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Persons Unknown


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#1

Selianth

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Posted May 25, 2010 @ 11:03 AM

There were several teasers for this show during the Chuck finale last night, so I was surprised to see there was no thread for it yet (unless I totally missed it.) It will be on NBC, Mondays at 10, starting June 7. Anyway, I think it looks like some good summer fun. It seems kind of like a cross between Saw and The Prisoner with probably a bunch of others thrown in.

NBC's website doesn't have much yet, but I found the below press release and a slightly longer trailer. There's a spoilery review of the pilot on Futon Critic. Also, it appears that IMDB shows exactly how many episodes each actor is in, so just be warned that it's probably spoilery as well!

From Academy Award-winning writer Christopher McQuarrie ("The Usual Suspects"), who is executive-producing with Heather McQuarrie, and executive producer Rémi Aubuchon, comes "Persons Unknown," a one-hour mystery drama in which a group of seven strangers must come together to solve the puzzle of their lives. All of the seven strangers have been taken from their everyday lives and have arrived in a deserted town with no recollection of how they got there.

The eclectic group of strangers are Charlie Morse (Alan Ruck, "Spin City"), Janet Cooper (Daisy Betts, "Shutter"), Joe Tucker (Jason Wiles, "Third Watch"), Bill Blackham (Sean O'Bryan, "Six Feet Under"), Moira Doherty (Tina Holmes, "Six Feet Under"), Sergeant Graham McNair (Chadwick Boseman, "Lincoln Heights"), Tori Fairchild (Kate Lang Johnson, "Days of our Lives"), Erika Taylor (Kandyse McClure, "Battlestar Galactica"), Mark Renbe (Gerald Kyd, "Casualty") and Kat Damatto (Lola Glaudini, "Invincible"). While being held hostage, they are watched constantly by omnipresent "security" cameras with no idea who or what is behind them and every attempt to leave is thwarted by unforeseen circumstances, which seem to derive from mysterious forces. At every turn, these strangers-turned-comrades are threatened physically, psychologically and emotionally.

Their only option for survival is to rely on each other, but whom can they trust in this vulnerable state – either behind those cameras or amongst themselves? Their decisions will have moral and ethical consequences, as alliances are forged and relationships brokered.



#2

DEM

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Posted May 25, 2010 @ 12:02 PM

It seems kind of like a cross between Saw and The Prisoner with probably a bunch of others thrown in.

Yeah, I definitely get a House of 9 and Breathing Room with a splash of Unknown (2006) vibe from the description. I like that (sub-)genre, so I plan to check this out.

How long is the run?

#3

Selianth

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Posted May 25, 2010 @ 2:19 PM

How long is the run?

The standard 13 episodes. I saw one article that included the phrase "if it gets picked up" but I cannot for the life of me see this being the kind of show that would get renewed. Summertime horror or mystery mini-series haven't exactly had a great track record on any network in the last few years.

#4

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Posted May 25, 2010 @ 8:17 PM

I remember reading about this show last year. I think that it was originally developed for SyFy, but they passed on it and NBC picked it up. I was happy to hear that because they had already filmed the episodes and I really wanted to see it. I am looking forward to it.

#5

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Posted Jun 7, 2010 @ 10:10 PM

So, after finishing the pilot I'm definitely intrigued. I've been waiting for this show since last summer and it did not disappoint. There are so many questions and I like the most of the characters are mysterious. I hope that this has a beginning, middle and end. If done right this could be a really good mini series.

#6

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Posted Jun 7, 2010 @ 10:16 PM

It wasn't bad and the hour went by quickly. Now, I'm craving chinese food.

#7

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Posted Jun 7, 2010 @ 10:16 PM

I don't know how this show is going to play out, but I'm in.

Even if all the characters aren't fleshed out, just from the pilot we get just enough to kind of know their personalities a bit. And I was definitely on the edge of my seat most of the show, waiting to see what was coming next. That's a big step up from Harper's Island.

