Prey : review


13 50-minute episodes

SF elements

genetically superior race


A new species homo dominant , whose DNA differs from homo sapiens by 1.6%, has been discovered, and the battle is on to see who survives.

There are some nice touches. Although there is some obligatory conspiracy theory sub-plot, most of the time the scientists are calling press conferences to let the public know about their discoveries. The lab director Walter Attwood, initially telegraphed to be the hissable Bad Stupid Boss, turns out to be intelligent and supportive. The lead character, biochemist Dr Sloan Parker, starts out as intelligent and competent, and manages to stay mostly that way, only descending very slightly into 'love interest'. Although she gets a softer hair style and dewier eyes in later episodes, she doesn't scream -- not even when one of the bad guys is threatening to chop off her head!

The science suffers the usual problem of every process and discovery being too easy, too quick. A complete DNA sequencing seems to take a few seconds. And I giggled during the episode where Sloan has to develop a vaccine for the 1918 Spanish flu virus, and a sick Ed Tate guides her through the procedure over the phone !

There is some plot continuity between episodes, but each has a major stand-alone component, too (with loads of loose ends -- like, what about that object discovered with Tom Daniels' tattoo?). Which means there are few major cliff-hanger endings -- except for the last one! The plug was pulled after 13 episodes, in the middle of the story. It was fun while it lasted, but I'm not going to lose any sleep wondering what happens next...

Rating: 4

[ unmissable | great stuff | worth watching | mind candy | unwatchable | unfinishable ]

reviewed 15 May 1999