12 April 2004 | preslopsky
A Show that Just Missed
I get the feeling that my wife and I were the only two people watching this show. The characters were very likeable, and Mr. Doe himself Dominic Purcell was great. I hope that at least something good for his career comes out of this show.
A man appears seemingly from nowhere with total amnesia but possessing the total knowledge contained in the Library of Congress, and then some, turns up in Seattle. While he tries to figure out who he is and where he came from, he becomes a private investigator helping the police with its most difficult cases. The running subplot are hints of his past and a cult organization that either created him or is trying to control him.
This makes for a very interesting show with the normal episodic suspense of a detective show, but with the bonus with ongoing suspense about the detective himself. The cast and their roles were great. This show was simply begging you to like it. What failed was the writing. The premise of the series and the plots of each episode were great, but execution was terrible. In every episode there was some completely absurd part that made you cringe. The writers never seemed to figure out what it meant to know everything. Doe not only is smart, but also has instant muscle memory and can learn new physical tasks instantly. In one episode, he even predicts the weather. And sadly, some of Doe's knowledge is totally absurd. For example, in the first episode, Doe recites the entire binary code (in ones and zeros) for the original version of MS DOS in front of a crowd of astonished spectators in a matter of hours (the crowd sticks around to hear it all).
The idea that this guy knows everything is pretty incredible but leaves an huge area to work with, but this concept was totally abused. As much as I would have liked the series to work, I was left only with the impression of the pretentiousness of the writers. It's pretty hard to create an almost omniscient character when you yourself are pretty dumb. I think that under more capable hands, this show could have been great.