The 4400

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The 4400
The 4400.jpg
GenreScience fiction/drama
Created by
Starring
Theme music composerAmanda Abizaid
Opening theme"A Place in Time"
Performed by Bosshouse featuring Amanda Abizaid
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes44 (list of episodes)
Production
Production location(s)Vancouver, BC
Running time42 minutes
Production company(s)
DistributorCBS Television Distribution
Release
Original networkUSA Network
Original releaseJuly 11, 2004 (2004-07-11) – September 16, 2007 (2007-09-16)

The 4400 (pronounced "the forty-four hundred") is a science fiction television series produced by CBS Paramount Network Television in association with BSkyB, Renegade 83, and American Zoetrope for USA Network.[1] The show was created and written by Scott Peters and René Echevarria, and it starred Joel Gretsch and Jacqueline McKenzie. The series ran for four seasons from 2004 until its cancellation in 2007.[2]

In the pilot episode, an enormous ball of light deposits a group of exactly 4400 people in the Cascade Range foothills near Mount Rainier, Washington. Each of the 4400 had disappeared in a beam of white light at various times starting from 1938. None of the 4400 have aged from the time of their disappearance. Confused and disoriented, they remember nothing between the time of their disappearance and their return.

Title[edit]

Creator Scott Peters has stated that the series was originally titled "A Light in the Sky", but looking for something unique he decided to "play around with numbers" instead and arrived at "4400" because it "just sounded cool" and "was a very round number with two 4s and two 0s".[3]

Cast and characters[edit]

The season(s) during which each actor has been included in the main cast are marked in green. When a starring actor also has appeared as a guest star during other seasons, this is marked with the number of guest appearances. Gray square means the actor doesn't appear in that season at all.

Series regulars[edit]

Actor Character Appearances
S 1 S 2 S 3 S 4
Joel Gretsch Tom Baldwin
Jacqueline McKenzie Diana Skouris
Mahershala Ali Richard Tyler 2
Patrick Flueger Shawn Farrell
Conchita Campbell Maia Skouris
Chad Faust Kyle Baldwin 3
Laura Allen Lily Tyler 1
Kaj-Erik Eriksen Danny Farrell 7 1 3
Brooke Nevin Nikki Hudson 1 1
Peter Coyote Dennis Ryland 2 5
Samantha Ferris Nina Jarvis
Karina Lombard Alana Mareva 5
Megalyn Echikunwoke Isabelle Tyler 8°°
Billy Campbell Jordan Collier 3 6 4
Jenni Baird Meghan Doyle

° Older Lily (Tippi Hedren)

°° Baby Isabelle (Jordan Lasorsa-Simon)

Recurring guest stars[edit]

In order of first appearance:

Actor Character Appearances
S 1 S 2 S 3 S 4 Total
Richard Kahan Marco Pacella 3 9 9 11 32
Jeffrey Combs Kevin Burkhoff 5 6 6 17
Kavan Smith Jed Garrity 7 9 6 22
Summer Glau Tess Doerner 2 3 4 9
Jody Thompson Devon Moore 4 10 1 15
Natasha Gregson Wagner April Skouris 5 3 1 9
Sharif Atkins Gary Navarro 1 3 4
Kathryn Gordon Heather Tobey 1 3 2 6
Garret Dillahunt Matthew Ross 6 5 11
Tristin Leffler Cassie Dunleavy 8 8

Synopsis[edit]

Season three cast of The 4400

The National Threat Assessment Command (NTAC), a division of the Department of Homeland Security, is in charge of dealing with the return of the 4400. Dennis Ryland is the head of NTAC. Ryland assigns Tom Baldwin and Diana Skouris as the lead team to investigate the 4400. In season 2, Ryland goes to Washington and is replaced by Nina Jarvis. In Season 4 Meghan Doyle takes over as the head of NTAC.

Many of the returnees have trouble getting their lives back on track after being gone from the world for years. More significantly, a small number of the returnees begin to manifest paranormal abilities, such as telekinesis, telepathy and precognition, as well as other "gifts". For example, in the pilot, Shawn Farrell manifests an ability to heal the broken neck of a dead bird, bringing it back to life. In addition, one of the 4400, Lily Moore, has become pregnant between her disappearance and return.

The first-season finale, "White Light", reveals that the 4400 were abducted not by aliens, but by humans from the Earth's future, that Kyle Baldwin was to be their "messenger", and that they were returned to avert a catastrophe.

