Television Graveyard- plot 1, PREY

14 Sep

I have, in my collection of DVDs, a large number of old, short-lived, or maybe little remembered series. I might throw Firefly into this group, but if you call yourself a geek or a nerd, you ought to be familiar with that one. So I’m thinking that from time to time it might be fun to discuss one of these dearly departed television series. Not recaps, per se… just a wee post about them.

We’ll start with one from 1998- PREY

Briefly airing in 1998, this series starred Debra Messing (pre- Will & Grace fame) and Adam Storke (The Stand & Mystic Pizza fame). The premise was fairly simple- what if global warming was accelerating evolution? What if a portion of the population had already reached the next stage of human development? What if they wanted control? What if humans aren’t the top of the food chain?

Messing’s character was a bio-anthropologist who, by accident, discovered a more evolved human and essentially the member of that race (Storke) sent to kill her falls in love or lust or some such and instead helps her and her team learn more. Cliche, but kind of fun.

I first caught the show one day when I was home for a day and the old SciFi channel was having one of their marathon days. I recall at the time that they had a theme for each day and would run an older, syndicated show during the block if it met the theme. It was a fun way to check some of the shows that maybe didn’t make the cut on primetime. Can’t remember what caught my eye but something did and I watched the whole day. And the next time it was on. And eventually even met a few people online (probably in 2001 or so- early internet fandom) who had the entire series on VHS and sent it to me. (I have since procured a fan made DVD- there is no actual DVD release).

For 14 episodes the series pushed not only the mystery behind the development, but a strong sense of danger and adrenaline. There were many who did not want the information put out into the world. Additionally, Storke’s character had no memory of his youth and had been more or less brainwashed by his own people- large parts of the storyline revolved around him needing to learn more about who he was. Here’s a snippets video of the relationship of the two leads from the pilot episode…

All in all, I wish there’d been a true conclusion to the series instead of leaving it hanging. Though… technically, the SciFi series Invisible Man paid homage with a possible tie-up (the lead on IM, Vincent Ventresca was secondary on Prey; a character portrayed by Storke gets rescued by Vintresca’s character- randomly, with a brief moment of possible recognition- in an episode of IM). However, this is still a series that I can pull out and throw on once or twice a year- just for fun.

It gets the mind wondering… what if?

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