Second Chance, Fox’s new sci-fi/crime drama hybrid, opens with the murder of the show’s main character.
He’s Jimmy Pritchard, a sour old man living out his final years in disgrace after a corruption scandal ended his law-enforcement career. But true to the show’s title, he gets a do-over.
Jimmy is re-animated by a couple of modern-day Dr. Frankensteins — and now he finds himself in a chiseled 35-year-old body and possessing near superhuman strength.
The pilot episode, which was filmed in Dallas and airs at 8 p.m. Wednesday, then poses some provocative questions:
What will Pritchard do with a second chance at life, a second chance at youth? Will he try to reconnect with his estranged son, a dedicated FBI agent? Will he try to become a better man and embrace a new sense of purpose?
Or will he carry on as the same good-for-nothing so-and-so he was the first time around?
“It’s an interesting character cocktail,” says actor Rob Kazinsky, who stars as Pritchard Version 2.0. “And this is more than just your typical genre show. There are procedural aspects to it, although the show isn’t as simple as solving a crime every week.
“We’re also dealing with familial strife and a man’s struggle with his own demons. He was a bad father, a bad sheriff, a bad man. He was close to irredeemable. And now that he’s got this second chance, he’s not sure he even wants to be a better person.
“What does a guy like that do with an opportunity like this? What does he do with the rather extraordinary abilities he now has? It will be interesting to find out.”
That said, there was another ingredient to Second Chance that Kazinsky, a 32-year-old from England, found even more intriguing: that would be the show’s depiction of an invasive surveillance culture that, frighteningly, might not be far removed from reality.
Seems the brother-and-sister team of scientists who bring Pritchard back made their fortune as founders of a social networking empire called Lookinglass. Now they can exploit their invention to peek into anyone’s private life.
A TV series premise doesn’t get any timelier than that, Kazinsky says.
“We live in a world of Orwellian fears about an overreaching NSA and Facebook privacy issues,” he notes. “I’m not overly concerned that Big Brother might be watching me, though, because I have nothing to hide.”
Ultimately, Pritchard will decide to use his superherolike abilities to defend the city from evildoers. The scientist duo and their cyber-snooping abilities will prove to be a huge asset to his cause.
Kazinsky is probably best known to American audiences from his one season on True Blood (as Warlow, a faerie/vampire) and from the movie Pacific Rim (as resistance fighter Chuck Hansen).
The entire time I was in Dallas, I didn’t get to see or experience any of the city. I was almost exclusively in Mockingbird Station or going to set, I’m afraid
He spent a month in Dallas last year making the pilot (it was being called Frankenstein Code at that time). Then production of the series moved to Vancouver.
“I’ve got to be honest,” the actor says. “The entire time I was in Dallas, I didn’t get to see or experience any of the city. I was almost exclusively in Mockingbird Station or going to set, I’m afraid.”
Even though he’s only in his 30s, Kazinsky can relate to the wish-fulfillment appeal of getting a second chance at life, especially a second chance in a brand-new body.
“I’ve dealt with health issues of my own over the years,” he says. “I’ve had some fairly severe injuries which have kept me unable to walk for months and months at a time.
“When you get a serious injury, you’re never the same afterward. That’s the worst thing. You can never run as fast after you’ve blown out a knee. As you get older, there’s a slow breaking-down process.
“It’s horrible and, unfortunately, it’s an inevitable part of life.”
- 8 p.m. Wednesday
- KDFW/Channel 4