ORBzine - Prey TV Review


Prey Prey [Season 1, Episode 0] Hungry For Survival

This is an unaired Pilot episode for the show. The protagonist was called Dr Sloan Larkin (instead of Parker), and was played by Sherilyn Fenn .

Prey Prey [Season 1, Episode 1] Existence
Shown 15/Jan/98

This show is a bit like Channel 4's Ultraviolet - but without the Vampire lore about sunlight, mirrors and the undead. Basically, a female scientist (a beautiful twenty-something, naturally) discovers a new species of humans that are genetically 1.6% different from Homo Sapiens, walk among us as trailer trash and wish to remove humans from the face of the Earth just as Cro-Magnon man replaced the Neanderthal.

One of the good things about X-Files is that it showed the TV industry that a SF TV show does not need the huge budget and SPFX of Star Trek to be both entertaining TV and popular SF. However, this show seems little more than Buffy the Vampire Slayer for adults - without the charm of the teenage-orientated series. It has no notable stars except Larry Drake ( Dark Man ), although after this show was cancelled a couple of the main cast got their own shows.

Prey Prey [Season 1, Episode 2] Discovery
Shown 22/Jan/98

Finally Attwood (Larry Drake - Dark Man ) has something to do. He performs some tests on the non-human serial killer, and detects unusual cranial activity. The main character hypothesises that the new species' 1.6% genetic differentiation from Homo Sapiens may give them ESP powers; there is no PHYSICAL way of telling them from humans.

The plot of this week's episode does nothing but tell us that the species is organised enough to cover the tracks of its members - even to the extent that they dig up the grave of a deceased non-human in order to ensure the humans cannot dissect it.

Sorry, but we have seen this all before - hell, The Hunger 's eerie ending where the detective is told that a mysterious Corporation has sold the lone vampires' home was creepy ... Prey is just mundane. Even the villain is not scary - he is no master-race, just trailer trash.

Prey Prey [Season 1, Episode 3] Pursuit
Shown 29/Jan/98

The heroes track down the serial killer Lynch, who burns himself to a crisp to avoid capture. However, enough remains for Attwood (Larry Drake - Dark Man ) & co to trace the new species to South Mexico.

Also, Dr. Sloan Parker ( Debra Messing ) discovers that the creatures have psychic powers - they can detect a human presence, and even pick up emotions!

Thanks to Attwood's press conference last episode announcing the discovery of the creatures, they panic. All of their agents in LA (108 of them!) torch their apartments to dispose of the evidence, and then disappear.

Prey Prey [Season 1, Episode 4] Origins
Shown 05/Feb/98

Dr. Sloan Parker ( Debra Messing ), her sidekick lab assistant (Vincent Ventresca - Invisible Man ) and Tom the tame non-human (Adam Storke - The Stand ), take a trip to South Mexico. They discover the mummified corpse of a 10-year-old non-human female, and signs of ruins. The non-humans discover their presence, and scan them using strange grid-beam spotlights. Do the creatures have advanced technology?

Walter Attwood (Larry Drake - Dark Man ) tells them he is secretly working for the US Federal Government - and the scientists are shocked that their Government would be interested in work that is so clearly vital to National Security! In fact, it turns out he works for the President's National Security Advisor.

However, their suspicions are belayed when he shares his own info with them. This includes satellite photos of South Mexico which reveals a village one mile and a half across, buried under 15 feet of sand for the last 50 years.

The village was abandoned around 1964, when its population was about 1000-1200. Since the creatures can conceive at age 10 and have 4 uteruses, there could now be as many as 187,000 of them.

The mummy has a tattoo that matches the pattern on the non-humans' beds. This tattoo was only put on those designated to become leaders - and Tom has one too. He returns to his home, where he meets the mother he has not seen in 19 years - he was aged 11 when they conscripted him.

We see the use of the non-humans' secret weapon; the poisoned tongue-stud! Tom is captured and tortured - can Parker and the African-American cop save him?

Prey Prey [Season 1, Episode 5] Revelations
Shown 19/Feb/98

This week we are given a run-down of what happened on the previous two episodes. Dr. Sloan Parker ( Debra Messing ) and the token friendly nonhuman followed up on the origins of the new species. They went to Mexico, where they uncovered the remains of a secret village in the mountains, a pillar with strange carvings, and the mumified corpse of a 9-year-old nonhuman girl - pregnant in all 4 of her uteruses!

The team and their FBI contacts retrieve the pillar and deliver it to Attwood (Larry Drake - Dark Man ) at his secret warehouse base in LA. They examine it, and discover the strange carvings are a map of the night's sky. The creatures' tattoos indicate the path of a comet that was due to return in October 1998 ...

Meanwhile, the creatures are homing in on an energy source ... The nonhumans arrive, and Attwood blows up the warehouse.

BTW, is this reviewer the only one who thinks Drake's Fed boss is too young?

