— Peter Wingfield as Terrance Shepard

Wingfield Dr Helm

w o r k s


Strange World

Episode guide
In print

In this section

The Men's Room
Soldier, Soldier
Six Characters in Search of an Author
Trust Me
Stella Artois
The Lifeboat
Alun Lewis
Degas and Pissarro Fall Out
Martin Chuzzlewit
Crocodile Shoes
Murder in Mind
Into the Fire
A Very Open Prison
Over Here
Murder Most Horrid
Call My Bluff
Highlander: The Series
Noah's Ark
The Sentinel
Cold Squad
Strange World
Waiting for Lefty
Cold Feet
The Outer Limits
The Man Who Used to Be Me
Stargate SG-1
Highlander: Endgame
Queen of Swords
The Chris Isaak Show
First Wave

Strange World

Character: Cancer Man wannabe Terrance Shepard
Fashion statement: That alternate-reality Methos leather jacket shows up again
Deathless dialogue: TBA

"I'm bad because I like to skulk in the shadows"

Peter's return to science fiction and fantasy went largely unseen as Strange World was cancelled after only three episodes with the lowest ratings ABC ever had for original programming in the Tuesday 10 p.m. timeslot. Here's the series premise, excerpted from a New York Post article "Leaked Plotlines 'Strange' But True" by Don Kaplan:

The show, which preys on fears about medical intrigue, has been ordered by ABC as a mid-season replacement to debut either in January or March.

"It's sort of an X-Files meets The Hot Zone meets The Fugitive," says [creator and executive producer Howard] Gordon, a four-year veteran of The X-Files....

Strange World stars Tim Guinee (John Carpenter's Vampires) as Paul Turner, a low-level investigator for USAMRIID ( Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases) who gets infected with the bizarre Gulf War Syndrome.

He is saved by a strange Japanese woman who cures him with a swig of a mysterious serum. The catch is that Turner requires regular doses of the drug to stay alive, and ultimately becomes an operative for his savior....

"X-Files is all about aliens and vampires," Gordon says. "This is really just about us, the monsters man is creating himself."

The series also stars Kristin Lehman as Paul's girlfriend Sydney. Kristin appeared in an X-Files episode "Kill Switch" (penned by sci-fi scribe William Gibson) about two cyberpunk lovers who became one with their computer.

Peter enters in episode 6, "Skin," as Shepard, a mysterious character who approaches Sydney with questionable information, and also appears in "Man Plus" and "Age of Reason." Shepard is described in the press kit:

The man known only as Shepard is the archetype of an enigma. His motives, his loyalties, and his history are shrouded in mystery. When he comes to Sydney, the truths she has finally come to accept suddenly come into question. She wants to believe him, but in order to follow him down the path he leads, she has no choice but to keep Turner in the dark. And Shepard's path in a winding, treacherous one...

Of all of Peter's post-Highlander work, Strange World had the most potential — it's a densely plotted series that harkens back to the early days of The X-Files with its creative extrapolations of current science and unforseen plot twists. Like Cancer Man in The X-Files, Shepard was meant to be a recurring character, always in the shadows, whose motivations would be revealed over the course of several seasons. Because of this, ironically, little is revealed about Shepard in the three episodes filmed — in the season finale "Age of Reason," which centers around Shepard's machinations, we hear characters talk about him more than we see him in action. And so Shepard ends up being underdeveloped and one of the weaker characters in the series.

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