By the second season, it is revealed that all 4400 have a fictional neurotransmitter, promicin, in their brains, which gives them their powers. The government, afraid of what this large group would do with such power, had secretly been dosing all of the 4400 with a promicin inhibitor, which had worked on most, but not all, of the 4400. One of the inhibitor's side effects is a potentially fatal immune deficiency. The inhibitor is ultimately removed from the 4400 by a dose of promicin extracted by Kevin Burkhoff from the blood of the infant Isabelle, who was never given the inhibitor.

At the beginning of the third season, the Nova Group, a terrorist faction made up of 4400s, emerges. Originally formed as a "defensive" group in the aftermath of the promicin-inhibitor scandal, the Nova Group eventually carries out numerous terrorist attacks against the government and NTAC. The group is responsible for many terrorist attacks including the assassination of the men involved with the promicin-inhibitor conspiracy; the attempted assassination of Ryland; the framing of Baldwin for murder; and the driving of another person to insanity.

During the third and fourth season, it is revealed that only a certain faction from the future wants to see history changed. Another faction, which prefers the status quo, opposes the 4400, and has sent their own operatives, including Isabelle Tyler and "the Marked", into the past. The exact motives of both factions have not yet been revealed.

Eventually, Jordan Collier, a returnee who declares himself the savior of humanity, makes promicin shots available to the general public. However, only half of the human population can actually tolerate promicin, and thus develop superhuman abilities, while the other half die upon taking the shot. Although the government outlaws promicin use, thousands of previously ordinary people have developed superhuman abilities, severely complicating NTAC's task. Collier later annexes a part of Seattle and transforms it into "Promise City", a self-proclaimed paradise open to all people with superhuman abilities. The US government attempts to reclaim Promise City but meets with little success.

At the conclusion of the series, Danny Farell's uncontrolled ability exposed some of the residents of Seattle to promicin, resulting in about 9,000 deaths and as many newly empowered humans, while at the same time forcing the remains of NTAC (now themselves mostly promicin-positive) to ask Jordan Collier and his followers (as the only group immune to the 50% chance of death from exposure) to become the de facto government of Seattle. The series ended with a cliff-hanger, with Collier pledging to build the future he had promised, while the government watches uneasily as Collier's militia remains in control of Seattle, now known as Promise City.

Ripple effect[edit]

Early in the first season, theorists at NTAC suspect that the 4400s have been placed in the timeline with their enhanced abilities for a purpose, to cause some change that could propagate and redirect the course of history. An example of this was when a 4400 named Carl Morrissey attempted to use his enhanced strength and reflexes to fight crime in his neighborhood park. Although Morrissey was killed by a group of thugs, his death inspired others to become involved in various neighborhood clean up projects.

Another example of this effect at work came during the season two episode "Wake up Call". In that episode a mentally ill returnee uses mind control powers to force the other residents of her mental hospital to build an unusual machine. When the machine is activated it cures fellow patient Kevin Burkhoff of his crippling schizophrenia. When NTAC looks into Burkhoff's background they discover that prior to falling ill he was a brilliant neuroscientist who was working on gene therapies which could end up being the basis of the technology which created the 4400.

Promicin[edit]

In the series, promicin is a fictional neurotransmitter the human body produces that controls and regulate bodily functions. In the 4400, it enables every member to use parts of the cerebellum no human has previously used. This is the cause of the new abilities in each returnee. Promicin's behavior and effects are unpredictable, potentially giving any ability. However, as part of a government conspiracy, every 4400 is regularly injected with a promicin-inhibitor, suppressing their potential new abilities.[4]

Since the government ceases injecting promicin inhibitor, every 4400 develops an ability.[4]

Dr. Kevin Burkhoff devises a way to artificially create 4400 abilities through a series of promicin injections, using himself as a test subject,[5] giving him regenerative abilities.[6] However, the government finds out about this breakthrough and builds up its own stockpile of a much purer promicin (extracted from Isabelle Tyler), which they in turn use to create at least one group of soldiers with 4400 abilities, as demonstrated by the government's attack on Promise City. Jordan Collier steals the government's supply, and begins distributing it via human couriers to anyone who wants the shot.

An injection of promicin has a 50% chance of either killing the person taking the injection (by way of an aneurysm[7]) or giving them a 4400 ability.[8] In the fourth season, Dr. Burkhoff claims to have discovered how promicin interacts with the body, thus being able to predict whether a person will survive the shot or not. It is explained that nine out of ten left-handed people who take the shot survive. In the brain there is a small part called the corpus callosum. It is essentially a bundle of neural fibres that connects the two hemispheres and it is usually slightly larger in left-handed people than it is in right-handed people. That is why left-handed people survive; the size of that part of the brain helps determine whether or not a person will be able to integrate a new neurotransmitter. With further research, Dr. Burkhoff believes a simple CAT scan will be able to tell how anyone's body will react to a promicin shot.

