Character: Cancer Man wannabe Terrance Shepard
Fashion statement: That alternate-reality Methos leather
jacket shows up again
Deathless dialogue: TBA
Peter's return to science fiction and fantasy went largely unseen
as Strange World was cancelled after only three episodes
with the lowest ratings ABC ever had for original programming in
the Tuesday 10 p.m. timeslot. Here's the series premise, excerpted
from a New York Post article "Leaked Plotlines 'Strange'
But True" by Don Kaplan:
The show, which preys on fears about medical intrigue, has been
ordered by ABC as a mid-season replacement to debut either in
January or March.
"It's sort of an X-Files meets The Hot Zone meets
The Fugitive," says [creator and executive producer Howard]
Gordon, a four-year veteran of The X-Files....
Strange World stars Tim Guinee (John Carpenter's Vampires)
as Paul Turner, a low-level investigator for USAMRIID ( Army Medical
Research Institute for Infectious Diseases) who gets infected
with the bizarre Gulf War Syndrome.
He is saved by a strange Japanese woman who cures him with a
swig of a mysterious serum. The catch is that Turner requires
regular doses of the drug to stay alive, and ultimately becomes
an operative for his savior....
"X-Files is all about aliens and vampires," Gordon says.
"This is really just about us, the monsters man is creating himself."
The series also stars Kristin Lehman as Paul's girlfriend Sydney.
Kristin appeared in an X-Files episode "Kill Switch" (penned
by sci-fi scribe William Gibson) about two cyberpunk lovers who
became one with their computer.
Peter enters in episode 6, "Skin," as Shepard, a mysterious character
who approaches Sydney with questionable information, and also appears
in "Man Plus" and "Age of Reason." Shepard is
described in the press kit:
The man known only as Shepard is the archetype of an enigma.
His motives, his loyalties, and his history are shrouded in mystery.
When he comes to Sydney, the truths she has finally come to accept
suddenly come into question. She wants to believe him, but in
order to follow him down the path he leads, she has no choice
but to keep Turner in the dark. And Shepard's path in a winding,
Of all of Peter's post-Highlander work, Strange World
had the most potential it's a densely plotted series that
harkens back to the early days of The X-Files with its creative
extrapolations of current science and unforseen plot twists. Like
Cancer Man in The X-Files, Shepard was meant to be a recurring
character, always in the shadows, whose motivations would be revealed
over the course of several seasons. Because of this, ironically,
little is revealed about Shepard in the three episodes filmed
in the season finale "Age of Reason," which centers around
Shepard's machinations, we hear characters talk about him more than
we see him in action. And so Shepard ends up being underdeveloped
and one of the weaker characters in the series.