Other than a few decades, not much separates Fox’s “Minority Report” from CBS’ “Limitless.” Both, after all, are adapted from movies and feature mentally gifted protagonists paired with female cops, each using his abilities to help thwart crimes. And while the former does a credible job of building on the film, it’s still a rather bland procedural, albeit one adorned with some cool futuristic gizmos, amusing pop-culture references and as much space-age set design as its TV budget will allow. “Gotham” should provide the show with a fairly compatible lead-in, but whether that augurs longevity, ironically, is difficult to foresee.
Racing through the movie’s plot, a flashback explains how a trio of youths — twin boys and their older foster sister — had their prescience turned into the Precrime Unit, thwarting murders by seeing visions that enabled the authorities to stop the crimes in advance. Those efforts, alas, were terminated by events in the 2002 Steven Spielberg-directed movie.
A couple of decades later, and it’s 2065, leaving one of the now-grown brothers, Dash (Stark Sands), haunted by unwanted images and determined to help. Still, his brain could use some brawn, and the attempt to stop a killing on his own results in his path crossing with Det. Lara Vega (Meagan Good), a cop who’s tired of cleaning up bodies after the fact. Made aware of Dash’s power, she teams up with him on a case, despite warnings that he shouldn’t risk exposing himself to the world by becoming involved.
Written and developed by Max Borenstein and directed by Mark Mylod, the pilot dutifully races through all of this, while still finding time to throw in little asides to things like “The Simpsons” still being in production, or the Washington Redskins (the show is set in D.C.) having finally changed the team’s name. As for the relationship between the leads, think of it as a nerdy version of “Sleepy Hollow,” with Sands bringing a shy vulnerability to the Dash role (he’s the weakest, we’re told, of the precogs), as well as understandable hints of an awkward attraction to his sort-of partner in crime (or really, precrime).
Setting aside the built-in name recognition, “Minority Report” feels like a bit of a retread in more ways than one, largely mirroring Fox’s 2013 stab at doing a sci-fi crime drama, “Almost Human,” which was also set in a slightly dystopian future. Cut through the window dressing, though, and it’s just another way of putting fresh paint on a procedural.
Of course, that earlier show didn’t survive very long. And while predictions should probably be left to the precogs, this one’s future will likely hinge on whether this tepid appraisal of the pilot really does represent a minority report.