Picks and Pans Review: Strange World
ABC (Tuesdays, 10 p.m. ET)
“Why are people more afraid of aliens from outer space than they are of the monsters we’re creating ourselves: genetically engineered animals [and] viruses?” asks Paul Turner, the paranoid hero of this murky and derivative sci-fi series. Turner (Tim Guinee from John Carpenter’s Vampires) has good reason to fear the menace within. A Gulf War veteran, he was inadvertently exposed to an Iraqi chemical weapon. Now, as a civilian medical investigator for the Army, he suffers from aplastic anemia, a disease he has managed to survive only by injecting himself with a miracle drug provided by a shadowy Deep Throat (Vivian Wu), who has her own sinister agenda for Turner. In the pilot episode (Mon., March 8), Turner turns to his only allies—his girlfriend Sydney (Kristin Lehman), an M.D., and his boss Maj. Lynne Reese (Saundra Quarterman)—as he looks for a missing boy who is revealed to be a clone of Turner’s old Army buddy. The following night (as the show replaces NYPD Blue for the next four weeks), surrogate mothers are pawns in a grotesque experiment. If Strange World sounds oddly familiar, well, co-creator Howard Gordon is an ex-X-Files producer. World shares that show’s often maddeningly ambiguous plotting, but Guinee—soulful-eyed and intense throughout—lacks the wry insouciance of David Duchovny. A little cloning might have helped here.
Bottom Line: Enter this in the Y-Bother Files