Persons Unknown – NBC – Pilot Episode
Posted by LOTGK on June 16, 2010
Persons Unknown. The new NBC Summer drama series. A Lost replacement?
I was still feeling jaded by the ending to ABC’s Lost finale several weeks ago when a friend of mine suggested perhaps getting a new hobby would help. (I told him nicely to Fuck Off!) He persisted and offered another tidbit of knowledge, the new drama series on NBC, Persons Unknown. (Insert eerie music here) I reluctantly took his advice and tuned in last Monday night for the Persons Unknown pilot episode. What did I see…..
Seven people from various walks of life mysteriously awaken in an abandoned hotel room. The camera zooming in on Janet’s eye while she lies groggily on the hotel bed. (Just like the camera opening with Jack’s eye on the island.) One man, Joe, who knows that a key to the door is hidden in the desk drawer bible.
I also notice that the seven people are:
Janet, a mother (With a secret)
Joe, who knows things (With a secret)
Charley, Ferris Buehlers buddy (With a secret)
Graham, soldier (With a secret)
Moira, quirky counselor (With a secret)
Toni, sexy bad girl blonde (With a secret)
Bill, hot headed businessman (With a secret)
Seven people from different walks of life thrown together having to rely on each other to survive. And who can you trust, perhaps one of the seven is one of them, (An Other) who is watching.
That’s right viewers, it reminded me a lot like Lost. (Just with lower caliber actors, writing, and location sets) It also reminded me of another popular series, the Twilight Zone.
Deja Vu: (The feeling a person experiences that they have seen, experienced, or have been someplace before even when they are sure that is not really true.)
To be blatantly honest, I groaned five minutes into the pilot, seeing the abandoned hotel, with only seven people, completely furnished stores, shops, and restaurant housed on a secluded more than likely guarded city block. Realizing that I was walking down the same path I did six years ago. (And we all know how that ended!) However, I had already formulated my theory, and began planning my outline to prove my theory. Then I remembered what I said all those years ago. “It’s already been done!” Hollywood doesn’t have any new idea’s. Just remodified old ones.
So here goes. Persons Unknown was a direct rip-off of a Twilight Zone episode created by Rod Serling that aired in the late 1950’s through the early 1960’s. The specific episode ripped off is titled,
Five Characters In Search Of An Exit.
Originally aired 12/22/1961 (Season 3) (Episode 79)
Clown. Hobo. Ballet Dancer. Bagpiper. And an Army Major. A collection of question marks. Five improbable entities stuck together into a pit of darkness. No logic, no reason, no explanation. Just a prolonged nightmare in which fear, loneliness, and the unexplainable walk hand in hand through the shadows. In a moment, we’ll start collecting clues as to the whys, the whats, and the wheres. We will not end the nightmare, we’ll only explain it, because this is the Twilight Zone.
The Major awakens. He does not know exactly who he is or how he got to this place. And what kind of place it is? He is in the bottom of a featureless steel cylinder whose open end is many, many feet above. It’s a strange kind of prison.
But the Major is not alone. He first encounters a Clown… a sardonic, sarcastic joker who also has no idea what his real name is. Also present in the Cylinder are the Hobo, the Ballerina, and the Bagpipe Player. They have all been here for a long time but no one knows how long. There are many theories as to the why and where they are, but none are for sure. The ballet dancer thinks they all might be on a spaceship hurtling through space. The Major chimes in that perhaps they are all in hell.
And then there is the ear-shattering peal of a ringing bell that sounds at odd intervals. The Major is determined to escape the cylinder and learn the secret of where they are. The others have long ago given up hope but the Major’s fierce spirit energizes them. They concoct a plan where they will stand atop each other’s shoulders and use a rope made of fabric to throw a grappling hook over the edge of the cylinder.
After several heart-breaking failures, the Major maneuvers himself to the edge of the cylinder. He sees something! Something he cannot believe! He prepares to tell his fellow prisoners, but the giant roaring of the bells come again… and he loses his balance and falls outside the cylinder into the snow below. Here comes the Twilight Zone twist: They characters are dolls left in a Christmas charity drive donation barrel. A child picks up the major and puts him back into the barrel seeing that the doll has fallen out.
Just a barrel, a dark depository where are kept the counterfeit, make-believe pieces of plaster and cloth, wrought in the distorted image of human life. But this added, hopeful note: perhaps they are unloved only for the moment. In the arms of children there can be nothing but love. A clown, a tramp, a bagpipe player, a ballet dancer and a major. Tonight’s cast of players on the odd stage known as the Twilight Zone.
Cue the Twilight Zone logo and ending credits music.
See what I mean when I said Hollywood just recycles old shows. NBC merely added two more characters to the mix and several subtle changes. Instead of the barrel, it’s a secluded abandoned city block.
Anyway, here’s my theory. NBC is ripping off the Twilight Zone. My next update will add to that theory.
LURKING ON THE GRASSY KNOLL