Total Recall 2070
, dark and moody, like Federico Fellini
, was an ongoing detective series set in the, apparantly, not too distant future.
Produced by the Canadian house, AllianceAtlantis, it is another of the many Canadian contributions to fantasy and science fiction television.
The environment is dense, filled with advertising screens, different languages, and many crowd scenes, keeping eyes and ears enlessly fascinated. This technique is reminiscent of Max Headroom--another vision of the future.
Total recall 2070 had plots that were satisfying episode by episode, but also an underlying story that slowly unfolded throughtout the truncated series--similar in manner, though not as intense as Babylon 5. As with The X-Files before the movie, this "myth" stuff was not explicit, plot items rose and fell, enticing the viewer.
The dense and brooding atmosphere required understated acting, which the leads did well. The relationship between David Hume, and his wife, Olivia, was of a passion lightly drawn, but strong.
Ian Farve, Hume's partner, is an android, which also provides for more understatement. The fact of his non-humanity took several episodes to be revealed, and provided for tensions between him and Hume, again, lightly drawn, but clear.
I suspect there are two levels upon which this program failed--for it is no longer in production.
The effects were mainly backround, not the sort of thing that could continually WOW! its audience. This contrasts quite sharply with Babylon 5, where the effects are up front, and in your face.
Second there is the plot method. For me, it was the understated denseness that entranced me, but which I can see is not of a mass taste. I am willing to suspend my disbelief, and see a whole world, and what to see it evolve--obviously not a mass market creation.
The creation of Total Recall 2070 is credited to Art Monterastelli, one of those associated with another great fantasy and science fiction television series, Nowhere Man. That was also a cult favourite. It, too, is long out of production.
I have not been able to bear watching The X-Files for many years, though I was once a devoted fan.
I can only wonder how overt an underlying must story be to maintain a mass interest. And I can only, sadly, conclude, that something is lacking in imagination that must have such broad cues to find a world.