Vampires, aliens, assassins, oh my: 3 new TV series about your fears (or strange obsessions)

Science-fiction-type shows come in threes this week, with Fox's modestly intriguing "The Passage," CW's "Ros...

Posted: Jan 14, 2019 6:44 PM
Updated: Jan 14, 2019 6:44 PM

Science-fiction-type shows come in threes this week, with Fox's modestly intriguing "The Passage," CW's "Roswell, New Mexico" and Syfy's "Deadly Class," which is another case of what might be called "The Remedial Hogwarts School of Television."

Think "Vampires, aliens and assassins, oh my."

Extraterrestrial life

Space and astronomy

Each is based on prior source material -- in sequence, a best-selling book trilogy, a 1999 TV show and an Image Comics graphic novel -- reflecting the hunt for any advantage in terms of an established fan base to help get such programs sampled.

"The Passage" is the most promising of the three, even if the early episodes have a too-familiar feel to them, and are just serialized enough to keep pulling the audience along, without providing complete faith that this journey is going anywhere -- or at least, heading in a direction that would warrant sticking around for the duration.

Man is again his own worst enemy, having gone hunting for a cure to all disease -- at a secret facility known as Project NOAH -- and instead unleashed potential Armageddon. In this case, it's breeding a strain of vampire-like creatures, who will suck the life out of their human captors -- the ones who've been experimenting on them -- if given half a chance.

Also sucked into this world is federal agent Brad Wolgast (Paul-Mark Gosselaar), who is tasked with tracking down an orphaned young girl, Amy (Saniyya Sidney) who may hold humankind's salvation. But given the shadowy forces that are after her, the two wind up on the run together, with the not-so-good guys in hot pursuit.

"The Passage" unfolds along multiple tracks, including what's happening inside the research facility, presided over by Dr. Jonas Lear (Henry Ian Cusick, providing a conspicuous link to "Lost"). The better example might be the earlier Fox show "Wayward Pines," which, like "The Passage," started off well enough, before running into a ditch.

It's too early to say whether "The Passage" will share that fate (three episodes were previewed), but the show offers enough serialized momentum to maintain interest, without completely sinking its teeth into you.

"Roswell," meanwhile, pretty dutifully recycles the format of its predecessor on the WB, with a few modest alterations to the sexy-aliens-among-us DNA.

Liz Ortecho (Jeanine Mason) returns to her home town a decade later, where she finds her high-school crush, Max (Nathan Parsons), who's now a local police officer. But after she's inadvertently shot, he uses his powers to save her -- and thus is forced to reveal that he's one of three aliens living in the city whose name is synonymous with UFOs and government cover-ups.

There's more to it than that, but basically this revival (under "The Vampire Diaries" producer Julie Plec) is an excuse to set up another star-crossed (literally, in this case) soap opera, albeit with more sex than the earlier incarnation.

While the name evokes images of crashed spaceships, "Roswell" never quite takes off.

Finally, there's "Deadly Class," airing on Syfy, and claiming "Avengers" directors the Russo brothers among its producers. For the most part, it's a tedious adaptation other than the late-1980s Reagan-era setting, about an ill-tempered teen (Benjamin Wadsworth) who is recruited to attend a secret academy for assassins and the progeny of crime families, pairing him with all the social malcontents and dangers that entails.

The casting helps -- with Benedict Wong as an instructor and Lana Condor as a mysterious classmate -- but it's hard to get too excited about what feels like the eighth or ninth show about shadowy schools for unusual teenagers, one reason that the concept for "Deadly Class" feels so deadly dull.

"The Passage" premieres Jan. 14 at 9 p.m. on Fox.

"Roswell, New Mexico" premieres Jan. 15 at 9 p.m. on the CW.

"Deadly Class" premieres Jan. 16 at 10 p.m. on Syfy.

West Lafayette
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 65°
Kokomo
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 59°
Rensselaer
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 55°
Fowler
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 65°
Williamsport
Partly Cloudy
63° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 63°
Crawfordsville
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 59°
Frankfort
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 59°
Delphi
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 58°
Monticello
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 58°
Logansport
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 55°
Clear and Chilly Wednesday, Rain Thursday
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 724214

Reported Deaths: 13363
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion989071736
Lake53172962
Allen40223675
Hamilton35354408
St. Joseph35270550
Elkhart28228437
Tippecanoe22297217
Vanderburgh22231396
Porter18560304
Johnson17832376
Hendricks17098313
Clark12897191
Madison12519339
Vigo12379244
Monroe11811168
LaPorte11691210
Delaware10571185
Howard9823215
Kosciusko9347117
Hancock8204139
Bartholomew8036155
Warrick7754155
Floyd7630176
Wayne7002198
Grant6986174
Boone6652101
Morgan6529139
Dubois6139117
Marshall5954111
Dearborn577177
Cass5769105
Henry5671102
Noble555783
Jackson499672
Shelby488196
Lawrence4470120
Gibson433791
Harrison432972
Clinton426353
DeKalb423284
Montgomery423088
Whitley392739
Huntington386380
Steuben381057
Miami379165
Knox370990
Jasper361347
Putnam357760
Wabash352478
Adams340354
Ripley338370
Jefferson328481
White312254
Daviess294399
Wells290281
Decatur282992
Fayette278362
Greene276085
Posey270733
Scott264453
LaGrange263870
Clay258945
Randolph239581
Washington239131
Spencer230431
Jennings228848
Starke213252
Fountain211846
Sullivan210442
Owen195856
Fulton194240
Jay190429
Carroll187820
Perry182537
Orange181854
Rush172625
Vermillion167643
Franklin167235
Tipton161945
Parke145416
Blackford134332
Pike132634
Pulaski115945
Newton106734
Brown101441
Crawford99014
Benton98114
Martin87415
Warren80515
Switzerland7808
Union70610
Ohio56211
Unassigned0413

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events