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Tony Williams
August 7th, 2007, 09:07 PM
From my blog at http://sciencefictionfantasy.blogspot.com/ :

I don't usually watch much SFF on TV or at the cinema, but I recently saw the start of a promising new series on BBC TV, called 'Empathy'. It is set in present-day England and concerns a man, recently released from prison, who has intense visions whenever he comes into contact with people or belongings associated with them. He discovers that these visions are real, that they actually show him what the people experienced at a moment of strong emotion – such as when killing someone. As a result, he stumbles across evidence concerning a murder. He tries to alert the police, but they arrest him for the murder instead, because he knows too much about it. Eventually he is able to prove his innocence and to convince the police that his ability is real, and he joins with them to track down the killer.

In an effort to identify the cause of his visions he has various medical checks, including a scan which reveals a brain tumour which he believes is causing his visions. In SF terms, there are some problems with this basic premise: to have him picking up images and emotions from people on contact with them is one thing, to have the same visions when handling their clothes is entirely another…and there's a suggestion at the end that he might be able to see visions of the future. So there's a greater than usual suspension of disbelief needed.

The mood of the production is adult and serious, like one of the better crime series. Some interesting tensions are building up between the protagonist, his ex-wife (now remarried) and the female police officer who works with him.

Despite the dubious plot issues, I found it a quite gripping and entertaining 90 minutes and will be watching at least the next one, to see how it develops.

August 8th, 2007, 02:47 AM
How they got away with this one without Stephen King realising I just don't know. See The Dead Zone (book, film and TV series) for a better version. :)