In USA’s The 4400, which premiered in 2004, thousands of people from throughout various points in recent history — who were all thought to be abducted — suddenly returned as a group in the present day, with no real recollection of what had happened to them. Initially, there was little rhyme or reason to the 4400’s mission in the original series, but in the CW’s upcoming reboot, that might not be quite the case.
Like its predecessor, the CW’s 4400 will follow as its titular group of time-displaced travellers from the past century all come to grips with the reality that they’ve all been transported to 2021, for reasons that aren’t clear to them. What they all soon discover, though, is that who or whatever abducted them from their respective points in history returned them to Earth (this time Detroit, specifically) with a variety of superhuman abilities that all have some larger significance they must deduce on their own.
Back in May, Deadline reported that the reboot’s story will centre on “overlooked, undervalued, or otherwise marginalised people,” which, to a certain extent, could have also been said of the original show. But the trio of new 4400 teasers the CW’s just dropped might explain a bit more about how this arc is going to be different than the last. Each of the clips introducing Claudette (Jaye Ladymore), Reverend Johnson (Derrick A. King), and Shanice (Brittany Adebumola) culminate in them arriving in 2021 and being shocked to learn what year it is. But Claudette, the wife of a Civil Rights activist who disappeared in the ‘50s; Johnson, a member of an affluent Black church family who disappeared in the ‘90s; and Shanice, a new mother who vanished in 2005, all seem to have some sort of connection to one another.
In addition to Shanice, Claudette, and the Reverend, the new 4400 is also set to feature characters like Dr. Andre (TL Thompson), a doctor and transgender man hailing from 1920s Harlem; Shanice’s husband Logan (Cory Jeacoma); Mildred (Autumn Best), a teenager from the ‘70s; and Keisha (Ireon Roach), a parole officer who becomes involved in the government’s rushed task force designed to observe the 4400.
Considering that the CW’s 4400 is set in Detroit and its cast features multiple leads of colour, it seems as if the reboot might tackle race and identity in ways the original did not. Even though that would bring the CW’s 4400 very much in line with the larger crop of television shows using genre to explore ideas about race and trauma, it could turn out to be a logical and fascinating riff on the original premise worth giving a look.
The 4400 is set to hit the CW on October 25.
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