Now and Again (TV Series 1999–2000) Poster

(1999–2000)

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10/10
Too Good to Last
carflo1 December 2003
I first caught this show early Sunday morning on the Sci Fi channel. The quality of the episode and the early morning air time told me that the series had already been canceled. I have still never seen the pilot with John Goodman, but I have seen most of the episodes.

It is a marvelous show. Eric Close is brilliant as Mr. Wiseman, the human guinea pig of a government experiment in creating a super soldier/agent. His humor in dealing with the dour Dr. Morris and his almost palpable yearning for his wife and daughter left me with an aching pain for a man caught in a surreal nightmare. What makes it even more poignant is Wiseman's refusal to allow himself to be just a guinea pig. He adamantly asserts his humanity and forces Dr. Morris to accept it also.

Dennis Haysbert is Dr. Theodore Morris, the brilliant but tightly wound Frankenstein creator of a most uncooperative monster. One of the great aspects of this show is the fact that Dr. Morris is not a villain. He is a complex man who needs the humanity his creation forces from him. Wiseman refuses to let Morris be a cold and heartless mad scientist. He picks and prods and digs out all of humanity that Dr. Morris tries so hard to bury.

Margaret Colin and Heather Matarazzo are Lisa Wiseman, his grieving widow, and Heather Wiseman, his grieving and angry daughter. They are confused and frightened of this strange handsome young man who calls himself Mr. Newman. He moves in and out of their reality doing inexplicable things (such as asking Lisa to hold an egg without breaking it on a busy subway platform) and displaying an uncannily intimate knowledge of their lives and thoughts.

Now and Again was intelligent, touching and funny all at the same time and it was much too good to last.
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An outstanding work of television
evilcritic28 July 2003
I caught Now & Again during it's first run on the UK Sci-Fi Channel in early 2001 and I was nothing short of blown away. My enthusiasm for the show was dulled only by the knowledge that it had already been cancelled stateside - another brilliant exec's move no doubt. That aside, Now & Again still remains a high point for television sci-fi drama.

To synopsise the plot :

Michael Wiseman (played somewhat appropriately by John Goodman) is a 45 year old insurance salesman with a happy marriage and a content - if somewhat typical - teenage daughter. After being passed over for a big promotion - and drinking away his sorrows afterwards - Michael is killed when he is accidently knocked into the path of an oncoming subway train.

Michael awakens to find himself before US Government scientist Dr Theodore Morris (played to unbelievable perfection by 24's Dennis Haysbert). Morris offers Michael a choice - he can either rest in peace, or he can become a part of the greatest government experiment in history. Since World War 2, Morris tells him, the government has spent billions on trying to create the perfect artificial human being. Now after three billion dollars of research, they've succeeded - the catch? They need a live human brain to transplant into it. Seeing it as his only chance to live, Michael accepts - and the fun begins...

Michael reawakens again to find himself in the body of an artificially created 26 year old man (now played excellently by Dark Skies' Eric Close) - the perfect human specimin, with (as Morris phrases it) the strength of Superman, the speed of Michael Jordan (he can run with a landspeed of approximately 30mph) and the grace of Fred Astaire (that one is never explained!). Assigned to undertake covert operations for the government under the watchful eye of Morris (or "Doc" as Michael names him), Michael begins his new life - taking down terrorists bent on unleashing nerve gas, fishing out government traitors and testing experimental technologies.

It's a good arrangement for all involved - but with one minor glitch : under penalty of death, Michael can never make contact with his wife, his daughter or anyone from his former life. They must believe that Michael Wiseman is dead. Along the way though, Michael's path crosses with his wife Lisa - forming an attraction between the two and creating no end of problems for the doc, who would like nothing more than keep them apart.

Although this sounds a fair bit like The Six Million Dollar Man (or in this case, The Three Billion Dollar Man), it's surprisingly fresh. Now & Again began with a three part pilot that laid the scene perfectly. Episode 1 showed us Wiseman's origins - his accident and resurrection, while Episode 2 showed both how Wiseman's abilities actually worked and how his loved ones had moved on since his death. Episode 3 is the launchpad for Michael's first proper mission, the first episode to really demonstrate the shape of things to come.

