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Feature: Jake 2.0

New Season Show

Jake Foley (Christopher Gorham)

Jake Foley is a secret agent with a difference. With nanite technology he has become superhuman…

In UPN’s new action–adventure series Jake 2.0, Jake Foley, a computer technician working for the National Security Agency, becomes infected by nanites, a real life break-through technology in development that reduces the size of computers to the molecular level. This incident gives him superhuman strength, lightning-fast speed, heightened hearing, razor sharp vision, the telepathic abilities to communicate with computers, and a new job at the NSA - as a secret agent.

With all the technical aspects that surround the show, Silvio Horta, the creator of the series, is eager to note that, “it all comes down to the character. It’s a spy show, but we always approach it from the perspective of what is going on with Jake. What is going on thematically with him in each episode? We don’t want it to turn into other spy shows, which will remain nameless, where it’s all about action, because I think people just don’t care. People are watching this to watch Chris Gorham, who plays Jake. So it begins from a place of character and emotion, and then the action extends from that.”

“Nanotechnology makes this show fresh and contemporary,” says Executive Producer Gina Matthews. “Jake is like a walking, wireless remote. He can interface with computers. He can interface with security codes. He has super-strength. He has incredible hearing, microscopic vision, but also he’s Human. So if he over–exerts himself, he’s going to get a cramp. He still has a Human body to deal with.”

“Jake is now partially a computer,” continues Horta, “and he is susceptible to the same things that plague our laptops, our desktops. He is susceptible to crashing, to hacking, to computer viruses, to electricity shorting him out.”

Horta, who also created the innovative Sci-Fi series, The Chronicle, acknowledges that “it’s always a challenge to do anything new, because you feel like everything has been done before. I think the twist on this is first of all, he’s not a traditional brooding action hero. He’s an Everyman. He’s a regular guy. He’s one of us. Second, his powers are not just typical strength and speed. He is part computer, so he can interface with technology. I think that’s one ability that really takes us into new territory that we haven’t seen before.”

Although Chris Gorham was under contract to do another season of Odyssey 5 if it had been renewed by Showtime, the producers still employed the actor for the pilot of Jake 2.0. “Chris just embodied this character,” remarks Matthews. “He brought something to this character that we had not seen, a sense of realism, a sense of humor, and a sense of dramatic ability that it was never a question; at the studio test, where actors get really nervous, he nailed it. He nails it every time because he really believes in his heart that there is nobody better for this part than him, and he’s right. But it wasn’t easy to get him because he was in a holding deal with Columbia TriStar. There was never a doubt that he wasn’t the guy.

by Judy Sloane

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TV Zone Special #53

Photo © UPN
Feature © Visual Imagination 2003. Not for reproduction

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TV Zone Special #53
New Season 2003
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