The 4400

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The 4400

Title screen
Format Science fiction drama
Created by René Echevarria
Scott Peters
Starring Joel Gretsch
Jacqueline McKenzie
Patrick Flueger
Theme music composer Amanda Abizaid
Opening theme "A Place in Time"
Country of origin United States and
United Kingdom
co-production in
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 45 (List of episodes)
Location(s) Vancouver, British Columbia
Running time approx. 42 minutes
Original channel USA Network
Original run July 11, 2004 – September 16, 2007

The 4400 (pronounced "The Forty-four Hundred") is a science fiction TV series produced by CBS Paramount Network Television[1] in association with Sky Television, Renegade 83 and American Zoetrope for USA Network.[2] The show was created and written by Scott Peters and René Echevarria, and it stars Joel Gretsch and Jacqueline McKenzie. The series ran for four seasons from 2004 until its cancellation in 2007.[3]

In the pilot episode, what was originally thought to be a comet deposits a group of exactly 4400 people at Highland Beach, in the Cascade Range foothills near Mount Rainier, Washington. Each of the 4400 had disappeared at various times starting from 1946[4] in a beam of white light. None of the 4400 have aged from the time of their disappearance. Confused and disoriented, they remember nothing between the time of their disappearance and their return.


[edit] Cast


[edit] Synopsis

Season three cast of The 4400.

The National Threat Assessment Command (NTAC), a division of the Department of Homeland Security, is in charge of dealing with the return of the 4400. The primary agents assigned to the cases of investigating the 4400 are Tom Baldwin and Diana Skouris, as well as their immediate superior for season one, Dennis Ryland. In seasons 2–3, Ryland is replaced by Nina Jarvis and theory room consultant Marco Pacella with Ryland becoming a recurring character. Season 4 sees Jarvis replaced by Meghan Doyle.

Many of the returned people have trouble trying to get their lives back on track after being separated from their world for years. More significantly, a small number of the returnees begin to manifest paranormal abilities, such as telekinesis, telepathy and precognition, as well as other "gifts". For example, in the pilot episode Shawn Farrell manifests an ability to bring a dead bird back to life. In addition, one of the 4400 (Lily Moore) has become pregnant between her disappearance and return.

The first season finale, "White Light", reveals that the 4400 were abducted, not by aliens, but by humans from the Earth's future; that Kyle Baldwin was to be their "messenger"' and that they were returned to avert a catastrophe.

By the second season, it is revealed that all 4400 have a neurotransmitter called promicin in their brains, which gives them their powers. The government, afraid of what this large group would do with such power, secretly doses all 4400 with a promicin-inhibitor which works on most of the 4400, but not those who were later seen with powers. The inhibitor causes a potentially fatal immune deficiency as a side effect in the returnees. It is ultimately removed from the 4400 by a dose of promicin extracted by Kevin Burkhoff from the blood of the infant Isabelle, who was never given the inhibitor.

At the beginning of the third season, the Nova Group, a terrorist faction made up of 4400s, has made itself known. Originally formed as a "defensive" group in the aftermath of the promicin-inhibitor scandal, the Nova Group eventually carries out numerous terrorist attacks against the government and NTAC. The group is responsible for many terrorist attacks including the assassination of the men involved with the promicin-inhibitor conspiracy; the attempted assassination of Ryland; the framing of Baldwin for murder; and the driving of another person to insanity.

During the third and fourth season, it is revealed that only a certain faction from the future wants to see history changed. Another faction, that prefers the status quo, opposes the 4400, and has sent their own operatives, including Isabelle Tyler and "the Marked", into the past. The exact motives of both factions have not yet been revealed.

Eventually, Jordan Collier, who declares himself the savior of humanity, makes promicin shots available to the general public. However, only half of the human population can actually tolerate promicin, and thus develop superhuman abilities, while the other half die upon taking the shot. Although the government outlaws promicin use, thousands of previously ordinary people have developed superhuman abilities, severely complicating NTAC's task. Collier later annexed a part of Seattle and transformed it into "Promise City", a self-proclaimed paradise open to all people with superhuman abilities. Attempts to reclaim Promise City by the US government have met with little success, and considering the damage certain 4400s loyal to Collier could do, NTAC has advised caution in attempting to do so by force.

[edit] Ripple effect

Early in the first season, the "masterminds" at NTAC suspect that the 4400s have been placed in the timeline with their enhanced abilities for a purpose, to effect some change that could propagate and redirect the course of history.[6]

An example of this effect at work came during the third season episode "Gone, Part II," in which five 4400 children are once again abducted by the future and "seeded" back into history at different time periods. Some of the "advances" accomplished by this feat included the development of artificial petroleum and composite materials used in the first lunar colonies, according to background conversations "overheard" at NTAC. These advances are negated (restoring the original timeline) in exchange for Tom Baldwin agreeing to do whatever the future asks of him, to help prevent the "disaster" to come — which he learns is an order to kill Isabelle Tyler.[7] Tom Baldwin initially reneges on his agreement with the future humans, but the seemingly indestructible Isabelle forces his hand in the season three finale and is stripped of her abilities.

