Global Frequency

I know I'm a little behind the curve on this one, but I finally got around to downloading this. I had to install and learn how to use fucking BitTorrent and everything, and man, that sucks. Anyway, in case you've been living under some other rock than the one all the nerds live under, Global Frequency is a fantastic comic by Warren Ellis that almost became a TV series. It's about a secret organization that stops weird disasters, kind of like Men In Black but without the aliens. A pilot was made, then the show was not picked up (and rumor has it that the fact that the pilot was leaked to the internets is part of the reason why, but who knows.)

The pilot's worth watching. The copy I found was a bit dark and muddy. It looked kind of like a VHS transfer, but that may have just been crappy encoding.

Minor spoilers... <LJ-CUT text=" --More--(30%) ">

For example, early on, they have a prop that's a corpse that has been cut down the middle. Ellis posted about having seen this prop in person, and how insanely realistic and impressive it was. Well, the thing could have been made out of wet cardboard for all I could see of it in the few seconds they flashed it on screen. Bad encoding, or edited away for grossness? I couldn't tell.

As all pilots do, it suffered from too much exposition, but you have to get used to that. Unfortunately, it also suffered from a bunch of other Standard TV Stupidities, such as: their laptops have software that can magically -- and with much beeping each time a new number rolls up -- calculate the exact number of people who will be killed when a bomb goes off.

Miranda goes all Matrix to break into the Secret Facility, and then once she's in, she gets out by calling the Secretary of Defense and saying "I know what happened in Bumfuckistan." Um, ok, great. If you'd made that phone call first, maybe you wouldn't have had to beat up the guards?

My suspension of disbelief snapped like a rubber band when they needed to recruit a gymnast to jump over the Death Star Shaft to reach the off switch -- I repeat, the off switch -- for a power distribution substation.

And when they go to recruit Gymnast Girl, all it takes to make her leave the house in the middle of the night with a stranger is "OH WOW, YOUR CELL PHONE." I'm sorry, you've really got to sell it better than that.

In the comic, the recurring characters were the two ringleaders; each issue featured a different set of recruited specialists. Miranda and Aleph, the ringleaders, were done really well in the show. But, they seemed to be setting up the series to have the real main characters be "Nerdy Physicist Girl" and "Former Cop Living On The Edge". You know the guy, his stubble shows that he doesn't follow anyone's rules but his own, and not even those. That was... not really working for me.

So, yeah, it seems like it could have grown into a good show, depending on the quality of writing they got for subsequent episodes. It certainly would have been better than most of the stuff that started this season. But I guess we'll never know...

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Shouldn't that be SIT DON'T SIT?

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The New York City "Walk/Don't Walk" signs actually work - and a remote control is included to turn them on and off. The legs are made from reconfigured, customized steel street sign brackets, with galvanized, heavy duty self-leveling feet.

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