Welcome to Pilot Perception, our feature in which we break down the first episode of each new show in order to help you decide whether it’s worth your time.
The Pedigree: The show is based on the Steven Spielberg movie of the same name and the original story by Philip K. Dick. It was developed for TV by Max Borenstein (Godzilla), who wrote the pilot. Spielberg and Borenstein executive produce with Kevin Falls (The West Wing, Journeyman) and Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank (Under the Dome, The Americans). Mark Mylod (Shameless, Game of Thrones) directed the pilot.
The Cast & How You Know Them: Minority Report stars Stark Sands (NYC 22), Meagan Good (Deception), Nick Zano (Happy Endings), Laura Regan (Mad Men), Wilmer Valderrama (That ’70s Show), and Li Jun Li (Damages).
The Premise: The Precrime program (that used people called PreCogs, who had visions of future crimes, to stop crime before it happened) has been over for ten years, and the PreCogs are now trying to live normal lives. But one, Dash, is still suffering from his visions and wants to help the police, while his two siblings have more mysterious motives.
What Works: The primary strength of this pilot was in the world-building. Everyone involved clearly put a lot of thought into what this version of the future would look like, and it felt remarkably cohesive in both big ways and small — Bartlet Plaza! Season 75 of The Simpsons! (If you’re interested in this, check out Alyssa Rosenberg’s piece on the subject.) Dash was also intriguing — both in how he deals with his visions and in his budding partnership with Vega — and I’m curious to see how the characters develop. And I love that the siblings at the center of this are called Agatha, Dashiell, and Arthur.
What Doesn’t: The writing felt very unnatural and stilted, though that’s often the case with pilots that are trying to cover a lot of ground in a short time, so we’ll see how that goes. The main problem was that the actual plot just … didn’t grab me that much in the episode. It was fine? I liked the world and some of the characters enough to watch more, but it felt like the show wanted to leave me with “oooh, can’t wait to see what happens!” and it … didn’t.
Our Favorite Line: “Are you familiar with the concept of a whisper?”
You Might Like This if you like sci-fi procedurals — it reminded me of both Fringe and Almost Human, though so far it’s not as good as either, as well as J.D. Robb’s In Death novels.
(Photo courtesy of FOX.)