Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Above Average Intelligence

The original definition of the term, "intelligence" could either mean a measure of the faculty of understanding or the gathering or distribution of information, especially secret information. In the new TV series created and developed by Michael Seitzman with Tripp Vinson, it came to mean both.

Starring Josh Holloway as Gabriel Vaughn, an ex-Delta Force operative implanted with a chip that allows him to access the global information grid. Marg Helgenberger as Lillian Strand, Director of the US Cyber Command, Meghan Ory as US Cyber Command Special Agent Riley Neal, an ex-Secret Service agent assigned to protect Gabriel from external threats, and John Billingsley as Shenendoah Cassidy, the neuroscientist responsible for creating the microchip that was implanted in Gabriel's brain.

Some spoilers follow: The first episode jumps in immediately into action to quickly engage the viewer when the opening scene shows Gabriel walking into a clearing as his surroundings suddenly changes into a snapshot of the interior of the 2008 Taj Mahal Palace Hotel terrorist attack. That piqued my curiosity. He's "cyber-rendering" the scene of a crime in his search for a woman (who was one of the terrorists involved) who was also later revealed to be his missing wife. Things get complicated real quick when Cassidy was kidnapped by a rogue Chinese intelligence group/militia and forced to recreate his experiment by implanting a possibly new and improved though untested microchip into a female agent who will obviously play the role of his arch nemesis in the series. My only beef with the main character is that despite the fact that he's an ex-Delta Force, having spent five tours in Afghanistan (or was it Iraq?) which means he's a man's man which he proved when he was able to walk out of the enemy's base on his own after allowing himself to be captured (this was implied that this wasn't the first time he did this) PLUS he's powerful enough to take anything download every fact that exists anywhere online, even behind firewalls and, seemingly on hard drives as well thanks to the microchip in his head. With that kind of power and attitude why would he then suddenly turn into a emotional underdog the moment he got a female partner? And what's with him getting beat up if he can as easily download an app for Mandarin language he could just as also adapt his fighting style to match his enemy like Neo did from The Matrix, right?

While I'm not one of those who religiously follow TV series in general especially those under the espionage genre like Nikita, Alias, Person of Interest, Numb3rs, Burn Notice, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Almost Human, or Homeland, etc. I found myself looking forward to watching the next episodes to find out what happens next. What I also found interesting is the plot revolving more or less around the idea of "Digital Permanence" (know more about it here - Digital permanence: What goes on the Internet stays on the Internet) and the impact and possible threat this imposes on heroes and villains as well as the idea of unlimited possibilities with evolving organic technology (a plot device which, I heard, is also being explored in Almost Human).

Intelligence will premier in the Philippines on February 11 and will be shown hereafter every Tuesday at 9:55 pm on the new channel, RTL CBS Entertainment HD, available a-la-carte and as part of Sky Cable's Silver, Gold, Dual Def499, Dual Def999, and TitaniumHD40 packages. Global Destiny subscribers will be able to access the channel on April, 2014.

You can read more about RTL CBS Entertainment and the programs that will be shown in that channel, here.

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