UPN - Nowhere Man

Dark Side of the Moon

I guess the network didn't like this one too much. It's the only reason I can figure that it's been pushed back so far in the schedule. It was actually made among the first twelve or thirteen.

This episode should come with a warning, however. It is a bit "off-the-beaten-Nowhere-Man-track." Where most of the eps have been somewhat "internal" in nature, "Dark Side" is very external. It's also quite violent. If you tend toward the squeamish when it comes to violence (not graphical blood and guts) you should be forewarned. We cut down a lot of it during the editorial process but what's left is still pretty rough.

I believe, though, that "Dark Side" has a rightful spot in the Nowhere Man archives. There's a theme (or a tone) throughout the series that this world is not the easiest to survive in; particularly if you desire to maintain your identity and the elements of integrity that are supposed to go with that. But there are external difficulties in this world as well as internal and in "Darkside" Tom finds himself between colliding forces of violence and evil.


When David Ehrman first asked the question: "What would happen if Tom got mugged and a petty thief inadvertently got his hands on the negatives," it provoked a lot of discussion. We started to noodle around the possibilities and decided to set the episode in "Hell;" a particular Nowhere Man kind of hell.

James Whitmore, Jr. ("Something About Her") did a wonderful job, as did our DP, Jim Chressanthus, creating this world from out of the tangled urban night. It is a world with its own logic and its own set of rules. Tom, as many people note, "isn't from around here" and either has to learn the "lay of the land" or die trying. It's interesting to wonder -- after Tiny steals Tom's carryall -- whether or not Tom's pursual of the man is more to get his belongings back or to warn him of what awaits.

It would be somewhat unrealistic to portray one man's battle against "Them" without showing the violence in the world that "Them" is capable of. After all, when the allegories have subsided, we still live in a world where people kill each other to get what they want (or suppress what they don't). On the other hand, I've never been sure that emotional violence isn't equally, if not more, damaging than physical violence. (In this respect the physical violence can be yet another allegory.)

This ep didn't garner much enthusiasm from the Nowhere Man Powers That Be. I like it. If for no other reason than the fact that it's somewhat different, I think it creates a mood so intensely and holds it so effectively that I can appreciate the departure.

It's also always interesting to come across the occasional, voluntary "Nohwere Man." In this case, the "Man" is Margo, a sixteen year old girl. While Tom desperately fights to find a way back home, Margo feels that "any place is better than home." Perhaps she has to encounter a man in Tom's condition to better assess her own situation.

All in all, a dark, tough, intense ep. Not a lot of hidden agendas here -- it's pretty much what-you-see-is-what-you-get. As always, I look forward to reactions.

Th--th--that's all folks.



vidiot at vidiot dot com
Last modified on April 12, 1996