Episode 3 - entitled "Over Easy" - sets up the standard in that Now & Again manages to maintain the perfect formula. Although not every one of the 19 episodes that follow the pilot trilogy contain villains or a central bad guy, the show manages to combine aspects of science fiction, drama, suspense and a high level of comedy to a perfect ratio. There are no "comedy episodes", no "thriller episodes", each one contains the same perfect balance - one of the show's two biggest strengths.

The show's other - and rankly, biggest strength - is it's cast. Prior to Now & Again, I had seen every single cast member in another movie or show and despite Eric Close, none of them really blew me away. In fact, prior to Now & Again I found Gerrit graham to be a truly annoying performer that did nothing for me whatsoever. Combining these actors though is what makes the show. The entire cast has such an intense and believable chemistry between them that they really do charm you and make you a believer in each of them. Special kudos goes to Haysbert though, a truly terrific actor that until 24 was a virtual unknown. Haysbert plays Morris with such presence and charisma that on many occassions he manages to steal the spotlight away from the central character - not surprising when you consider that Morris is essentially the anti-hero of the piece. Graham, Colin and Matarazzo all turn in fine performances - although it has to be pointed out that most of the science fiction on the show comes from trying to believe that Matarazzo could actually be Margaret Colin and John Goodman's daughter given that there is zero physical resemblence.

Created by Glenn Gordon Caron - creator of "THAT show that gave the world Bruce Willis", Now & Again was the perfect show. It never overstepped the mark by trying to be something else, and it never condescended it's audience. When it needed comedy, it was funny. When it needed sci-fi, it maintained believability. When it needed action, it had you on the edge of your seat. It was the perfect project and I fully believe that had it continued for a few seasons, it would have made huge stars out of both Eric Close and Dennis Haysbert.

That said, no show is perfect and Now & Again did have several flaws during it's run. Predictably the biggest flaw was the dynamic between Michael and Lisa Wiseman - the entire basis of their relationship was that he was her ressurected-husband-turned-superhuman and that she didn't know but was attracted to him anyway. Although the chemistry between the pair was utterly convincing to even the most anally retentive skeptics, the convienient ways that their paths constantly seemed to cross (without Lisa discovering the truth) has been outdone only by Lois & Clark in terms of pure frustration. Another flaw would be the lack of growth in Matarazzo's character of Heather Wiseman. Heather's character in the pilot is spot for spot the same as her character in the finale, no growth whatsoever. Although attempts were obviously made to centre episodes around the character, they flat-out didn't work - leaving her as the token troubled teen of the piece.

And finally we come to the show's big finale - the send-off entitled "The Eggman Cometh". Again a fantastic balance of all the genres, the finale didn't so much tie up loose ends as it did tangle them up a little bit. Lisa and Michael's relationship became more intense, while the relationship between Michael and the doc began to degrade quickly - building on both character's underlying frustrations with each other. Although I will not go so far as to flat out spill the details of the finale (I went into it blind and I was on the edge of my seat, I wouldn't have wanted it ruining for me), it ended with a cliffhanger that could have fuelled at least another half a season of the show, if not altered the dynamic for years to come.

I'll put it simply : Now & Again was great, it was pulled before it's time, it shouldn't have been. CBS should at least give us a TV movie to tie up the loose ends. That would be a decent end at least.
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I agree, highly underrated
tramsbottom21 February 2003
I can see why it was cancelled, I mean, it's intelligent, funny and has great characters and dialogue. How dare it!

This is a great show that positively demanded a second series but was dropped like a hot cake on a hot day on top of an erupting volcano. I freely admit it could have done with a little more action (which we would've got in the second series) but this is a minor quibble when this show is in the same league as 24 (also starring Haysbert) and The West Wing.

More please!
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A wonderful series - why did this suffer when others dont?
speckled1011 May 2003
Couldn't agree more with other comments - though they have been made some time ago now.. about how good this series was.

