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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Minority Report, Blindspot, and Limitless: Similar Scenarios

I've been watching, enjoying, and reviewing three new network series this Fall:

Minority Report on Fox, Blindspot on NBC, and Limitless on CBS (I also love Nashville on ABC - just so that network shouldn't feel excluded - but it's not pertinent to this post).   Anyway, I realized last night that the three series have very similar setups.

Minority Report and Limitless are the closest: Both feature a guy with science fictional powers (Dash on Minority Report can see the future, Brian on Limitless becomes the smartest person in the world when he takes the fictional drug NZT).  Both team with hot female cops (Dash with Lara, Brian with FBI-agent Rebecca), and have to contend with superiors and co-workers who don't appreciate or fully comprehend what the pairs are doing.

Blindspot reverses the genders - Jane is the point-of-view character (she's also hot), teamed with Kurt at the FBI - and she doesn't have science-fictional powers.   But she has super training as a SEAL, and, like Dash and Brian, is a victim as well as hero.   And she and Kurt have to contend with colleagues and superiors who oppose, distrust and otherwise don't believe in them.

What are the source of these similarities?   Minority Report and Limitless both derive from movies, which in turn were adaptations of a short story ("The Minority Report" by Philip K. Dick) and a novel (The Dark Fields by Alan Glynn). The FBI played no role in the previous Limitless versions, but does in its TV series and in Blindspot, which had no previous incarnation.

Well, the FBI is good to bring into any television series, even though it doesn't guarantee massive success, as witness what happened to The Following.   Maybe the similarity is the result of some kind of corporate espionage, which raises the interesting question of which series came up with these similar scenarios first?

Calling Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. to get on the case and figure this out.  (Or maybe Cie McCullough, a reader on Facebook who caught a possible error in an earlier version of this post.)

See Minority Report 1.1: Boding Well ... Blindspot 1.1: Good to See, Or, Coronet Blue meets The Illustrated Man ... Limitless 1.2: Genghis Khan Gene


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