La Femme Nikita
General idea: 5 years into the terrorist-riddled future
Interesting because: This is a story of how far you can go to torture an innocent person. It was fun listening to the commentary where the directors and writers basically cop to that. In season one, they show Nikita trying to live a normal life and get out of Section One. Within Section One, there are sympathetic characters like Madeline. As the series goes on, they take more and more of that away from Nikita. We also see the slow destruction of her soul. In a way, this is a prototype for the series 24, which makes sense given that most of the key personnel (including Joel Surnow) worked on both shows.
The big argument that I’d get here is, is this really science fiction? I think I have the weakest case for this series, and most of my case builds on Surnow’s vision as “5 years into the future.” They don’t use paper for anything and we see the idea of technology that is just out of our grasp. Given that the tech ideas still look just a few years into the future 15 years later, I’d say that this has at least some of the trappings of science fiction.
Annoying because: Things get weird by about season 4. Birkoff #2? Holo-Madeline? Season 5 was a mess, too—it plays better if you stop after season 4, with a solid (but sad) ending. Season 5 was filmed while most of the crew were working on 24, so a lot of things slip.
Best season(s): 1
Worst season(s): 5