A thoroughly modern Prometheus solves his own murder in Second Chance
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.