Century City Review – “Pilot”

There was one vote for a full series review, and one
for individual episode reviews. I’ll cast the
tiebreaker myself and review each of the nine episodes

Cast and Crew

Nestor Carbonell as Tom Montero

Viola Davis as Hannah Crane

Ioan Gruffudd as Lukas Gold

Kristin Lehman as Lee May Bristol

Eric Schaeffer as Darwin McNeil

Hector Elizondo as Martin Constable

Created by Ed Zuckerman, who also wrote this

Directed by Michael Lehmann.

Complete information is
available from this

Past TV reviews can be found here.

Original Airdate

This series launched in March, 2004. (At least,
that’s what the
IMDB and Epguides say. I thought it was from 2005,
but I could be
wrong.) It was cancelled before the run was complete.
This rerun
aired May 15, 2005, on the Canadian Space network.
The order used by
Space is the order provided by CBS in its original
run. In other
words, assigning numbers according to production order
(as one would
have to do to make sense of the office interaction
plotlines) it is
being aired in the order 1, 6, 3, 8, 4, 5, 2, 7, 9.
(That’s a sixth
order permutation in a 9 episode sequence, just in
case you’re


The series takes place in a world where medical
science has undergone
dramatic advancements by the year 2030. The law firm
of Crane
Constable specializes in cases that deal with medical
ethical issues
as a result of these advances. (Well, to be honest,
I’m not sure if
it’s a specialty, or if the world it’s set in just has
these cases
crop up to often that they’re the bulk of the cases in
any firm.)

Most episodes have two cases. One case is the serious
one, designed
to point out issues that our society is going to need
to face, while
the other is a more comical entry seemingly designed
to keep things
entertaining more than preachy. In this episode, the
serious case is
one about cloning. (ie. what are the rights and legal
status of an
embryo cloned specifically to grow organs to save the
life of the DNA
donor?) The comical case is about a group of aging
rock stars who are
suing one of the band members for not maintaining a
appearance into his 70s.

High Point

Lee May shuts down Darwin in the office.

Low Point

The bad effects during the performance.

The Review

This was an original series in many ways.
Yes, legal dramas
are everywhere, but this covered the issues coming up
in a science
fiction series while combining it with a more popular
genre, possibly
in an attempt to reach a different audience than
sci-fi or legal shows
tend to reach. Some of the character archetypes at
this stage were
pretty obvious, but that’s not a bad thing with a six
character cast
in a one hour drama. I give it 4 out of 6.

The effects were primarily used to build the
Attention is not drawn to most of them, and of the
eight episodes I’ve
seen so far, the one effect at the end of this episode
is the only one
I remember bothering me. There are a lot of them, but
they are
subtle. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story is well written. We have two cases
that take up a
lot of the episode, and we still manage to get solid
introductions to
every character in the cast. We learn some of who
they are now and
who they have been, and learn about how they’re going
to interact.
The actual cases are often more interesting than those
I see on other
legal dramas, partially because some of these
philosophical questions
that have gone unanswered for years will end up in the
courtrooms as
this one did. I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting is actually well done. Ioan
Gruffudd has a few
off moments here, which is a bit disconcerting. (I
originally gave
this show a chance to see how the future Mr. Fantastic
might work
out.) The good news is that the awkwardness I see
from him here
didn’t crop up in later episodes, so it may have just
taken him a
little longer to settle into the role than it took the
others. I give
it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response is pretty good.
They’ve got the
comedic portions done quite well, with some real
dramatic tension at
points. I give it 4 out of 6.

The production is well done, too. This was a
fairly high
quality show, but the amount of environmental special
effects needed
to produce it kept costs high. They did their jobs
right. I give it
5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a good pilot episode, which is
consistent with
the tone and look of the rest of the series. It’s
worth checking out
if your Sunday mornings (or recording devices) are
free and you live
in Canada. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, the Century City “Pilot” episode
receives 32 out of 42.

One reply

  1. something I thought nifty at the time…
    was that the “head” rockstar (in the still youthful group) was played by the same actor who played “Martouf” in SG-1. Unforuntately killed in a (now) fairly early episode, it was neat to see him again. and almost funny to have him…well…not be around for long here either. I was really disappointed when this show got cancelled…though admittedly I didn’t watch it that much. just can’t get into legal dramas, regardless of the fantasy/sci-fi nature.

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