Friday, April 24, 2009

Pilot Script Review - Past-Life

Written By: David Hugdins
Draft Date: January 5, 2009
Pages: 61
Network: FOX
Category: Thumbs Down

As so we come to the end of the night of a million Crappy Crime Shows.

Past-Life is about a team of past-life detectives that solve crime (in the pilot, a murder, but that's not a guarantee made... though it probably ought to be) using regression therapy and the theory of reincarnation.

Go ahead. Laugh at the premise. I did. And then I was kind of almost won over by the script... kind of almost. And then I laughed at the premise again and said "oh, hell no" (I mean, are they going to have to explain what they do at the Samuels Center for Consciousness Research and specifically the Special Investigations unit therein to every client who walks in the doors? Because, honestly, I'd be skeptical!)

The two leads of the series are Dr. Kate McGinn, a researcher and psychologist, and Price Whatley, an ex-homicide detective with the NYPD who is starting up as past-life detective for the SCCR. Price, blissfully, is a skeptic, which means he and Kate can bicker all they want while having UST and solving crimes. Oh, and Kate believes that she and Price, in their past-life, were lovers.

The pilot starts innocently enough with a kid (Noah) in a high school basketball game. Ball bounces out of the room, kid goes to get it (it got all the way to the pool...?) and upon seeing the pool water, as a flashback memory. When he snaps out of it he tells his parents (Amanda and Mike) that he "saw the man who killed me." The wha~!? After several (off-screen) doctors, the kid and parents were referred to the SCCR. Noah and Amanda go, Mike is highly skeptical (shock shock shockeroo). Anyway, some regression therapy and detective work (and legalese) later, we have two child abductions / homicides solved. Turns out that Noah's past-life's sister didn't die, she lived, and she gets reunited with her family (who, of course, she doesn't know is her family since the abduction happened years ago... Noah is 14 after-all... and she thinks that her abductor is her father).

Again, the script, at points, made me smile and kind of almost won me over. But... it's just not gonna work. I've also heard that it's been a mess, as far as production has gone. Count this one out.


Garrett said...

I know someone who's seen it and they really really liked it.

Garrett said...

I'm just saying. I have neither read or seen the pilot, so I can't personally pass judgment, but it got an "oh wow!" review from a friend...of ours, actually.

Travis Yanan said...


Like I said, I was shocked when the script made me smile. But I think the odds are really stacked against it with its premise...

Tara said...

I have high hopes for this one. I haven't seen the script, but the actress playing Kate - Kelli Giddish - is absolutely phenomenal. Thanks very much for the review.