Prey (TV series)

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Not to be confused with Prey (TV miniseries).
Prey
Prey (TV series) main cast.jpeg
Main cast
Format Science fiction
Created by William Schmidt
Starring Debra Messing
Adam Storke
Larry Drake
Frankie Faison
Vincent Ventresca
James Morrison
Roger Howarth
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13
Production
Executive producer(s) Charlie Craig
William Schmidt
Producer(s) Donald Marcus
Phil Parslow
Production company(s) Edelson Productions
Lars Thorwald Inc.
Warner Bros. Television
Broadcast
Original channel ABC
Original run January 15, 1998 (1998-01-15) – July 9, 1998 (1998-07-09)

Prey is a science-fiction television series that aired for one season (13 episodes) in 1998 on ABC. The series starred Debra Messing, Adam Storke, Larry Drake, Frankie Faison, James Morrison, and Vincent Ventresca.

Premise[edit]

The series follows Dr Sloan Parker (Debra Messing), an anthropologist studying genetic variation in humans. Sloan's mentor, Dr Ann Coulter, is a geneticist who believes that the violent behavior of certain criminals may have a genetic basis. She has collected genetic samples from a variety of convicted murderers and other violent criminals, and is currently preparing to serve as an expert witness in the trial of an accused serial killer. After the killer escapes and murders Dr Coulter, Sloan discovers her body, along with a collection of data demonstrating that many violent criminals -- especially serial killers -- often share a fairly large number of genetic markers that set them apart from normal human beings, rendering them as genetically different from humans as humans are from chimpanzees. They are a new species of hominid, or very manlike ape, characterized as being capable of "unspeakable evil", much like a human sociopath.

Sloan shares Dr. Coulter's discovery with fellow scientists, law-enforcement personnel, and a few others, and soon comes to realize that the new species is on the verge of supplanting humankind in the same way that Homo Sapiens supplanted the Neanderthals at the end of the last Ice Age, even theorizing that their emergence might be connected to global warming.

Meanwhile, as the escaped killer cuts a murderous swath through California, Sloan makes the acquaintance of Tom Daniels (Adam Storke), a federal agent determined to capture him. Tom is eventually revealed to be a member of the new species himself, and describes them as "hunting" human beings the same way humans hunt deer and other animals, hence the show's title. Daniels leads Sloan and others to a well-hidden cave, in which is found a rather large pile of the personal effects -- such as wallets, eyeglasses, shoes, belts -- of a great many people. Daniels advises that these trophy hoards are used as status displays among his kind, and further advises that he wanted the investigators to know "exactly what you're dealing with". Serial killers often collect trophies of their kills, and the new species does the same.

Upon learning that the new species can breed with humanity, but due to their dominant genetic traits the children of such a pairing are always the new species, they are given the name Homo dominant.

Traits of Homo dominant[edit]

Dominants are 1.6% different from Sapiens (normal humans).

Dominants are more intelligent and more aggressive than humans, and are convinced that, as a superior form of life, they are entitled to subjugate their human cousins by whatever means necessary. They often express an antipathy toward human beings that borders on racism. Their aggression towards homo sapiens sapiens is portrayed as an instinctive genetic characteristic, present even in young children, for the purpose of their own survival as a species.

Dominants also possess various psychic traits, including the ability to cloud the minds of others, sense other members of their own species telepathically, foresee 10 seconds into the future, and sense emotions empathically. It's not clear from the show that these are actually extrasensory perception, but Sloan and other investigators are advised that Dominants are definitely aware of others who are quite nearby, and use this ability to co-ordinate group actions such as paramilitary operations or simple hunting of humans as sport.

The Dominants are able to exist comfortably in much warmer climates than humans, barely perspiring even in desert conditions. They have smaller craniums than humans, and their brains display greater synaptic interconnectivity. The proximate half a century old mummified remains of a 9-year-old (10, at most) Dominant girl (during their early point of evolution), who was pregnant with four fetuses, revealed that the females of their species possess four uteri. It seems that Dominant females begin to have children at a young age (as young as 9 or 10), and possess four uteri, so their species can quickly increase their numbers (for their species survival). However, the mummified remains of the 9-year-old Dominant girl suggest that some young females at that time died due to some complications, but that now (present time) they have evolved further enough that Dominant young females of that age can give birth (up to four children at a time) without any birth complications - and with pure ease.

Sloan speculates at one point that there may be as many as 200,000 members of the new species. Their point of origin is revealed to be a deserted village in Oaxaca, Mexico, a location the Dominants regard as sacred. It is also the location of a mysterious monolith with arcane writings on its surface. It is believed that the location was once a swamp-like environment, with the villagers living in huge old ruins, but due to some type of climate change, it quickly starting changing into a desert.

There are groups of humans who are aware of the Dominants and collaborate with them. Similarly, there are groups of Dominants who wish to co-exist peacefully with humans.

Technologically, the Dominants use genetic engineering in an attempt to "convert" humans into members of their own species. They also make use of cloning and nanotechnology.

Broadcast History[edit]

  • Thursdays 8:00 p.m. (January 15, 1998 - March 19, 1998)
  • Thursdays 9:00 p.m. (June 11, 1998 - July 9, 1998)

Episode titles[edit]

Title Air date
0 "Hungry for Survival" (Pilot) n/a
1 "Existence" 1998.01.15
2 "Discovery" 1998.01.22
3 "Pursuit" 1998.01.29
4 "Origins" 1998.02.05
5 "Revelations" 1998.02.19
6 "Infiltration" 1998.03.05
7 "Transformations" 1998.03.12
8 "Veil" 1998.03.19
9 "Collaboration" 1998.06.11
10 "Sleeper" 1998.06.18
11 "Vengeance" 1998.06.25
12 "Progeny" 1998.07.02
13 "Deliverance: Part 1" 1998.07.09

References[edit]