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MESSAGE FROM SCOTT PETERS


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#1 SPeters

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 03:53 PM

To all the wonderful fans of The 4400

It's with great sadness that I pass along to you the information I've just received -- The 4400 has been cancelled. We've had a great time bringing you this story and submersing you in the lives of all these incredible characters. Thank you especially to the folks on the board here whose tireless devotion to the show is nothing short of remarkable. Shout out to Bubba, by the way! I love your posts, man.

I just spoke to Joel and we had a great talk about what we all accomplished and how much we'll miss our family that is our crew and our cast... and our fans. But at least we got to go out with a bang! I had an awesome time directing the last episode. I think I got to make almost every single cast member cry (on camera). How much fun was that?!

So let me raise my metaphorical glass to you all and thank you for being so loyal and so dedicated. I wish we could go on forever, but the party has come to an end. Be well and on behalf of all of us at The 4400 -- thank you, it's been a pleasure.

Scott Peters
Creator / Executive Producer
The 4400

#2 Elessar

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 03:59 PM

OMG! I am almost too sad to respond. :(

Thank you, Scott, for letting us fans know. We appreciate being told despite the fact that it's bad news. I wish the best of luck to everyone involved and wish to say thank you for giving us four years of what I consider one of the best shows. :)
"What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value". ~ Thomas Paine

#3 Bubba_Bridges

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 04:03 PM

Hi Bubba here, ...

To all the wonderful fans of The 4400

It's with great sadness that I pass along to you the information I've just received -- The 4400 has been cancelled. We've had a great time bringing you this story and submersing you in the lives of all these incredible characters. Thank you especially to the folks on the board here whose tireless devotion to the show is nothing short of remarkable. Shout out to Bubba, by the way! I love your posts, man.

I just spoke to Joel and we had a great talk about what we all accomplished and how much we'll miss our family that is our crew and our cast... and our fans. But at least we got to go out with a bang! I had an awesome time directing the last episode. I think I got to make almost every single cast member cry (on camera). How much fun was that?!

So let me raise my metaphorical glass to you all and thank you for being so loyal and so dedicated. I wish we could go on forever, but the party has come to an end. Be well and on behalf of all of us at The 4400 -- thank you, it's been a pleasure.

Scott Peters
Creator / Executive Producer
The 4400


Scott, I am speechless. :( Thank you guys for giving us one of the best shows in a long time and I wish everyone with The 4400 the best of luck.


My Website: Monk Information Page (Bridges to Monk) My Favorite Radio Station: Smooth Jazz 98.9

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#4 Original4400

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 04:14 PM

I really enjoyed this show. I'm sorry to hear that the final word is cancellation. The 4400 captured me from the beginning, and even as it moved away from where it began, the characters and actors kept me coming back.

Thank you Joel, Patrick, Jackie, et al for a wonderful ride. I'm sorry there won't be more.

Edited by Original4400, 18 December 2007 - 04:14 PM.


#5 Th_chupacabra

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 04:19 PM

Alt vi trengte var ett år til! (All we needed was one more year!)

Oh my god! This is the worst news I've ever received!! This show had it ALL!
I am a true fan all the way from Norway; Bergen, and this show has been the best!
The only show that made me feel really included! Great forum!


Miss you
Laura Allen - Favorite female on the show nr.1!!! LOVE YOU
Ali M. - LOVED YOU ON THE SHOW!!! You and Laura Allen ROCKED!!
Joel Gretsch - BEST EVER!!!
Jaqueline McKenzie - LOVE YOU BIG TIME!!!

Conchita Campbell
Chad Faust
Karina Lombard
Summer Glau
Patrick Flueger
Megalyn Echikunwoke
Billy Campbell
Jenni Baird (although it was only for a season)
Jeffrey Combs
Samantha Ferris
Richard Kahan

BEST SHOW EVER!! Made me realize SciFi could be AWESOME! You guys rock Heroes dead - or something :P
Wish "Heroes" died instead!

The 4400 was a true revelation!!



THANK YOU

Scott Peters

- Lykke til videre folkens!!

Største hilsener fra Thomas, Knut, Mette og Alexandra


Edited by Th_chupacabra, 19 December 2007 - 11:55 AM.

- Everybody deserves a second chance. Not everyone get one.
The 4400 gave 4400 new chances

Wish life was the same way...



#6 Mafeu

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 04:28 PM

Thank you for telling us. I'll miss the show very much. Will USA be releasing a press release, or are they just going to let the show fade?

