John Doe (TV series)

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John Doe
John Doe (TV series).jpg
Created by
  • Brandon Camp
  • Mike Thompson
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes21
Executive producers
Running time44 minutes
Production companies
Original networkFox
Picture formatNTSC
Original releaseSeptember 20, 2002 (2002-09-20) –
April 25, 2003 (2003-04-25)

John Doe is an American science fiction drama television series that aired on Fox during the 2002–2003 TV season.[1]


I woke up in an island off the coast of Seattle. I didn't know how I got there ... or who I was. But I did seem to know everything else. There were things about me I didn't understand ... the brand, being colorblind, extreme claustrophobia. And while my gifts provided answers for others, I still search for my own. My name is John Doe.

In the opening scene of the series' pilot episode, a mysterious man awakens on an island off the coast of Seattle, Washington, naked, with absolutely no memory of who he is or how he got there. However, apart from the details of his own past, "John Doe", as he comes to call himself, seems to have access to the sum total of all human knowledge: he knows how many dimples are on a golf ball, the population of Morocco, and other such obscure (and not-so-obscure) facts. He also has expert knowledge on everything from the stock market to computers. Over the course of the series John attempts to find clues about his past by using his unusual ability while also helping to solve crimes with the Seattle police department.[2][3] In the process it becomes clear that an international conspiracy known as the Phoenix Organization is watching John's every move.

Who is John Doe?[edit]

Due to the series' cancellation, the final episode ended with an unresolved cliffhanger, revealing that Digger, John's close friend, was in fact the leader of the Phoenix Organization. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, series creators Brandon Camp and Mike Thompson revealed what would have happened and John Doe's true identity.

Make that someone who looked like John's friend. The villain unmasked in the finale was actually just a Phoenix member with some fancy facial reconstruction. Turns out, the Phoenix believed Doe was the Messiah and its members were actually protecting Doe from a second group, which wanted him dead. The truth: Doe was injured in a boating accident. That mark on his chest? A scar left by a piece of shrapnel from the explosion. His Überbrain? A by-product of transcending his body during a near-death experience, traveling to a spiritual plane where all the universe's questions are answered.[4]


Main cast[edit]

Recurring cast[edit]


