Frequency: Review: Series 1 Episode 1: Pilot

frequency-1Can you change the past? And what will that do to the present?

Like most people who have reviewed this, I may have caught the Dennis Quaid movie on which this series is based at some point – but chances are the vast majority of the audience switching on to the show won’t have a clue that it’s been around before (much as those who caught the early episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer wouldn’t have cared that there’d been a film years earlier). Peyton List is the NYPD cop whose father was killed twenty years earlier in circumstances that have caused her grief. On her 28th birthday, her boyfriend fiddles with an old ham radio that used to belong to her dad and after a lightning strike, it makes contact with someone…

That someone is her father, Frank (Riley Smith) twenty years earlier, and after a nicely done bit of business showing the direct correlation between the past and the present, Raimy realises that she may be able to learn the truth about what happened. But once you start fiddling with one aspect of the past, all sorts of other things can go wrong.

Jeremy Carver’s reworking of the movie premise for this pilot is more affecting than you might think, a lot of which comes down to the sensitive playing from List. You can see by the end why it got picked up to series, but I wonder if it’s got the full five-season potential that most CW shows tend to have: there’s only so many times the “rewriting time” trick can be pulled before things have got so far away from their original trajectory that people aren’t in the right place when they need to be. (Although I do suspect this is something the show will tackle sooner rather than later.)

Verdict: Although none of the supporting characters have really made much of an impression – and if they’re going to constantly change, then that may be an issue for getting involved in the series – this grabs you enough to bring you back for more. 7/10

Paul Simpson


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