This is coming from someone who normally doesn't enjoy watching most US drama serials. But this one had a heart and feel to it that was just special. As soon as the smooth & groove of the opening theme music came on I was loving this show. The chemistry between the "young" Eric and his "older" wife was fantastic. Dennis Haysbert played I think his best role as the government guy.

Huge shame it didn't go on..
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What a terrific show
Nick S24 November 2000
This show was amazing, its the best program to come out in a long while, I just can't understand why it was cancelled. That final episode had me begging for more. I think it was fairly popular over here in Australia because it was on 2 nights a week. It had great story lines, I just hope to god somehow they can bring it back. I think it was produced by CBS over in the states but i'm not sure. I just can't see how they can cancel such an amazing show over other programs like JAG and that trash they called Survivor, that was garbage. I'm glad survivor failed in Australia. But Now and Again was original and had a great cast and left you wanting more. Such a shame to see such a terrific program gone. An extremely solid, 10/10
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Great, GREAT series
yojimbo9997 October 2001
it pains me to no end that CBS cancelled this show after only one year (22 episodes). almost a year after the show is cancelled, i STILL wonder what happened to the characters. i mean, dang, i NEVER do this. it's just a tv show! but i'll be dang if this show didn't get under my skin and has refused to let go.

it's a great series, and if you have never seen it, i suggest catching its reruns on the sci-fi channel (though i hear the sci-fi channel has yanked it as well). this show does something incredibly hard: it combines sci-fi, drama, comedy, and romance, and does it in a way that is just, well, PERFECT. i mean, everything is perfect. everything is exactly...RIGHT.

the only "clear lining" i can find is that the show was cancelled in 1999, so there IS still a chance the show can start over again. it's only been 2 years, after all. or, at the very least, someone can pick up the show and do a 2-hour movie to tie up all the loose ends. you know how a show gets cancelled before its time and it doesn't wrap up any loose ends? well, this one's cliffhanger is KILLING me.

I MUST KNOW WHAT HAPPENED! SOMEONE, FOR GOD'S SAKE, PICK UP THE SERIES AND FINISH IT! PLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLEASE.
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Very enjoyable show
signjay23 November 2003
Now & Again is one of my favorite TV shows of all time. I had a great time watching these characters. My favorite scene was Michael appearing as an angel to help Heather come back from the near death of the lightening strike. I was terribly disappointed when the show was canceled but do not wish to see a neat and tidy wrap up. The stories in this program were creative and unpredictable and never neat and tidy.
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10/10
Best show I've seen in a long time!!
athena_01310 July 2000
I love this show more than any show I've seen in a very long time. It's full of action, adventure, humor, even romance. Eric Close is superb, as are Dennis Haysbert, Margaret Colin, Gerrit Graham, and Heather Matarazzo. They have great on screen chemistry. It's a joy to watch every episode. I can't recommend it highly enough!
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9/10
7 years later and I'm still frustrated
biggfoot1422 December 2006
Network suits! Why can't we get rid of these people. Along the same line as those wise souls that said "Oh, and Mr. Rodenberry, get rid of the guy with the ears." This show wasn't just science fiction. It was an view of love existing past death. Along the line of "Damn Yankees", it poses the question, if you got everything you wanted, would you give up everything you loved? OK Wiseman is a middle aged insurance exec. Passed over for a promotion, he gets soused and is accidentally/ on purpose? knocked into the path of a subway. Recovering consciousness, he is offered a proposition: he is legally dead, but his brain was able to be recovered intact. Now would he like to be allowed to die for good, or participate in a secret government program to inhabit an artificially created body of the perfect soldier?

