10 March 2009 | eschetic-1
Fascinating/frustrating: imagine Blade Runner by Charles Dickens
More solid S.F. (as Asimov defined it) than pop Sci-Fi, this series which has scrambled to find audiences on three continents will probably always frustrate fans while it fascinates them until there can be a DVD release to appreciate its many stately paced virtues without the incessant, mood destroying commercial breaks.
Imagine the dark, fascist ruled world like that of Blade Runner (like Blade Runner, built around a hot but well roughed up film-noir detective - Colorado native Jeffrey Pierce - later seen or heard Stateside in quality work from NCIS to Eli Stone and The Bourne Conspiracy); toss in parallel universes of lighter but similar complexity (the lightest could have been borrowed from the lush but potentially threatening island of Lost) and a classic "Mars Needs Women/Water" umbrella plot. Now draw it out like a 21st Charles Dickens spreading his intricate plot and character descriptions over as many YEARS as possible of serial publication (pausing every hour or so to blow something up in as scenic and non-sensational way as possible), and you have the look, feel and details of CHARLIE JADE.
It's heady stuff for discerning ADULT viewers, and not remotely for the short attention-span set (which may be why it has failed to take off in television which this style of story telling is not ideal for), but the quality of the work is first rate in almost every aspect from acting to cinematography to scoring - even if all are almost too self consciously trying to recapture the aura of Blade Runner. On DVD or DVR, this is close to addictive caviar which any self respecting S.F. or film noir fan owes it to themselves to try for a couple hours - but *live* on commercial television, it will probably always remain difficult to get into.