Since its debut earlier this season, there's been much speculation that ABC's The Forgotten might have been just that. Ratings were low, press was minimal. People were just…forgetting. Sure, it's another procedural drama in an already packed pool, but this series has two big names in its corner: leading man Christian Slater and executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer. But, on November 9, the show was remembered where it counts. ABC ordered five more episodes—a stay of execution for the struggling freshman drama. So now's the time, viewers, to step in and save a life.
The Forgotten is a Chicago-based drama about five members of a worldwide organization—The Forgotten Network—helping to identify and solve missing persons cases. Each episode is narrated by the John or Jane Doe in question. "You don't really think about it when you see a [missing person], but these people had lives. They had histories," Slater says. "You come into this world and the first thing you get is a name. You should have it when you leave."
The Chicago network is comprised of a former police detective (Slater), a telephone repairman, an ex-medical student, a school teacher and an office worker. "As the show unfolds, each character's reason for being involved in the network does get revealed," Slater says. "So you get to know each character individually and understand their motivations and where their heart lies."
What sets the show apart is that the gang is not made up of professionals—so they aren't constrained by office politics or limited by any code of conduct. Watching as they turn tiny details and shreds of evidence and into real leads is intriguing because it makes you think, if only for a second, that you too could play detective for a day.
Of course, the network's lack of professional credentials works against them as much as it works for them. "We don't always get the answers, because we're not cops. We're not always taken very seriously by other people, so we end up hitting some real brick walls," Slater says. "But we're persistent and we don't give up. And we don't forget."
Published on November 16, 2009
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