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Seven Days   All you'll ever
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from Cult Times #69

The Premise:
Frank Parker is taken from the asylum where he’s been since his time spent locked in a hot box in Somalia, and given the job of being Project Backstep’s latest chrononaut. Backstep uses fuel from the Roswell crash to power a sphere and send it back in Time. Assuming Frank can handle the stresses and strains, his mission is to travel back and avert disasters before they happen. The catch is, he can only go back in Time seven days.

Background:
Needing a lead-in show to Voyager, UPN picked this series to expand their range of Sci-Fi. It has continued in that slot for three years.

First Run:
Seven Days kicked off on 7th October 1998.

Number of Episodes: Sixty-six so far, counting the double-length pilot as two episodes, over three seasons. [Note: the series has not been renewed by UPN for the 2001 fall season, so Sixty-six is probably the end of the line.]

The Good Guys:
Frank Parker (Jonathan LaPaglia), testosterone-driven action hero with a good heart; Olga Vukavitch (Justina Vail), brainy scientist with feelings for Parker, who also acts as base doctor and occasional psychiatrist; Craig Donovan (Don Franklin), Parker’s best buddy and back-up chrononaut; Nate Ramsey (Nick Searcy), head of security and bane of Parker’s misbehaving life.

Plus Bradley Talmadge (Alan Scarfe), project head and boss, who liaises with the Pentagon about missions; Dr Isaac Mentnor (Norman Lloyd), one of the creators of Project Backstep; Dr John Ballard (Sam Whipple), genius scientist who has created much of Backstep’s equipment; Andrew ‘Hooter’ Owsley (Kevin Christy), Season Three teen genius replacement for Ballard.

The Bad Guys:
Any tin pot dictator or terrorist, plus Olga’s evil double and a doppelgänger for Frank.

And Isn’t That... Stephanie Romanov, currently stirring up trouble as Lilah in Angel, appears as Olga’s sister. Voyager stars Roxann Dawson and Robert Picardo (plus comedy wig) pop up in Season Two and Season Three respectively.

Overdone Clichés:
Parker and Olga nearly get it together. Donovan nearly gets a chance to backstep. Ramsey falls foul of Parker’s childish sense of humour.

Fashion Statements:
Orange jumpsuits for chrononauts, otherwise it’s suits and occasional camouflage gear all round.

  Frank and Olga: no chickens about time-travel
Timeless Classics

The Gettysburg Virus
Parker tries to stop a viral outbreak, but on ending the threat realizes he’s a carrier….

Come Again?
A strong mix of comedy and drama in the traditional Groundhog Day-esque instalment.

The Cure
Twists galore as a chrononaut arrives from the future to assassinate a scientist who has a cure for cancer.

 
Don't Waste Time

There’s a tendency to rip off recent movies. In particular, avoid The Collector (Kiss the Girls), There’s Something About Olga (Misery), Peacekeepers (Three Kings) and Crystal Blue Persuasion (The Astronaut’s Wife).

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

BBC2 logoSeven Days is currently airing on Tuesdays, 18.45

See listings section of this Cult Times for details

Paul LaSpragglia

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Photo © BBC / Paramount / Crowe Entertainment

Feature © Visual Imagination 2001. Not for reproduction.