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The Pretender 2 Seasons 1996

Season 1
(196) IMDb 8.3/10

1. Pilot TV-NR CC

Having just missed Jarod on a tanker ship in Alaska, Miss Parker and Sydney track him to a hospital where he plans on exposing an alcoholic surgeon who crippled a young boy.

Michael T. Weiss, Andrea Parker
43 minutes
Original air date:
September 20, 1996

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Season 1

Product Details

Genres Science Fiction, Drama, Thriller, Mystery
Director Rick Wallace
Starring Michael T. Weiss, Andrea Parker
Supporting actors Patrick Bauchau, Stephen Tobolowsky, Peter Michael Goetz, L. Scott Caldwell, Lilyan Chauvin, Jeffrey Shepard, Janette Andrade, Dennis Cruzado, Scott Gibson, Ryan Merriman, Joshua Hurwitz, Dylan Provencher, Lynley Swain
Season year 1997
Network NBC
Producers Rick Wallace
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

100 of 105 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Brown on March 17, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Classified as a drama, "The Pretender" never took itself too seriously. Classified as a science fiction show, "The Pretender" never quite fit the mold. Classified as great television, "The Pretender" lives up to it's billing.

Michael T. Weiss plays Jarod. Taken as a young boy from his family, Jarod is trained by the shadow organization The Centre to be a Pretender. Basically, he plays out scenarios for his captors. Putting himself into the mind of the people he's forced to emulate.

The series begins with the adult Jarod having escaped the Centre. His mission is simple, help those who need help while avoiding being recaptured. All the while, Jarod flashes back to his Centre simulations by means of the extensive video archive they kept on him. At any given time, 3 to 4 actors portray Jarod as he comes of age in these archives.

He is tracked relentlessly by Miss Parker (Andrea Parker). She, along with tech whiz Broots (Jon Gries) and Jarod's Centre father-figure Sydney (Patrick Bauchau), are thwarted by Jarod week-in and week-out. But Parker is driven and focused, even if Sydney is less than enthusiastic about returning his charge to the Centre.

Missing in this first season are many of the great elements which would follow in seasons two through four. But the groundwork is laid here in excellent fashion. It starts here as more of a "Fugitive" type chase. To say much more would spoil the fun of discovering this excellent series.

There is a childlike glee in Weiss' early portrayal of Jarod. His discovery of Pez and ice cream for the first time is priceless. Parker is vicious, driven and sexy as can be right from the start. Broots could easily have been the prototype for "Alias" tech guy Marshall Flinkman. Bauchau gives Sydney a calm in the eye of the storm feel.

Available for the first time on DVD in the US. The series has been available in France for about two years now.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Klein HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 29, 2005
Format: DVD
Jarod (Michael T. Weiss) can pretend to be anything; doctor, lawyer, tinker, tailor, solider, spy it doesn't matter. His superior intellect and chameleon like ability to inhabit any role he wants. What drives Jarod is the search for his past and wanting to escape his present. As a child Jarod was abducted by a mysterious organization called "The Centre" which uses people like Jarod for their own insidious means. Jarod escapes but is pursued by Sydney (Patrick Bauchau of "Carnivale") and Miss Parker (Andre Parker from "The Adventures of Brisco County Jr." and "ER"). While on the run Jarod helps those less fortunate than himself as he takes on new identities in every episode. Michael T. Weiss' droll performance and the multiple storylines keep "The Pretender" entertaining and involving.

Fox does another stellar job with a sharp transfer. The stereo sound comes across with nice clarity. Since this series was produced before many shows were done in the surround format, there's no opportunity to take advantage of the format. The economic decision to put this out on four dual sided dual layered discs may have brought the price down so that the Fox could include a featurette and commentary tracks but it also makes these discs highly more likely to become damaged with wear and tear over time. The discs are packed with two each in a single container facing each other. While both are slightly recessed in the slimline packaging, it's very likely that the discs will come into contact with each other and become scratched. I'd suggest purchasing 2 additional slimline cases so that you only have one disc in each slimline holder. It'll better protect the set.
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65 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Robin Orlowski on December 23, 2004
Format: DVD
This series is a new twist on James Bond. Instead of battling the Russians or international terrorists, our secret agent man battles a private corporation who is eager to control others, and wants to begin by regaining control of his mind which they illegally had when he was a youth.

Michael T. Weiss plays Jarod (last name never given), a boy genius who was taken from his parents by the equally mysterious The Centre.

Father-figure Sydney (who had trained Jarod during his time at The Centre) and The Center employee Miss Parker (Catherine Parker) are hot on his trail---or so they think. Somehow, Jarod always manages to escape their clutches, and reminds them of their ultimate inability. Because it is done with playful teasing, he is not trying to be mean.

Weiss is wonderful to look at, and he conveys the right balance of intellect and naiviete which was needed to make this series the smash hit it became. Jarod only discovers wheel of fortune, easy cheese and silly putty as an adult, and has his first sexual encounter in episode 14 "Ranger Jarod" when he poses as a park ranger.

Jarod's childhood exploitation had also robed him of the pop culture experiences which are taken for granted by many `normal' people---including those whom he helps out. In addition to helping people, the series episodes regularly show Jarod's initial interactions with commercial products such as Silly Putty and Cheese Whiz. Weiss convincingly projects this delayed sense of discovery without himself actually appearing ignorant or dense.
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