It’s 5:43 pm
It’s a chilly spring day here in SE Michigan. I have the windows open despite the chill because the cheetah really wants to smell and feel some fresh air. He wants to hear the birds chirp,kids laugh and play and most likely sense some female cats are in heat because he is racing up and down the stairs.
Back in 2009 the film “Watchmen” hit the theaters,it was the film that made director Zack Snyder a household name and helped fuel the current superhero movie run. The movie itself was either loved or hated by fanboys everywhere and for the general audience found itself also with mixed emotions about what they were seeing. While the debate raged on in boards and chat rooms everywhere,everyone agreed about one thing:
Jackie Earle Haley owned the movie as the anti-hero Rorschach,it was an blistering performance to is easily and without question one of the top 3 acting performances in ANY superhero movie…the other two can be anyone you want to name but Haley will always be on the list….always.
So when Warner Brothers decided to try and reboot the DC Comics character Christopher Chance aka Human Target for Fox in 2010,my interest was high because getting any superhero shows on TV is always a good thing and when show’s cast was named and Jackie Earle Haley’s name popped up,I knew I was going to watch it.
Human Target first appeared in DC Comics as a back-up story in “The Brave and the Bold” and “Detective Magazine”. DC later did a series,a few mini-series and a few one shots before moving the title to Vertigo,DC’s adult comic book line.
Mark Valley was cast as Christopher Chance,an ex-assassin who after losing a person he was trying to protect from his own employer,decided to work for the side of the angels. He protects people from major threats by placing himself in the line of fire in order to stop said threat,Chi McBride plays his friend Winston,a former police detective for the San Francisco Police Department who helps land jobs for Chance and is often a back-up to Chance and Jackie played Guerrero,an ex-assassin with deep ties to Chance and is completely ruthless in watching Chance’s back.
The show debuted on Fox on 15 Jan 2010 as a mid-season replacement and it was a blast. The first 13 episodes were full of action,drama,sadness and a sense of fun. I never missed a show when it aired that first season.
Human Target was a bubble show for Fox and we fanboys had to wait til May until Fox said they had renewed the show for the second season…..and when I can find that season,we’ll talk about it.
But I will say this right now,the first season was the best season. The pilot episode was directed by Simon West who has a wealth of experience in directing action movies like “Con Air” and great mystery films like “The General’s Daughter” (my favor John Travolta movie). West also had worked with Mark Valley in the short lived series “Keen Eddie”.
The first episode was everything the show was hyped up to be and it only got better.
A great premise about someone trying to kill a whistleblower on a brand new bullet train showed that “Human Target” was not your average superhero show as Christopher Chance,while trying to avoid doing so,wasn’t afraid of killing to protect the person he is helping.
A theme that ran throughout the first season was redemption and in the second episode “Rewind”,we start learning about Chance’s back story as he and Winston are hired to protect a unknown hacker named Casper who is targeted because Casper has come up with a skeleton key that could hijack the internet. When the plane they are on runs into trouble,Chance and a flight attendant are the only ones who can save the plane.
We see just how far Guerrero will go to protect Chance as well…
We learn that Chance was once worked for a group of highly skilled assassins and whose leader has hand-picked Chance as the next leader before he vanished after the job that cost the life of the woman Chance was trying to save. Now the The Old Man wants Chance back and despite Guerrero’s best efforts,we know that in each episode the noose is tightening up a little more and it’s a matter of time before he found.
The guest stars for Human Target were pretty strong as a host of well known faces popped up in the first season. Tricia Helfer,Courtney Ford,Kim Coates,the fantastic Lennie James,the lovely Amy Acker and Emmanuelle Vaugier all guest starred.
The season’s last episode,”Christopher Chance” is a kick ass homage to “Have Gun,Will Travel’s own classic origin story,”Genesis”, of how Paladin got his name.
In this episode,we find out how Christopher Chance got his name,who killed the woman he was first hired to kill and then went rogue in trying to save her. The origin,just as in HGWT,is told via flashback to a third party. The end of the episode reveals that The Old Man has caught up to Chance and he has kidnapped Winston in order to for Chance to look for a book. The first season ended being a cliffhanger and quite a dandy one at that.
The second season only last 12 episodes before Fox pulled the plug…what is funny is that the Human Target’s Neilsen numbers back then would have it as a major hit today. The show was just another of Fox’s infamous quick hooks of great shows that weren’t given time to develop a audience. It was also the last show I watched on Fox with any regularity,why invest time and energy in a show when the network was just going to cancel it?
In the DVD release,there are two 15 minute extra features,a director’s commentary on the Pilot show and several unaired clips. “Human Target” is a show worth looking up and adding to your collection,especially if you are a fan of action-adventure,superhero shows and great acting.
What show have you watched that was cancelled way too early in your opinion? Did you ever watch “Human Target” when it on? What did you think of the show? Did you have a favorite character or moment? Drop a comment below!!