Stitched Up

A thor­oughly mod­ern Prometheus solves his own mur­der in Sec­ond Chance

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red alert -

Death isn’t the fi­nal nail in the cof­fin on Fox’s Franken­stein TV drama, Sec­ond Chance. Af­ter 75-year-old Jimmy Pritchard is mur­dered dur­ing a bur­glary at his son’s home, the for­mer LA County Sher­iff awak­ens in the much younger body of Pa­cific Rim’s Rob Kazin­sky, cour­tesy of twin tech bil­lion­aires, who have their own agenda for the tech­nol­ogy. Pritchard must learn from his past mis­takes and be­come a bet­ter man, or drown in the temp­ta­tions and cor­rup­tion of his prior life.

“Pritchard is not an en­tirely changed man,” says ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Rand Ravich. “He never got down on his hands and knees and said, ‘If only I had an­other chance, I’d do it dif­fer­ently.’ He was very happy to go grudg­ingly into the grave with ‘this is my way or the high­way, take it or leave it.’ He didn’t ask for it, so he wakes up the same per­son as he died as. He does re­alise he has a sec­ond chance and the peo­ple in his life are help­ing him see that maybe he doesn’t have long to be that per­son. He’s fight­ing that all the way through the se­ries.”

A cock­tail of science fic­tion, pro­ce­dural and a dash of hor­ror, Sec­ond Chance finds Jimmy im­me­di­ately em­brac­ing the ben­e­fits of his new anatomy. Not only is he leaner, meaner and yes, more at­trac­tive, but Jimmy pos­sesses cer­tain en­hanced abil­i­ties that as­sist him in en­forc­ing the law and bring­ing his killer to jus­tice.

“He’s not mentally im­proved,” ex­plains Ravich. “Jimmy has that old, pre-po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness and pre-in­ter­net mind­set. He died re­cently, but his con­scious­ness was so­lid­i­fied in the ’60s. That is still 100 per cent in­tact in this new body and this new world. He’s also stronger, faster and has more en­durance. We make it clear it’s not Su­per­man, it’s not the Flash. He’s five times as fast, five times as strong, which is a lot. In his pre­vi­ous it­er­a­tion, he did a lot of think­ing with his fists to be­gin with. This re­turn to youth on its own, added with this ex­tra di­men­sion, makes the char­ac­ter more in­ter­est­ing.”

How­ever, Jimmy’s re­birth comes with draw­backs. He must re­turn to the ex­per­i­men­tal tanks that re­an­i­mated him within a 24-hour pe­riod or his sys­tem be­gins to break down.

“Phys­i­cally and sci­en­tif­i­cally, if Jimmy goes out too long, he will die with­out the pos­si­bil­ity of res­ur­rec­tion, so he con­stantly has to make that de­ci­sion,” says Ravich. “But it also emo­tion­ally teth­ers him to the peo­ple he has this prob­lem­atic re­la­tion­ship with, the Good­win twins, who brought him back with­out his ask­ing. He can’t break free of them. Jimmy is forced into a con­tin­ual re­la­tion­ship with his cre­ators.”

Fox re­cently cut Sec­ond Chance’s ini­tial episode count from 13 to 11. Nonethe­less, Ravich re­mains con­fi­dent that view­ers will ex­pe­ri­ence a com­plete and com­pelling story arc.

“It starts off in this great se­ri­alised fash­ion of, ‘They brought this man back to solve his own mur­der,’” Ravich con­cludes. “It be­comes episodic as he as­sem­bles his own life and, then, it has a fan­tas­tic three-episode end­ing where view­ers are go­ing to be in­cred­i­bly sat­is­fied. All of the char­ac­ters, all of their in­ti­mate dy­nam­ics, will pay off in a big way.”

Sec­ond Chance airs on Fox US from 13 Jan­uary. A UK air­date is TBC.

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