Prey Prey [Season 1, Episode 6] Infiltrations
Shown 05/Mar/98

Tom (Adam Storke - The Stand ) the good non-human has a showdown with the female assassin who has been dogging their efforts. The nonhumans try to kill a reporter, using the babe Lisa as their assassin. The team rescue him, and discover he was investigating missing persons' cases. There was a 300% increase in the last three months - it seems people who had gotten too close to the truth about the new species ended up in the cave. They use the reporter as bait in a poorly organised trap.

Kelly, one of the girls kidnapped by Lynch and taken to the cave, turns to Parker's lab assistant (Vincent Ventresca - Invisible Man ) for help.

The villainous nonhuman mastermind is Tom's mentor, Lewis (James Morrison - Space: Above and Beyond ) - Tom knows his methods, and tracks him down. He moves around - rents a new, secluded place every 6 months and pays cash. He sets up a false trail - a suicide body with the disguise and weapon used in the Hit, and a diary saying how the suicide had been stalking the victim for months.

Prey Prey [Season 1, Episode 7] Transformations
Shown 12/Mar/98

The hitwoman, Lisa, escapes. Lewis (James Morrison - Space: Above and Beyond ), her boss, kidnaps Dr. Sloan Parker ( Debra Messing ) and lures Tom the friendly freak (Adam Storke - The Stand ) into an ambush. The villain successfully turns the tables on his pursuers; they are left running from the cops, accused of mass-murder.

The teenage chick abducted by Lynch has had her DNA altered by 1.3%, as opposed to the 1.6% the nonhumans have. It looks like she was an unsuccessful experiment; have they perfected the procedure yet?

Prey Prey [Season 1, Episode 8] Veil
Shown 19/Mar/98

Tom (Adam Storke - The Stand ) and Dr. Sloan Parker ( Debra Messing ) are still on the run - and Lewis (James Morrison - Space: Above and Beyond ) is following them. They shack up in a sleazy motel, and just as they are getting it on Lewis phones the cops and a SWAT team swoops on our heroes.

In the B-story, Attwood (Larry Drake - Dark Man ) and the Lab assistant (Vincent Ventresca - Invisible Man ) conduct an autopsy on the teenage babe the nonhumans experimented on. They discover that the experiment was to alter her DNA to the 1.6% differential.

Prey Prey [Season 1, Episode 9] Collaboration
Shown 11/Jun/98

The crew are tipped off that a group of small-town Californian school-children are being poisoned somehow.

The backstory concerns a teenage nonhuman who has defected, like Tom (Adam Storke - The Stand ) did, and is now the FBI woman's personal informant.

This took up where last week's episode ended - with the villain's hostage escaping from captivity somewhere in northern Alaska.

Prey Prey [Season 1, Episode 10] Sleeper
Shown 18/Jun/98

The lab assistant (Vincent Ventresca - Invisible Man ) is recovering from his injuries from last episode. Meanwhile, Dr. Sloan Parker ( Debra Messing ) has to get over the apparent death of another team-mate. Tom's corpse is discovered, but it turns out to be his clone.

The killer is a clone of the serial-killer Lynch. We know they are clone because apparently identical twins do not have identical DNA a theory which this reviewer doubts. Anyway, it appears the new species have been cloning their best and brightest, and there may be a lot more than 200,000 of them.

The Lynch Clone is after Tom (Adam Storke - The Stand ) and Parker. Attwood (Larry Drake - Dark Man ) has them taken to a FBI safe-house, but Lynch II follows them ...

Prey Prey [Season 1, Episode 11] Vengeance
Shown 25/Jun/98

Dr Attwood (Larry Drake - Dark Man ) is ordered by his babelicious FBI controller to negotiate a peace settlement with a nonhuman faction. He asks the African-American ex-cop (Frankie Faison - Silence of the Lambs ) to act as his backup for the deal. Oddly enough, the nonhuman is also African-American; it seems that although the nonhumans came from Mexico none were Mexican!

Meanwhile, Ed's experiments with the DNA vaccine seem to be working. Tom (Adam Storke - The Stand ) insists that the vaccine be used on himself before the lives of other members of his species are put at risk.

Prey Prey [Season 1, Episode 12] Progeny
Shown 02/Jul/98

The kidnapped scientist is back in his lab, and the mysterious plot from several episodes ago is apparently defeated.

For some reason the writers chose to vilify a young kid who defended himself from bullies; he turns out to be a member of the other species, and predictably goes kill-crazy.

Prey Prey [Season 1, Episode 13] Deliverance (1)
Shown 09/Jul/98

The latter ended on the predictable cliffhanger - Larry Drake's babelicious boss was less trustworthy than she looked; this plotline is predictably X-Files inspired. In truth, what this show lacked in originality it gained in nostalgia for the first (and best) Season of the Gillian Anderson show.

The end is a cliffhanger - and the end of the show. Yes, it was cancelled mid-season. And since this series was never taken up for a second Season we will never find out how good it could have become.






Prey Prey [Season 1 , Episode 1 ]
Shown th October 2010 [Wednesday]

Reviewed in our special supplement Prey

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