#8

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Posted Jun 7, 2010 @ 10:32 PM

I wasn't feeling it as much til they got to the drug release system.

A couple of the characters(party blonde and military guy) are screaming for some development.


The nightwatchman really intrigued me.

#9

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Posted Jun 7, 2010 @ 10:41 PM

It was really pretty interesting. Lee Purcell's character had me on edge, but that's probably because any kind of 'child in peril' story line puts me on edge, and I definitely got the feeling that Nana wasn't too happy that Megan had her dollie!

I think one of 'them' is already in the ranks of our group of 'persons'. I just don't know who it might be, yet. And like patriotickid, the Nightwatchman intrigues me as well.

Sooo, they have me for another week. And not only am I craving Chinese food, I also want a balloon artist to make me wings and a halo!

#10

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Posted Jun 7, 2010 @ 10:54 PM

The commercial didn't do anything for me but I'm glad I tuned in tonight. It seems that there are clues around for them to work out (the key in the bible, the smoke detector) so that should be interesting. The only person we didn't see have an implant on the back of their leg (at least that I saw) was the councilor. She told everyone else to strip but didn't offer anyone a look of her.

When they passed out on the street trying to leave I thought they walked into some sort of sonic fence (Yeah, Lost is still on my mind)

It's interesting and I really hope they know what's supposed to happen with the story and they get to finish it. I'm finding myself already trying to figure things out from the info we were given this evening. The guy with the wife, the woman with her kid - maybe other have people at home depending on them. I'm definitely looking forward to finding out why these people were chosen.

The desk manager - I don't know if I'd be alright with a job that has me waking up in a strange place all the time.

#11

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Posted Jun 7, 2010 @ 11:07 PM

I'm very intrigued by this show and looking forward to seeing how it pans out. As far as the characters go, I'm already annoyed by the car and insurance salesmen; honestly, why do they keep letting car salesman guy get hold of a gun?

As far as the one mystery character that's left, I'm betting he's a hitman or a mercenary. His reluctance to reveal his career or background, combined with his potluck of knowledge and level-headed reaction to high stress situations suggests that whatever he does, it involves juggling a lot of unknowns and dealing with them in the most efficient manner possible.

One thing I can already tell I'm going to like about this show is they don't let plot lines dangle forever, judging by the fact that next week's episode will address the main character's "kill your neighbor and you go free" fortune cookie. I enjoy a good mystery but I can only endure suspense for so long before my interest wanes; if they pace their little mysteries well, I'll definitely keep tuning in.

Also: how weird was the Chinese restaurant? I'm guessing the staff there arrived in a similar manner to the night watchman. So whoever is running the show seems to have access to a pool of regular workers, none of whom actually know any of the background details for the jobs they take on. Interesting.

I know it's a bit early to guess, but based on the grandmother having a camera in her house, I'm thinking this whole thing is a plot people on the outside who were resentful of and/or wanted to get help for (in the case of the drug addict counselor) the seven trapped in the town. The ones watching may just be a third-party service that arranges things like this for their clients.

The grandmother's "I'm sure it will all turn out for the best." made me very suspicious.

Edited by oldandnewfirm, Jun 7, 2010 @ 11:51 PM.


#12

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Posted Jun 7, 2010 @ 11:46 PM

They get free chinese food whenever they want? That almost makes up for the abduction.

Does anyone else hate the Joe Tucker character? "Hey everybody check out how mysterious and awesome I am. Go ahead ask me simple questions that I will refuse to answer. Yeah, I know I can just lie to you because you have no way of knowing, but I would rather cop an attitude. Then when I am done getting surly, I'm going to ask you how you are doing, but I don't really care. I'm just using your pain and misery as an excuse to drop more hints about my awesomely mysterious past. I could be a fireman. Maybe I was a cop. Maybe I was a soldier. Maybe I was in the mafia. Maybe I was an undercover cop sent to infiltrate the mafia. I'll never tell, but I will keep saying cryptic things to make you ask me more questions because I love attention."

