I missed the first few minutes of the screening for the new series Intelligence while getting seated in Ballroom 20 on Thursday morning. It is about a man
(Josh Holloway, Lost) with some type of technological implant that is helpful to the government in hunting down bad guys. Said bad guys may have kidnapped his wife, so he’s obligated to help them. Oh, and the bad guys are “the Chinese”.

Unclear about the details of the set-up, I must say that what I saw reminded me more than a little (in tone and style) to The Six Million Dollar Man. Interestingly, in the panel following the screening, Executive Producer Michael Seitzman admitted that the classic 70s show was indeed an influence. He said, though, that with inflation, the price tag is into the billions now. He added, “Information is the bionic power of today.”

In the field with Riley O’Neil (Meghan Ory), Holloway’s character, Gabriel Black, cracks wise and uses his implant to somehow scan what people know, kind of like high-tech mind reading (among other “bionic information powers”). The best scene is when he calculates the correct angle for a rescued scientist (?) to shoot a villain from the window of another building. But I didn’t find much else to enjoy in the pilot.

Marg Helgenberger running things back at headquarters is reminiscent of just another CBS procedural. When asked about the difference between Intelligence and CSI, the show she was on for umpteen years, she stated during the panel, “This is the Federal government, not the Las Vegas Police Department… And I’M in charge.” Yawn; not a selling point for me, although I’m sure there’s an audience for it, and CBS is probably the home of that audience.

Holloway is a selling point, though… if he relaxes into the role a little more… and a lot quicker. Producer Tripp Vinson said that they looked for ways to humanize his character; they didn’t want a robot. In my opinion, they need to keep looking. Holloway said it was a “funny dichotomy” that they picked him for the computer guy and that he grew up wanting to play a secret agent. Good, Josh, then let loose and enjoy it. You look nice and clean cut, but you need to have more fun.

If, like me, you’re mostly concerned about the fact that Ory starring in the show must mean the demise of her character on Once Upon a Time, she teased a return, “Red/Ruby never died. I like to think she’s running around in the woods somewhere.” And, since the Intelligence pilot was not my basket of goodies, I have to wonder if a cancellation might force her to exit from those woods sooner rather than later.

SDCC 2013: Is Intelligence Too Smart for Its Own Good?
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