“ALPHAS is what HEROES should have been!” That’s what I tell people when they ask me what the show is like. Most haven’t really caught the show yet, except us SYFY channel zombies that end up trying all their programming. When Alphas started last year, I figured it might be worth a chance to check out, particularly because it looked like it had a decent budget, and it didn’t look campy like Warehouse or Eureka (even though campy is fine if done right). I thought is was also a Heroes / X-Men ripoff, but what isn’t a ripoff of something else in some way or another.
After watching the pilot last year, I was sold on the show. Basically, there is Dr. Rosen that specializes in extraordinarily gifted humans (Xaviar with hair, no wheelchair). He heads up a team of ‘Alphas’ as he calls them, to consult on special cases the FBI are interested in. The case for the pilot introduced a guy that has advanced hand-eye coordination. He did a crazy sniper move and took out a prisoner locked up in a holding cell. The show starts with the team already working together, but you can tell that they are still new at the game. It’s a very ‘rough around the edges’ type of crew. Every Alpha has a different power, but sometimes there is a downside. Rachel has heightened senses, but can only use one of them at a time. Bill can boost his strength, but it’s not good for his body after a while. Then there is Gary, who has Autism, but can also ‘see’ radio waves in the air. And lastly Nina has the power of suggestion, like “You feel tired, got to sleep now’ suggestion. Little spoiler here – Hicks, the guy with the ultra hand-eye thing, becomes part of the team eventually.
Watch this trailer that does a little recapping of season one, but sets up season two. It’s also a little bit spoilery, but it doesn’t ruin anything…
This is the second time SYFY has featured a character that has autism (Eureka first). And the writers and Ryan Cartwright, who plays Gary, handle the role very well from what I see.
So far, after seeing season one, I’m feeling the show 100%. They actually told a storyline that Heroes took three seasons to tell. And the powers are interesting because the creators seem to be limiting the characters to having powers that can only manifest biologically. I haven’t seen anybody be able to throw fireballs or have telekinesis. The powers, as Rosen explains it, come from a configuration of the brain or body. People don’t turn invisible, they step between a viewers peripheral vision. Maybe Gary’s perception and manipulation of the radio spectrum break that rule, but for the most part, the powers are interesting and different. But even more interesting is the interaction between the heroes. Also, there is some government conspiracy intrigue mixed in with a little ‘us versus them’ situation with a group called ‘Red Flag’. ALPHAS stars David Strathairn, Ryan Cartwright, Warren Christie, Malik Yoba (New York Undercover), Laura Mennell, Azita Ghanizada and Mahershala Ali (4400).
Anyway, the acting is on point, the plot is interesting inside and out, and the powers keep you wanting to see what else they are going to come up with. I enjoy the show because I think SYFY got a drama correct. Warehouse 13 and Eureka and even Sanctuary have a very different feel. If you have seen the show, tell me what you think of it. And listen to my Geek Soul Brother Live! podcast this Tuesday at 10pm where I’ll give a recap of the Season two premiere.
Season 2 is premiering right after Warehouse 13 tomorrow night (Monday July 23) at 10pm eastern.