#13

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Posted Jun 7, 2010 @ 11:48 PM

See, I don't think counselor-bathrobe lady is telling the truth. I thought I caught a glimpse of a hospital admission bracelet in her pocket during the fortune-cookie scene. I think she was snatched from a place where she was a patient (inmate). I, too, had a Lost flashback when they fell out at the end of the street; there was some sort of triangular man-hole cover thingy right where they all collapsed. And the staff at the Chinese restaurant, I wonder if there are different workers shipped in for every dinner hour. (Maybe a new, although strange, job opportunity, like the night clerk at the hotel.) I am also intrigued and think this could be a fun summer show, even though I despise NBC with the heat of a thousand suns.

#14

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Posted Jun 7, 2010 @ 11:53 PM

Does anyone else hate the Joe Tucker character? "Hey everybody check out how mysterious and awesome I am. Go ahead ask me simple questions that I will refuse to answer. Yeah, I know I can just lie to you because you have no way of knowing, but I would rather cop an attitude. Then when I am done getting surly, I'm going to ask you how you are doing, but I don't really care. I'm just using your pain and misery as an excuse to drop more hints about my awesomely mysterious past. I could be a fireman. Maybe I was a cop. Maybe I was a soldier. Maybe I was in the mafia. Maybe I was an undercover cop sent to infiltrate the mafia. I'll never tell, but I will keep saying cryptic things to make you ask me more questions because I love attention."


Yeah, that was really annoying. At least we didn't get the mysterious guy ontop of the angry soldier stereotype. So I think I'll be able to stomach Joe. Hope blonde girl becomes more than just dumb blonde stereotype.

#15

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Posted Jun 8, 2010 @ 12:18 AM

They get free chinese food whenever they want? That almost makes up for the abduction.


This was good Chinese food, btw. The best the soldier had ever eaten. I have had excellent Chinese food and I guess I'd take being abducted for that. As long as I knew I was safe.

I wonder if the young mother will soon encounter her ex-husband in this town.

#16

Najat333

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Posted Jun 8, 2010 @ 12:23 AM

When they passed out on the street trying to leave I thought they walked into some sort of sonic fence (Yeah, Lost is still on my mind)

Word...I was totally thinking that as well.

Does anyone else hate the Joe Tucker character? "Hey everybody check out how mysterious and awesome I am. Go ahead ask me simple questions that I will refuse to answer. Yeah, I know I can just lie to you because you have no way of knowing, but I would rather cop an attitude. Then when I am done getting surly, I'm going to ask you how you are doing, but I don't really care. I'm just using your pain and misery as an excuse to drop more hints about my awesomely mysterious past. I could be a fireman. Maybe I was a cop. Maybe I was a soldier. Maybe I was in the mafia. Maybe I was an undercover cop sent to infiltrate the mafia. I'll never tell, but I will keep saying cryptic things to make you ask me more questions because I love attention."

Ha, that's awesome. I didn't hate him, but everything else that you said, I was thinking and laughing at. Make up a past if you don't want to tell them anything, genius.

See, I don't think counselor-bathrobe lady is telling the truth. I thought I caught a glimpse of a hospital admission bracelet in her pocket during the fortune-cookie scene.

Yeah, that was rather blatant. She SEEMED sane this ep, but I'm looking forward to finding out more about that.

#17

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Posted Jun 8, 2010 @ 12:58 AM

Oof the acting on this show could use some work (what's it like when seven different characters all chew the scenery? This show) but it's kind of interesting, I guess.