At the conclusion of the series, Danny Farell's uncontrolled ability exposed some of the residents of Seattle to promicin, resulting in about 9,000 deaths and as many newly-empowered humans, while at the same time forcing the remains of NTAC (now themselves mostly promicin-positive) to ask Jordan Collier and his followers (as the only group immune to the 50% chance of death from exposure) to become the de facto government of Seattle. The series ended with a cliff-hanger, with Collier pledging to build the future he had promised, while the government watches uneasily as Collier's militia remains in control of Seattle, now known as Promise City. The final episode leaves the story-line unfinished.

[edit] Episodes

Season Start date End date
Season 1 July 11, 2004 August 8, 2004
Season 2 June 5, 2005 August 28, 2005
Season 3 June 11, 2006 August 27, 2006
Season 4[8] June 17, 2007[9] September 16, 2007[9]

The 4400 ran for four seasons. The first season is presented as a miniseries of five episodes,[10] which aired weekly from July 11, 2004 to August 8, 2004. Seasons two, three and four are each 13-episode seasons.[8][10]

A special episode, "The 4400: Unlocking the Secrets", aired between seasons two and three, on June 3, 2006, originally on NBC.[11]

Production of a third season was shot in Vancouver until July 26, 2006.[12] The third season premiered June 11, 2006, with 4.2 million viewers tuning in.[13] Executive Producer Ira Steven Behr described season three as "bigger and more mythic. It feels like 26 episodes instead of 13 because we're cramming so much stuff in". Production of the fourth and final season began in early 2007 for a mid-year premiere,[8] returning with the episode "The Wrath of Graham".[9] Billy Campbell, the actor who plays Collier, took most of season three off to sail around the world,[14]. The show was rewritten to explain the character's absence, making him the victim of an assassination attempt. In the fourth season, Campbell returned to the series as a regular, rather than a guest star as in the previous three seasons,[15] with the revelation that the character had been alive after all, but had wandered as an amnesiac for two years until he reappeared to assume his role as the leader of the 4400.

[edit] Cancellation

Writer and co-creator Scott Peters announced on December 18, 2007 that due to the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike, budgetary problems, and lower-than-anticipated ratings, The 4400 had been cancelled and would not be returning for a fifth season, despite the fourth season's cliff-hanger.[3] Fans of the show mounted an unsuccessful campaign to resurrect the series, sending petitions and sunflower seeds to SciFi and USA Network president Bonnie Hammer.[16] In April 2008, the campaign shifted to target Jeff Zucker,[17] president and chief executive officer of the NBC/Universal TV group, again with little success.

[edit] Books

  • The Vesuvius Prophecy, the first book based on the series, was released in June 2008. Set during the show's third season, the plot revolves around Maia's prophecy of the eruption of Mt. Rainier.[18]
  • Wet Work is the second original novel based on the series. Published in October 2008, it is set during the show's second season. Its plot concerns Tom and Diana's hunt for a rogue government assassin who uses her promicin powers to kill people.[19]
  • Welcome to Promise City is the third book based on the series, and the first set after the events of the series' final-episode cliffhanger. It is scheduled for publication in June 2009.[20]
  • Promises Broken is the fourth book based on the series, and the second set after the events of the series' final-episode cliffhanger. It is scheduled for publication in November 2009, and is being touted by its author as a "grand finale" for the series.[21]

[edit] Production

The theme song of the show is "A Place in Time", written by Robert Phillips and Tim Paruskewitz, performed by Amanda Abizaid.[22] All seasons are filmed in high-definition with closed-captioning. USA Network broadcast episodes after season one in fullscreen 480i, the DVD releases contain the episodes in their native widescreen format.

[edit] Soundtrack

The soundtrack to The 4400 was released on May 8, 2007 by Milan Records and includes music from the first three seasons, as follows:[23]

  1. Bosshouse feat. Amanda Abizaid - "A Place In Time" (Theme From The 4400)
  2. Switchfoot - "This Is Your Life"
  3. People In Planes - "Falling By The Wayside"
  4. Thirteen Senses - "Into The Fire"
  5. Ivy - "Worry About You"
  6. Engineers - "How Do You Say Goodbye?"
  7. Maroon 5 - "She Will Be Loved"
  8. Jacqueline McKenzie - "Shy Baby"
  9. Bedroom Walls - "Do the Buildings and Cops Make You Smile?"
  10. Billie Holiday - "Cheek to Cheek"
  11. John Van Tongeren - "Salvation"
  12. The Landau Orchestra - "A Place In Time" (Instrumental Arrangement)

Note: The last track does not appear in the series. Although not in the soundtrack, Life for Rent was used in the episode The Starzl Mutation. The song Where is my Mind was later used in the series finale.