To all the wonderful fans of The 4400

It's with great sadness that I pass along to you the information I've just received -- The 4400 has been cancelled. We've had a great time bringing you this story and submersing you in the lives of all these incredible characters. Thank you especially to the folks on the board here whose tireless devotion to the show is nothing short of remarkable. Shout out to Bubba, by the way! I love your posts, man.

I just spoke to Joel and we had a great talk about what we all accomplished and how much we'll miss our family that is our crew and our cast... and our fans. But at least we got to go out with a bang! I had an awesome time directing the last episode. I think I got to make almost every single cast member cry (on camera). How much fun was that?!

So let me raise my metaphorical glass to you all and thank you for being so loyal and so dedicated. I wish we could go on forever, but the party has come to an end. Be well and on behalf of all of us at The 4400 -- thank you, it's been a pleasure.

Scott Peters
Creator / Executive Producer
The 4400



#7 wicartic

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 04:51 PM

I'm cry, so I hope I spell everything right. It's saddness me with this post. I've always felt like I was a part of the show. Never missed an episode, Sundays at 8pm I was always infront of my T.V. Popcorn in hand. I will miss Chad's sexy smile, the adorable Conchita, the Handsome Patrick, The green underwear of Megalyn hehe, The amazing Joel, and all the other wonderful cast.

Miss you all and see you in other shows, but you will always be my 4400.
April: I'm coming with you. You want the truth? I can get it for you.
Tom: Are you sure about that, I mean people beat lie detectors all the time.
April: Tom, do you like my sister?(Tom looks at Diana)
Tom: Diana, yeah, sure, she's my partner, my friend.
April: Ever had a sexual fantasy about her?
Tom: Uh, once or twice, we were working late, Diana mentioned we were the only two people in the building. (Diana shakes her head and looks puzzled as she walks out the door.)
Tom: (Quietly to April) You can come.

#8 RachVG

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 05:27 PM

I wish I could say I'm surprised to hear it but my gut was telling me this was coming. I thought that meant I'd be prepared but I'm still so sad, and I'm sure yourself and all the cast and crew must be so disappointed too. Next summer just won't be the same.

Thank you for letting us know yourself, Scott. Good luck with everything for the future!

#9 EasyMac

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 05:56 PM

The news makes me so sad, because this show has been a favorite of mine.

But I have to say how much I appreciate all that the creators, producers, writers and actors have given us. It's been so much more than most TV gives and it's why the fans want more.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. All the best to all of you in all your future endeavors.

-EM

#10 Animefan

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 06:40 PM

Thank you Scott Peters for bravely informing us of the bad news! This was better than dragging into the new year with no answers.

*flicks the wheel of a cigarette lighter and add it to the other hundreds of tiny flickers in the darkness :(

I will miss the show and the great cast of characters we have all come to know and love (or hate). I will also miss Maia's Diary and the race to solve the weekly hidden message.


Sorry it had to end but thanks for the ride!
Believe it!

------------
"A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men."

#11 mickeysfriend

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 07:17 PM

Oh my....this news is so very very sad. So sad that it is difficult to compose the feelings of loss. Thanks to all of those who have been involved with this wonderful show and for making such a summer treat for my Sunday nights. I too like many others were taken into the story the first night and plunged into every episode thereafter with heights of emotion. And because of that connection, I feel very close to the characters and to the actors who magnificently portrayed these wonderful characters. Additionally, to the writers, a huge thanks of appreciation for bringing those wonderful people to life in ways I have never seen in a television show. And to the producers, you created a show that is as pure as a show can ever be. And with a giggle....of course that is my opinion.......

It also reminds me that this is the first television forum I have ever actively participated. Because of this show, I have met so many wonderful people over the last four years. Because of this show, I have formed so many personal relationships through the anonymous posting to threads and private messages. Oh geezzz and without the 4400 continuing, I fear that this will be lost as well. So not only am I losing my favorite of all time shows, connections to a many great people will move into oblivion as connections vanish into the past.

This indeed a very sad day. :(
My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

#12 hannah_4400

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 07:36 PM

Thank you for posting to let us know.

This is really sad. What a great show and great people. I can't believe that is it. Finished. :( The 4400 has been my favourite show since it began and I don't want to let it go! *cries*

#13 Alexxa

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 07:45 PM

To all the wonderful fans of The 4400

It's with great sadness that I pass along to you the information I've just received -- The 4400 has been cancelled. We've had a great time bringing you this story and submersing you in the lives of all these incredible characters. Thank you especially to the folks on the board here whose tireless devotion to the show is nothing short of remarkable. Shout out to Bubba, by the way! I love your posts, man.

I just spoke to Joel and we had a great talk about what we all accomplished and how much we'll miss our family that is our crew and our cast... and our fans. But at least we got to go out with a bang! I had an awesome time directing the last episode. I think I got to make almost every single cast member cry (on camera). How much fun was that?!

So let me raise my metaphorical glass to you all and thank you for being so loyal and so dedicated. I wish we could go on forever, but the party has come to an end. Be well and on behalf of all of us at The 4400 -- thank you, it's been a pleasure.

Scott Peters
Creator / Executive Producer
The 4400


My words cannot express how much you, the cast and crew have changed our lives, changed us with a simple ball of light. I hope you know that! What a wonderful show! I am heartbroken.

#14 mrb

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 11:03 PM

I am soo sad. :( Will the season 4 be coming on dvd in may? What about The 4400: The Vesuvius Prophecy book supposed come out next summer? I guess I am watch old episodes next summer.

#15 whatdoeyeknow

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 11:46 PM

I'm sorry to hear about the cancellation. The evolution of this show has been as fascinating and entertaining as the show itself. It is my hope that USA will give you an opportunity to end with a final miniseries or movie. Thanks for creating and maintaining a quality show.

#16 David01

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 01:34 AM

I am deeply saddened and dismayed by this outcome. With the delay, I knew this was a possibility, but never wanted to accept the fact that The 4400 might truly come to an end, far before its time. I thank you Mr. Peters for acknowledging the fans by delivering us this information. I would also like to thank all the people who made The 4400 what it is - cast, crew, etc. The calibur of the show and the acting was not only refreshing, but very commendable, considering other shows who get larger budgets but have lackluster results. I look forward to the future works of Joel, Jacqueline, Billy, Patrick, Chad, Megalyn, and the many others who made this show a success. I am greatly saddened that more people did not realize it for the passionate, top-notch story driven show that it is. I would also like to thank all the members on the board here, who have brought many interesting topics to the table, and it will not be the same without you. This is by far the worst news I have ever received on my birthday (my golden birthday, no less), and for a long while after I will have a hard time coping with this cold reality.
In short: Let's remember this show for how wonderful it was. At least for me, I was always drawn in by what seemed to be the greatest connection emotionally that I've felt from characters on a show. Thanks for the memories, The 4400, and all involved. You will be missed.

Edited by David01, 19 December 2007 - 01:38 AM.


#17 Muldfeld

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 03:20 AM

Good-bye to The 4400:

I just don’t have the energy anymore to express everything I feel for this show without crying over it and getting angry at God (seriously), so I’ll just repost the letter I mailed to Bonnie Hammer and Jeff Wachtel on why the show is so important; by the way, thanks, Jeff, for supporting the show.

To that letter, I’ll just add the following:

Thanks so much to the writers and cast for your good and steadily improving to great work, but especially thanks to Ira Steven Behr for having the guts to write about politically unsettling and important issues. You did this well on Star Trek Deep Space Nine, but exceeded those high standards with this show, as Ron Moore has done with BSG. You’ve never compromised your work, even though you knew it meant the major cash and media attention would flow to far lesser writers and shows. I followed you, Robert Hewitt Wolfe, and Rene Echevarria to this show, and I’ll watch anything else you do. I want you to know that, more than any political/historical figure I’ve fallen for as a role model (LBJ, FDR, and Clinton, in my high school years, though I regret that last one), you occupy the highest echelon as the most principled. You are my hero.


To the network, I'm furious with you for canceling the show. Some of you folks could learn a thing or two about integrity and dedication to what's most important from Ira Steven Behr. Not only was the show cut down 2-3 minutes from the industry standard every episode, supplied with a tiny budget which prevented recurring actors from wanting to stay with the show, but you completely failed to advertize the show and promote it sufficiently. You even interfered creatively, and not even Parmount did that on DS9.

I did what I could to help save the show. Obviously my carefully-argued pleas about the political insight, uniqueness and humanitarian usefulness the show had for the culture fell on deaf ears more concerned with massive profits, instead of just reasonable ones. The model of formulaic commercial trash of "Heroes", "Desperate Housewives", "CSI", "Grey's Anatomy" and other awful shows seems to have won. What upsets me most is they didn't even really give the show a chance in the event the writers' strike continued and the show was picked to air on NBC. Perhaps Jeff Wachtel cared, but not many others.