#18

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Posted Jun 8, 2010 @ 1:05 AM

I enjoyed this. It's not real heavy-duty, but it's interesting enough. The characters are just *this* side of being stereotypes; the only one who crosses the line -- and egregiously so -- is Mister Mysterio. That could get old very quickly. I was a tad worried when the Marine came bustin out of his room and grabbed the guy by the throat, but they backed off the Angry, Violent Black Guy cliff fairly quickly. Oh, and Grandma came very close to snickering evilly behind her teacup, so I hope we don't see her too often.

'Crisis counselor' is clearly hiding A LOT. First of all, she doesn't seem to be very good at her chosen vocation! Is that because she's not really a counselor or because she had an emotional break that led her to the inpatient ward (on which she clearly resides)? Also, yeah, I thought she failed to share her scar; good to read that I didn't just miss it.

Speaking of which, the only major, running flaw I can see is the character motivation is spotty. The group seems to pick and choose their moments of paranoia and clue-gathering almost at random. For example, they don't know where they are, but they fail to check things that could give them info, like the signs on the back of their hotel room doors or the instruction card in the phone booth. (And why did Lead Lady say "A hotel!" all awestruck? Was she really just then figuring that out?!) They're suspicious of one another one minute, but then don't check one another's fortune cookie slips and don't ask follow-up questions about the weird ones (with the numbers and Chinese). I also thought it weird that not one of them noticed that the town looks like a self-contained movie lot.

Also, what's with the blond party girl? Did they even ask her anything beyond what's the last thing she remembered?

I'm going to have to use the interwebs to figure out/learn the characters' names. Somehow they all flew by me -- except for McNair, but he was wearing a nametag, so it doesn't count. I was expecting a round-robin intro scene, but the group (weirdly, IMO) never really did that.

Anyway, I'm intrigued and I'll be tuning in next week.

Edited by DEM, Jun 8, 2010 @ 1:11 AM.


#19

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Posted Jun 8, 2010 @ 2:08 AM

Yeah, I was quick to like it but:

For example, they don't know where they are, but they fail to check things that could give them info, like the signs on the back of their hotel room doors or the instruction card in the phone booth. (And why did Lead Lady say "A hotel!" all awestruck? Was she really just then figuring that out?!)

THIS

They're suspicious of one another one minute, but then don't check one another's fortune cookie slips and don't ask follow-up questions about the weird ones (with the numbers and Chinese).

THIS

I also thought it weird that not one of them noticed that the town looks like a self-contained movie lot.

AND THIS!

Also, no one notices the blatant cameras everywhere yet? They aren't even KIND of hidden. Well, ok, the hotel people saw them, but, how about trying to take some of the cameras out instead of starting a fire? Were it me in that situation, that's the first thing I would have done. They had a lot of tools to smash the cams...just saying.

#20

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Posted Jun 8, 2010 @ 7:27 AM

I watched, I enjoyed it, but I did spend every time Alan Ruck was on camera singing "Let my Cameron gooooooooooooooooo."

#21

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Posted Jun 8, 2010 @ 8:06 AM

I'm kind of scared to like to this show. It just seems to be setting myself up for more disappointment (my TV-loving heart has been broken many times!), especially when the Super Special Shocking Reveal turns out to be as predictable and lame as these things tend to be. And then there's the nagging reminder that Sci-Fi (I refuse on general principle to refer to them SyFy) passed on this show. Doesn't Sci Fi take, like, pretty much anything?! Judging by what I've seen on that network, they don't exactly have stringent "It's all gotta be Emmy-worthy!" standards.

And the main female seems like yet another generic female 'tough yet vulnerable heroine with a complicated' past.' *yawn* Her acting in that very first scene, where she's trying to come off all bad ass and threatening to that P.I. who popped up on the playground, was seriously cringe-inducing for me, though she was decent enough for the rest of the episode.
And ITA re. the hilarious description of 'not a tenth as intriguing as they want him to be' Joe.
AND the actors and overall tone of the show seems to be straining just a bit too hard to create maximum eerie suspense in every scene, whereas I think subtlety tends to be far more effective.