I would still like to see a movie to wrap up the story like Firefly/Serenity, but that would require someone with vision, sadly lacking in Hollywood.
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This show is great!
valhall1 November 2000
I've seen 4 episodes so far, and all I can say is that this series is going to be great! I love the story, the actors and everything, I hope they keep this series on as long as the x-Files. Its fun, exciting,Action and everything! I really recommend this series!
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10/10
Still thinking about this show in 2018.
karmagirl31428 September 2018
I haven't seen a single episode of this show since it originally aired. I was a child at the time, but it's been 18 years and I still think about this show on a weekly basis. I also think about this show whenever I hear an Allstate commercial or see anything containing John Goodman. It was such a compelling story! It had heart, brains, and humor. I also remember that the pacing was usually on point. I wish I could find a single living person who remembers watching this.
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I found where you can still watch Now and Again
pixzy7 June 2018
I loved this show when it first aired on CBS. I was upset when it was canceled after only one season. When NBC came out with the new show Reveris this spring staring Denis Haisbert, it reminded me how much I liked him on Now and Again so I desided to see if I could stream it from someone. I found it on YouTube. It's free, no adds. Check it out.
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9/10
Better than most of the Garbage Shown Today!
TheEmulator2329 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I haven't seen this show since it aired, but I remember it vividly. I think that John Goodman as the original man was a little far fetched, but Eric Close (Now of "Without a Trace" fame, a lame duck compared to this show IMO) was perfectly cast. He really made you believe that he longed to be with his family. I think the look but can't touch mentality he had towards his family and friends, is something that we all could have related to one time or another. It really is too bad this show didn't make it past about 20 eps. or so. I felt there was so much left that this show had to explore and it had such an excellent supporting cast. Particularly Dennis Haysbert as his Handler/Doctor even though it isn't listed here on IMDb. Margaret Colin mainly from "Independence Day" fame who played his wife was also terrific. If you notice as of now 29 September 2006, the two leads are part of 2 very successful shows. I guess the only real good thing about this show getting canceled was getting to see Dennis Haysbert as the President on "24" and as a commando on the same network (CBS) that canceled "Now and Again" on "The Unit." It seems a total shame that this show wasn't given one more year for the audience to grow into it. I have no doubt in my mind this show would have done better if it was given a second season or more, for the story lines to develop and for a little more exploration into the psyche of having to deal with being in a new body. I know it isn't just me that screams for a DVD to released with the entire series on DVD. I would hope that it would be released, but it seems to many gems of shows we never get to see again. PLEASE whoever owns the rights now is a good a time as any (particularly because they can tout that the two stars both have successful shows on CBS) to release this show on DVD. Maybe someday it will be released, but I am not going to cross my fingers. I am glad to see that the leads are doing well in their own right.
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How I feel about the show since CBS cancelled it.
JudyluvsSW28 January 2001
I can't stop thinking about it. I consider myself to be a reasonably well educated, socially adjusted young woman. I work, I make a home for myself - but I can't forget what I lost on the TV. I fell in love with a show called "Now and Again", which ran for one season on CBS.

I have always liked Glenn Gordon Caron's work - I watched "Moonlighting" religiously back in the 80's, and I loved "Remington Steele" without even knowing who Glenn Gordon Caron was. Little did I know that he was the reason why the first season of that show sparkled, and then seemed to just wallow in stupidity when he left it.

"Now and Again" had Glenn Gordon Caron's special touch with a script, and it had a wonderful cast of talented actors. The obvious attention getter was Mr. Eric Close. Eric Close was perfect as the character Michael Wiseman - known as Mr. Newman in his afterlife. He is appealingly handsome, handled his dramatic scenes with admirable skills, and he was a joy to look forward to on a Friday night TV schedule. Mr. Close's portrayal of a stubbornly defiant man in a transformed life who was determined to get back what he lost, made the scenes with Dennis Haysbert - who portrayed Dr. Theo Morris - the meat of the show. In fact, for me, Dennis Haysbert actually became a greater favorite to watch as his character fleshed out over the season. Mr. Haysbert's character became complex and layered, and I began to appreciate Mr. Haysbert's charms on the show as well. As an actor of color portraying a dignified character, Mr. Haysbert was as rare as hens teeth on a network lineup. Margaret Colin had the role of being the grief stricken widow to Michael Wisman's former self - and upon encountering the total stranger in Mr. Newman, is intrigued because he seems strangely familiar.

