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Now and Again

All you'll ever
need to know!

The Premise
Michael Wiseman is an ordinary insurance salesman happily going about his business, when one person shoving at a train station causes a domino effect that drops him in front of the oncoming express. Michael awakes to discover he has been reduced to a brain in a jar, but has a choice to say farewell to life or be reborn in a genetically engineered younger body - as long as he agrees to sever ties to his former life and work for the government.

Unfortunately, Michael is still very much in love with his wife and daughter, and chance encounters could result in the scientist in charge of the project terminating all three of them...

Background
After many years away from series television, Glenn Gordon Caron, creator of Moonlighting, returned to the airwaves with this show, which was determined to take the characters first and push the Sci-Fi angle of the `bionic' lead into the background. A huge critical success, that didn't stop the series being terminated by CBS after one season.

First Run
The series began on 24th September 1999.

Number of Episodes
Twenty-two 45-minute instalments.

The Good Guys
Michael Wiseman (Eric Close), a loving yet fallible family man in a superhuman body; Lisa Wiseman (Margaret Colin), doting mother trying to raise her child without a father and move on with her life; Heather Wiseman (Heather Matarazzo), teenage and troublesome daughter of Michael and Lisa; Roger Bender (Gerrit Graham), work colleague of Michael's and friend of the family who tries to help Lisa where he can.

The Bad Guys
Dr Theodore Morris (Dennis Haysbert), the scientist who gives Michael a new lease of life. However charming and friendly he may seem, there is always his threat to kill Lisa and Heather if they find out who Michael `Newman' really is. Plus The Eggman, a Chinaman with a neat line in eggs filled with toxic gas and The Bugmeister, a man with an affinity for insects who can make them kill.

And Isn't That…
John Goodman plays Michael before his accident, in the early part of the opening episode and later in flashback in Deep in My Heart is a Song.

Overdone Clichés
Michael and Lisa are forced together in some of the most unlikely ways. Michael nearly reveals who he is. Morris thretens to kill Lisa and Heather.

Fashion Statements
Nice vests or leather jackets for Michael, otherwise it's everyday work clothes, suits and ties all round.

From Cult Times #74

Now and Again: Michael, Lisa, Dr Morris
Back for more

Fire and Ice
Michael uses his earpiece to give Morris dating advice when the doctor tries to chat up a young scientist. A perfect example of the chemistry between Close and Haysbert that is one of the highlights of the show.

Everybody Who's Anybody
Michael is sent to steal some incriminating photos of a general, but his mission is complicated by Lisa and Roger's arrival. A fun tale with several superb twists at the end.

The Eggman Cometh
Michael gets a chance to escape but Morris is hot on his tail. If only we'd ever found out what happened next...

Everybody Who's Anybody
 
Rest in Peace

A Girl's Life is a little sickly and There Are No Words has a dreadful wimp-out ending, but characterization saves most of the episodes.

 
 

BBC2 LogoNow and Again: Sundays, 21.00 and Tuesdays, 01.00

 

Paul Spreggman

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Feature © Visual Imagination 2001. Not for reproduction.