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08.19.2017
Regenesis: Season One (2004)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger
03.27.10

Regenesis: Season One (2004) This Canadian Television series is a lot like THE ELEVENTH HOUR. In the first episode Dr. David Sandstrom (Peter Outerbridge of SAW VI) is frantically wandering the streets, making phone calls saying it's "all his fault" until he's hit by a car. This incident bookends the entire first season (12 episodes) Then events cut to months earlier, when he's reunited with his teenaged daughter Lilith (Ellen Page). She shows up unexpectedly at his apartment while he's having sex. He gets a call to go to work about a new ebola type virus that is killing people, so he can't stay to chat, and he leaves the daughter there with his girlfriend. Around this time a young boy named Mick approaches him, claiming to be a clone--and that he's dying because of it. David keeps blowing him off but starts to take him more seriously when he discovers that the kid's father is a famous geneticist. Lilith, in the meantime, has become friends with him and his story continues to the end of the season and we find out if he's really a clone or not.

Sandstrom is the chief scientist at the Toronto-based NORBAC facility, which is a virology/micro-biology lab established by the USA, Canada and Mexico. Their job is to counteract any sort of bio-terrorism. He works with a diverse group of people, the most interesting a guy named Bob Melnikov who as Asperger's Syndrome. He has problems with social skills and has some repetitive behaviors, such as doing things in a certain order. After one of them, Hira, is killed she's replaced by Jill Langston (Sarah Strange), who Sandstrom develops a relationship with.

The majority of the episodes either deal with manufactured viruses or diseases or ones that have been inadvertently created. NORBAC discovers that the Ebola-like virus, which decimates a path to Toronto, is man-made and that the source of the disease is a baby. At one point Sandstrom thinks he's been infected and is kept in quarantine.

Then there's an episode about a fast-acting mad cow-like disease. However, the most potentially dangerous thing they encounter is a resurgence of the Spanish Flu. Sandstrom found a sample of it preserved in the corpse of a miner frozen in the Arctic since 1918 and brings it back the lab to study. Yet somehow the flu begins to infect people around the country. At the end of the first season he quits, thinking he's indeed responsible.

Things are revealed about the characters as the episodes progress. Mayko Nguyen has a brief affair with Sandstrom years ago, when she was his student. Carlos Serrano is gay and Weston Field, who is the manager, is HIV positive, which he got from a prostitute. The strongest character, next to Sandstrom, is Caroline Morrison (Maxim Roy of DEFYING GRAVITY), who is the government liaison.

ReGENESIS has interesting stories, great characterization and is plausible. And although it's a Canadian series it's not in any way lacking. One of the best television series of the past twenty years, period.

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