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The Pretender - The Complete First Season
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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. Theyre 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
- 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:
Side A: Episodes 1-4
Side B: Episodes 5-6
Side A: Episodes 7-10
Side B: Episodes 11-12
Side A: Episodes 13-16
Side B: Episodes 17-18
Side A: Episodes 19-20
Side B: Episode 21
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am happy I was able to find this series! I loved it from the 90's.Published 3 months ago by Christina Morgan
This is the best season of this show. Without the darkness that comes in the future seasons.Published 3 months ago by pet lover
I remembered the quirkiness of this show from back in the day. Doesn't disappointPublished 3 months ago by Arthur P.
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