May contain mild spoilers!
It was about 14-15 years since my last rewatch of 7 days. All these years I was waiting for it to be released on physical media. However, it took more than 10 years before North American distributor VEI released the complete series on DVD. When it finally was released on DVD in North America, it was not possible for someone outside North America, to order it via Amazon. If you wanted to have this set you had to look elsewhere, like Ebay, but it also meant a way more expensive complete series set. So, I waited patiently and last year I finally was able to purchase the complete series from Amazon.com for a slightly less expensive price. Here you can find an unboxing of the of this set.
Yes, 7 days is a SCI-FI show but also action oriented. Most of the time the action part is bigger than the SCI-FI part, this is almost every episode, 10 minutes we see Frank B. Parker being sent back in time and when this is done, the SCI-FI part is mostly gone and transforms the TV show for the most part in an action-oriented TV show. I say this only about the first season because I have to be honest, I have little to no memories about the 2nd and 3rd season, so it is possible that the SCI-FI part becomes bigger. Time-travel can of course be a very difficult subject, it can also be very confusing. Whatever you think of it, it triggers your mind because as a viewer, you want it to make sense, besides that, time-travel is something, especially to SCI-FI fans, that speaks to the imagination. Because I too was thinking about this time-travel concept, I went online to see if there was some information about the time-travel for this particular show. I did find some information about this, and it was comparable how I thought about it. I took this information and put it in this blog, and in season one episode “Daddy’s Girl” it is explained, more or less, that when Frank goes back in time, the sphere and he himself disappear in present day so there is always one Frank B. Parker and one sphere.
The time-travel device is a result from the 1947 crashlanding of an alien vessel in Roswell. Because of lack of power, the device can only go back 7 days maximum. Till now, at the end of the first season, it is not possible to go forward in time. Not sure if this changes over the course of seasons two and three. Again, my lack of memory is sometimes a blessing, but it can also be a curse!
It revolves around Frank B. Parker (Jonathan LaPaglia), who is ex-military, former CIA and currently he is residing in a psychiatric institution after he had a breakdown. He is however one of the top candidates to join the BackStep program as the pilot who goes back in time. Being a pilot of the sphere is only reserved for someone with strong mind and personality, who can withstand high levels of stress. Dr. Olga Vukavitch (Justina Vail) is one of the scientists working there. Frank immediately is attracted to her, and she kinda likes that. It ensures many fun scenes between these two characters, for me that is the heart of the show to be honest, their relationship.
Craig Donovan (Don Franklin), who served with Frank in the past, they were buds and he vouches for Frank when the BackStep team questions his capabilities because he resides in a psychiatric institution. Craig is Frank’s back-up. Dr. John Ballard (Sam Whipple) is the genius of the team, he is also a very funny guy, was a lot of laughs! During the TV series Sam Whipple was diagnosed with cancer and so he left the show at the beginning of the 3rd season. He died in 2002. Dr. Isaac Mentnor (Norman Lloyd) was the head scientist of the team. Nathan Ramsey (Nick Searcy) was in charge of security, he doesn’t trust Frank and keeps a close eye on him. Ramsey is not a pleasant man, ever! He is mostly cranky, stubborn, always yelling. The head of the team is Dr. Bradley Talmadge (Alan Scarfe). He is the one responsible for the team.
7 Days is not a heavy story-arc series, every week a new story, sometimes a two-partner and of course there are elements that that can be explained as story-arc but that is negligible, especially in comparison to shows like Babylon 5, Star Trek: DS9, The Expanse or Stargate Universe. This is not a problem, it is a fun show to rewatch, some really good episodes in the first season. If you think about it, only Frank Parker is the only one who experiences multiple BackSteps! I mean, when he goes back in time, solves the problem they are facing, no BackStep is needed anymore to the whole process of getting Frank ready for time-travel, is gone, at least for the team, only Frank remembers this and only he remembers multiple BackSteps while his team, outside of testing before the project was live, do not remember this. They know from what Frank Parker tells them has happened, they do not experience it.
As I said before, for me, the best part of the show is the relationship between Parker and Olga, and of course the time-travel bit, the sphere. Their relationship often is comedic, Frank desperately wants to win her over, Olga knows all too well but keeps him at a distance. But throughout the first season it becomes very clear that Olga has more feelings for Frank than she cares to admit. Ballard is also an added bonus, almost everything he says makes you laugh. Also funny but not intended, at least from the view of the character is Ramsey. He often is the unwilling clown, the one Frank makes fun of all the time.
