Aired on: ABC
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
The promos for the upcoming ABC dramatic series, Forever, left me wondering where I had seen the concept before. Man cannot die, no matter how many times he has been killed, leading to some rather awkward situations? This sounds rather familiar to me. All the same, when I was offered an opportunity to view the season premiere of Forever weeks before its September 23, 2014, 10pm EST start date, I decided to check it out.
Forever stars Ioan Gruffudd as Dr. Henry Morgan, a man who, hundreds of years in the past, refused to allow slave traders to throw a slave overboard because he had become ill. Dr. Morgan's rebellion finds him being thrown overboard along with the slave. Thanks to some strange occurrence, Dr. Morgan continues to be "reborn" after dying, appearing in whatever body of water is nearby naked and very alive. He has lived a number of lives, fallen into true love only once and has one confidant in the world, antique store owner Abe (Judd Hirsch).
Working as a New York City medical examiner, Dr. Morgan has a keen insight on death, having experienced a number of disturbing deaths over the years, and can often offer up cause of death before an autopsy has been performed. This makes him a budding star at the medical examiner's office. Despite his popularity, his co-workers realize that they don't really know the doctor at all.
This becomes more readily apparent when the medical examiner's office receives bodies from a subway train wreck...a wreck in which, unbeknownst to all investigating it, Dr. Morgan has died in. As Morgan begins examining the train's motorman, he discovers that the man was poisoned, much to the chagrin of NYPD Detective Jo Martinez (Alana de la Garza) who now has a multiple murder case on her hands. But it's Dr. Morgan who finds himself on the defense when further investigation reveals that he was actually on the train moments before it crashed.
And in the midst of it all, an anonymous individual has been stalking Dr. Morgan, calling and sending letters and photos, revealing that they know all about Dr. Morgan's affliction...because they suffer from it as well.
Okay, so this definitely isn't a totally new concept. We've seen the dead come back thing a number of times on a variety of television series. We've spanned the hundred years of lives spent by vampires, witches, sword-wielding warriors, etc. with seeming immortality. But Forever is different in a way - Dr. Morgan does not appear to be magically gifted or afflicted by any lust for blood. He was a normal human being before he was thrown off of the boat. So why is it that he cannot die? He doesn't know, but he wants to find out and the audience gets to find out with him. I have my theories and they center around the pocket watch he has always carried with him. I think that if that watch was ever to stop working, so would he, but that remains to be seen.
Ioan Gruffudd as Dr. Morgan is a delectable piece of eye candy with a sexy way about him and a delicious accent that appears to be all the rage in television series these days. Alana de la Garza returns to the law (you may remember her as an ADA on Law & Order), this time serving on the police force. Her chemistry with Ioan Gruffudd is palpable and you find yourself wanting them to get together after the first thirty minutes of the premiere. I enjoyed Judd Hirsch in this role and love the little plot twist when you realize who is taking care of whom in the Dr. Morgan/Abe friendship.
I can honestly say that I enjoyed the premiere episode of Forever and find myself suitably intrigued. Intrigued enough to watch the rest of the series when it airs on ABC this fall.