ORBzine - The Visitor TV Review

The Visitor

Season 1

The Visitor The Visitor [Season 1, Episode 1] Pilot
Shown 19/Sep/97
Reviewed First Week, August 2000

This is what uber-hacks Devlin & Emmerich got up to after Godzilla flopped. The hero is a long-haired guy called MacArthur (John Corbett - Northern Exposure). Decades ago, when he was short-haired but otherwise indistinguishable from now, he was a pilot. He was abducted by a UFO, and has become a UFO pilot and crash-landed in Utah. He has has the power to transfer part of his life-force to another person in order to extend their life temporarily.

The US Government decides to investigate. The Pentagon's secret unit sends Colonel Vise (Steve Railsback - Duane Barry in Season 2 of X-Files ). Meanwhile, there is a B-plot that involves a trio of FBI agents (led by the token black guy and including Leon Rippy).

The hero gets involved with a dysfunctional single-parent family - the teenage son is always in trouble with the sheriff.

It turns out that the hero was abducted by aliens from the Bermuda Triangle in 1947.

The Visitor The Visitor [Season 1, Episode 2] Fear of Flying
Shown 26/Sep/97
Reviewed 22nd June 1999 [Tuesday]

This show was created by Devlin & Emmerich ( Stargate, ID4, Godzilla ) - landed on ITV tonight. There was no warning of this - the episode seemed mid-season, and without previous episodes or the pilot it made little sense. Here is what this reviewer managed to piece together.

Like the dog in The Littlest Hobo , our hero wanders around and solves peoples' problems.

Last episode saw McArthur download secret US Government files on certain people, and save them onto a Zip disk. The disk pops up again - the Feds and Vise (Steve Railsback - Lifeforce ) are both after it.

McArthur explains that he has used Chaos Theory to predict the future of the Human Race - destruction! His plan is to improve certain aspects of Terran technology, and thus accelerate the rate of human development.

He tries to get a retired scientist to re-open his research into anti-gravity. To impress upon the scientist that the end result is achievable, McArthur levitates!

The Mad Colonel Vise believes that McArthur is trying to create a Black Hole and destroy Earth!

The Visitor The Visitor [Season 1, Episode 3] The Devil's Rainbow
Shown 03/Oct/97
Reviewed 29th June 1999 [Tuesday]

McArthur is now a long-distance bus driver in Colorado. His bus is attacked by Vise (Steve Railsback - Lifeforce ); for some reason the bus seems to be filled with barrels of petrol, because it explodes into flames without any kind of combustion or conflagration.

He breaks into an NSA facility under a mountain. Vise handles security there; experiments are done on the ET items Vise has captured. This episode centres around an energy crystal that Vise's boss wants to use as the ultimate weapon.

The Littlest Hobo sub-plot concerns the babelicious bar-owner ...

The Visitor The Visitor [Season 1, Episode 4] Dreams
Shown 10/Oct/97
Reviewed 6th July 1999 [Tuesday]

The Visitor returns, this time in a rather boring Xmas edition.

McArthur visits another secret government facility, and discovers they have intercepted alien transmissions. They do not know what the messages mean, but they do know that the source is getting closer.

McArthur tries to get close to the scientist in charge. However, while McArthur is trying to do a long-distance Vulcan mind-meld the scientist has an unfortunate accident, and the both end up comatose.

The Littlest Hobo sub-plot concerns the scientist's family, and the fact that because of his work he has very little time for them ...

The Visitor The Visitor [Season 1, Episode 5] Remember
Shown 17/Oct/97
Reviewed 13th July 1999 [Tuesday]

The Visitor continues to evade both the FBI and US Army. This week we witness Colonel Vise (Steve Railsback - Lifeforce ) descend into madness. His friends were abducted in 1975 on a fishing trip, and as the sole survivor he is wracked with guilt and nightmares.

Duane Barry, anyone?

This week, the FBI capture the title character, MacArthur (Northern Exposure's John Corbett) and hold him in prison long enough for certain Story Arc revelations to come out.

MacArthur reveals his mission on Earth - taken from the Bermuda Triangle in the 1930s by Aliens, he has returned to change the future and save mankind from the Millenium Apocalypse.

