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An Introduction to The Pretender
Article by Louis Theb 22 / Published 30 Sep 2003, 13:07
Last updated 15 May 2004, 08:29
There are extraordinary individuals among us known as "pretenders", geniuses with the ability to insinuate themselves into any walk of life, to literally become anyone. In 1963 a corporation called the Centre isolated one such pretender, a young boy named Jarod. Locked in a controlled environment, they exploited his genius for their unofficial research. Then one day their pretender ran away...
Created by Steven Long Mitchell and Craig W. Van Sickle, "The Pretender" is an American TV series which ran from 1996 to 2000 for 4 seasons and 86 episodes. Cancelled by NBC it was later bought by TNT due to a massive fan response and the series continued into TV movies from 2001. Featuring great production values many famous people were involved such as Velton Ray Bunch who also worked on the music of "Quantum Leap".
This series follows the story of Jarod (Michael T. Weiss), a man who just escaped from an organisation called the Centre in which he was held prisoner since he was a child. Going through a world he doesn't know, Jarod will try to find the family he was taken from while trying to escape Miss Parker (Andrea Parker) whose only goal is to bring him back to the Centre. On his way he will also use his skills to defend the weak and abused. He will seek help from Sydney (Patrick Bauchau), the man who raised him at the Centre and then became his mentor.
The impressive actors performance from Patrick Bauchau ("A View to a Kill") and Andrea Parker ("JAG") have been appreciated by the fans and gave birth to many web-sites and conventions. Michael Weiss' career was also boosted by the world-wide known TV series and he now appears in movies. The show also features a lot of secondary actors and well-known guest stars such as George Lazenby.
"The Pretender" shows characters with sad backgrounds, dark environments and plots that don't always take you where you think they would go. It is a sort of a mix between "The A-Team", "MacGyver" and "Quantum Leap" but with a special touch. Especially during the first season it's got that 80s hero feeling to it and it is great television. Certainly one of the rare recent shows really worth watching.
Article written by Louis Theb. The Pretender TM & © 1996 NBC Television. All rights reserved. The Pretender and any related marks are trademarks of NBC Television.