tek's rating:

The Pretender, on NBC
IMDb; Pretender Centre; TV Tango; TV Tropes; Wikia; Wikipedia
streaming sites: Amazon; iTunes; Vudu

There is an organization known as the Centre. They do all kinds of strange and horrible things there, you'll never know about all of it. One thing is they had stolen and raised some kids who are Pretenders, which means they can quickly study up on any subject, put themselves into any situation, and become anyone. Do any kind of job. Figure things out. They're brilliant, and the Centre was using their genius for evil purposes. One of those Pretenders, Jarod (Michael T. Weiss), escaped, when he was grown up. Each week he'd assume a new identity, a new job, and help people out, or bring people to justice for their misdeeds. He was also constantly trying to find his parents, who he hadn't seen for many years, since he was stolen from them. And, he's constantly learning about life in the outside world, and trying to figure out how he fits into it. And we occasionally see flashbacks to when he was a kid (played by Ryan Merriman) at the Centre, as well as video recordings of some of his time there, on small discs called DSAs (digital simulation archives). Generally the stuff Jarod watched on the DSAs he stole when he escaped the Centre would relate somehow to what was going on in his life now.

Meanwhile, a team from the Centre were trying to find and recapture him. They included Miss Parker (Andrea Parker; portrayed in flashbacks by Ashley Peldon), who was the daughter of Mr. Parker, one of the people who ran the Centre; and Sydney (Patrick Bauchau), a psychologist or something, who had raised Jarod at the Centre and thought of him as a son; and Broots (Jon Gries), who basically did research and computer stuff. Meanwhile, there are a great many mysteries surrounding the Centre; one of them concerns the death many years ago of Miss Parker's mother, about which Jarod tries to help Miss Parker find the truth. Of course there are all kinds of other people at the Centre, evil people like Mr. Raines, Mr. Lyle (James Denton, who would later become more familiar to me on Desperate Housewives), the Triumvirate, et al. It's all unbelievably complicated.

There have been a couple TV movies on TNT: The Pretender 2001 (IMDb) and Island of the Haunted (IMDb) and may be more eventually... But I don't think we'll ever find out about everything. Surely not everything will ever be answered.

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