Minority Report was a great movie, save some differing opinions about the ending. For those who haven’t seen it, the movie is set in a Washington D.C. of the 2050s, where they have a new program called PreCrime. PreCrime relies on three precogs (people who can see visions of the future) who predict each murder before it happens. Then Tom Cruise and his fellow officers arrest the perpetrators before any murders can happen. The public is sold the idea that this is a great program which totally doesn’t infringe on anyone’s rights. Though the movie was made in 2002, it had some great points to make about today’s technology and technological monitoring, as well as commentary on free will. Yet it was one of those self-contained movies; like with Citizen Kane, I never felt the need to see a sequel or to see any more of its universe. So I was apprehensive, not excited, when I first saw a trailer for a Minority Report TV show on FOX.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fLl-DMzxrk]
In Minority Report, Tom Cruise kidnaps the main precog, Agatha, to help him escape his fellow cops. The other two—the twins—we don’t learn much about, and so it’s one of them—Dash—that this TV show focuses on. Although the PreCrime program was abolished, he’s still seeing bits and pieces of crimes that will happen, except now, no one is stopping them from happening. So he teams up with a D.C. cop, Lara Vega, to try and do some good.
At first glance, the show looks like it might actually be okay. It’s got a decent amount of racial diversity (there’s more than just one person of color! We have a low bar) and it makes sense that Dash had to be white, given that they’re going off the original movie. However, unfortunately for Minority Report the TV show, a lot of procedurals feature a ~special~ white guy and a more ordinary partner, whether that’s Sherlock, Psych, Castle, Sleepy Hollow, or any number of other crime-solving shows. So, while it makes sense for Dash to be the enhanced partner, the setup already seems cliché. There was a lot to explore about the precogs—I especially have always wanted to unpack the line “it helps if you don’t think of them as human” from the movie—and the TV show doesn’t look like they’re going to delve into the life of a precog as much as they want to talk about the mystery of where Dash’s brother is. Not looking into it would be a missed opportunity for sure.
The other problem is, Minority Report the movie was literally about how PreCrime was a program that violated free will, but Minority Report the TV show seems like it’s going to talk about how precognition can be used for good, in a way that could directly contradict the messages of the movie. If so, it’ll take away most of what made the movie great. Why would you take a movie about political scheming and broken families and free will and turn it into a bland procedural? I guess we’ll see this September…