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
1"Pilot"Mimi LederBrandon Camp & Mike ThompsonSeptember 20, 2002 (2002-09-20)10-02-179
A man with no memory of himself is found in Puget Sound. He knows everything else it is possible to know, and uses this ability to make a fortune, first gambling on horses and then the stock market. He takes the name John Doe. Later, a little girl is kidnapped, and John helps the Seattle Police find her. Last scene of the pilot episode, a lady on a boat calls out to him, "Tommy".
2"Blood Lines"Mimi LederBrandon Camp & Mike ThompsonSeptember 27, 2002 (2002-09-27)10-02-101
John's friend Karen Kawalski (Sprague Grayden) is fired from her job, and John takes her on as his assistant. Also, John helps the Seattle Police save a man and his family. The man has been smuggling illegal aliens, and when a group of them dies, their relative decides to exact revenge.
3"Doe Re: Me"Henry BronchteinGardner SternOctober 4, 2002 (2002-10-04)10-02-103
John helps police officers Lt. Jamie Avery (Jayne Brook) and Frank Hayes (John Marshall Jones) solve a series of gruesome murders. A mother who put her twins up for adoption (with bad results for the twins) is exacting revenge on all the people involved in the adoption. Also, a doctor who learns something about John's past is killed by a secret organization.
4"Past Imperfect"Bill L. NortonRussel Friend & Garrett LernerOctober 18, 2002 (2002-10-18)10-02-102
A woman's body is found in a 30-year-old barrel. The police look up the owner of the corresponding vineyard, who bears an uncanny resemblance to John, looking as he does now, but 30 years ago. The body may be his mother, and John helps catch the killer, who may be his father.
5"John Deux"Félix Enríquez AlcaláGeoffrey NeigherOctober 25, 2002 (2002-10-25)10-02-104
Another man is found in the Puget Sound. John visits him in the hospital, and the man seems to recognize him before John is thrown out. The man then disappears, and John looks for him. A rogue doctor has illegally harvested the man's organs, and Frank saves John before the same can happen to him. Also, another man who seems to know something of John's past is killed.
6"Low Art"Dwight H. LittleGretchen J. Berg & Aaron HarbertsNovember 1, 2002 (2002-11-01)10-02-105
Doe's trust of Karen is called into question after she is suspected of stealing an art piece.
7"Mind Games"Frederick King KellerAdele Lim and Russel Friend & Garrett LernerNovember 8, 2002 (2002-11-08)10-02-106
A mother and child show up on Doe's doorstep, claiming he is the father.
8"Idaho"Henry BronchteinBrandon Camp & Mike ThompsonNovember 15, 2002 (2002-11-15)10-02-107
A series of events lead Doe to Idaho, where he meets apparent family friends. However, all is not what it seems.
9"Manifest Destiny"Leslie LibmanTimothy J. LeaDecember 6, 2002 (2002-12-06)10-02-108
After John decides to take a holiday, a vicar on his flight is poisoned. John must discover the murderer's identity before more people are killed.
10"The Mourner"Mimi LederMatt Pyken & Michael BernsDecember 13, 2002 (2002-12-13)10-02-109
John is trapped in a battle of wits with "The Mourner," a serial killer who leaves a sympathy card with the bodies of his victims.
11"John D.O.A."Michelle MacLarenMatt Pyken & Michael BernsJanuary 10, 2003 (2003-01-10)10-02-110
The concluding episode to The Mourner.
12"Tone Dead"Randall ZiskBrandon Camp & Mike Thompson and Gretchen J. Berg & Aaron HarbertsJanuary 17, 2003 (2003-01-17)10-02-111
John investigates the murder of a DJ.
13"Family Man"Bryan SpicerGeoffrey NeigherJanuary 31, 2003 (2003-01-31)10-02-112
After a string of kidnappings, Doe's unique talents are needed to track down the culprit.
14"Ashes to Ashes"Mimi LederBrandon Camp & Mike ThompsonFebruary 14, 2003 (2003-02-14)10-02-114
When Karen is kidnapped, John finds himself brought back to Horseshoe Island.
15"Psychic Connection"Ian SanderGretchen J. Berg & Aaron HarbertsMarch 7, 2003 (2003-03-07)10-02-115
Skeptical Doe teams up with a psychic to solve a case.
16"Illegal Alien"Henry BronchteinRussel Friend & Garrett LernerMarch 14, 2003 (2003-03-14)10-02-113
After a US astronaut is shot dead in the woods outside Seattle, John investigates the theory that he may have been abducted by aliens.
17"Doe or Die"David StraitonRussel Friend & Garrett Lerner and Brandon Camp & Mike ThompsonMarch 21, 2003 (2003-03-21)10-02-117
A rogue agent threatens to unleash Smallpox upon the country.
18"Save As... John Doe"Keith SamplesGretchen J. Berg & Aaron Harberts and Brandon Camp & Mike ThompsonMarch 28, 2003 (2003-03-28)10-02-116
Missing artificial intelligence research may have a direct connection to Doe's past.
19"Shock to the System"Bobby RothDavid Manson and Gretchen J. Berg & Aaron Harberts and Brandon Camp & Mike ThompsonApril 4, 2003 (2003-04-04)10-02-118
Doe loses his encyclopedic mind after he is struck by lightning. He is also challenged by a serial killer at this time.
20"Remote Control"Paul ShapiroGretchen J. Berg & Aaron HarbertsApril 18, 2003 (2003-04-18)10-02-119
Doe discovers the Seneca Institute, where "fallen geniuses" are being conditioned with psychic abilities.
21"The Rising"Mimi LederBrandon Camp & Mike ThompsonApril 25, 2003 (2003-04-25)10-02-120
The series reaches a shocking finale as John uses his analytic abilities to find the Phoenix organization.


On January 20, 2006, the series was syndicated to the Sci-Fi channel.[1]


On Metacritic, the series has a score of 65 out of 100 based on 22 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[5] On Rotten Tomatoes, the series has an approval rating of 73% with an average rating of 7/10 based on 26 reviews, with a critical consensus stating: "John Doe overcomes its somewhat dubious premise with an alluring sense of mystery and a nuanced performance from Dominic Purcell."[6] Phil Gallo of Variety wrote, "It's so stylishly executed, with Mimi Leder's direction, a crisp script and magnetic lead by Dominic Purcell, that the John Doe indeed has a solid identity."[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Shows A-Z - john doe on fox". The Futon Critic. Retrieved June 30, 2012.
  2. ^ "John Doe". Retrieved June 30, 2012.
  3. ^ "John Doe". Retrieved June 30, 2012.
  4. ^ Bierly, Mandi (October 1, 2004). "EW solves TV cliff-hanger mysteries". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 8, 2022.
  5. ^ "John Doe: Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  6. ^ "John Doe: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 14, 2022.
  7. ^ Gallo, Phil (September 18, 2002). "John Doe". Variety. Retrieved March 14, 2022.

External links[edit]