Angela Bennett is a reclusive software engineer, working
from home. When she inadvertently stumbles upon information
about a secret organisation, called Praetorian, her life becomes
a nightmare; her identity is erased and replaced with someone
on the FBI's ten most wanted list. With the help of an on-line
presence, known only to her as Sorcerer, Bennett must evade
the police and the Praetorians who want her dead...
The 1998 television series is based on the surprisingly successful
1995 movie The Net which starred Sandra Bullock. The
first and only season of the series ran for twenty-two episodes.
For some reason the show, whilst not bad, never really caught
on and was cancelled. This, in retrospect, is quite odd as
the show, script-wise, was doing just fine if a little derivative
So through the first season it did struggle to find its own
individual voice. I can only think that it sank beneath a
morass of shows with a similar premise. Its legions of voracious
fans are fairly desperate to get it back, but then that's
the problem. Whilst the writing was good, it was much too
like other shows that were on at the time. The show had a
wide appeal that should have seen it become successful; you
had the hardware for the geeks, a very pleasant lead for the
geeks with handkerchiefs and pretty good scripts for the rest
If The Net has a problem it's with its villains and
the whole premise of their attack on Bennett. Their general
incompetence, in dealing with her, undermines the Praetorians
as a credible threat. If she was that much of a recluse surely
it would have been easier just to kill her. Lets face it,
if you're so anonymous that you can't prove your own existence
then if you stage a suicide just who is going to give a monkeys?
Especially when the authorities already think she's a wanted
criminal. They didn't hesitate to kill the only person who
really knew what she looked like in the flesh. The idea that
they are reluctant to kill her because they don't know what
she knows is a moot point if she has a bullet in the brain.
I kept coming over all Scott Evil, just thinking why they
didn't just kill her.
first episode Deleted pretty much follows the film,
with a few changes to create a platform for a series. Gone
is the loopy mother to be replaced by an enigmatically missing
father, a father who provides much of the driving force behind
the very fugitive-type storyline. She discovers that her father
was part of a think-tank, the members of which are being eliminated.
So she's off to find Daddy to get some answers and her life
episodes which follow mine a similar vein. Bennett turns up
somewhere, invariably gets into techno-trouble, and has to
use her skills to get out of it. Usually there is at least
one person who believes in her enough to help. So, in North
by Northwestern, a ham fisted Hitchcock reference, it's
her defence lawyer after she has been picked up at the airport.
In Transplant she finally reaches Chicago, on her never
ending quest to track down her father, only to be injured;
unfortunately the hospital that she is sent to is engaging
in organ transplants under the auspices of the Praetorians.
Lets save a bit of time here and agree that anything that
happens to her is their fault. In Y2K Total System Failure
she's up against the Millennium bug, which to be honest was
a complete waste of time, I was there, it was the most disappointing
non-event of anyone's lifetime. Death of an Angel sees
her tackling the problem of child pornography.
going through a blow-by-blow account of each and every episode,
and yes I sat through them all, lets just say that the series
is slow to get going. Whilst there is an arc of sorts, it's
so spread out that it's difficult to become truly engaged
in it. Towards the end of the first season there were changes
afoot with Bennett having some semblance of protection by
becoming a government agent - though it felt a little like
they lost faith in The Fugitive premise and thought
they would give the X-Files a go. If you forget that,
the individual episodes whilst variable would all score over
seven out of ten. It's a shame they didn't let it go to a
second season - it would have been nice to see where the writers
could have taken it without the fear of cancellation.
cast turn in credible performances but you get the feeling
that while the writers were unsure where the show was going
this insecurity had an effect on the cast, preventing them
from truly spreading their wings and flying in a particular
discs come with few options; audio can be listened to in English,
French or Spanish, and includes subtitles in nine European
languages. I presume this great wealth of options is the excuse
for the discs containing nothing in the way of extras; the
odd commentary wouldn't have gone amiss. Each episode can
be selected individually, but there is no option to jump in
at any point in the stories. The picture is fine and clear
with no print damage or artefacts.
Whilst this wasn't a bad series, it didn't really offer enough
that was original in concept or execution. Sure, it was nice
to see the Hitchcock references peppered, through the stories,
but lets be honest, most of the audience would not have been
old enough to know who Hitchcock was. Ultimately, it isn't
a bad show; it just never really got a chance to find its
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