There exists a substance that can eliminate all traces of promicin in the human body, effectively robbing the injected individual of any 4400 powers and in addition making this person allergic to promicin.[7] The identity and makeup of this substance is not stated, and the only known source of it so far is from the future.[9] A second method also exists for removing promicin from non-4400 humans, through the promicin-neutralizing ability of Jordan Collier.

There also appears to be a substance that can counteract the anti-promicin's effects as Tom Baldwin, during his time as a member of the "Marked", uses this substance to help Isabelle Tyler regain her powers by removing her promicin allergy. Like the anti-promicin, this substance appears to be from the future.

As discovered by Marco in the episode The Starzl Mutation; Seattle Presbyterian Hospital started using a flawed radiation machine to treat their cancer patients in 1969. The microswitches that controlled the machine were not functioning properly, so the doses were incorrect. This went on for just under five years. Once the hospital figured out what they were doing they tested everyone who had ever been exposed to it and in some cases the radiation induced a small mutation. This mutation was a slight alteration of the eleventh chromosome, named the "Starzl mutation" after the manufacturer of the faulty machine.

The mutation is hereditary, meaning people that got it passed it onto their children. The Starzl mutation is both harmless and conserved in those offspring; they live normal healthy lives. While the offspring of a returnee normally do not retain the ability to generate promicin, a second-hand report from John Shaffner (an ex-special ops soldier) suggested that the offspring of a 4400 and a Starzl mutant will be "promicin-positive", meaning they will have abilities. This is believed by Tom Baldwin and Diana Skouris to be the reason why the abductees were returned to the Seattle area - it is the only place they are likely to encounter individuals who possess the Starzl mutation and therefore the only place they are likely to produce children with 4400 abilities.

The promicin-inhibitor "piggybacks on glucose", after entering the brain through facilitated diffusion. It is a binding protein; that is, it binds itself to promicin in the body and neutralizes it. However, if there is no promicin for it to bind to, it remains in the body. Eventually, it builds up to toxic levels in the lymph nodes, damaging the immune system. The result is a chemically induced immunodeficiency.

To counteract the promicin inhibitor, Dr. Burkhoff develops a serum containing Isabelle's pure promicin. This serum neutralizes the charge so the inhibitor is not able to cross membranes and can be flushed out of the body.[8]

NBC/Universal created several sites targeted at fictional members of the 4400 universe:[10]

Subsequent to the cancellation of the series, these web sites were allowed to lapse and none of them are active any further. Most of them have now been parked.

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
15July 11, 2004 (2004-07-11)August 8, 2004 (2004-08-08)
213June 5, 2005 (2005-06-05)August 28, 2005 (2005-08-28)
313June 11, 2006 (2006-06-11)August 27, 2006 (2006-08-27)
413June 17, 2007 (2007-06-17)September 16, 2007 (2007-09-16)

The 4400 ran for four seasons. The first season is presented as a miniseries of five episodes, which aired weekly from July 11, 2004 to August 8, 2004, with a two-hour premier. Seasons two, three and four are each 13-episode seasons (counting the two hour premiers in seasons two and three as two episodes). A special episode, "The 4400: Unlocking the Secrets", aired between seasons two and three, on June 3, 2006, originally on NBC.[16]

Production of the third season was shot in Vancouver until July 26, 2006. The third season premiered June 11, 2006, with 4.2 million viewers tuning in.[17] Executive Producer Ira Steven Behr described season three as "bigger and more mythic. It feels like 26 episodes instead of 13 because we're cramming so much stuff in". Billy Campbell, the actor who plays Collier, took most of season three off to sail around the world, returning in the final four episodes.[18]

Production of the fourth and final season began in early 2007 for a mid-year premiere, returning with the episode "The Wrath of Graham".[19]

Books[edit]

  • The Vesuvius Prophecy, by Greg Cox, is the first book based on the series. It was released in June 2008. Set during the show's third season, the plot revolves around Maia's prophecy of the eruption of Mt. Rainier.[20]
  • Wet Work, by Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore, is the second original novel based on the series. Published in October 2008, it is set during the show's second season. Its plot concerns Tom and Diana's hunt for a rogue government assassin who uses her promicin powers to kill people.[21]
  • Welcome to Promise City, by Greg Cox, is the third book based on the series, and the first set after the events of the end of the series. It was published on July 28, 2009.[22]
  • Promises Broken, by David Mack, is the fourth book based on the series and the second set after the end of the show. It concludes most of the saga of the 4400, but it too ends on a cliffhanger. It was published on October 27, 2009.[23]

Production[edit]

The theme song of the show is "A Place in Time", written by Robert Phillips and Tim Paruskewitz and performed by Amanda Abizaid. All seasons are filmed in high-definition with closed captioning. USA Network broadcast episodes after season one in fullscreen 480i; the DVD releases contain the episodes in their native widescreen format.