I was not a massive fan of Seasons 1 and 2 (though I enjoyed it -- especially the amazing "Life Interrupted" -- and the little character moments). However, I knew (no offense to Mr. Peters) that Ira Steven Behr would make this a great show, as he had DS9, and he did by delving deeper into political analogies. Next to Battlestar Galactica, this was the most politically-insightful show on television, and it correctly portrayed a world of no absolutes. It truthfully showed that conflict comes not from good versus evil, but different perspectives and differing interests. A show like this provides the educational blueprint to understand the causes of conflict far better than any news in the US, save “The Journal” with Bill Moyers or “Now” with David Brancaccio. Canada’s CBC and the BBC world news fare well, too.

I ask that they at least allow the cast and writers to fully contribute to the DVD set with as many special features and writers’ commentaries as possible, including tons from Ira Behr and at least one by Robert Hewitt Wolfe on his excellent episode.

I hope the money saved by the people who made this decision keeps them comfy as the world burns in chaos, misunderstanding, and nationalist propaganda on all sides, and they're happy with the fact that they've given up on a chance to support something positive and truthful. I hope that they feel comfortable that the smallest contribution they could have made to illustrating the most important issues of our time in an entertaining yet subversively educational way is now lost to us, to the wider culture and to posterity; even Battlestar Galactica is forced to end early. It looks like challenging TV really has no place in the corporate model (unless it makes severe compromises), which only encourages our darkest, most superficial impulses through the worst, most simplistic kinds of TV positing mythological characters, so we can have more George W. Bushes and Osama bin Ladens who think in black and white and never question anything. Well done for the shareholders. Might as well give up on caring about anything long-term, since Hollywood can’t be persuaded to support something this relevant in these most dire times when America should look carefully at itself and what it’s done to help make the world the way it is.

Sorry if I come across as overly-cynical (I’ve never been a pot-smoking hippie leftist) but I really loved this show and my life has been crap for the last few years and it was one of the few things that made me happy, gave me hope for America and the world, and made me think. I loved this show so much that I spent hours – no, days – writing political commentary reviews on tv.com, though mostly to see if it could be done. For the last few months, I’ve prayed for renewal every day. It meant so much to me and now it’s over before it had a chance to fully explore the human condition and – most importantly – before the show had run out of ideas, character dynamics and great stories.

What great art has ever come out of ever staying purely true to the mainstream? None. This was a chance to continue to create something so much more permanently relevant and beautiful than nearly anything else in TV history. On one level, it was the Radiohead of TV shows, but it has lost out because it wasn’t Britney Spears or (to really bring home the folly of chart hits as we look back) Rick Astley. It was the old U2 to the lame new U2. And that’s only a small part of the loss because this show was more than just artistic entertainment. It had a humanitarian mission to fulfill and we may never see it effect the change it could have had it been given one more year, let alone a few more. And that’s not only sad for me; it’s sad for the culture.

Maybe this is all the USA network will care about, though: I never was interested in or watched USA before this and I’ll never watch it again.


Here’s the letter I spent hours and hours writing and editing. I’m going to go cry as soon as the trauma of this hits me:

Dear Ms. Hammer/Mr. Wachtel

In case you don’t have enough time to read my whole letter, the essence of what I’m saying has been partly summarized in the following 3 paragraphs.

I love The 4400. I love it for speaking to me on a very personal level about my own sense of identity -- as a young man uncertain about his future, a moderate liberal, and a not very religious Muslim of Sri Lankan origin, who has always identified with the West in which he was born and raised. I also love it for speaking for me in saying that which I cannot to a huge audience about our world and about human nature. I love its ability, through realistic and interesting characters, to discuss the human condition by bringing to light the relevant historical and political issues of our time in ways in which the mainstream US media often fails.

Some have been dismayed at innovative story developments in later seasons, Yet, I find the show has been much more compellingly written in Seasons 3 (especially the last 3 episodes!) and this just aired 4th season (especially after Episode 5). It is finally growing into what I always believed Ira Steven Behr was capable of making it: an exciting and insightful political drama that exposes the reasons why the world is in the present state. While shows like “24” and “The West Wing” use the veneer of politics and world issues, they fail to illustrate the essential reasons for why there is conflict in the world now and throughout history. More important than considerations of ratings, profit, and escapist entertainment, is the subversive and subtle way “The 4400” can change the culture for the better by depicting human nature realistically. In conveying the truth that there is no absolute good or evil, we have a healthier form of educational entertainment than the usual stories and myths which tend to encourage the most simplistic kinds of thinking, and, in wartime, the most barbarous deeds.

Beyond relating to the characters’ dilemmas, I appreciate tremendously the show’s original plotting, which is more subtle and realistically toned down from the cliché formula and convenient melodrama of awful shows like “Heroes.” I watch the show repeatedly on air, have managed to pull in a few other fans on message boards, and buy the DVDs, including copies for my brother. “The 4400” isn’t just a creative achievement. It’s a political and humanitarian one. We live in violent, tense times, and what better way to subvert the culture of dehumanization and homogenization of “the other” (including Iranians) than this show?! I hope you will allow Ira Steven Behr, Craig Sweeney and others the opportunity to continue making this important program that is a positive step on the path to world peace.

Some assume that science fiction drama is not the proper place for serious political exploration. Yet, come a tragedy like 9/11, we are all affected, and we all react through the voting booth; there is no such thing as someone removed from politics’ effects, and we are all educated in how to react by various cultural elements, including pop culture. Shows like “Heroes” and movie franchises like “Star Wars” and much of “Star Trek” (though not the excellent “Deep Space Nine”!) traditionally draw on mythical caricatures to melodramatically portray life as centered on a battle between good and evil. In doing this, traditional sci-fi/fantasy fails to depict the complexity of humanity and, therefore, the causes of issues it claims to illustrate. “V for Vendetta” made a worthwhile argument that, under the right conditions, terrorism is an acceptable tool to overthrow oppression. Yet it failed to succeed in presenting the situation realistically; all the villains were so implausibly and overtly evil that viewers might never be incensed at fascistic actions by governments like that of George W. Bush, whose behavior is more subtle. Similarly, “Star Wars” failed to make any relatable case against the Vietnam War, as George Lucas intended. I firmly believe that, in order to bring about deep and lasting cultural change, shows like “The 4400” are essential to make those who normally avoid politics think seriously about the issues that affect them just as much as any politico who obsessively watches Sunday morning talk shows and PBS. “The 4400” offers us an engaging and entertaining way to truthfully comprehend the complexity of the human condition and the essence of the political problems we face. While most shows serve as pure escapism, “The 4400” has a positive role to play in bringing real understanding in an increasingly hopeless and chaotic world.

After the new “Battlestar Galactica”, “The 4400” is the most politically-insightful show in the history of American pop culture. While the writing never feels too aping of current world issues, Ira Steven Behr and his staff show greater understanding of history and world affairs than most of the US media (except maybe some of PBS) with its short-term sense of causality and American nationalist leanings that have led most recently to a war in Iraq that went largely unquestioned until it was too late.

This program challenges conventional perceptions in US culture in very thoughtful ways. For example, the third season finale had a 4400 engage in a suicide bombing against Ryland’s soldiers because, unlike most of the US media, the head writer understands that terrorism is a means, and not morally worse than state oppression through tools of unjust laws and war, since both are terrible and forceful -- often violent -- means of solving political problems. This is not to say I agree with anything resembling Al Qaeda or its followers; in fact, I abhor their colonial, racist, cheap form of nationalism. However, the American Revolution (especially in the South, where US soldiers violated conventional warfare by engaging in hit and run attacks and used deceptive propaganda about British-allied natives raping white women) and the French Resistance in WWII were terrorism. Moreover, Hitler used war (and the decision to attempt to suicide bomb him was an ethical one), proving that war can be just as deplorable as terrorism in its goals and targets.

As part of this vision to realistically depict human nature, the characters are written as complex, realistic people. Traditional fiction, especially in TV and film, tends to identify the viewer (or at least the viewer’s expectations) with the false notion of the infallible hero. Due to this conventional storytelling, we are more likely to imagine ourselves to be the inherently righteous heroes in our own narratives, and, therefore, incapable of committing mistakes. This leads us to either being unconsciously blind to any atrocities we commit or to explaining them away as acceptable. Cruel acts are claimed as exceptions to our true nature, and excused as necessary to defeat “the other”, whom we despise for engaging in the same behavior we then hypocritically take to epitomize their true nature. On “The 4400,” the heroes are fallible in very realistic and relatable ways, and the “villains” have valid points or at least an understandable perspective. I think this is a much healthier template for creating role models and realistic expectations for our society, especially its youth. Jordan Collier is a perfect example of a truthful character. He may be considered a villain in some ways, as well as a hero in others. He’s a very useful commentary on political leaders who seek to do good, but often use questionable tactics.

