Aug 28, 2013

Tradecraft: NBC Developing Drama About NSA Hitman in a Coma... Or Something

Um... I don't understand this well enough to paraphrase, so I'm just going to reprint verbatim what Deadline reports about a new drama series in development at NBC: "Ricochet is a high-concept serialized action/thriller about a professional hitman who is trapped in a coma and forced to serve as a guinea pig for a secret NSA espionage program; a project that uses technology discovered while researching near-death-experiences to send operatives into other people’s bodies." Got it? Wait, what would the NSA want with a hitman? Oh, because he's in a coma! I see; that makes sense now. But...  Hey, wait. Well, Tripp Vinson, one of the producers on CBS's Josh Holloway spy series Intelligence, executive produces, so presumably he knows what all that means.


David Morefield said...

I'm guessing what they mean is that the "spirit" or "conciousness" of the comatose hitman is somehow transported, on demand, into the bodies of others, so he can kill through them. Sort of a lethal twist on "Quantum Leap."

Besides the obvious disturbing ethics of using others to kill (and thus setting them up to BE killed, or jailed for life), this would pose a practical dilemma as well: how do you keep folks watching a show where the lead is played by someone different every week? Unless like on "Quantum Leap" we always see him as "Coma Guy" regardless of how the other characters see him.

Or maybe I've got it all wrong. But so far I agree this premise is at best confusing and at worst plain stupid.

Tanner said...

And, for that matter, what does the NSA, an organization concerned with codebreaking and eavesdropping, want with a hitman???

If you're right about your interpretation of the premise (which you probably are), I'd say the only way that could work is if you Quantum Leap it so we always see Coma Guy! But I agree with your final conclusion.

David Morefield said...

Just the fact that they're using the NSA at all proves their bad judgement. It's hard to imagine a more reviled organization at the moment, with the possible exceptions of the IRS and Congress.

Tanner said...

So true! Yet I'm sure that's WHY they're doing it. The concept might have been written up with the CIA, and an exec came in and said, "The CIA is played out. Everyone does it. You know who everyone's talking about right now? The NSA! Use that!" without even thinking about the context of the discourse. Nearly every time the NSA is used in movies, I get the feeling it's because someone wanted an alternative to the CIA, but the two agencies obviously aren't interchangeable. But I suspect that's how we ended up with NSA agents like xXx (Vin Diesel) and Jinx (Halle Berry).