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...
Yeah... the writer, I think, who started a blog about all of these shenanigans, postulated that perhaps, with enough interest, somehow, the show could be the first Internet-born television show funded by some magical pot of gold that was to be found in creating a bit Internet Senstation(tm).
After all of his stupid dreaming hubaloo, I'm sort of glad that it didn't go any further.
By the way, what threw me the most was the recycled John Powell music from The Bourne Identity.
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.)
Someone with more time than me can look this up for certain, but if my memory's working, they passed on the show before the pilot was leaked.
As someone he has peraonslly bitched to, I will confirm that the powers that be were especially upset that it escaped to the net, and that helped can the show for good.
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."
Actually, my impression is that the gymnast was an ex-girlfriend of the cop. That's why, when he asks Aleph to look for gymnasts who live around the area and she comes up with the address, he asks "couldn't it be someone else?" or something like that.
While the comics were stylish, the overall premise of a meritocracy with everybody pitching in what they can, etc., sounds more like office humour than superhero stuff.
I guess I have better SoD. Obviously it makes no sense, but then, neither does a bunch of other enjoyable stuff, like Back to the Future, Lost, or the deus ex machina infested Dr. Who, for example.
That being said, it really doesn't matter, because there isn't ever going to be more than the pilot tv show, however if enough people bug Ellis, there might be a second volume of the comics..
Azureus should be your BT client, if you ever plan on using BT with any regularity.
You wouldn't think such things exist...
But if you ever want to have some shameful fun, head over to the Holiday Inn Express in Carson City, NV. Go to the North side entrance, and find the plain light-switch labeled "MAIN POWER SWITCH" and flip it. Don't worry, it's outside and unlocked, so you have an easy get-away to the gas station across the street. From there, you can watch the Fire Dept, and Police arrive in-turn.
Not that I've ever witnessed such an act, but I'm just saying - some things do end up having completely stupid layouts.
And you didn't even give us a blow-by-blow of the horrors of installing and using BitTorrent.
That's because I don't care enough to bother, since I doubt I'll ever use it again.
As a pretty die-hard fan of Ellis in general and GF in particular, I agree with pretty much all of your criticisms. I felt like having Miranda Zero go Kung-Fu was over the top; a lot of her appeal is that we only get hints of what she once was, and is still capable of. The two "focus" characters were both crap. Arguments against having just two main characters that are mostly background to the story, well, they ignore the success of things like Fantasy Island, Outer Limits, Twilight Zone, etc.
But as far as the visual elements, Ellis was clear about this being an intermediate draft, not the finished-for-airing pilot. There were a host of visual effects and color-correction yet to be done, not to mention some audio-fixing as well.
Apparently, for one scene they actually got people to come in at 3am as though there were a real GF 'call'. His description is pretty cool: