1 9 9 3 (USA)
1 x 90 minute episode
4 x 50 minute episodes
This sci-fi mini-series from Hollywood helmsman Oliver Stone (his first foray onto the small screen) portrayed a dystopian vision of a future TV-dominated society.
Set in a forbidding, fascistic Los Angeles of the future (2007!), it starred James Belushi as yuppie Harry Wyckoff, seduced into an executive job at the Channel 3 network where he is to produce a new holographic TV show called Church Windows.
Soon, however, Wyckoff begins to understand that he is a mere pawn in the scheme of the messianic cult, The Fathers (led by Channel 3’s owner, Senator Anton Kreutzer) to take power via the influence of 3-D television and a mind-altering drug, Mimezine.
Wild Palms itself, with its hallucinogenic images (a rhino in a swimming pool, for example), baroque sets and paranoid labyrinthine plot, was dubbed “the sort of television you have to have a drug problem to enjoy”.
Comparison with the other early 90s exercise in left-field weird TV, Twin Peaks, was inevitable but unrewarding.
The series was based on Bruce Wagner’s comic strip of the same title.
Senator Anton Kreutzer