For example, FDR and especially LBJ were heroic in their decision to help the poor and discriminated, but they also had darker sides. FDR was a poor husband and father, and LBJ was a verbally abusive husband. To achieve their goals, they were manipulative, demagogic, and occasionally carried out questionable and undemocratic policies. FDR denied entry to many Jews seeking asylum, and was not focused on sabotaging concentration camps. To continue building his Great Society and appease conservative criticism, LBJ escalated an entire war without consulting the public, and committed many atrocities against the people of Vietnam. I used to think it was necessary to explain these aspects away, as I would George Washington’s annihilation of an unarmed French mission before the Revolutionary War. The truth is that all our leaders are capable of terrible things, just as we and our enemies are. It’s essential to realize that before giving them absolute power to act on our behalf, or when we criticize only the flaws of “the other” as symbolizing their unworthiness, as though ours didn’t have any.

Without presenting simple answers, this show is so accurate that it can change how we traditionally look at our societies. I firmly believe this insight can reduce conflict in this world. What this program depicts so well is that “the other” is not as homogenously terrible as we might think and that “we” are not necessarily as good or as true to our principles as we’d like to believe; each side stereotypes the other and prejudges its individuals based on what the group has done. There is no pure good or evil person in this series, only what is in-between – that we all have the capacity for kindness and selfishness, for clarity and mistakes -- which is far truer to human nature.

I am a student of history and have been disillusioned and saddened to learn from many university professors that the biographical and other works (including many on the genius of the US founders) written by many historians are actually deceptive hagiographies, as are the high school history books that seek only to uphold those on "our" side while completely denigrating those on the other. It is my strong feeling that this approach to history has harmed societies, including the US and the rest of the West. It is only when we learn about the capacity for fault and kindness in all of us, and of our great heroes’ abilities to make mistakes that we may better judge our past and plan for the future as peoples and voters.

As time has passed, “The 4400” has grown adept at exploring themes ranging from terrorism, torture, religious faith, political campaigns, environmentalism, the corruption of the military-industrial complex, and the societal tension between protecting civil rights and preserving security. Most recently, it has wonderfully examined the causes of religious and political fundamentalist activism and terrorism. It has shown their basis to be often (though not necessarily) due to discrimination of a minority (The 4400) and the troubled experience of lost youth searching for meaning in life.

In Jordan Collier, we see the kind of practical revolutionary and political figure found throughout history. Like Vladimir Lenin or any president willing to engage in war, he is willing to sacrifice lives for the greater good. Yet, what “The 4400” has for the first time introduced to TV, is the honest depiction that anyone pursuing positive change – from politicians to student activists to terrorists -- have doubt about the nature of their movement that is rarely publicly acknowledged, but deeply felt privately. The writers have even brought to light the almost inevitable egocentrism of such leaders – their messiah complex – which may complement as well as hinder their ambition. Whenever I try to do a minor good deed, I catch this trait within myself. I used to worry it meant I was selfish, but I now understand that it’s quite common, if not necessarily admirable.

In Richard Tyler, we have someone wishing to escape the dialectic of having to choose between “us or them” (much as I struggle to do in this War on Terror). In Shawn, too, I can relate to someone wishing to bridge the moderates of both worlds, and seek peaceful coexistence.

Finally, in Kyle, we have an example of lost youth searching for meaning in life, as I and so many other Muslims and non-Muslims are. Like many vulnerable people, Kyle finds comfort and guidance in a seemingly sound movement. His behavior has very relevant parallels to, most obviously, Islamic fundamentalism, but also to fundamentalism in other religions. Zionist Jews lobbied for the war in Iraq, according to a Bill Moyers discussion, and have long supporting Israel’s occupation and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Although the 4400 didn’t terrorize people out of their homes in creating “Promise City”, the expansion of their city’s borders is similar to the expansion of those of Israel beyond the zone accepted by the UN. Additionally, apt parallels can be drawn to politically-active Christian fundamentalists, like the Christian Coalition, who don’t need to use terrorism to achieve their objectives. They employ the arm of the state to wage war on the Middle East; push for discrimination against nations whose leaders stand up to American power in their people’s interests, like Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro; support the most right wing elements in Israel; and effectively insist on the incompatibility between their kind of Christianity and all others faiths, especially Islam. Moreover, Kyle stands in stark contrast to Jordan’s practicality in being more ideologically committed, yet still torn over the means to achieving paradise. By placing characters in situations similar to many Muslims and other discriminated minorities, viewers are able to sympathize with them and see how they might behave the same way. In so doing, the black and white homogenizing assumptions with which the US mainstream media unconsciously portrays the Muslim world are dispelled through “The 4400.”

