The CW's '4400' Episode 1 Review: A refreshing reboot of OG 2004 sci-fi drama
The CW's reboot of '4400', the 2004 sci-fi drama comes with its own twists and is a refreshing take on a series that was back in the day, pretty futuristic. With an ensemble cast and a gripping storyline, the latest iteration does enough in the season opener to tune in when it heads into week two. The concept remains the same —a massive group of 4400 people have gone missing in the past and then appear out of the blue with no memory. They haven't aged since their mysterious disappearance and some of them showcase some superhuman abilities.
With the public aware of the return of these people, the Government springs into action, and the pilot of the sci-fi series titled 'Past Is Prologue' sees the entire crew being rounded up. And despite the horde, the show focuses on a string of characters who will be key, and also throws in two government agents with stark opinions working with the 4400 task force.
The pilot shows some solid performances from Brittany Adebumola as Shanice Murray, an abductee from 2005 and the episode focuses on her personal life. Prior to the abduction, she was a lawyer on maternity leave and is all set to return to work. In what comes off as a classic X-files sequence, a green light sucks her into thin air. 16 years later, she lands in the same place she was abducted. 'Past is Prologue' shows her relationship with her husband Logan (Cory Jeacoma) and the emotional struggles after the birth of her daughter.
Switching back to the present, the series then shows the 4400 all held at a hotel in Detroit and what is supposedly a task to find out about their arrival, it becomes a detention center of sorts. Parole officer Keisha Taylor (Ireon Roach) and social worker Jharrel Mateo (Joseph David-Jones) are tasked to work together to determine the reasons behind their return. For now, any "the government is involved conspiracy theories" can be binned as it is clear that they had no idea how these folks landed back.
There's also a fleeting look at some of the superpowers these people come back with. One of them can heal instantly, while one has telekinesis as one of her powers. We guess The CW is looking at lending a superhero angle to the show although a potential escape from the hotel will surely make these people vigilant. Their intentions of using their powers are yet to be determined as the fact that they're gifted with abilities is yet to sink in. In the original series, some used their powers to help society, there's no indication of that yet.
Those who watched the '04 series will find '4400' to be a better take, partly due to the twists that it adds. It is too early to see how this experimental show works for The CW, but the pilot shows there's enough to come back for a second watch.
4400 airs Mondays at 9 pm ET/PT on The CW.