Century City Review – “The Face Was Familiar”

The last two reviews of Century City will be
some time coming. Details at the bottom of this

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

This episode written by series creator Ed

Directed by Michael Lehmann.

Complete information is
available from this

Past TV reviews can be found here.

Original Airdate

The Face Was Familiar was never aired by CBS.
Space: The Imagination
been running the series in reruns over the summer.


Again, we have two court cases. In the serious case,
a traumatized
child may be cured if all memories of his mother are
wiped from his
mind. (His mother isn’t thrilled with this.) In the
goofy case, a
remarkably busy married couple are brought on trial
for having sex in
their car on the “smart” freeway, in full view of a
van full of pixie
scouts. In the office side of the plot, Tom Montero
confronts Hannah
Crane about Lee May Bristol, and learns that she was
part of the
genetic prototype project.

High Point

Lee May does long division. To put this into
spoiler-filled context:
Darwin is bragging about having
many “lovely
encounters” on the smart freeway between Sunset Blvd.
and the Marina.
Lee May overhears, quickly does the math, and reveals
in front of
Lukas and Tom that these “lovely encounters” must be
lasting less than
seven minutes and forty-four seconds.
Lee May’s
entire plotline
this episode was great, as was Lehman’s portrayal of
her during the
climbing scene.

Low Point

The goofy case is finally a case the group could have
lost. No law
firm has this kind of success rate. True, this
episode was second in
the production order, (which helps explain why Tom
refers to Lee May
as the “new associate”) so the average wouldn’t have
been as obvious
when produced, but it still bugs me that they seem to
win so often.
(I remember one loss in the entire series, but it was
something of a
moral victory.)

The Review

The medical procedure proposed was original
as far as I
know. The goofy case wasn’t quite so new. I give it
4 out of 6.

The effects are the usual, seamless
environmental stuff. I
just love the way they’re used here. I give it 6 out
of 6.

The stories were held together well enough,
but something
about the series case just didn’t connect. That’s a
case that needs
an excellent child actor, and they didn’t have one,
nor did they give
the child a lot of screen time. The others tied
together nicely,
though. I give it 4 out of 6.

The acting was good from some of the team.
Lehman did a very
good job, as did Davis, Elizondo, Carbonell, and the
guest stars
playing the married couple. The guest actors playing
the traumatized
child and the pixie scout driver weren’t as
impressive. I give it 4
out of 6.

The emotional response from the serious case
wasn’t as
powerful as it could have been, and I think that comes
down to
underusing the character of Toby, and poorly casting
it. The goofy
case and the office plotline worked well, though. I
give it 4 out of

The production was very well done. The
opening shot of the
“smart” freeway was a subtle introduction to the
concept that was
about to become important. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a decent episode, but not as
effective as it
should have been. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, The Face Was Familiar receives 30
out of 42.

Additional Comments

Space hasn’t pulled the show from the schedule.
Rather, they’ve moved
it to Wednesday nights, and will restart from the
pilot episode this
Wednesday, June 29. (Canadians going to opening night
of War of
the Worlds
may wish to set their VCR/DVD-R/PVRs.)
This schedule
should give them enough time to run the entire series
over the
summer. It’s worth checking out, and now you can
start from the
beginning. The last two episodes to be reviewed,
and Only You, will be reviewed
in August if
the schedule holds.