When I started the rewatch it was so long ago, I didn’t exactly know how much I still was going to appreciate this show. Well, I have to say I am pleasantly surprised, it is a good show, it has sci-fi, action, drama and humor. The first 3 episodes, including a 90 minutes pilot, were all very entertaining. In the pilot we learn that Frank is the most promising candidate for the backstep program but he has some mental issues. From pilot on Frank shows his interest in Olga. In the pilot he also has to undo the murder of the president, the vice-president and his own son! Episodes 7 & 8 “Doppelganger Parts 1 & 2” where interesting episodes, Parker is split into two Parkers after some adjustments had been done by Ballard on the Sphere. The split-off version is an evil one and has different ideas about the program and leaves the other Parker behind for death. The 9th episode “As Time Goes By” was my favorite up till then. A ship crash lands, what seems to be an alien vessel, but it turns out to be the Russian version of BackStep, Olga’s husband comes out, disappeared 7 years ago with a test flight. He tells BackStep people he was sent 30 years into the future, to 2025. Ballard is a lot of fun in this one.
“Parkergeist”, episode 14, is also a very entertaining episode where the team thinks Parker has died but due to some tampering with the sphere, he returns as sort of out phase, like a ghost. He has to make them understand he is not dead, but how does he do that when no one can see him? There is however someone, a blind guy, who can hear him! Note – Some emotional moments when Olga thinks Frank is dead. She cares more for him than she cares to admit. “Daddy’s Girl”, episode 15, is perhaps one of the most important episodes of the first season because we get some explanation how the time-travel works! Note – First time we see it from the eyes of the team instead of Frank. The team knows that Frank and the sphere are missing but they hadn’t heard anything from him yet. So this explains there are no 2 Franks and no 2 spheres.
“Something About Olga”, episode 16, is also a favorite of mine, where the Russians, who wanna know more about the American BackStep program, have found a women who looks remarkably the same as Olga. After months of training the Russian Olga infiltrates the compound but it Frank soon finds out this Olga has a few screws loose.
The last 3 episodes are also episodes which are well above average. In “Ebes”, episode 19, where audience first it to be believed that we see aliens, but ultimately they are children, born with deformities after a plane crash in that area with the same substance as the disaster that happened in present day. Isaac and Talmadge know of this and have been carrying this secret for quite a while. In the 20th episode, “Walter”, Frank must protect Walker, a savant genius how is being used to decipher a code of a file called Jasmine where CIA operatives are named and where they are stationed. Note – good episode, guest stars Tamlyn Tomita (Babylon 5, Lt. Cmdr. Laurel Takashima) and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Nash Bridges and also guest starred on Babylon 5 and many, many more)
The Season finale, “Lifeboat” we do see aliens! Unknown to most of the team, except Isaac and Talmadge, there are 3 death aliens on their complex and one alive one! By chance Frank arrives in that particular room where the aliens are. Afterwards one escapes and goes to a powerplant to fuel his ship. At first it looks to be a friendly alien but looks can be deceiving. Note – a good episode, the alien did look unreal which was a shame, it looked like Thor from Stargate SG-1, but a cheaper version of him.
Only a few episodes which were mediocre but there wasn’t any which was horrible in my opinion. The following two episodes are my least favorite of the season: Episode 11 “HAARP Attack” where Frank does a back-step but when he lands, he looks like a grown-up but he is reverted to a 10 year old. Episode 13 “Last Breath” another least favorite of mine, Parker has to back-step onto a Russian submarine because of plutonium poisoning which kills a lot of people in the US and makes a big place uninhabitable for quite some years. Note - Still nice moment at the end, between Parker and Olga, she basically saying he will never learn Russian and that the people on the boat just pretended to be understood his Russian, as it was like he was a child.
This was it, I have to say, I am really having a good time with 7 Days, it is not a perfect show and being episodic has some drawbacks but it is very entertaining, good cast, interesting stories, topnotch production values (excepts for the alien in season finale), the time-travel “explanation” in episode 15 “Daddy’s Girl”. Can’t wait for season two, I really do not remember anything about the 2nd and 3rd season so not sure if it is really a rewatch or more like a first watch! 😊