Fox's 'The Passage' based on Justin Cronin's novels shines in its simplicity and well-tempered pace
The trailer brilliantly showcased the story about to unfold onscreen; alongside introducing viewers to 10-year-old Amy Bellafonte, the 'most important girl in the world'
The contemporary climate when it comes to TV-show and movies is mostly ruled by supernatural, superhero flicks and science fiction thrillers, and Fox's upcoming show on Justin Cronin's bestselling trilogy 'The Passage' does a remarkable job at bringing both together. But what 'The Passage' also excels at doing, is telling the story set within the complications of an apocalyptic world, in the most simplistic manner possible.
The trailer, released a couple of months ago, brilliantly showcased the story about to unfold on screens; alongside introducing viewers to 10-year-old Amy Bellafonte who will be the show's "most important girl in the world."
And by the looks of the initial episodes of the show, we get to see a fast-paced adventure unfold through Amy's (Saniyya Sidney) story as she goes through pretty much everything - from getting abandoned by her parents at six, to getting roped into a dangerous U.S. government project, and an eventual tale of survival.
The story revolves around Brad Wolgast (Mark-Paul Gosselaar), a federal agent who has been given the task of retrieving Amy. Wolgast is able to get the job done, but we also find out Amy has been chosen to appear as a test subject for a risky medical experiment called Project Noah. And here's the catch: This medical trial could either eradicate all disease from our planet, or could completely wipe out the human race.
And bringing in the aspect of the supernatural creatures in the story is this disease-eradicating element, which happens to be a virus extracted from a rare species of South American bat, which is also believed to be the source of the vampire legend.
After things take a darker turn, and the virus infiltrates the trial-subjects with monstrous abilities, psychic powers, and bloodthirst, helping all of them break out of their confinement and wreak havoc upon all of Northern America, Amy somehow comes out of it all unscathed. Thus begins her and Wolgast's journey of survival and keeping Amy safe, and strictly from the show's perspective, it goes on quite lucidly without an over sensationalizing of the dystopian aspect of it.
Liz Heldens does a brilliant job of adapting Cronin's original work for the screen, and the best part about that is there's no overly ambitious character development arc that often proves too much of an extra for shows based on works of fiction.
In that, the show doesn't hold back pivotal pieces of information from the viewers for a lengthy stretch of time. Most recent shows tend to do otherwise and the resulting output can often get confusing and prove to be an unnecessary drag, working against the show's favor.
Amy's story is told without a precocious side to the character and Sidney does a commendable job at that too. She is a simple girl just trying to figure out how to overcome the disaster that has befallen the nation, and Gosselaar's Wolgast is the perfect somewhat brooding, but mostly caring guiding light that acts as the wholesome factor of the show.
This, pretty much, makes 'The Passage' a refreshing series to witness, because, in an age of intelligent comedies and overly complex open-ended plots, it breathes a new air of simplicity into storytelling - making for the perfect, well-paced out watch, once it premieres Monday, January 14, at 9/8c on Fox.