time travel/paradox whirligig of the film. But past that? Where’s the startling imagery? The quirky, over-the-top characters? The, whatever, the Gilliam-ness of it? Absent without leave. All that’s left is a vague similarity in ‘look’ with none of the ‘feel’ and what promises to be a timey-wimey paradoxiclization that, quite frankly, we saw just recently, and done pretty well, on Continuum. On the same damn network. Recently. (Speaking of which: what’s up, Canada and SyFy? We’re still waiting for the final renewal/cancellation news!) In any event, the whole shadowy, grim “time traveler trying to avoid the apocalypse” theme, in and of itself, is older than Sarah Conner might well would have been by now. Without some special perspective, like Gilliam’s, it’s just another case of will have been there, might will have done that.
So…not a thumbs down, but certainly not a thumbs up. Just a thumbs sideways, which really is worse than no thumbs at all. Not that we have long to wait, at least in linear time; the series premieres in January. Then at least a little will be revealed.