Minority Report follows the unlikely partnership between a man haunted by the future and a cop haunted by her past, as they race to stop the worst crimes of the year 2065 before they happen. Set in Washington, D.C., it is 10 years after the demise of Precrime, a law enforcement agency tasked with identifying and eliminating criminals…before their crimes were committed. To carry out this brand of justice, the agency used three precogs – “precognitives” Dash, Arthur and Agatha – who were able to see the future.
Now, crime-solving is different, and justice leans more on sophisticated and trusted technology than on the instincts of the precogs. Precog Dash (Stark Sands, Inside Llewyn Davis) – driven by his terrifying, but fragmented visions – now has returned in secret to help a brash, but shrewd, police detective, Lara Vega (Meagan Good, Think Like a Man, Californication), attempt to stop the murders that he predicts. As they navigate this future America, they will search for Dash’s missing twin brother, Arthur, and elude others who will stop at nothing to exploit their precog abilities. Also complicating matters is Dash and Arthur’s ingenious, but reclusive, foster sister, Agatha (Laura Regan, Mad Men, Unbreakable), who just wants Dash to return home. A drama of crime and conspiracy, this is a timeless story of connection: two lost souls, Dash and Vega, who find friendship, purpose and redemption in each other. (synopsis via Coming Soon)
Seeing what the future holds, or precognition, is held up by many as the most wondrous of gifts, affording its recipient, who is usually ambivalent at best, tortured at worst about their ability, an opportunity denied to most mere mortals – to know what awaits them or humanity as a whole, and take steps to either embrace it or avoid it.
Of course its benefits, which can range from self-aggrandizement (buying shares, lottery tickets, placing judiciously-calculated bets based on the ultimate of insider knowledge) to the wider ennobling or salvation of humanity (averting epidemic, calamity, disaster), are only as good as the wielder of the gift (or curse, depending on your perspective) or those controlling the gifted, a truth not fully-grasped in the original Minority Report by anyone except rogue cop Captain John Anderton (Tom Cruise).
Even if you are possessed of the most pure of motives, in this case to forge a society free of crime by stopping it before it can happen, issues like free will versus determinism come into play, as does whether imprisoning the Precogs as they are called and using them for society’s greater good is acceptable if they don’t consent to that purpose to begin with.
It’s a thorny issue replete with a million social conundrums, which grants a TV series like Minority Report, whose trailer has just been released by Fox as this year’s Upfronts as they are known, the opportunity to explore some very fertile dramatic territory indeed.
Quite whether this promising new show, which resembles a police procedural with a pronounced futuristic twist will go too deeply into these issues isn’t known although the trailer does suggest it will delve into the idea that precognition is a double-edged sword of an ability, carrying it with the potential for great good and great harm if improperly-wielded.
And as Dash, the only known remaining precog will attest – clearly he isn’t alone, the revelation of which should grant the show the chance to forge an intriguing wider narrative arc than just a simple repetitive case-of-the-week – a great self deal of personal trauma and self-recrimination.
It’s a premise rich with possibility, something that a cable channel like HBO or AMC would have a storytelling field day with, allowing the narrative to go in a million, complicated directions all at once.
Quite whether Fox, as beholden to the conservatism of network TV as ABC, NBC or CBS, will be willing to take those chances isn’t known but you can only hope braver souls will prevail and Minority Report will be able to tell the story of Dash and the police detective which he partners, Lara Vega, with all the flawed vivacity it seems to be capable of conveying.
Minority Report premieres in the US fall on Fox.