The first episode of Wayward Pines hits a lot of familiar notes. A man wakes up in a strange hospital. He meets a mysterious person who offers him help. The people he meets all seem normal, in a Stepford Wives’ kind of way. When he tries to leave the town, he finds himself back in the middle of town. Our hero is a Special Agent and I kept waiting for them to call him Number 6.
M Night Shyamalan made one really good movie, two so-so movies, and several really bad movies. Much like The Wachowski Brothers, instant success was his downfall. So now he’s giving network TV a shot.
His early films all had a very Twilight Zone feel to them, and that is certainly the note he strikes with Wayward Pines. I’m reminded of The Prisoner, Euerka, Twin Peaks, and the short lived Cape Wrath/Meadowlands as well as the Twilight Zone. And there is also that whole Under The Dome and Divergent can’t get away thing going on. Not that a retelling of The Prisoner would be a bad thing, an ending that makes sense would be nice.
One new aspect here is the apparent lack of continuity in the time line. One woman thinks it’s 2000 while another has aged 14 years in 5 months. We see in the first episode that it isn’t a closed system, as the prototypical mad scientist meets both people on the inside and outside of Wayward Pines.
Since this is the Fox Network, I don’t want to get too attached to Wayward Pines, after all, Fox loves to start shows and then kill them in the cradle.
The cast is very good. The sets are fine. And the only over the top special effect was a fence borrowed from Jurassic Park. I was half expecting the usual punch line from these kinds of shows, that the person was on the moon or a space station-but that doesn’t seem to be the case here. I’ll give Wayward Pines a few episodes and see how to fills out.