During recent weeks Sky 1 treated us to a couple of brand new series that were two of the shows I most looked forward to watching each week. One was The Flash; the other was Forever, produced by ABC Television.
Forever makes no attempt to be a gritty crime drama. It is a light-hearted whodunnit with an engaging fantasy twist: its central character, Dr. Henry Morgan, cannot die … or to be more precise: he tends not to stay dead very long. Whilst this is not a new concept – Torchwood‘s Captain Jack Harkness showed similar tendencies – in Forever this “party piece” is very sensibly used sparingly. Once the basic premise is established early in the season it becomes more of a side issue.
Having lived for over 200 years, Dr. Morgan is currently serving as chief medical examiner for the NYPD. The strength of this show’s format over other light entertainment crime series is that events Henry has experienced during his long life often intersect with his present-day cases, giving him information or insight that help him solve the case.
Further entertainment and depth are provided by the wider cast of supporting characters, including lead detective Jo Martinez, morgue sidekick Lucas, and Henry’s son, Abe, who is delightfully brought to life by veteran actor Judd Hirch … a man twice the age of lead actor Ioan Gruffudd, which is only possible due to the fantasy premise.
To add an extra dimension to the drama, a nemesis is established in the first episode and a light story arc follows throughout the season, culminating in a gripping face-off in the finale. Sadly, ABC has taken the, in my view, rather short-sighted decision not to renew Forever for a second season. Unlike other American shows, rather than leaving the audience on a cliffhanger and cancelling the show, they have at least done the decent thing in wrapping up the various season 1 plot points and bringing the series to a conclusion.
Various clips and episodes of Forever are available on the ABC website.