Global Frequency hits the camp notes

[enter classic Radiohead theme] In a Chinatown alley, ex-cop finds body sliced in half. All your elements fall into place: the classic diner, Blade Runner's rainy neon, bullets stopping in midair, "Gigawatts!!", hacking the NSA, the plucky Ensign Ro from late Star Trek: The Next Generation, Soviet telepathy researchers, the blonde quantum physicist, a red sports car, a kung fu fight in a government lobby, a shower scene, reference to the Fortean Times, and a top notch HollywoodOS. Venetian blinds and your other comic-style noir visuals...

"Everybody knows that the agencies supposed to protect us never talk to each other. So some of the best, scariest intelligence agents solved the problem. Now they spy on the spies. They get all the pieces, they put them together and they stop whatever's coming, whatever the cost.... You are needed. I am needed. You never know who's on the Global Frequency."

So its a lot like Google.

Miranda Zero: "Don't eat the Kung Pao chicken, Barry, It's mine... Hang up on me, and I will kill your entire family!"

A leaked television series pilot that never got on the air has been making the rounds on BitTorrent the last few days. The live-action show, Global Frequency, is based on a comic book series (and the pilot was based on the Bombhead issue).

Supposedly, it leaked out of the Warner Brothers television studio, after they declined to pick up the series for production. They didn't want to put down $2 million for yet another sci-fi series that would barely pick up viewers. Also, there apparently were executives getting moved around the studio, causing them to back off new projects. But I kind of suspect over-enthusiastic producers have cajoled the network lawyers into letting them introduce a show about a decentralized spy agency over BitTorrent. It would be a very sharp marketing strategy.

Read this post by one of the producers and tell me that isn't what's going on.

The show immediately sparked discussion and seems to have been well-received. In an era of crappy sci fi offerings, this little pilot was surprisingly fun and well-executed. It's a pretty good follow-up to Mulder and Scully, but this time they aren't working for the evil FBI conspiracy. There's a lot more comic-book-style visual flourish, although I think the gloominess was provided by shooting in Canada. The special effects, while cartoonish in their intent, were very well done.

The video is quite high quality, although it is very dark.... but it all happens at night, anyway.

The writing has the geeky, at times clumsy, ironic edge to it that we haven't really seen done well since Hercules. Exploding sunglasses. And a nod to the Blues Brothers with a police car flying through the air. And the part where coins spontaneously jump off a counter and roll away... About the only thing missing was some white doves in slow motion. But there is plenty of slow motion. The command center is a wall of LCDs in a Diablo-like basement.

Best line: "I'm not melted."

BoingBoing had something along these lines recently: "Future of TV: Piracy will save production."

Warren Ellis was involved with making the comics. I wish DiePunyHumans.com was working. For more on the comic, globalfrequency.org.

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