Numb3rs: Graphic

Posted Wednesday, April 16, 2008, 10:50 PM

I'm not a huge fan of Numb3rs, it gets a bit too flashy zappy blinky at times that can really annoy me. CSI does that too, and I hate CSI with a passion because of it (and its patronising tone). But I watch Numb3rs anyway, because the character dynamics are usually very well written, and it is an entertaining way to spend an hour.

I just watched the episode called 'Graphic', set around a comic book convention. It was quite well handled, it felt like a realistic portrayal of the comic book geek world - I think they had some great advisors. Though their computers still do blinky beepy impossible un-computery things.

But what made it interesting was the array of guest actors they had for this episode, and the six degrees of separation they bring up. First, Wil Wheaton, aka Wesley Crusher (now a full-time writer, and only a part-time actor), played the arrogant dickhead geek who was in it for the money. Wandering around him in the background of the convention were many people dressed in Trek costumes, though there was never any direct *nudge nudge wink wink* implied. I like that kind of subtle in-joke.

Next was Christopher Lloyd, an SF genre actor of long standing repute (Back to the Future, Addams Family, Roger Rabbit, etc.) who played the retired comic book artist whose work was central to the plot. He used to be on Taxi, with Judd Hirsch (and they make a reference to that - "I can't imagine you as a hippy." "*mugs like Jim Ignatowski* Uuh?" "Oh, yeah, I can see it now." heehee!) and he was in Addams Family Values alongside both David Krumholtz and Peter MacNicol (actually he's worked with Peter MacNicol several times). Oh, and he was also in Star Trek III (though not with Wil Wheaton). His character's name was Ross Moore - my guess is that's a combination of Alex Ross and Alan Moore.

And lastly there was a subplot with a magazine columnist played by Joe Morton. He's not a terribly well known actor, but he did play Miles Dyson in Terminator 2, which gives him geek cred out the wazoo.

Added to that, apparently several of the background extras were played by genuine comic book creators, which added to the authenticity - they'd soon point out anything that wasn't true to life. So it was a great geek-filled geek-fest of an episode. Good job all round to the creators of Numb3rs, say I.

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