Kirsten Clark suffers from temporal dysplasia, a condition that makes her the perfect person to work for a secret government agency who are able to insert someone into the memories of a recently-deceased person…
If that feels as if it’s a bit similar to something else that’s debuted recently, it’s because it is – basically, certainly as seen in the pilot, this is iZombie without the icky brain sandwich bit. And without the witty humour, sharp writing, fun characters… It reminds me a lot of those series that were pumped out in the 1970s in the wake of The Six Million Dollar Man, where someone with a “power” was co-opted/coerced into working with a Secret Government Agency™ and became their Secret Weapon against the Forces of Evil.
There are one or two cool moments in the pilot – the way in which Kirsten interacts with the memories is nicely done, particularly – but there’s so much going against it that you come away uncomfortable. For reasons that are seriously unconvincing, attractive blonde Kirsten has to wear a form-fitting catsuit (think Seven of Nine rather than the Catwoman that gets referenced) whenever she goes into the memory tank (and of course I’ll bet as and when one of the guys has to go in there, there’ll be some reason they don’t have to!). When she has a problem after her first experience in said tank, she’s whisked off to… the apartment of the one of the nerds in charge of the experiment, where she wakes to find that someone has undressed her, and put her to bed. Nope, not creepy at all. (And as far as those nerds go, think of the horrendous possibilities of Jeffster from the late, lamented Chuck being in charge of a lab – yes, it’s that bad.)
Warehouse 13’s Alison Scagliotti is sadly wasted as Kirsten’s roommate, although now she knows of the Secret Project, hopefully she can get in there and bring some caustic humour to bear. Salli Richardson-Whitfield goes through the motions as the boss, and at present it’s really hard to tell if Emma Ishta as Kirsten is being deliberately wooden or not (compare her performance with Poppy Lee Friar’s as a similar stranger to emotion in the early episodes of Eve – Friar made a virtue of that side to the character she was playing; Ishta isn’t, yet).
Is there a good idea at the heart of this? Yes, but unfortunately for Stitchers, it’s already been done better.
Verdict: The negatives outweigh the positives at present, and characterisation, dialogue and attitudes need to be shaken up rapidly if it’s going to gain an audience. 3/10