Jeremiah (TV series)

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Jeremiah
Jeremiah intro.jpg
Season 2 intertitle
Created byJ. Michael Straczynski
Starring
Theme music composerTim Truman
Country of originCanada
United States
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes35
Production
Running time45 minutes
Production company(s)Platinum Studios
Jeremiah Productions, Inc.
J. Michael Straczynski Productions
Lionsgate Television
MGM Television
DistributorMGM Television
Release
Original networkShowtime
Original releaseMarch 3, 2002 (2002-03-03) – September 24, 2004 (2004-09-24)

Jeremiah is an United States-Canada post-apocalyptic action-drama television series starring Luke Perry and Malcolm-Jamal Warner that ran on the Showtime network from 2002 to 2004. The series takes place in a future wherein the adult population has been wiped out by a deadly virus.

The series ended production in 2003, after the management of Showtime decided they were not interested in producing science fiction programming anymore. Had the series continued, it would have run under a different showrunner than Straczynski, who decided to leave following the completion of the production of the second season due to creative differences between him and MGM Television.[1]

Episodes for the final half of the second season did not begin airing in the United States until September 3, 2004.

Plot[edit]

The year is 2021, 15 years after a plague has killed nearly everyone over the age of thirteen (both the event and the virus itself are referred to as "The Big Death" and "The Big D"). Two young men, Jeremiah and Kurdy, meet up and join forces with those inside "Thunder Mountain" and help rebuild civilization. Jeremiah is searching for the "Valhalla Sector" where his father may still be alive.[2]

The eponymous Jeremiah is a semi-loner who has spent the last 15 years travelling back and forth across the United States, seeking out a living and looking for a place called "Valhalla Sector," (the remains of Raven Rock) which his father—a viral researcher—had mentioned to Jeremiah as a possible refuge shortly before disappearing into the chaos of "the Big Death." A stop in the Colorado trading town of Clarefield results in Jeremiah teaming up with another lone traveller named Kurdy, before being imprisoned by the town's warlord in a cell with a man named Simon, who wants to recruit Jeremiah for a vague and mysterious organization. With Kurdy's help, Jeremiah and Simon escape, but Simon is fatally wounded in the process.

Following the instructions given to them by the dying Simon, Jeremiah and Kurdy take Simon's truck back to "Thunder Mountain," the remains of the NORAD complex, where they discover a well-organized and -equipped group operating out of the base, led by the former child prodigy Markus Alexander. Markus chooses to employ Jeremiah and Kurdy as a recon team to replace the now dead Simon and his partner, sending the two men back outside to gather information in preparation for the time when the mountain will need to start rebuilding the world.[3]

Over the course of the first season, the group increasingly encounters threats originating from Valhalla Sector, which they discover to be a sealed and heavily armed bunker complex in West Virginia, used to house the remains of the US government and military leadership during the Big Death. The survivors there plan to rebuild the world in an authoritarian mold, combining their military power with attempts to control the "Big Death" virus itself in order to wipe out resistance by slaughtering non-compliant populations. The second half of Season 1 primarily deals with the efforts of Jeremiah and Thunder Mountain to stop Valhalla Sector.

After the final defeat of Valhalla Sector in the opening episodes of Season 2, a new threat emerges in the form of a crusading army from the East, led by a mysterious prophetic figure known as Daniel. Season 2 deals with the impending conflict between the unifying survivor communities under Thunder Mountain, and the advancing Army of Daniel.

Although a third season was considered, series creator J. Michael Straczynski made it clear that if the show ran a further season he would have nothing to do with it. The show concluded with the end of the second season resolving most plot threads.

Cast[edit]

Most of the characters are survivors of the virus who are now in their late twenties or younger.

Character Actor Description
Jeremiah Luke Perry While roaming the country on a quest to locate a mysterious place called Valhalla Sector, which his father claimed might hold some hope for the survivors of the big death, Jeremiah comes in contact with a group who not only has information on Valhalla Sector, but also the resources to rebuild the world. In Season Two Jeremiah is put in charge of rebuilding the town Millhaven.
Kurdy Malloy Malcolm-Jamal Warner Jeremiah's partner, a tough and cynical man, yet also compassionate. He and Jeremiah discover the secrets of Thunder Mountain.
Markus Alexander Peter Stebbings The leader of Thunder Mountain, a colony located inside the former NORAD headquarters in Cheyenne Mountain Complex. He seeks to form alliances with other survivors and to forge a new world.
Mister Smith Sean Astin This quirky, colorful character partners with Kurdy in Season Two. He claims to be a messenger from God.
Erin Ingrid Kavelaars Markus' second-in-command at Thunder Mountain.
Lee Chen Byron Lawson The humorless and paranoid head of security at Thunder Mountain. His loyalties may lie elsewhere.
Meaghan Lee Rose Suzy Joachim Meaghan is a survivor of "The Big Death" and a carrier of the plague. She lives in a biohazard containment room in Thunder Mountain.
Ezekiel Alex Zahara A mysterious figure who gives Jeremiah cryptic prophecies about his future and protects him from danger.
Theodora "Theo" Coleridge Kim Hawthorne Theo rules Clarefield, Colorado as a ruthless warlord, until her reign is overthrown. However, she will still become a strong voice in the new world.
Elizabeth Munroe Kandyse McClure Elizabeth is a resident of Thunder Mountain, and Jeremiah and Kurdy first arrived there to bring news of her boyfriend Simon's death. Kurdy becomes attracted to her after comforting her in her grief over Simon's death.
Devon Robert Wisden Jeremiah's father and a resident of Valhalla Sector. Jeremiah thought he died in the Big Death, but he was taken to Valhalla Sector and survived. He is a scientist who understands the Big Death and may hold the key to its cure.
Liberty "Libby" Kaufman Joanne Kelly Libby is Devon's assistant in Valhalla Sector and appears to fall in love with Jeremiah. Her loyalty to the Western Alliance is questionable.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

