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The Passage (FOX)

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Adam Lenhardt, Jan 14, 2019.

  1. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    Three years ago, a man was found in a cage in a remote cave. The locals claimed he had been alive for 250 years. A team of researchers working for the U.S. Department of Defense let the man out of his cage, where he proceeded to feed on the blood of the team captain. The DoD team was able to kill the man and save the team captain's life. However, the man's bite changed the team captain. What happened afterward precariously balanced the fate of the world.

    This new series is adapted from Justin Cronin's best-selling trilogy of novels which explored the end of the world in epistolary form.

    The main science fiction element is the science experiments in Project Noah, which has refined the virus found in that cave through a dozen or so test subjects. Because of the variations in the test subjects and the alterations to the virus, the different test subjects display different traits. If the former team captain is a Nosferatu-esque vampire, the young woman many trials later is closer to a Vampire Diaries vampire.

    I'm provisionally on board after the pilot. The science experiment has me interested, and everything with grown up Zach Morris and the little girl, Amy, was magic. The stuff on the margins -- the security captain sleeping with the head scientist, grown up Zach Morris's drama with his ex-wife -- felt like it came from a lesser, more formulaic show.

    Saniyya Sidney is incredible as the little girl, Amy Bellafonte. She is really smart and really emotionally present without being overly precocious. And the pseudo father-daughter chemistry between her and Mark-Paul Gosselaar is terrific.
     
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  2. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I forgot to set the TiVo. I've read The Passage and The Twelve. I bought City of Mirrors on release...and haven't read it yet because I'd pretty much switched Audible then. The first book was spectacular. The second was middling. The third, I hope to finish at some point.

    In any case, initial review on the TV adaptation is not good. But I need to hopefully watch it on Fox streaming or whenever it is.
     
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  3. Sean Bryan

    Sean Bryan Sean Bryan

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    I really enjoyed the pilot and look forward to more of this story.
     
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  4. Paul D G

    Paul D G Screenwriter

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    I was flipping through the guide looking for something to kill a few mins with and saw this listed. I read the description and shouted "Holy cow! I read that book!" I hit record and watched the first few minutes. My son said "That's looks like a book you would read." :)

    I'm with Dave F on this. I loved the first book, but struggled with the second. It didn't pick up where the first one left off and it left me disoriented on what was going on. I have the third book but have not read it yet. I ALMOST started reading in on Monday but went with a different book in the end.

    I've not watched the pilot yet but I hope it's not ruined. I seem to remember thinking the first book would make a good series. It read like a series of interconnected short stories that I thought would work in a tv format.
     
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  5. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I don't recall the novel being in epistolary form, at least the first one. I recall that there might have been a letter quoted or a newspaper clipped here or there, but that it was mostly a straightforward example of narrative fiction writing. However...

    I read and really enjoyed the first book. The second book was so middling that I never finished it -- and I'm not the kind of person who normally abandons a book, I will normally watch a movie or read a book to its end even if I'm not enjoying it whatsoever. So the fact that I couldn't make it through the second book really speaks to how middling it was. And since I didn't finish the second book, I never even bothered with the third.

    I wonder how the show is doing in terms of ratings. It seems like this could have been a hit five years ago, but that perhaps the whole vampire thing and the whole postapocalyptic thing may have run their course in pop culture for the time being.
     
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  6. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    It got a 1.3 rating, which would have been disastrous for FOX five years ago but is actually really decent by 2019 standards.
     
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  7. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    I'm wondering if viewers may think it's too similar to The Strain, which just wrapped up a year or so ago.

    I wasn't sure if I would watch. We've been bombarded with continuous promos for months, so I was kind of sick of it without even watching an episode, but I did watch the pilot and it grabbed me enough to watch again next week..

    I read the first book. I don't recall too much about it, but remember it seemed like a slog to finish. I have the next two books, but from what you guys have said, I'm not sure if there's any point in trying to read them.
     
  8. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Chapters tended to begin with fragments of future historical documents looking back on the time of the twelve. I don’t think the book was epistolary, but it used that as one of its techniques.

