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Robrt (1414)

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robert at perl dot org

Journal of Robrt (1414)

Saturday December 14, 2002
05:30 AM

Taken by Taken

[ #9456 ]

It's approaching the wee hours of the morning, and I've just completed watching the final episode of Stephen Spielberg presents Taken on SciFi.

It takes a special kind of show for me to dedicate 20 hours of my life to it, especially at 10 hours a week. The only other time I've watched this much of the same series (in such a short time) was earlier this year when I watched the first five seasons of Buffy The Vampire Slayer over the course of about three months. (Two hourly episodes every weekday.)

After the first episode of Taken, I was hooked. I had no idea where they were going with the story, and they hadn't royally screwed it up yet. I was very intrigued by it starting with Roswell in the 40's, and didn't expect it to cover 50 years of realtime. (I didn't learn that fact until later in the week.)

From a technical standpoint the show was outstanding. The effects were well done (as one would expect from DreamWorks), the historical accuracy good enough to fool me, and just as important, they stayed with the common mythos: Little gray men; Medical experiments; Multiple abductions; Family links; Mental projection; A child hybrid -- it was all there.

As a big The X-Files fan, I had certain expectations for anything dealing with "the alien conspiracy", and it definitely met those. I was able to make connections with what I knew, and find interesting differences and similarities.

Most importantly - I felt compelled to watch. It was good drama. "Good TV." The characters were interesting and the relationships between them were intriguing. Three families whose fates are intertwined. Destiny (and more) passed from parent to child. Because I watched every episode the next day (thank you ReplayTV) I had opportunities to watch two episodes in one night. It was hard to resist -- but I did, until tonight.

When I first heard about this, I didn't understand how big an event SciFi was making of it. They dedicated over eight hours a day to show episodes. (A _third_ of their programming.) Plus, 10 hours on weekends, recapping the previous week. They changed their logo at the same time. I can only hope that others loved the show as much as I did and SciFi continues to produce creative original programming.

Having ranted quite a bit above about what I love, I feel obligated to point out one thing I didn't like. I think the first 9 episodes were wonderful. They kept me on the edge of my seat. The 10th and final episode was disappointing. It was predictable and cliched. Maybe they just ran out of time -- It's easy to imagine how difficult it was to create a 20 hour seamless miniseries -- if it was longer, things only get harder. I'm not quite sure what exactly bothers me, except for the feeling that all the loose ends came together a little too cleanly. Everyone got what they deserved (where "deserved" isn't quite the right word.)

If you didn't watch Taken (and I'd guess that a majority of you, kind readers, haven't) you should try and do it. Don't bother with the book. I think there will be a DVD eventually. Rumor has it that SciFi will be reshowing it in February, if not before.

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