Soundtrack[edit]

The soundtrack to The 4400 was released on May 8, 2007 by Milan Records and includes music from the first three seasons, as follows:

  1. Bosshouse featuring Amanda Abizaid - "A Place in Time" (Theme from The 4400)
  2. Switchfoot - "This Is Your Life"
  3. People in Planes - "Falling by the Wayside"
  4. Thirteen Senses - "Into the Fire"
  5. Ivy - "Worry About You"
  6. Engineers - "How Do You Say Goodbye?"
  7. Maroon 5 - "She Will Be Loved"
  8. Jacqueline McKenzie - "Shy Baby"
  9. Bedroom Walls - "Do the Buildings and Cops Make You Smile?"
  10. Billie Holiday - "Cheek to Cheek"
  11. John Van Tongeren - "Salvation"
  12. The Landau Orchestra - "A Place in Time" (instrumental arrangement)

Note: The last track does not appear in the series. Although not included on the soundtrack, "Life for Rent" by Dido was used in the episode "The Starzl Mutation". The song "Where Is My Mind?" by the Pixies was later used in the series finale.

Setting[edit]

The 4400 is set in Seattle,[24] but actually filmed in the Vancouver, British Columbia area. Settings include:

  • Promise City: founded by Jordan Collier with the guidance of Kyle Baldwin. It is created as a safe haven for people who are promicin-positive (P-positives), and also serves as the base of Collier's movement to spread promicin to the world. Collier intends for Promise City to be a model for the future, and the first stage to creating "Heaven on Earth". Though the characters claim that the location is on the Duwamish River delta, the map used and the footage featuring Promise City makes it clear this is impossible. The commentary states that Promise City was shot in Vancouver on the Burrard Inlet below the Second Narrows Bridge.
  • Haspel Corporation: a fictional company whose name is also abbreviated as HaspelCorp,[25] Haspelcorp,[26] or Haspel Corp.[27] The corporation's name and logo are introduced in the last minute of the episode Graduation Day, where it is also implied that its building possesses at least 24 floors.[28] A private defense contracting company of which Dennis Ryland is an executive,[29] Haspel Corporation is the only known manufacturer of promicin which they had been getting by filtering the blood from Isabelle Tyler. In the book Welcome to Promise City, Haspel Corporation has been banished out of Promise City's limits. The filming location used for HaspelCorp is the Life Sciences Centre at the University of British Columbia. It is home to the university's Life Sciences Institute and one of the medical research facilities on campus.
  • The 4400 Center: a fictional building founded by Jordan Collier in between Seasons One and Two as a place where 4400s could take sanctuary and learn to harness their abilities, and where non-4400s could seek out the "inner" 4400 in themselves. A side-effect of non-4400s joining the scheme was that they brought a great deal of money into the center. When Jordan was assassinated, Shawn Farrell (Jordan's "protégé") took over the operation of the center.[30] Characters in the show sometimes call the 4400 Center a cult. The center was closed down and seized by the government in the finale of Season Three. In Season Four, Shawn reopens the center as a base for his healing foundation. In the 4400 book Promises Broken, the 4400 center stands as the last stand against the government in the Battle for Promise City. According to a postcard in the season 3 episode "Gone", the fictional location of the center is 6265 Crescent Road, Seattle, Washington. The same street address in Vancouver is the address for the Chan Centre, the real-life building portrayed as the 4400 Center.[31]
  • Highland Beach: Shot at Buntzen Lake in Coquitlam, British Columbia.