MacArthur's arch-enemy, sent to take him back and undo the changes, is actually Vise's best friend from 1975.

By the end of the episode, the arch-enemy plot has changed direction utterly; the events in this episode may lead to on the series' climactic conclusion!

You may have just caused the very thing you wanted to prevent.

The Visitor The Visitor [Season 1, Episode 6] The Black Box
Shown 24/Oct/97
Reviewed 20th July 1999 [Tuesday]

The Visitor returns, still chased by Vise (a cross between Duane Barry and the evil Colonel from Barb Wire ). This week ties up a couple of loose ends from the previous episodes; the invisible forcefield and the Alien enforcer killed by Vise.

This attempt at a story arc does not prevent the show from being blatantly inferior to Dark Skies . IMHO if the idea had not come from Devlin and Emmerich then this piece of schedule-filling trash would never have been taken up.

The Visitor visits a Doomsday Cult, who proclaim him to be the sign that the end is nigh. As you can expect, the Federal Agents try to raid the cult's HQ ...

The Visitor The Visitor [Season 1, Episode 7] Teufelsnacht
Shown 31/Oct/97
Reviewed Second Week, September 2000

McArthur tries to retrieve two alien crystals from a scientist and his estranged anti-war protester GF, whom he blames for blowing up his lab in 1970. Yes, the Littlest Hobo plot this week is to re-unite the lovers. Blegh! Vise (Steve Railsback - Lifeforce ) is on their trail too - but the FBI always get there ahead of him.

The alien space-ship detected in a previous episode is now closing on Earth. Vise uses the military satellite that was put in orbit several episodes back.

The Visitor The Visitor [Season 1, Episode 8] Reunion
Shown 07/Nov/97

The Visitor The Visitor [Season 1, Episode 9] Caged
Shown 14/Nov/97

McArthur is located by the Feds, who try to capture him. The local Law Enforcement types try to shoot him in the back when he runs away - even though he is clearly unarmed and not a threat.

They eventually catch him and stick him in a yet-to-be-officially-opened Federal prison.

Vise (Steve Railsback - Lifeforce ) is doing his Duane Barry routine. He has flashbacks to the time he saw his buddies abducted from a logging camp.

MacArthur has another foe to worry about. An alien bounty-hunter - actually one of Vise's buddies who was abducted by the aliens.

The Visitor The Visitor [Season 1, Episode 10] Going Home
Shown 05/Dec/97

The UFO pilot killed in the previous episode is given an autopsy by the NSA. However, MacArthur must recover the body and somehow convince the aliens that the dead guy was never on Earth ...

The FBI guys now have a rookie on their team, to replace the agent suspended for freeing MacArthur last episode.

The Visitor The Visitor [Season 1, Episode 11] Miracles
Shown 19/Dec/97

Nothing new here. Vise (Steve Railsback - Lifeforce ) harrasses a group of OAP scientists. Surprise surprise, we finally get the cliched woman giving birth plot.

The Visitor The Visitor [Season 1, Episode 12] The Chain
Shown 09/Jan/98
Reviewed 27th July 1999 [Tuesday]

The Visitor is on the trail of a psychic woman, who predicts that very soon something will come from the sky and they will kill us all.

Vise (Steve Railsback - Lifeforce ) carries on his investigation where last episode left off - with the cremated body McArthur left behind.

The Visitor The Visitor [Season 1, Episode 13] The Trial
Shown 16/Jan/98
Reviewed 3rd August 1999 [Tuesday]

The Visitor evades both the Feds and Vise (Steve Railsback - Lifeforce ) yet again. But the aliens have other ideas. Vise is wounded, and his journal is recovered by the Feebs.

Finally all the plot threads come together, and this show seems to be looking up. OTOH this could be regarded as just another of those episodes that uses a flimsy excuse to show clips from previous episodes.

MacArthur is abducted and held prisoner by the humans, including a token Baldwin brother. They put him on trial, which is a good excuse to show clips from previous episodes.





The Visitor

The Visitor The Visitor [Season 1 , Episode 1 ]
Shown th October 2016 [Wednesday]

Reviewed in our special supplement The Visitor

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