The 4400
The 4400
TV-14 | 11 July 2004 (USA)
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    How sad is this?


    If the ambition is to provide two hours of instantly forgettable, popcorn-munching escapism, it succeeds.

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    This story has more twists and turns than a second-rate soap opera.

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    The movie's neither hopeful in contrived ways, nor hopeless in different contrived ways. Somehow it manages to be wonderful

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    In this weeks, when no decent Sci-Fi in offer I looked for something older. Seen some recommendations for this serial. First episode was really good. Even if there was no detail what was really original, basic premise was it in some way. Good acting, plot what was at some level more social than Sci-Fi. Could say that was more family movie - so main actress adopted one of 4400-s, young girl, there was divorce in progress by main actor ... First season was only 6 episodes. Second and 3th, 4th 13-13-13 episodes. For me, it indicates that it was success, so now some more money getting invested, and they need to write bunch of new episodes, introduce new characters. And yes, right in first couple episodes of S2, some of usual soaping, adding unnecessary side subplots, and like happened. But it was still fine, better than usual. It begun to be really bad when Isabelle started to do some nasty things. All it was so obviously forced - they made many really forced twists, some made really no sense. There was episode called I, Tom Baldwin - that was OK as 1 episode, was actually fun. But they took same idea in last 3-4 episodes, stretched it until last one, and all it was really downfall. Whole idea of promicin was pretty poorly developed. I guess that it was simply cancelled after season 4 - there was no real finale. But that's good - it did not lead anywhere anyway. Watch it if you like nice actresses - there is many of them. Don't expect some serious plot development, instead it, there will be only plenty of deaths - but almost nothing of it will be shown, luckily. After all it, I can only wish to get some 4400-like ability to change my memories, and remember this is good start, good middle, good end serial :-)) 5 from 10 - mostly because S1 .

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    Mark Turner

    When THE 4400 THE COMPLETE SERIES arrived for me to watch I was intrigued. Here was a series I remembered hearing about but never watched an episode of that ran for 4 seasons. The premise sounded interesting. Realizing early on that this series had a storyline that carried on from episode to episode I wanted to watch the entire thing before writing about it and with so many other items to watch that meant the binge watching took a while. I'm glad I did but unhappy that I missed this series when it aired.The show opens with a little girl named Maia on a picnic with her family in the 1930s who runs off to gather flowers. Suddenly a light appears in the sky and shines down on her and she disappears. Several other characters are seen disappearing as well. We are then brought to the current time (in this case 2004 when the series aired). A huge asteroid is heading towards Earth and nothing can stop it. Fearing the end is near people are stunned when the asteroid slows, shrinks in size and appears near Mount Rainier, Washington. Agents from NTAC (National Threat Assessment Command) are on hand watching and waiting as a burst of light emanates from the sphere.When the dust clears the asteroid is gone. But on the beach are the 4,400 people who have been missing for years, including Maia. None of them can recall where they have been or what happened to them. NTAC takes them to their local command post in Seattle and begins trying to figure out just where they have been. Was it an alien abduction? Or was it something else? The rights of the 4400 are called into question and soon they are released into the world.The story is told mainly through the eyes and actions of agent Tom Baldwin (Joel Gretsch), an agent whose son was not taken but was affected by one of these abductions and who has been in a coma for several years. He is partnered with Diana Skouris (Jacqueline McKenzie), on loan to NTAC from the CDC. Included among the 4400 is Tom's nephew Shawn (Patrick Flueger) who was with Tom's son the night he was abducted.It doesn't take long for things to happen. As the days progress it appears that members of the 4400 begin to develop powers. Maia has visions of the future. Shawn can heal. Rather than see this as something wonderful the government fears what the potential effects are and want to quarantine the 4400. They're saved when billionaire Jordan Collier (Billy Campbell), a 4400 member himself, constructs a community just for them. Legal maneuverings keep the government at bay. Or do they? The series develops over time and changes as the story progresses from discovery of the 4400 to government paranoia to us versus them to covert conspiracy to savior story. It flows effortlessly and takes its time to unravel the mystery of the 4400, revealing to us just what happened to them and why they were returned to this point and location in time. Who took them, their mission, who each of them are, are all explained before the end of the series. Fortunately this was not left open ended.The characters are well developed and played exceptionally well by all involved. It is their story and the actors portraying them that draw you in and make you care about what happens. Each of them not only has a role here but they do so to the point you find yourself believing they are who they portray and that's the mark of solid acting.The guest stars on this series are top notch as well beginning with Peter Coyote who plays Dennis Ryland, the head of NTAC in Seattle as the series opens and later seen working for a private firm with nefarious intent. Summer Glau is featured in several episodes as a schizophrenic young 4400 member who has the ability to influence people with her mind. My favorite though is Jeffrey Combs, known for his role as Herbert West in THE RE-ANIMATOR, who is seen here as a genetic genius and 4400 member trying to help them all. Fans of that past work will delight in seeing him here holding a syringe filled with a glowing green liquid, what had to have been a homage to his earlier work.Once you start this series and get into what is taking place you'll find yourself binge watching with pleasure. It draws you in, involves you and makes you think about so many different topics. Well made, well thought out and conceptualized to present a bigger picture, it is one series that as I said I wish I'd have found sooner. Now that it's been released as a complete series of discs in a compact case it should be easy for those of us who enjoy shows like this to have access to on our shelf whenever we want to revisit it.

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    I am about 1/2 way through the 3rd season and found the following about this series:Pros: - 4400 subplots shortage of rabbit trails - Premise of the series is clever - The series has take some cool twists and has me wondering where its going - Still trying to figure how the good vs evil rosters will be filled outCons: - DHS agents who expect everyone else to have the morals they don't have (the lead roles specifically) - Dialogue can be really stale and predictable at times - How many times does Tom yell "hey" to a fugitive leading them to run and have a manufactured chase scene happen with Tom tackling them into furniture or tables or something. - The series is starting to feel like an "ability of the week" series.Overall entertaining, but I grimace at some of the plot lines and dialog.

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    I grew to love this t.v. series. But some people here are right, this show takes a few episodes to get into. After watching the first three episodes in one sitting and I didn't think much of the show. I was at the point of moving on to the next series on my list of shows to watch but decided to give this show one more shot. I can't explain how the show sucked me in from this one episode on, but it did, and I'll be forever fortunate to have stuck with this series. The storyline just got so much more involving after the 3rd episode and the show became much more enjoyable. I can be too quick to judge television shows, maybe it's because I've enjoyed so many great ones and have high standards as to what is allowed to occupy my time. After watching the complete series this show has become one of my favorites, although it was unfortunately canceled prematurely. Now, I've even purchased the novel that continues this series.Great story, great acting, and a series that piques your imagination. And this series isn't corny like No Ordinary Family and it doesn't turn into a huge soap opera like the Heroes series. By the way, another great series similar to this one is Alphas, that's the one I'm on to now!

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