Immortality. It's a subject that has fascinated man from the beginning of time, be it in the tales of the ancient Greek gods and demigods or people's obsession over vampires. Naturally, Hollywood and television have gotten into the act many times over, from 1986's "Highlander" to the latest incarnation, ABC's amazing but sadly short lived "Forever". It stars Ioan Gruffudd as Dr. Henry Morgan, chief medical examiner for the New York City crime lab. Henry is just like you and me; he goes to work, pays his bills, and has a charming attitude about him. Except, he is immortal, born roughly 200 years ago, his immortality seemly beginning with a mortal gunshot wound and being thrown overboard from a slave ship after he tried to intervene in the brutal treatment of a slave. Now every time Henry is killed, he always comes back in water and always naked. The only person who knows about Henry's condition is Abe (Judd Hirsch), Henry's long time friend, business partner, and, despite Abe looking considerably older than Henry, son. Together they run an antique shop, while Henry goes out, solves crime, and picks up clues that no one else seems able to. But this idyllic life comes to a halt when Henry learns that someone else with his ability is in town, someone who, unlike Henry, does not live by the same morals (Burn Gorman in a tour de force performance as Adam, a 2,000 year old immortal). From there on, it's a cat and mouse game between the two while Henry also must solve crimes and maintain relationships with his co-workers at the precinct while also making sure they never learn his secret. A charming, well-written story that had plenty of action, suspense, and a certain magic about it. All the more reason why it should be canceled after one season!
"Forever" was a neat, unique broadcast network show in a long line of such shows that was to meet a quick death at the hands of the ratings count. It didn't matter how good Ioan Gruffudd was in the lead, it didn't matter that he how much charm he had or how much he could make you feel for the character, nor did it matter how good everyone else was in the show, such as Alana De La Garza as Det. Jo Martinez, Henry's co-worker and love interest. Nor did it matter how intriguing the story was, or how much more it made you want to know the secret of Henry's and Adam's condition, and whether or not there were more people in the world with such a condition. Nope, none of that mattered, and as a result - no exaggeration - broke my heart. It still pains me to learn that I won't see Ioan Gruffudd as Henry Morgan, an actor who could more than fill the lead shoes of a show, nor would I learn what caused Henry's and Adam's immortality, nor what it meant for the human race. And those last tid bit's may be the hardest part about "Forever's" short run. Because you got the feeling from the last moment of the series finale, that the writers and producers had so much more planned for the series and the story, something that will never be realized now. And for that reason, "Forever" may be the final straw when it comes to me checking out new shows, especially on broadcast networks. Every new show seems to be the same, and every time something new does come along, it gets canceled. I no longer have the drive I used to when checking out new shows, I haven't checked out any new broadcast shows lately, and to be honest, I really don't know if I ever will. For it's short run, though, if you can bear having your heart broken for the sake of some good story-telling, "Forever" is something that should be checked out. And here's hoping that somewhere in another time and place, "Forever" really is lasting forever.