    I’ve seen zero promos for the show. But I use Tivo’s Commercial skip, so would miss it if it’s not the first ad in a break. Where was it promoted? Just on Fix, or on other stations too?
     
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  9. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Fox and Fox-owned stations (FX, FXX, etc). I watch a a lot of football, and it seemed like there was a promo in nearly every commercial break during NFL games and any Fox programming since October.
     
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  10. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    So this is another Vampire show?
     
  11. DavidJ

    DavidJ Producer

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    Add me to the group that read the first book and enjoyed it, but thought the second book went downhill. I don’t remember if I ever finished it or not and I have no desire to read the third at this point in time.

    I do have this saved on the DVR to watch.
     
  12. Paul D G

    Paul D G Screenwriter

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    Apocalyptic vampire show. The bulk of the book takes place 100 years in the future.

    From an Amazon reviewer who summed up the plot pretty well:

    Set in the near future, The Passage entwines a convoluted but convincing tale that spotlights a six-year-old girl named Amy, whose hapless mother abandons her to a Memphis convent, home of clairvoyant African-born nun Lacey Kudoto. Meanwhile, FBI Agent Brad Wolgast and his partner are assigned to acquire Amy and twelve death-row inmates for Project NOAH, a military-bankrolled biomedical experiment using a longevity virus found in some nasty Bolivian bats. Naturally, mankind is punished for its jingoistic hubris and the project soon runs amok, unleashing grotesquely mutated vampires—virals—on the world, bringing the human race to near-extinction. Fast-forward 93 years to the ravaged wastelands of the once-great ‘Merica, wherein an isolationist community of beleaguered descendants employs high-wattage lights to protect the colony from the photophobic dracs. However, an expedition to recharge the failing batteries is elevated to a chance prospect of reclaiming the world after renegade protagonist Peter Jaxon happens upon a strange girl who not only appears ageless but can communicate telepathically with the virals.
     
  13. Message #13 of 36 Jan 16, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2019
    DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Post-Apocalyptic sci-fi mystical timeline-hopping Vampire story.

    The first book is bananas in all the ways that make for a thrilling and unexpected new book experience....and all the ways that setup a new author for failure at their follow up book. Kinda like The Name of the Wind. :)
     
  14. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I’m suffering an acute case of I’ve-read-the-book-itis.

    The show, at the start, has completely discarded the primary story, pulled all the fun piece-part mysteries forward into simple linear narrative and made the secondary and tertiary stories the primary TV story. It’s also abandoned the book’s unique style, turning the intensely post-apocalyptic mystical sci-fi time-hopping semi-epistolary vampire story into a blasé FOX tv show a half step below The Gifted.

    I’ll give it another episode to see if how it proceeds and if it’s worth following. But the pilot is a solid “Meh” for me.
     
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  15. Kevin Hewell

    Kevin Hewell Cinematographer

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    These assholes kept me up for two nights a month and a half ago filming this.
     
  16. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    ???
     
  17. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    So I pulled my copy of The Passage off the bookshelf: it’s so old it’s from back when trees were used, with some now-forgotten wizardry, in the manufacture and sale of books. Eight years and two books later, I’d forgotten that the first 200 pages were setup of Amy and Wolgast and Carter and Project NOAH. So I’m wrong in my criticism of it pulling background forward. I’ll try to watch the next episode more open-mindedly to see how they handle the plot evolution.
     
  18. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    My wife and I liked it, though the apocalyptic modern-type vampire is getting a bit old. The actress playing the young girl should have a bright future ahead of her. She is acting and not relying and being a cute kid, which she is.
     
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  19. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I'm hoping it cuts through post-apocalyptic weariness by doing the things the book does:

    Addressing the pre-apocalytpic, apocalypse unfolding, and post-apocalyptic, and post-post-apocalyptic eras.

    and also buy having a different take than other PA shows:
    It's kind of Lost-ian with the post apocalyptic story bound up in mysterious mystical scifi elements
    .
     
  20. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    Can I read your spoilers without learning too much about the show?
     

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