Another theme illuminated through the metaphor of “The 4400” is the increasing income inequality in America and the world. The war between future factions may simply seem a fight between good and evil, but it is very much an exploration of two competing ideological visions of the good society happening right now and requiring action. While viewers may admire the socialist vision of Jordan Collier with its communal and democratic aspects (shared work, abilities for everyone), the Marked cannot be dismissed as pure evil. They very much represent the ideological tendencies found among neo-conservatives, the hypocritical attitudes in the Bush administration, and, I fear, major elements in American society, which uphold unfettered capitalism as the ultimate expression of the good society.

Both The Marked and the Bush administration (including selfish corporations in whose interests they are heavily biased) may preach freedom, but it is really the freedom of power to exploit without moral consideration. Believing in supposedly natural hierarchy that places them at the top, their materialistic pursuit of power and wealth finds no objection in the millions – or billions, in the case of The Marked – who are left outside of their paradise – left to barely survive in the desperate circumstances of poverty. The administration and the rightists who defend it show little concern for their responsibility in cutting government services for the poor and working class across America; disregard protecting the environment, including the health of nearby inhabitants of dangerously-polluting energy procurement activities, such as coal mining; disrespect the UN’s importance in helping poor and war-torn regions; are callous to saving people in the wake of Katrina or helping its survivors; have claimed to support moderation in the Middle East, but have allowed Israel carte blanche to massacre over a thousand innocent Lebanese civilians in 2006, as well as continue a biased peace process that has let it erect a wall up to 6 km into Palestinian land without consultation; have completely botched the occupation in Iraq in trying to do everything on the cheap, including poorly supplying and compensating US troops; have been unwilling to do what’s right for the Iraqi people, including many collaborators whose deals the US has violated and who now find their lives in jeopardy; and have refused to forswear permanent US bases and the ability of oil corporations to exploit Iraqi oil for their own benefit, and not pour profits into Iraq. At every step, they claimed to care about these groups, but didn’t if it conflicted with other priorities. While, rightists have long decried the class warfare waged by the left, the Marked object to the revolutionary upheaval begun by Jordan Collier. They claim to care about the world and the larger interests of preserving order from a different kind of class warfare waged by Jordan Collier. In a brilliant move, Ira Behr and his staff have transformed the growing economic rift in our world between the poor and the increasingly wealthy and added the element of superpowers to the mix. Collier is waging a fight to preserve the majority’s right to the good life from the tyranny of the minority by instilling the masses with power – in a very literal sense – to prevent the future catastrophe of a hierarchical world divided so unevenly between haves and have-nots. Just as unfettered capitalism relies upon many of us to continue its work, The Marked, in a way, stand for our darker, materialistic impulses; few of us in the upper class (including myself) would be happy making the socialist sacrifices Jordan Collier would demand for the sake of equality, even if they are for the greater good. Indeed, “The 4400” should be appreciated for being the only fictional show that has ever brought this prescient catastrophe to light.

Actually, I was inspired by this program and a Bill Moyers interview with activist Grace Lee Boggs to try to do something real at my local level. Without telling anyone in our well-off condominium, the board, which is made up of residents in the building, made the decision to outsource the jobs of front desk employees to a security company to save on maintenance costs. That company cut the salaries and benefits of these employees, including one that had been working there for years. I inquired why our best and most trusted employee had vanished and was told by other employees what had happened and that he couldn’t afford to support his wife and children; I felt badly because he was always so kind and had done me a favor in keeping my mail for months while I was recovering from surgery at my parents’ place; I was told he was currently unemployed because a job he was promised was unavailable at the last minute. I was understandably upset, and went knocking on doors trying to raise awareness of what had happened. Though I used softer persuasion, I argued that upper class people like us had a moral obligation to pay hard-working people a living wage in a big city, and that there should be ethical limits to cutting costs. Even though few were home, those that were seemed upset at what had happened, and suggested their interest in doing something. I urged them to show up at a meeting scheduled two days later, but many were busy. At the meeting, only the most selfishly cheap showed up and my pleas fell on deaf ears, even as I urged them to understand the workers’ perspective and how honorable and decent many of them were toward us, some of whom own expensive cars and nice clothes at their young ages. They suggested it was a matter of cutting costs, but I said there was a middle road where it was okay to cut inefficiency and waste but not the very meager salaries and health benefits of these good people. My protest was largely met with cold avoidance of any moral responsibility. One young woman even responded that it was the security company’s responsibility now, and they could strike if they wanted. (I suppose it never occurred to her that if the company met their demands they’d raise our maintenance costs, and our board would exert pressure to have them lowered again.) Only two people showed any sympathy toward my arguments, but didn’t really object, and the board wouldn’t be moved. I suppose I failed, but I’ll try again at the next meeting at which more residents are expected to attend.