I truly think of "Now and Again" almost every day. Certainly, I can look at a photo of Mr. Close that I inserted on my computer desktop, along with other cast photos gleaned off the internet and I hear the theme song which I substituted for a computer startup noise. There are times I wonder why I haven't been able to let go of this show, why as a fan, I tried so hard to get the show renewed. I've net talked with people who can't even say to themselves that the show won't be back. I really just think of where the show could have gone as to plot developments, and I envision how characters would react to plot twists that pop into my head that are suggested by the simple things in life. Usually, I then think dark thoughts about heartless Network Executives who didn't know what a gem of a show they had, or how to nurture it. It was a well crafted show - so much that the characters live on for me. I just wish that my show was on the air.

Judy Heom -
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CBS cancelled the best show in years!
amm-46 July 2000
Why did CBS cancel this year's best show? It was funny, clever, and just plain really enjoyable. Michael Wiseman's smart a** wisecracks were hilarious, as were Dr. Morris' irritated comebacks. I hope CBS will come to its senses and bring it back in the fall. At least give us some closure to the season/series ending cliff hanger!
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Class
motor8918 January 2001
This series has just reached the UK (Jan 2001), and all I can say is "Wow, what a great start."

I haven't enjoyed a new series so much for a very long time. The only downside is that I've now found out that it was cancelled after one season!

Does U.S TV have something against top quality shows? I've seen some news about campaigns to bring it back - good luck - this is one show that deserves it.
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10/10
This is without qualification, one of the best shows ever shot in this genre
ddmod15 January 2006
And the "genius" that canceled it should be shot as well. I loved this show and NEVER missed it.

All these years later it still pains me to see the cast working on other projects when they should be celebrating the continued success of Now and Again. Eric Close, Margaret Colin, Dennis Haysbert, John Goodman (althought all too briefly) did and outstanding job. This was a great premise and the writing and production quality were brilliant. I would still love to see the cast reunite and make a movie to close the cliffhanger ending that never closed when the show didn't return for the second season. Then bring the whole thing out on DVD. Great premise, great cast, great characters, and plots, I'll never understand why it was canceled.
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Great series
xspringe21 March 2004
I'm amazed and pretty angry about CBS taking it off the air. And contrary to most people here, I actually quite enjoy the series music! Does anyone have any information on which songs were used and/or covered for this series?

It's pretty disappointing a TV series without any "shocking" content (violence, action, sex and controversial content in general) is pretty much doomed on US TV.

It really saddens me that we'll probably never see some sort of closure to the series.

The only positive part is that the actors involved moved on to some pretty great other TV series (most notably 24).
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My gosh...has it really been 6 years?
oldromantic30 March 2006
I STILL think about this show every time I see Eric Close on Without a Trace or Dennis Haysbert on those All-State commercials and wonder, why in the world was it canceled??? Just the thought makes me want to cry and it's been six years since it happened!

Hooked from the very first episode, I never missed even one. I was a sucker for the unusual romance between Michael and Lisa, and I was curious how they were going to have their relationship evolve. Everything about the show was interesting, from the action of the missions to Michael's snarky sense of humor... I believe that the show could've lasted many years had it been given the chance.

I've often wondered if perhaps part of its downfall was that it premiered at around the same time with another show with a similar name on a different network, and the similarity caused too much confusion. I know it did when I would mention the show to any of my family and friends. And because Now and Again was the least popular of the two, it was the one that was sacrificed.

My only hope at this point is that the networks have learned their lessons...and we won't lose any more of the shows that we love. But I would still love to have our precious one season of Now and Again on DVD!!
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Eric Close: Mr Plague
draco-x27 June 2005
Now And Again is an amazing single-series TV show. I say single series because it was cancelled after a cliff-hanging season finale.

Michael Wiseman is offered another shot at life after he dies on a subway platform. The overweight underachiever has his body rebuilt by the government under the supervision and vision of Dr Morris (played by 24's Dennis Haysberth). The deal is simple, the government will use Michael as part experiment and part operative. If Michael refuses, the government will restore the natural order and kill him.

