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The Pretender - The Complete First Season (1996)

Michael T. Weiss , Patrick Bauchau , Steven Long Mitchell , Andrea Parker  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (165 customer reviews)

List Price: $29.98
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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael T. Weiss, Patrick Bauchau
  • Directors: Steven Long Mitchell, Andrea Parker, Jon Koslowsky, Charles Siebert, David Jackson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • DVD Release Date: March 22, 2005
  • Run Time: 1078 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (165 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006UEVTK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,328 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Pretender - The Complete First Season" on IMDb

Special Features

  • 21 episodes on four discs, including the double-length season finale
  • Commentary on selected episodes
  • Making-of featurette and TV spots

Please note that all four discs play double-sided, contents are as listed below:

Disc#1
  Side A: Episodes 1-4
  Side B: Episodes 5-6


Disc#2
  Side A: Episodes 7-10
  Side B: Episodes 11-12


Disc#3
  Side A: Episodes 13-16
  Side B: Episodes 17-18


Disc#4
  Side A: Episodes 19-20
  Side B: Episode 21


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Jarod (Michael T. Weiss) is a Pretender. As a five-year-old in 1963, he was taken from his home and "adopted" by The Centre, a mysterious Delaware-based think tank. Why Jarod? His superior intellect--Jarod can "pretend" to be anything he wants: doctor, lawyer, engineer, astronaut and, as he quips in episode five ("The Paper Clock"), "I'm working on Indian chief."

Thirty years later, once he realized his efforts were not being used for good, Jarod escaped from the Centre. Psychiatrist and surrogate father Sydney (Carnivàle's velvet-voiced Patrick Bauchau) and sociopathic sidekick and Emma Peel lookalike Miss Parker (ER's Andrea Parker) have been trying to track him down ever since. They’re assisted by the technically proficient, if socially inept Broots (Napoleon Dynamite's Jon Gries). Each and every time, Jarod eludes their grasp, but not before helping some stranger who's been dealt an injustice (just as he once was). Along the way, he hopes to figure out who he is and where he came from.

Each of these 21 episodes moves deftly from Jarod's lonely past to his more satisfying, if precarious present (the human "science project" was constantly videotaped as a boy, hence the abundance of footage from his childhood). It's a worthy successor to paranoid thrillers like The Fugitive and the unjustly obscure Nowhere Man (from X-Files creator Chris Carter), and the droll performance of Weiss (Jeffrey) adds a dose of levity to a concept usually painted with a darker palette. The Pretender ran on NBC for four seasons and was followed by two TV movies, The Pretender 2001 and Isle of the Haunted. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Product Description

Jarod is a Pretender-a genius whose exceptional intelligence allows him to assume various identities at will, be it doctor, test pilot or lawyer. Taken from his parents at an early age, Jarod was brought up in the Centre, a think-tank facility where he believed his computer-like mind was being used to benefit mankind. But when he learned the simulations he solved were being sold to the highest-bidder no matter what their intent, Jarod escaped. Now on the run, Jarod embarks on a search for his true identity while also attempting to balance out any wrong his simulations have caused by helping people who are as powerless as he once was.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
93 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of television's best shows. 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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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, he's the great pretender... 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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61 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You won't have to pretend to like this show 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good quality TV
We loved this show. The concept was new. The acting was good. The stories,every week, were creative and thought provoking. Read more
Published 15 days ago by shannon lucas
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun adventures
Love this show. It is predictable and perhaps corny, but it also has some depth. Seeing his plots and escapes, and the frustration of his hunters, is a fun thing to watch. Read more
Published 19 days ago by The Hoser
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great
Published 24 days ago by fred hamilton
5.0 out of 5 stars Definite Favourite
One of my favourite TV shows, so glad to be able to buy it in DVD so I can enjoy it all over again!
Published 1 month ago by Wendy Manson
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing
I enjoy the changing careers, his childlike simplicity and the mystery. Plus it's clean and has some people with principles.
Published 4 months ago by Tom Huckins
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Pretending: This is Great!
The DVD came as scheduled and was packaged securely. There were no problems with that. I wanted it in Blu Ray, but it was not available. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Caseysdad22
4.0 out of 5 stars Before MacGuvyer there was the Pertender
I never did see the first show and it was nice to watch it. One day I will have to get the whole series and do a week of watching. lol
Published 4 months ago by Bruce Talbert
5.0 out of 5 stars The Pretender Is The Truth ; )
This Show as a whole is Awesome!!
The Pretender Is Definitely in my Top
20 TV SERIES of All Time
It Earned Every bit of my Respect .

Period.
Published 5 months ago by Robert Velazquez
4.0 out of 5 stars Good TV show...
I remember watching this show every time it came on. It was interesting and offered some new plots that hadn't been tried before. It's still fun to watch.
Published 5 months ago by James Southard
5.0 out of 5 stars Go Jarod
The character of Jarod has such a wonderful mix of child / potential monster. You gotta love him. I just wish they would have skipped the loudness of Ms. Parker however. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Ms B
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