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The Pretender 2 Seasons

Season 1
4.7 out of 5 stars (206) IMDb 7.5/10

Jarod is a Pretender - a genius whose exceptional intelligence allows him to assume various identities at will, be it doctor, test pilot or lawyer.

Starring:
Michael T. Weiss, Andrea Parker

Available to watch on supported devices.

Buy Episode 1 SD $1.99
Buy Season 1 SD $17.99
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Season 1

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1. Pilot

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.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 42 minutes Release date: September 19, 1996
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2. Every Picture Tells A Story

Jarod poses as Lieutenant Campbell of the Coast Guard in order to figure out why a man died at sea waiting for a rescue that never came.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 46 minutes Release date: September 28, 1996
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3. Flyer

Jarod goes undercover as a test pilot to prove a defense contractor's new computer system was defective, causing the death of another test pilot.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 46 minutes Release date: October 19, 1996
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4. Curious Jarod

In order to solve the mystery surrounding the death of a showgirl Jarod becomes head of security at a Las Vegas casino, and Sydney and Miss Parker turn to the Mob for help.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 46 minutes Release date: October 26, 1996
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5. The Paper Clock

Jarod impersonates an attorney to not only free a janitor falsely accused of murder but to also expose the lawyer who protected the real killer.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 46 minutes Release date: November 2, 1996
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6. To Serve and Protect

Jarod becomes a police officer in Miami Beach in order to solve the death of a security guard who was killed by two local policemen during a jewelry heist.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 46 minutes Release date: November 9, 1996
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7. A Virus Among Us

Jarod takes a job at the Infectious Disease Lab in an attempt to uncover the events surrounding the disappearance of another virologist at the facility.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 46 minutes Release date: November 16, 1996
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8. Not Even A Mouse

Now a member of the coroner's unit, Jarod investigates a deadly hit-and-run accident involving a man all the homeless people knew as "Christmas George."

TV-NR CC Runtime: 46 minutes Release date: December 14, 1996
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9. Mirage

Jarod becomes suspicious after a survivalist, who was also part owner of a struggling skydiving school, dies during one of his many trips into the desert.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 46 minutes Release date: January 4, 1997
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10. The Better Part Of Valor

Jarod looks into the death of a fellow firefighter who died in a warehouse fire that was deemed arson and Miss Parker tries out a new method for tracking Jarod.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 46 minutes Release date: January 11, 1997
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11. Potato Head Blues (a.k.a. Bomb Squad)

While Jarod joins the bomb squad and searches for a crazed bomber, the Centre's Mr. Raines is put in charge of searching for the person who is leaking information to Jarod.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 46 minutes Release date: January 18, 1997
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12. Prison Story

While Miss Parker struggles with a painful ulcer, Jarod becomes a prison guard in an attempt to save an innocent man from the gas chamber.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 46 minutes Release date: February 1, 1997
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13. Bazooka Jarod

While Jarod impersonates a Navy commander in order to investigate the death of a sailor onboard the U.S.S. Monroe, Sydney delivers a warning to Miss Parker.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 46 minutes Release date: February 8, 1997
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14. Ranger Jarod

When Jarod impersonates a forest ranger and joins in the search for a young student lost in the woods he finds himself falling in love with the female ranger who's his partner.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 46 minutes Release date: February 15, 1997
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15. Jaroldo!

Jarod pretends to be a cameraman in order to expose a TV reporter who may have created a dangerous situation between two gangs in order to get a good story for the nightly news.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 46 minutes Release date: March 8, 1997
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16. Under The Reds

While Sydney tries to revive his comatose brother, Jarod pretends to be paramedic so he can investigate why a young man went into a coma after a car accident.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 46 minutes Release date: March 22, 1997
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17. Keys

When Miss Parker corners Jarod during a hurricane in Florida she's forced to come to terms with her mother's death and its startling connection to Jarod.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 46 minutes Release date: April 5, 1997
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18. Unhappy Landings

As a U.S. Marshall Jarod tries to protect a witness who's scheduled to testify against a drug cartel, while a distraught Sydney makes an appointment with his psychiatrist.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 46 minutes Release date: April 26, 1997
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19. Jarod's Honor

An anonymous e-mail promising clues concerning his past sends Jarod to New Orleans, while Sydney receives a similar e-mail telling him to go to Minneapolis.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 46 minutes Release date: May 3, 1997
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20. Baby Love

As Jarod tries to locate the mother of a baby he found abandoned in a dumpster, Sydney and Miss Parker discover a sub-level under the Centre that none of them knew existed.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 46 minutes Release date: May 10, 1997
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21. The Dragon House (Part 1)

Jarod is shocked to learn the truth concerning another boy who was at the Centre, and Miss Parker continues delving into the circumstances surrounding her mother's death.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 46 minutes Release date: May 17, 1997
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22. The Dragon House (Part 2)

Jarod is shocked to learn the truth concerning another boy who was at the Centre, and Miss Parker continues delving into the circumstances surrounding her mother's death.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 46 minutes Release date: May 17, 1997
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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