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Night Visitors

Night Visitors (Sun. (13), 9-11 p.m., NBC) Filmed in the Pacific Northwest by Dave Bell Associates Inc. in association with NBC Studios. Executive producer , Dave Bell; producer, Kay Hoffman; co-producer, Garrett Cohen; director, Jorge Montesi; writer, D. Brent Mote; camera, Philip Linzey; editor, Pia Di Ciaula; production design, Ian Thomas; music, Irwin Fisch; sound, Gordon Anderson; casting, Steven O'Neill. Cast: Faith Ford, Thomas Gibson, Stephen Tobolowsky, Todd Allen, Eric McCormack, Christopher Gray, Roman Podhora, Charles S. Dutton, Dolores Drake, Fiona Roeske, Michael Puttonen, Hrothgar Mathews. If aliens are so darned smart, why do they keep crashing onto Earth? This question, and plotting that will have auds wondering, "Well, if the bad guys really wanted to (blank), then they would just have to (blank)," characterize this silly NBC "X-Files" wannabe with the spooky all-purpose title "Night Visitors" although the telepic has really nothing to do with the night and features only one visitor, who happens to be dead. From the spacecraft crash. Must be that bad mechanics are universal. Spunky, well-groomed Kimberly Wells (spunky, well-groomed Faith Ford), a graduate student in Portland, Ore., is drawn into a government cover-up when her brother David (Christopher Gray) dies under mysterious circumstances. David, a government chemical weapons researcher, steals an alien corpse from the top-secret facility at which he works (and who knows why?). His theft immediately sets off a massive manhunt by federal forces, who are chicly dressed in postmodern storm trooper outfits, which complement their fleet of black Chevy Suburbans. Kimberly manages to unravel the twisted plot (which requires some pretty amazing leaps of logic) and find the alien body. More people are killed in cold blood (a Nobel laureate, no less!), but journey ends on an upbeat note. "Visitors" wants to be taken seriously it begins with a disclaimer and ends with a voiceover coda but this is a thriller in a vacuum: The paranoid fantasy of federal agents killing willy-nilly with no repercussions backfires into an unbelievable and incredible last hour. Ford does her best and manages to rise above the wooden material, and Stephen Tobolowsky as the government baddie delivers a perf that goes from placid government strong-arm to full-blown nutcase, which is amusing. D. Brent Mote's script doesn't give the characters much depth, and ridiculous plotting hobbles the entire enterprise. Pedestrian direction from Jorge Montesi doesn't help, and the "Charlie's Angels"-type score cheapens proceedings. Cinematography by Philip Linzey is first-rate.Carole Horst

Night Visitors (Sun. (13), 9-11 p.m., NBC) Filmed in the Pacific Northwest by Dave Bell Associates Inc. in association with NBC Studios. Executive producer , Dave Bell; producer, Kay Hoffman; co-producer, Garrett Cohen; director, Jorge Montesi; writer, D. Brent Mote; camera, Philip Linzey; editor, Pia Di Ciaula; production design, Ian Thomas; music, Irwin Fisch; sound, Gordon Anderson; casting, Steven O’Neill. Cast: Faith Ford, Thomas Gibson, Stephen Tobolowsky, Todd Allen, Eric McCormack, Christopher Gray, Roman Podhora, Charles S. Dutton, Dolores Drake, Fiona Roeske, Michael Puttonen, Hrothgar Mathews. If aliens are so darned smart, why do they keep crashing onto Earth? This question, and plotting that will have auds wondering, “Well, if the bad guys really wanted to (blank), then they would just have to (blank),” characterize this silly NBC “X-Files” wannabe with the spooky all-purpose title “Night Visitors” although the telepic has really nothing to do with the night and features only one visitor, who happens to be dead. From the spacecraft crash. Must be that bad mechanics are universal. Spunky, well-groomed Kimberly Wells (spunky, well-groomed Faith Ford), a graduate student in Portland, Ore., is drawn into a government cover-up when her brother David (Christopher Gray) dies under mysterious circumstances. David, a government chemical weapons researcher, steals an alien corpse from the top-secret facility at which he works (and who knows why?). His theft immediately sets off a massive manhunt by federal forces, who are chicly dressed in postmodern storm trooper outfits, which complement their fleet of black Chevy Suburbans. Kimberly manages to unravel the twisted plot (which requires some pretty amazing leaps of logic) and find the alien body. More people are killed in cold blood (a Nobel laureate, no less!), but journey ends on an upbeat note. “Visitors” wants to be taken seriously it begins with a disclaimer and ends with a voiceover coda but this is a thriller in a vacuum: The paranoid fantasy of federal agents killing willy-nilly with no repercussions backfires into an unbelievable and incredible last hour. Ford does her best and manages to rise above the wooden material, and Stephen Tobolowsky as the government baddie delivers a perf that goes from placid government strong-arm to full-blown nutcase, which is amusing. D. Brent Mote’s script doesn’t give the characters much depth, and ridiculous plotting hobbles the entire enterprise. Pedestrian direction from Jorge Montesi doesn’t help, and the “Charlie’s Angels”-type score cheapens proceedings. Cinematography by Philip Linzey is first-rate.Carole Horst

Night Visitors

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