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FREQUENCY is Fascinating When it Moves Away From its Movie Roots

By on October 13, 2016
Pictured: Peyton List as Raimy -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW

Pictured: Peyton List as Raimy -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW

By Geannie Bastian

If you haven’t seen the CW’s new show Frequency yet, you should, because like many of the recent movies to become TV’s, it makes for an interesting and entertaining experiment. How does the once two hour story send a week after week and potentially year after year?

The basic story is this, father dies 20 years prior, and through a quirk in the universe, is able to contact his child in the future – through an old CB radio, just a short time before his would be death. With the warning from the future, his death is averted and the future altered – in ways that place his wife in danger at the hands of a serial killer.

What’s the movie and the television series have to basic elements in common, but it’s where they differ that make for tantalizing TV worthy changes.

Modern Day Daddy’s Girl

What’s the most obvious change from the movie to the television show? Well, do you have a gender swap on our main character. Instead of John Sullivan, son of a firefighter, our heroine is Raimy Sullivan, daughter of a cop. But the greater differences are in the details. Raimy’s father isn’t a much loved hero, but a wrongly suspected crooked cop. Her parents are on the outs, in full scale 90’s family drama.

And that could be an issue, because Raimy’s father can’t convince his wife, Julia, that she’s at terrible risk – due to be murdered in 11 weeks (conveniently placed at the end of a 13 week episode cycle). And with each change they make, they run the risk of further altering time.

The Unintended Consequences of the Unexpected Rescue

In efforts to save her mother from being murdered, Raimy gives her father the name of a known suspect Thomas Goff who may be the long running Nightingale Killer. Frank then goes to look into Goff, even as Goff has captured and held captive a woman. But the woman makes a break for it when Frank and his partner showed up. Raimy thinks this may have been his first victim.

When Raimy tries to go back and talk to Goff in the present, she learns he hasn’t lived in his old home for 20 years – but he was there yesterday. After this, Raimy is reluctant to confirm the time connection between herself and her father for her mother when Frank tries to use it to prove that his wife’s life is in danger. There is, she thinks, too much at stake, risk changing more events. As a result, Julia kicks Frank out again.

Meanwhile, in the present, Raimy returns to the Goff former home and finds that in the place of the shed where he had held his victims, there is only a creepy underground cell.

And so it appears that the basic difference between movie and TV Frequency will on the basis of family drama, and the complications of each small change in the timeline. At only two episodes in, we are rapidly moving out of big screen territory. And that’s what makes it interesting.

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