In Intelligence, Josh Holloway plays an intelligence operative with a chip in his head, turning him into a human smartphone with perfect reception and access to every computer within range. Sure, it's nice to have constant access to your email, but Holloway also shares the technology's downside.
We should say that, sadly, we were not fans of the Intelligence pilot, which screened last week at Comic-Con. It was a poor enough debut to make our list of this year's Comic-Con losers. But we, along with other members of the press, spoke with the cast and crew of Intelligence, who offered their thoughts on the show.
Holloway, who plays Gabriel, had this to say about the disadvantages of the chip:
I was talking to the creator about that, which we are going to explore in other episodes, but the disadvantage? I mean, what about information flow? What about viruses, hackers? There's dreams — what if you can't stop your flow in dreaming? How can that mess with it? There should be and I hope there's the exploration of the dark side of this, because there is one. So we'll see where that is. It's a learning curve for Gabriel in that there's how to deal with it, how to control it. So that'll be an interesting exploration, I think.
One interviewer asked executive producer Michael Seitzman about the similarities and differences between Intelligence and that classic human enhancement show The Six Million Dollar Man:
We say all the time that super strength in today's world is just not as important as super brain. It's just not, not in a world where somebody presses a button and a drone fires a weapon and can wipe out a town or a ship can fire a missile from 2,000 miles away at a city. We thought in our world, we wanted to make a character that embodied the thing that we do all the time. The device of our time is the smartphone, and it's the one that's in every one of our pockets. It's the one that we use to communicate all the time. Face-to-face communication was the most prevalent; then it was telephone, and now email, and now texting. We're getting closer and closer to immediate electronic communication all the time. And so it feels like the next stage is we're just going to be connected. And so the similarities with The Six Million Dollar Man are augmented humanity, because that's what that was, augmented humanity. Where we differ is really just in our time. The time period is different, so the show reflects that time period.
We won't, however, get a Bigfoot episode. Seitzman and fellow executive producer Tripp Vinson also addressed the show's perceived similarities to Chuck, saying that they had never seen Chuck, but that Gabriel's abilities were informed somewhat by The Matrix. Seitzman also added that the chip doesn't give Gabriel the same downloadable abilities that the Intersect gave Chuck:
If he just downloaded it and then he could do it, that's a good example of that feels too robotic to us. Whereas if he reads it, if he has to access it in a way, we're always thinking about how the real brain would metabolize something, how it would utilize information. Like in the pilot, the idea was to take an overhead view of a satellite, an infrared view, and then see what his brain would do with that when it was processed through his own vision. But he didn't download the information; it just got sort of reinterpreted by his brain. We think about this all the time: What is the human version of that?