Because of secret nature of the project, Michael cannot have any contact with his grieving family- a wife and daughter who still believe that he's dead. This is the central concern of Close's character, and much of the series revolves around his inability to give up hope of ever being with them.

Science Fiction doesn't come much better than this. Each episode allows Michael to explore his unique talents of speed and strength, but they never become the sole driving force of the show. The visual effects are convincing and its nice to see a TV show that films so much out door locations. It adds something the the 'suburbia' element of the Michael's persona.

Gerrit Graham provides many chuckles as Michael's former friend, and adds a lot of depth to the sort of life the Michael used to have. All the performance are top notch, except perhaps for the occasional moments from Heather Matarazzo who plays the daughter. Kudos for not picking a typical LA teenage actress to play the part (I looking at you Mellisa Joan Hart), but sometimes her range can be limited, but she makes up for it in a wry sense of humour.

So why "Eric Close: Mr Plague" I don't mean it in a derogatory way, its just that he has a habit of being in really good TV shows that get cancelled after a first season (just look for Dark Skies on IMDb). But he's a fine actor and tragically overlooked for feature films.
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One of my favorite
brocious26 January 2005
I couldn't believe that CBS cancelers this show after one season. It was one of the best shows on TV at that time. It really made me angry that CBS cancelers it after it was just getting going. Not only that; but, it ended with a cliff hanger. CBS didn't have the decency to even tell us what happened! For heaven's sake, if you're going to end a show, don't advertise a cliff hanger or allow it to air! Of course, CBS didn't! I was kind of hoping if they end with a cliff hanger, at least have a movie of the week or a special to tell us what happened. Bring back the characters and either have them rescued or whatever! But, no, it just ended and that was it! Hell on the fans of the show! I've seen that happen on a few other shows. If you're going to cancel a show, don't end with a freaking cliff hanger!
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Incredible Series
Sushubh27 July 2003
Well, the series is here in India in 2003! And I don't believe it ended after 1 season. It is one of the better ones I have seen in a long time. The story line is interesting, the characterization incredible and the verbal disputes - I love them. Really would have loved if it lasted for more time...
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An excellent show that could not have been better
wolverinerobo7917 April 2003
I had completely forgotten this wonderful television show until my roommate played Porcelain by Moby (which i had always thought sounded like the theme music for this TV show). Then as i searched around for the title of the show and information about it, i found a renewed sense of anger towards the television executives who decided this wasn't a winner. I can't say this show is a sci-fi show. I can't say it's a story about life and the human condition. I CAN say it's the greatest blending between the two genres that you could ever imagine. It was fun, but also touching and made you think! Hopefully someone will produce another good show like this (imagine...actual character development!).
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Simply Perfect
Taynna29 March 2003
The cancellation of this show made me anti-CBS for LIFE. It was easily the best thing they had on at the time and they chose to trash it on what was basically a whim.

This show managed to be incredible without sinking to the level most current 'dramas' do. It was well-written with a great balance of pain and humor and AMAZINGLY well acted by every cast member without any exceptions. Eric Close excelled as a man who truly loved his family (a concept rarely seen on TV these days!) and through a freak accident and even freakier survival is forced not to contact the wife and daughter who believe him to be dead. He also happens to be 'superhuman' as a result and subject to the whim of the scientists who 'created' his superhuman body.

No episode contained any sex, violence, or language that would put it above a PG level (possibly not even G level) but it was entirely entertaining regardless.

Shame on CBS for abandoning this show before it had time to truly shine. I'll certainly never accuse the executives there of intelligence or foresight!
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Something different, something excellent
jmunkki4 August 2002
After seeing almost all the episodes, all I can say is that this show has a very intelligent, gentle and interesting feel to it. Its description on the TV guide makes it sound like just another mindless action series. If that's what you expect, you'll be quite surprised.

I like the humor, I like the characters and I love the gentle pace.

Will I want more when it ends? Yes, I will probably wish for more episodes. On the other hand, I wouldn't want this show to die of old age. Clearly the people behind it have great intellect and I'm sure they can come up with something equally intriguing, interesting and entertaining.

If anyone involved in the making of this show reads this: thank you.
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