Ken Tucker
March 13, 1992 AT 05:00 AM EST


TV Show
Current Status
In Season
Gregory Harrison, Cicely Tyson, Kevin McCarthy, Lane Smith, Matt Williams
USA Network
Crime, Sci-fi and Fantasy

We gave it a D

Gregory Harrison and Kim Greist (Brazil) play Bob and Marion Boxletter, parents who have recently lost their young son — he disappeared, along with his uncle, when the two were on a camping trip. One day in a hotel, Marion spots a man who looks just like Uncle Brian (Scott Hoxby) — but he says she must be mistaken, his name is Sam Heller, and walks on. Later, in a restaurant, she sees a boy who looks just like her Joey (Erik Alskog) — but the boy claims not to know her.

It sounds like a Twilight Zone episode, but Duplicates certainly isn’t that good. The Boxletters discover that Joey and Brian are part of a top secret experiment in which people are abducted, their memories are transferred to computer banks, and they’re given different memories and sent back into the world.

Why? As far as one can tell from the slack, suspenseless script by Andrew Neiderman and frequent USA TV-movie director Sandor Stern, it’s a government plot to control the minds and lives of millions — I don’t know, maybe it’s a metaphor for a Bush reelection strategy. Kevin McCarthy and Cicely Tyson appear as the brilliant but wrongheaded scientists conducting these experiments; dialogue is on the order of ”Find them and get them — before any more damage is done!” Too late. D

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