From a sci-fi series called Tin Man, you’d expect something in the dystopic world of Oz, where a cyborg Dorothy takes on the Wicket Witchbot of the Westworld, where an army of cloned Cowardly Lion soldiers stay far away from the battlefield. But no, it’s an upcoming artificially intelligent psychological thriller coming to NBC, and it has attracted a pretty big-named director to helm the pilot. After entering the sci-fi genre a couple of years ago with the lackluster adaptation I Am Number Four, D.J. Caruso will bring his talents to the small screen and will hopefully wow the studio execs enough to get this interesting concept made into a full series.
The tin man of the title a robot that finds itself accused of first-degree murder and then goes on the run as a fugitive. There’s a good chance the ‘bot could be complicit in the future of human evolution, and the series will partly focus on the young female public defender who is tasked with taking its case and fighting for its innocence. It’ll be interesting to see just how much real-world politics will enter into the narrative, or if they’ll just play the drama straight without much of a subtext. I am, of course, worried it’ll be the latter.
Those worries are partly inspired by screenwriter Ehren Kruger having written the pilot. While he wrote the script for Gore Verbinski’s 2002 adaptation of The Ring, one of my favorite horror movies of all time,
he also penned Reindeer Games, The Skeleton Key, and The Ring Two, one of my least favorite horror movies of all time. He also co-wrote all three sequels in Michael Bay’s Transformers series, which has about an equal number of apologist fans and vehement detractors. It seems like his and Caruso’s paths might have crossed before now, but this will be the first.
Caruso gained critical acclaim for his dark 2002 crime drama The Salton Sea and his Rear Window modernization Disturbia, but he also directed the flat conspiracy thriller Eagle Eye and sports thriller Two for the Money, featuring completely forgettable performances from Al Pacino and Matthew McConaughey. He most recently directed the oddly heartwarming family film Standing Up and will next head to The Disappointments Room to tell a haunted house story with Kate Beckinsale. Tin Man will mark his return to TV, where he last directed several episodes of The Shield in 2006.
With Almost Human successfully integrating itself into Fox’s usually sketchy take on sci-fi, it’s up to all the other networks to jump on the bionic ball and get more robots in their shows.
Just in case you forgot that I Am Number Four existed, here’s a reminder.