Time travel has joined remakes as part of the central themes running new television shows this year. And The CW’s latest outing, Frequency, has a little of both.
Police detective Raimy Sullivan, played by Peyton List, pulls out on old ham radio that once belonged to her late father, Riley Smith’s Frank Sullivan, only to find that it’s actually her father on the other end from 20 years before.
If that concept sounds familiar, it should. That’s where the remake comes in. Frequency is based on the 2000 film of the same name that starred Jim Caviezel and Dennis Quaid. This particular outing was developed by former Supernatural executive producer Jeremy Carver who looked for ways to pay proper homage to the original film while still making it fresh for today’s audiences.
One way Carver did it, he told The Hollywood Reporter, was by changing the child from male to female.
“I thought the father-daughter dynamic might prove to be more dynamic over the course of a series, particularly the notion of puncturing this idea of ‘daddy’s little girl.’ Hopefully that was the right choice to make, and I certainly think it was.”
“I just think it brings a little something different than what we’re seeing on TV today.”
Another big change was Frank Sullivan’s job. For Quaid’s version, he was a firefighter. But in the new series, Sullivan is a police officer – exactly what his daughter also becomes.
Carver said that particular story point fascinated him because Raimy grows up believing her father was a dirty cop and actually joins the force just to spite him. But as she starts changing the past, her future adjusts with it.
“It may have been in her blood, but she became a police officer more to clear the family name as it were, to erase the stain that she thought her father had created on the family name. When we start dealing in the new reality where her father is now alive in the coming episodes and lived longer, we realize that, yes, she did become a police officer because she wanted to very much follow in his footsteps.
“But originally, where we start in the pilot, she’s doing it for much the opposite reason.”
One primary element Carver pulled over from the film was the overarching Nightingale murder case. While Caviezel’s Sullivan was able to wrap that up quite cleanly in the span of a single movie, the new father-daughter duo will need much more time. And if anyone thinks they can just pull out the DVD of Frequency to find out how, they’ll need to guess again.
“It’s not the same as the movie, I’ll just drop that right now. It is a different kind of mystery that we’re telling in the story. That’s the most important thing.”
Frequency, which airs Wednesdays on The CW, will likely take the whole season to solve that case. But then again, it depends on how many episodes the network orders this season. So far, Frequency has earned 13 episodes, standard for new shows on the network.
How it does viewership-wise over the next couple weeks could determine if there’s more – either this season or next.
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