John Doe
Pilot

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Pilot

A naked man wakes up, sits up, and looks around. He's very sweaty. He's standing. It's dark. He's in a clearing in a forest. This is starting to sound like one of those old text adventure games. The camera pans out to reveal that he's on an island, and that island is far from any other landmasses. The man starts walking through the forest as dawn breaks. He slips and falls. Naked. Man, that has got to hurt. He plunges over the edge of a cliff and lands in the ocean. He starts swimming. Why he doesn't just swim back to the island, I don't know, because the camera pans up to reveal that it's the only land around. What is he swimming toward? And why? Cut to later, when the man is exhausted, hanging over a floating log or something. A fishing boat rolls up next to him. The captioning lets me know that the men on the boat are speaking Khmer, because God knows I never would have figured that out on my own. Every time the camera shows us a scene from naked man's point of view, it's in black and white. The fishermen pull the naked guy aboard and cover him up. The fishermen speak to each other, and the naked guy asks where he is. But it's subtitled, because he asks the question in Khmer. The fishermen are surprised, and tell him that he's off the coast of Seattle, and then ask, "You speak Khmer?" Naked Man says (in Khmer) that he doesn't. They let him know that he's speaking it right now. Duh. Naked Man says (in Khmer) that he guesses he does speak it. He's a genius!

Back at the harbor, the fishermen unload their haul while some paramedics check out Naked Man. He is still seeing everything in black and white, and kind of in slow motion as well. A paramedic holds his hand out flat and asks how many fingers he's holding up. Naked Man gives the smart-ass answer of four, because one of them isn't a finger; it's a thumb. Except he gives a much more long-winded explanation. And he's not trying to be a smart-ass. And he looks surprised that he knows that information. The paramedic asks if Naked Man knows what day it is. Naked Man looks at the position of the sun and gives the date and time, right down to the second. The paramedic asks Naked Man's name, and he hesitates before admitting that he doesn't know. That would have been so shocking, except that it's the whole premise of the show, and has been featured in every promo ever.

Naked Man, who is no longer naked (but until we discover his character's name, I'm going to stick with that moniker), walks into a police station. He's now wearing hip waders and a raincoat. Sweet. He voice-overs that he figured he was shipwrecked or fell off a boat and hit his head, then washed up on a deserted island. At the counter, he tells the No-Nonsense Cop that he wants to report a missing person. She tells him to fill out a form, and he explains that he's the missing person. No-Nonsense Cop is completely unsympathetic and says, "If only I were so lucky." She hands him the form.

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John Doe

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