With Lest We Forget, I will be looking to discuss those TV shows that were (rightly or wrongly) cancelled before they had a chance to fulfil their potential.
The idea is to raise awareness of some great (and some not so great) shows you might have missed, or simply forgotten and in some cases also to identify what went wrong.
The fact is most cancelled TV shows deserve their fate (and so do an awful lot of long-running TV shows). They are poorly made and are often a waste of talented people’s time and effort, even if they do appreciate the money!
Awake tells the tale of a police detective Michael Britten (played by Jason Isaacs) who is in a car accident with his wife, Hannah (played by Laura Allen), and son, Rex (played by Dylan Minnette). From that point, he lives two lives, switching between them whenever he goes to sleep. In the one life, his wife is alive and his child is dead. In the second life, his wife is dead, but his child is alive.
In each episode he investigates two different crimes, which seem to mysteriously linked and clues to solving them can be found in the other world, which have noticeable differences. For example, he has a different partner in each life, which makes it easier for the audience to differentiate between the worlds. He is also seeing two psychiatrists, each of which is trying to convince him that their world is real and the other is the fantasy.
On top of all this, there is some kind of conspiracy within the upper echelons of the police force, which have something to do with his condition, though whether or not they are aware of what is happening is not clear.
This show started airing earlier this year and ran for only thirteen episodes, which was a shame because it was a good show and it was getting better. It was also one of the more original concepts in the police investigation formula and the season finale set up a tantalising cliffhanger which promised an interesting second season.
The greatest problem was that it forced the protagonist to make, to the characters in their respective worlds, very erratic and often inexplicable decisions and to know things that were impossible. Yet this is addressed fairly well, but would at some point would certainly have become a burden on the storytelling and character development.
The acting was good and Jason Isaacs really handled a difficult role well. The writing was solid and the storylines were engaging. As a show, it was an interesting experiment and enjoyable.
It is a shame that is was cancelled and I would recommend you check it out.