DVD releases[edit]

Season Episodes Discs DVD release date
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
1 5 2 December 21, 2004 January 10, 2005 June 10, 2005
The DVD contains no bonus features. The DVD is presented in a dual DVD case with a green-on-black cover showing the characters Tom, Diana and Dennis.[32]
2 13 4 May 23, 2006 June 5, 2006 May 23, 2006
Bonus features include featurettes and commentary from Jacqueline McKenzie, Joel Gretsch, Craig Sweeny and Ira Steven Behr.
3 13 4 May 8, 2007 July 23, 2007 June 7, 2007
Bonus features include an introduction by the series creator, four featurettes, six audio commentaries and a gag reel.[33]
4 13 4 May 6, 2008 June 30, 2008 July 10, 2008
Bonus features include 2 featurettes, blooper reel, deleted scenes, audio commentaries and The Great Leap Forward (Director's cut).
The Complete Series 44 15 October 28, 2008 October 6, 2008 August 6, 2009
Bonus features include video introduction by creator Scott Peters, pilot episode commentary by Scott Peters and Joel Gretsch, The 4400: Ghost Season, and deleted scenes (seasons 1, 2, and 3)

The first season was released on blu-ray in Germany during August 2017,[34] with the remaining seasons releasing in the subsequent months.[35][36][37]

Reboot[edit]

On November 7, 2018, it was announced that a reboot of The 4400 was being developed at The CW. Taylor Elmore and Craig Sweeny, the latter having worked on the original series throughout its entire run as a writer and later as a supervising producer, will write and serve as executive producers of the "reimagining" of the series through their deals with CBS Television Studios. Elmore will serve as showrunner, should the project move forward.[38][39]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The 4400: Behind the Scenes News". USA Network. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2016-08-08.
  2. ^ "Veteran USA sci-fi shows vaporized". Reuters. December 20, 2007. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  3. ^ "Scott Peters Explains Why 4400 Should be Abducted". io9.com. October 27, 2008. Archived from the original on November 4, 2008. Retrieved 2011-10-23.
  4. ^ a b "Mommy's Bosses". The 4400.
  5. ^ "The New World". The 4400.
  6. ^ "Being Tom Baldwin". The 4400.
  7. ^ a b "Fifty-Fifty". The 4400.
  8. ^ a b "Terrible Swift Sword". The 4400.
  9. ^ "Gone". The 4400.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-06-05.
  11. ^ PromicinTerror.com
  12. ^ PromicinInfo.com
  13. ^ PromicinPower.com
  14. ^ PromicinPassion.com
  15. ^ PromicinDance.com
  16. ^ "4,400, The: Unlocking the Secrets". The Futon Critic.
  17. ^ "Development Update: June 12–16 (Weekly Round-Up)". The Futon Critic. 2006-06-13.
  18. ^ "'The 4400's' power-hungry tycoon returns". MSNBC. 2006-07-25.
  19. ^ "4,400, THE (USA)". The Futon Critic. 2006-05-26.
  20. ^ Cox, Greg (2008). The Vesuvius Prophecy. Pocket Star. ISBN 1-4165-4317-1.
  21. ^ Ward, Dayton; Dilmore, Kevin (2008). Wet Work. Pocket Star. ISBN 1-4165-4321-X.
  22. ^ Cox, Greg (2009). Welcome to Promise City. Pocket Star. ISBN 1-4165-4322-8.
  23. ^ Mack, David (2009). Promises Broken. Pocket Star.
  24. ^ "Pilot". The 4400.
  25. ^ USA Network: The Starzl Mutation
  26. ^ USA Network: The Ballad of Kevin and Tess
  27. ^ USA Network: Marco Pacella
  28. ^ "Graduation Day". The 4400. Season 3. Episode 6. 45 minutes in.
  29. ^ USA Network: Dennis Ryland
  30. ^ "As Fate Would Have It". The 4400.
  31. ^ Tickets for Vancouver Performances of Classical, Opera, Symphony, New Music, Folk, World Music & more | Chan Centre Archived 2006-10-05 at the Wayback Machine.
  32. ^ "Season 1 DVD". Amazon. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  33. ^ "The 4400, Season 3 Date & Extras". tvshowsondvd.com. Archived from the original on 2007-03-31. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  34. ^ "4400 - Die Rückkehrer - Staffel 1 [Blu-ray]". Amazon. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  35. ^ "4400 - Die Rückkehrer - Staffel 2 [Blu-ray]". Amazon. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  36. ^ "4400 - Die Rückkehrer - Staffel 3 [Blu-ray]". Amazon. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  37. ^ "4400 - Die Rückkehrer - Staffel 4 [Blu-ray]". Amazon. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  38. ^ Otterson, Joe (November 7, 2018). "The 4400 Reboot in Development at CW". Variety. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  39. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (November 7, 2018). "The 4400 Reboot In the Works at The CW". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 7, 2018.

External links[edit]