The inspiration for the television show came from a European graphic novels by Belgian artist Hermann Huppen, first published in 1977, which was translated into 26 languages. Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, the CEO of Platinum Studios, a company that specializes in comics-to-film properties translations, brought the books as a television series. Executive Producer J. Michael Straczynski stated it was a "road show" with Jeremiah and Kurdy traveling around the country in a military Jeep.

Shooting began in Vancouver, British Columbia in the fall of 2001. Actors Luke Perry, from Beverly Hills 90210, and Malcolm Jamal-Warner, from The Cosby Show, were cast in the leads.[2]

Developed by Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski and executive produced by Straczynski and Sam Egan in the first season, and Straczynski and Grant Rosenberg in the second, the series is loosely based on Belgian writer Hermann Huppen's comic book series, Jeremiah. Aside from the names of the two main characters, the general personality of the protagonist, and the post-apocalyptic setting, there are no similarities between the comics and the series.

Filming[edit]

The series was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Locations[edit]

Name Locations Group
Thunder Mountain Cheyenne Mountain Complex in Colorado New America Alliance (Western Alliance)
Valhalla Sector Virginia or West Virginia United States of America, remnants of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Executive Branch
Milhaven Colorado Valhalla Sector, later Western Alliance
Clarefield Colorado New America Alliance (Western Alliance)

Cancellation[edit]

Straczynski had prepared a five-year series. But a change in personnel in Showtime's administration caused the network to decide to stop producing science fiction programming and unofficially cancel Jeremiah before the second season had its debut in November 2003. Fans realized the possibility of cancellation when Showtime announced the airing of only the first seven out of fifteen episodes of the second season, and organized a campaign to write and phone executives at Showtime, MGM and Platinum Studios to convince them to show the remaining eight and continue with a third season. Ultimately, the network began airing the remaining of the second season starting on September 3, 2004 - after a ten-month break since the last aired episode - but despite continuously rising ratings did not proceed with the renewal of the show.

Before season 2 premiered, Straczynski vowed to never work with the then-current administration of MGM Television after experiencing major creative differences with them, and had there been a third season it would have to run under some new showrunner. Everyone on cast and crew, including Grant Rosenberg, the second season's co-executive producer, were willing to have continued.[2]

Episodes[edit]

Home media[edit]

In January 2004, MGM Home Entertainment released season 1 of Jeremiah on DVD.[4] Season 2 was released on DVD as a "burn on demand" from Amazon (available to US and Canadian addresses only) in March 2010.[5] The series episodes are also available as digital purchases on Amazon,[6][7] Hulu[8] and iTunes (season 2 only).[9]

In other media[edit]

RPGs[edit]

After having been designed by Morrigan Press, Mongoose Publishing published Jeremiah: The Roleplaying Game in 2005.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "JMS To Quit Jeremiah?". The Mail Archive. July 28, 2003.
  2. ^ a b c Frank Garcia, Mark Phillips, Science Fiction Television Series, 1990-2004: Histories, Casts and Credits, December 10, 2008.
  3. ^ ThoughtHammer.com: Jeremiah- Thunder Mountain Archived July 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "Jeremiah - The Complete First Season". January 20, 2004. Retrieved November 22, 2016 – via Amazon.
  5. ^ "Jeremiah Season Two". March 2, 2010. Retrieved November 22, 2016 – via Amazon.
  6. ^ "Watch Jeremiah Season 1 Episode - Amazon Video". amazon.com. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  7. ^ "Watch Jeremiah Season 2 Episode - Amazon Video". amazon.com. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  8. ^ "Jeremiah". hulu.com. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  9. ^ "Jeremiah, Season 2 on iTunes". apple.com. Retrieved November 22, 2016.

External links[edit]