Despite all these complaints, though, I found myself liking it. I expected to hit my DVR's delete button a few minutes into it, so the fact that it was even a little bit above mediocre came as a really pleasant surprise! As someone else said, the hour went by really quickly, and I found myself intrigued about what's happening to these people despite not yet caring much about any of the people to whom it's happening.

Edited by MsTaken, Jun 8, 2010 @ 8:15 AM.


#22

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Posted Jun 8, 2010 @ 9:18 AM

[quote]I found myself intrigued about what's happening to these people despite not yet caring much about any of the people to whom it's happening.

Yeah, I'll keep watching. I hope it is just a self-contained summer series with an actual resolution, though. I don't need anymore "it's cancelled - make up your own ending" shows, thank you very much.

#23

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Posted Jun 8, 2010 @ 9:38 AM

Yeah, I'll keep watching. I hope it is just a self-contained summer series with an actual resolution, though. I don't need anymore "it's cancelled - make up your own ending" shows, thank you very much.

Apparently it was filmed last year as a self-contained 13-episode series, which could be made into a bigger/longer show if it does well. But as long as they don't drop it after showing only 4 episodes, we ought to be seeing an entire story.

#24

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Posted Jun 8, 2010 @ 10:07 AM

I've been waiting for this since I first saw the trailer almost a year ago. I was shocked when I saw it that it was a TV show and not a movie.

The opening did not disappoint me at all.

I also thought it weird that not one of them noticed that the town looks like a self-contained movie lot.


This didn't bother me because I took it as part of the whole memory loss thing, somehow. Which doesn't really make a lot of sense but I'm easy on genre shows so I don't really care.

#25

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Posted Jun 8, 2010 @ 10:26 AM

Joe reminded me of Jake Green from Jericho. Mysterious past, knows how to do stuff...

This show also reminds me a little of Drive.

#26

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Posted Jun 8, 2010 @ 10:41 AM

The pilot was good enough to get my interest, but not my trust.

I don't suppose anyone else shouted "Sally Anne McGee!" when the councilor came out of her room?

#27

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Posted Jun 8, 2010 @ 10:51 AM

Huh. I'm rewatching now and I have no idea what I was thinking with memory loss. The nitpicks still don't bug me though.

#28

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Posted Jun 8, 2010 @ 11:47 AM

Well, it was definitely better than I thought it would be, and I'm willing to stick around for a few more episodes, at least. Finding out it's just 13 already completed episodes (thanks TWoP posters above) makes it more likely it won't get yanked by NBC in a couple of weeks.

I do object to the fact that none of the 7 kidnapees are investigating their surroundings thouroughly and that they haven't cross-examined each others background more, if only to try and find something they have in common to explain why they are there. They seem to be taking things a bit too much at face value, and are not nearly as freaked out as I would expect.

Perhaps the tranquilizer implant is constantly feeding them a low dose to keep them more controllable and less curious?

#29

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Posted Jun 8, 2010 @ 12:03 PM

I also enjoyed the show, although the characters seemed to keep jumping from panic-mode to logical thinking back to panic-mode pretty regularly. The problem so far is that I (and probably a lot of other people) kept yelling at the TV, "Go check _______out" and "Go ask the restaraunt workers about __________". They just seemed to wander from place to place aimlessly.

I've seen several episodes of Star Trek:TNG that had a very similar premise, and I always liked how they used calm, reasoned logic to work together and figure out the "puzzle". I hope this show does the same thing and goes "smart" instead of "(over)dramatic".

Side note-This would make a good (but illegal) reality show, kind of like Big Brother crossed with Prison Break!

#30

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Posted Jun 8, 2010 @ 12:04 PM

I'm bothered that after the clerk said "I'm used to it" no one screamed "What the fuck does THAT mean?"

I would have walked into the Chinese place as soon as I spotted it. Then again, I eat when stressed.

Edited by JessicaLovejoy, Jun 8, 2010 @ 12:14 PM.