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Brooke Langton in unusual 'surfing' position

The Net

All you'll ever need to know!

selected from Cult Times Special #10
The Premise: When computer whiz Angela Bennett receives a stray e-mail, her life is completely ‘erased’ and she is branded a criminal by the mysterious Praetorians, who believe that she is in possession of information that could jeopardize their plans for world domination.
Initially the series is a dumbed down version of Nowhere Man as Angela goes on the run, trying to stay one step ahead of the pursuing Praetorians as well as attempting to expose the conspiracy. However, just four episodes from the end of the first (and only) season, the Praetorians are successfully defeated, Angela regains her identity and joins the government run Center of Intrusion Control (CIC) as an agent who investigates computer crime.


Background: A spin-off from the movie of the same name that starred Sandra Bullock in the Angela Bennett role. Unlike Stargate SG-1 though, the series version of The Net is a reworking of the concept rather than a direct sequel. Irwin Winkler who directed the movie is executive producer on the series.


First Run: On the cable USA Network from 19th July 1998.

Number of Episodes: 22, as one season.

The Pursued: Ex-Melrose Place star Brooke Langton inherits Sandra Bullock’s Angela Bennett role and is aided, via modem, by the secretive Sorcerer who is voiced by Rocky Horror’s Tim Curry. Half-way through the series though, Sorcerer finally shows up in person and is revealed to be a teenager called Jacob Resh, played by Eric Szmada. From this point onwards, Curry vanishes and Szmada appears on a regular basis.

The Pursuers: Joseph Bottoms is the perpetually nut-munching Praetorian commander-in-chief Sean Trelawney who becomes obsessed with the capture of Angela to find out just what she does and doesn’t know. Constantly at Trelawney’s side are his goons, Anna Kelly (Kelli Taylor) and Greg Hearney (Mackenzie Gray). Popping up occasionally later in the season is the Praetorian Chairman (Jim Byrnes) to whom Trelawney must report his weekly failure to catch Angela.


And Isn’t That...
Jack Coleman, better known as the second Steven Carrington, (post plastic surgery), on Dynasty, turns up as a doctor in Transplant.

Overdone Clichés: Naturally, Angela always just escapes the Praetorian’s clutches at the end of the episode having failed to expose their nefarious activities. Also, the occasions on which Angela becomes separated from her laptop – her lifeline to Sorcerer – become depressingly numerous. And why is it that computers in movies and TV shows never behave like real computers? In The Net not only does Angela get a perfect modem connection via radio but every time a button is pressed or a graphic appears on the screen there is an accompanying bleep or buzz. Don’t producers realize that computers are no longer Science Fiction?

Fashion Statements: Business suits for Praetorians, any disguise you can fit into if you’re Angela.

Jason Mitchell
Worth Chasing
Deleted
The opening episode of the series has much in common with the movie, managing quite successfully to conjure up a strong atmosphere of paranoia as Angela’s world caves in around her.

Transplant
Sorcerer sends Angela to a hospital to be treated for a gunshot wound and to foil a Praetorian plot at the same time.

Zero
The Praetorian’s cover is finally blown and Trelawney gets his long-awaited just desserts.
Let It Run
In Diamonds Aren’t Forever, Angela goes into the diamond forgery business – using her trusty laptop to help her, of course.


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