Maybe this account says something about the power of “The 4400” to help improve the world, and speaks to your role in keeping that hope intact. It might not be the kind of show that yields immediate returns in massive ratings like “Heroes”, “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Desperate Housewives”, “CSI”, “The O.C,” and countless other cheese-fests. Yet, it should noted that, on creative grounds alone, “The 4400” beats them – just as “Seinfeld” was far superior to “Home Improvement,” which was trouncing it in the ratings in the early ‘90s. Perhaps its impact won’t be felt immediately, but it can and will have an undeniably positive impact if allowed to continue to develop, unlike those other forgettable shows. This program is already quite popular in France. Perhaps one day it will reach other areas of the world, including the Middle East, and help reshape thinking there, too. All that is required is a prioritization of substance over temporary buzz and massive profit, and you can be part of something great – an essential turning point in the culture toward greater understanding.

As I’ve hinted before, I’m a very busy student facing many personal difficulties at this time in my life. On a non-political level, I must confess that I relate to April Skouris’ speech at the end of Season 3, in which she tells her big sister that she’ll never meet anyone. “I’m Aunt April the loser and that’s all I’ll ever be.” That really struck home. It’s what I feel a lot of the time in my aimlessness, compared to my successful doctor and lawyer big brothers. In April and Diana’s relationship, I recognize issues of jealousy and insecurity which crop up in my relations with my brothers, especially the oldest one. When I feel hurt by and angry with them, I try to remember what Maia said: “We don’t have such a big family. We have to forgive people.”

I hope you’ll appreciate that I took the time away from my work to express to you how much this show means to me. At the same time, I had to do this for myself because my life would be much harder – and considerably more hopeless -- without “The 4400.” I’ve wanted to write to you for a long time, but, due to a certain perfectionism and anxiety over the things that matter to me, which, in turn, causes me to delay doing those very things, it has taken me a while to put my feelings on page. Yet, I don’t think I could live with myself if I didn’t write this letter, and tried my best to persuade you just how important it is to keep “The 4400” alive.


Take care and please give my love to Ira Steven Behr.

[name omitted]

PS My reviews on some 4th season 4400 episodes, written when I had time over the summer, may be found at TV.com under the name “Muldfeld”.

Edited by Muldfeld, 19 December 2007 - 05:47 AM.

"In the deepest ocean,
The bottom of the sea
Your eyes, they turn me
Why should I stay here?

I'd be crazy not to follow
Follow where you lead
Your eyes
They turn me onto phantoms
I follow to the end of the Earth
And fall off

Everybody leaves if they get the chance
And this is my chance."

"Weird Fishes/Arpeggi" by Radiohead
(live)

(live) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLUS5W5eMeQ

"You are my center when I spin away
Out of control on videotape
This is my way of saying good-bye
'cause I can't do it face to face
I'm talking to you after it's too late from my videotape"

"Videotape" by Radiohead:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0MI3gtaqfY

#18 Megan3375

Megan3375

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 03:26 AM

So of course like everyone else I am in shock and completely torn... but I am thankful that we finally have news even if it is not good!!! I am glad we got to enjoy the show for the 4 seasons that we had. It will always be held near and dear to my heart as will ALL of the wonderful fans I have met on this board... Thank you to all of you for being so genuine and accepting here. I am amazed everyday at how many fans this show has around the whole world. I will miss it very much and I will keep my eye out for the wonderful cast that graced the set.... I can't believe that I am crying right now, but it was a great run....


Always open to suggestion!

#19 Kickcity903

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 05:22 AM

omg

I'm in tears.

#20 IsabelleReigns

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 06:33 AM

WOW! I felt the end was apparent for The 4400 but secretly hoped for at least one more season. It was an incredible ride. The premise of the show was one of the best I have seen in network television. Where do I go from here? No more tears from Joel Gretch's Tom Baldwin...that man is an awesome crier. No more healings from Shawn and no more 4400 Centre. No more Diana and Maia. No more of Jordan, the most complex character on television. No more Kyle with the answers, no more Richard with his soft-spoken strength, No more Marco and the Theory Room, No more Dr. Burhoff and his zany ways. No more Tess, she was finally healed. No more Isabelle...no more, no more! Well all I can say is "Thank you" to an incredible staff of writers, actors and crew for making such great entertainment.

The 4400 still lives on in my heart.


Man, I'm gonna miss it!




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