There probably aren’t very many people who remember Fox’s ill-fated reboot/sequel of Minority Report, which was quietly canceled in 2016 after a supremely lackluster first season. The TV series had so much potential—it introduced a huge number of characters of color to a canon that was predominantly white and it discussed complicated issues like immigration, genetic engineering, and police profiling, though it never got deep enough into any of these issues to really be satisfactory. I can honestly say that I enjoyed watching it, despite its many writing missteps.
However, the main failure of the show was its handling of the PreCrime program and the precogs who were used against their will to run it. While the original Minority Report film ended the PreCrime program because John Anderton proved that people could choose not to commit a crime and thus change their own futures, the Minority Report TV show made this touchy issue into a procedural cop drama by assuming that all the futures the precogs saw would definitely come to pass. This uninspired utilization of the original film’s themes meant that the TV reboot was neither as creative nor as thought-provoking as its predecessor, and it unfortunately meant that the potentially meaty conflict between leads Lara Vega, a Metro P.D. cop who believed fervently that PreCrime was the best way forward for society, and Dash, a precog who wanted to help people but didn’t want to be put back in the milk bath, was quickly erased so that the procedural cop drama could move forward. We never got to see a connection between the themes and characters of the film and the themes and characters of the show. But fortunately, in fanfiction, other writers can tackle these problems for us.
One of my favorite movies of all time is Minority Report, a 2002 movie by Steven Spielberg which was based on the Philip K. Dick story of the same name. I watched it for the first time at a young impressionable age and spent maybe a little too much time thinking about its morals and themes, but when I wanted to revisit it recently before the ill-fated Minority Report reboot aired, I found that I had lost my copy of the DVD. Fortunately for me, it finally turned up, and I settled in to realize that the messages of this movie, though somewhat flawed, are still relevant today.
Spoilers after the jump.
Well, the premiere of Minority Report hit TV last night, and it was… okay? I was hoping to use the premiere as an excuse to rewatch the 2002 movie, but after a fruitless afternoon of searching, there was no sign of my DVD, so I had to give it up. Even without a rewatch of the movie, though, it was clear that Minority Report the TV show was not going to carry the same gravitas as the movie did.
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.