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TV Series Review

Back in those old timey days of the '50s—the 2050s—Washington, D.C., was a city free of murder. Oh, sure, people thought about killing one another. But the District of Columbia was supplied with the two greatest crime-fighting weapons ever. One was, of course, Tom Cruise. The other was a trio of psychic siblings known as precogs who could detect murders before they happened, allowing Cruise (aka John Anderton) to capture the criminal before he'd actually done anything, well, criminal. Sure, it might've been morally questionable to throw cuffs on folks who hadn't actually done anything wrong, but the system worked: By 2054, the murder rate was zero—pretty good for a city known 40 years earlier as the country's murder capital.

But that was the futuristic then (in Philip K. Dick's book and at the movies) and this is the even more futuristic now (on TV).

You see, there were flaws in the system. Once someone "knows" the future, that very future can be changed. Oh, and the psychic visions weren't always as reliable as you'd think. Sometimes one of the precogs saw things in a much different way than his or her psychic siblings, an event that was then filed away as a "Minority Report." After those pesky details became known, the city's PreCrime program was shut down and all the folks who'd almost murdered someone were let go (albeit under some pretty hefty surveillance and with their brains pretty much burned out by the "containment" process they'd endured).

Of course the end of PreCrime didn't put an end to the siblings' visions. The precogs still see, hear and feel the murders that are about to happen. And one of them wants to do something about them.

Dash is, in some ways, the weakest of the precogs. While his twin brother, Arthur, can pull out facts and figures from their shared visions and older sister Agatha gives events some much-needed context, Dash is the guy who only partially sees the confusing, terrifying events. A face. A weapon. Blurry surroundings. Pain. Blood. And while he never has much more than that to go on, Dash has now formed an alliance with D.C. detective Lara Vega, hoping that between them (and with some occasional help with his self-serving twin), they can sniff out and then snuff out some of the city's murders before they happen.

Of course now they must do it all without the power to make any preemptive arrests. And they've got to keep everyone else from getting wise to the fact that Dash is one of the legendary siblings. After all, there are shadowy forces out there who would love to have a precog of their very own.

You might have figured out by now that such a TV-tweaked premise essentially turns Dash into a mishmash of Monk, Patrick Jane, Sherlock Holmes, Shawn Spencer and the whole team from Scorpion. Which means Fox has turned a pretty unique movie into a pretty predictable TV show, with the sci-fi-derived moral discomfort intended in the tale taking a backseat to police procedural "action" overseen by yet another gifted-but-socially-flawed super-sleuth.

Tagging along are an ongoing variety of TV-typical murders, seen both as visions and as unprevented assaults. Dash and Lara sometimes kill people as well—always in self-defense, at least so far.


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Episode Reviews

Minority Report - September 21, 2015: "Pilot"
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