[edit] Filming locations

The 4400 is set in Seattle,[24] but actually filmed in the Vancouver area,[25] in British Columbia. All the cars have fake Washington license plates, with other street signs and identifying markers altered to eliminate any British Columbia references. The high-tech, glass-walled 4400 Center is actually the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at the University of British Columbia, and Capilano Lake stands in for Highland Beach. One episode of season 4 has a few scenes set in Vancouver. Other cable science-fiction series, such as Kyle XY, Stargate Atlantis, and Battlestar Galactica have also used the Chan Centre as a filming location.

[edit] DVD releases

Season Episodes Discs DVD release date
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
1 5 2 December 21, 2004 January 10, 2005 June 10, 2005
The DVD contains no bonus features. The DVD is presented in a dual DVD case with a green-on-black cover showing the characters Tom, Diana and Dennis.[26]
2 13 4 May 23, 2006 June 5, 2006 May 23, 2006
Bonus features include featurettes and commentary from Jacqueline McKenzie, Joel Gretsch, Craig Sweeny and Ira Steven Behr.
3 13 4 May 8, 2007 July 23, 2007 June 7, 2007
Bonus features include an introduction by the series creator, four featurettes, six audio commentaries and a gag reel.[27]
4 13 4 May 6, 2008 June 30, 2008 July 10, 2008
Bonus features include 2 featurettes, blooper real, deleted scenes, audio commentaries and The Great Leap Forward (Director's cut).
The Complete Series 44 15 October 28, 2008 October 6, 2008
Bonus features include video introduction by creator Scott Peters, pilot episode commentary by Scott Peters and Joel Gretsch, The 4400: Ghost Season, and deleted scenes (seasons 1, 2, and 3)

[edit] Gallery

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ "The 4400 - Production information".  The show was produced by Viacom Productions during season one and by Paramount Network Television during season two, after the former was absorbed by the latter in 2005. PNT changed its name again in 2006 with the CBS/Viacom split.
  2. ^ "4,400, THE (USA)". 
  3. ^ a b Veteran USA sci-fi shows vaporized
  4. ^ ""USA Network | The 4400 - Character Profile: Maia Skouris"". NBC Universal. "The first of the known abductees had disappeared in 1946" 
  5. ^ "Baird Joins The 4400". Sci-Fi Wire. 
  6. ^ "Becoming". The 4400.
  7. ^ "Gone". The 4400.
  8. ^ a b c ""The 4400" returns for season four". USA Network. 2006-08-22. 
  9. ^ a b c "4,400, THE (USA)". The Futon Critic. 2006-05-26. 
  10. ^ a b Scott Peters. (2005). Return of The 4000 [DVD special feature].
  11. ^ "4,400, The: Unlocking the Secrets". The Futon Critic. 
  12. ^ Lee, Patrick (2006-03-07). "4400 Changes Unveiled". Sci Fi Wire. 
  13. ^ "Development Update: June 12-16 (Weekly Round-Up)". The Futon Critic. 2006-06-13. 
  14. ^ "‘The 4400's’ power-hungry tycoon returns". MSNBC. 2006-07-25. 
  15. ^ "Billy Campbell Set To Return as Series Regular in Emmy-Nominated Hit Series "The 4400"". 
  16. ^ ""4400 Fans Plan Mass Mailing"". 2008-01-14.  See also, "". 
  17. ^ ""4400 Fans Plan Mass Mailing"". 2008-04-17.  See also, "". 
  18. ^ Cox, Greg (2008). The Vesuvius Prophecy. Pocket Star. ISBN 1416543171. 
  19. ^ Dilmore, Kevin (2008). Wet Work. Pocket Star. ISBN 141654321X. 
  20. ^ Cox, Greg (2009). Welcome to Promise City. Pocket Star. ISBN 1416543228. 
  21. ^ Mack, David (2009). Promises Broken. Pocket Star. 
  22. ^ Lurie, Elliot. "Song List from The 4400". 
  23. ^ "The 4400 Soundtrack". USA Network. 
  24. ^ "Pilot". The 4400.
  25. ^ Stevens, Michael (2006-03-29). "The 4400 Starts Up Vancouver Shooting". Hollywood North Report. 
  26. ^ Amazon - Season 1 DVD
  27. ^ - The 4400, Season 3 Date & Extras

[edit] External links

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