The CW’s reimaging of the 2004 drama, The 4400 is set to premiere this month. So, what can we expect from this reboot?
The CW has shortened the title of the series to just 4400 but the premise of the original series is pretty much the same. In the original series, 4400 humans were taken from different times in history and returned all at once for some great purpose. These people had not aged but returned with no memory of what had happened to them but with special powers which led the government to quarantine them and carry out tests.
The new series focuses on “overlooked, undervalued, or otherwise marginalised people” and the cast and characters seem to reflect that. Another difference is where the story plays out. In the original series Washington state was the focus, this time the 4400 will be returning to Detroit, Michigan.
The description for the reboot reads as follows:
4400 overlooked, undervalued, or otherwise marginalised people who vanished without a trace over the last hundred years are all returned in an instant, having not aged a day and with no memory of what happened to them. As the government races to analyse the potential threat and contain the story, the 4400 themselves must grapple with the fact that they’ve been returned with a few upgrades and the increasing likelihood that they were all brought back now for a specific reason.
4400 cast and characters
The cast roster is made up of established actors as well as some newcomers.
Derrick A King (Call Your Mother) portrays Rev Johnston, raised in a powerful and affluent church family and who disappeared in the 1990s. While he is a man of true faith and compassion, he is accustomed to the power and clout afforded his position. He will emerge as a natural leader among the 4400.
Newcomer Khailah Johnson plays LaDonna, a high maintenance Miami party girl who disappeared on her 21st birthday. While she at first comes across as spoiled and vapid, she will end up tapping into her own potential in ways she never expected.
Brittany Adebumola (Grand Army), is Shanice, a driven lawyer, wife and new mother from the year 2005 who is suddenly transported to 2021 only to find that her daughter is now a teenager. She will be a fierce advocate for all those like her who are trying to figure out what happened to them.
Cory Jeacoma (Power Book II: Ghost), portrays Logan, a loving and supportive husband and new father whose wife, Shanice, suddenly goes missing in 2005. Left to raise their daughter alone, he is shocked when Shanice returns after 16 years — without having aged a day.
Jaye Ladymore (The Chi) plays Claudette, a preacher’s wife from the 1950s who was active in the early Civil Rights Movement. She is surprisingly quick to adapt to 2021 and realises that she may be a totally different person in this new time — in surprising and consequential ways.
Amarr Wooten (Colin in Black & White) is Hayden, who arrives in 2021 from the 1930s where he was kept in an institution. Perhaps due to an unpleasant past, he doesn’t appear to speak but is compassionate and seems to have insight and knowledge into things he couldn’t possibly know.
TL Thompson (Straight White Men), plays Dr Andre, a transgender male and doctor from 1920s Harlem. He uses his skills to help treat the 4400 and while it takes him a while to adjust to 2021, he catches on quickly that the 4400 may be perceived as a threat.
Ireon Roach (School Girls; or the African Mean Girls Play), plays Keisha, a by-the-book parole officer who is called in as part of the government response to the 4400. Due to personal past tragedy, she is worried about the dangers these people could pose to society at large.
Newcomer Autumn Best plays Mildred, a smart and observant teenager from the 1970s who has no idea how she got to 2021 Detroit. But she quickly finds a couple of allies among the 4400 and seems surprisingly content to have left her past life behind.
Joseph David-Jones who played Connor Hawke/Green Arrow on the CW’s Arrow and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow was previously slated to play Rev Johnson now he will play social worker Jharrell.
4400 is set in 2021 and showrunner Ariana Jackson told EW in a recent interview that “where we are now feels like a very pivotal time in our nation’s history – it was really interesting to examine how we got here through all these people from different eras.”
“It feels like a really interesting time to set it in to really examine how we came to be here and now, a time where we’re really seeing a lot of the cracks in our society and in what we built. We look at how those things might have been built wrong to lead us here to today. There’s a reason why we’re in the moment we’re in.”
The reboot will spend more time with members of the 4400 in their original eras shining a light on how issues the characters faced decades, or even a century ago, are still problems today. The original series did touch on race and racial tensions with Mahershala Ali’s character Richard Tyler who was married to a white woman in 1950s America. By the sound of it, Jackson intends to do a lot more than touch on subjects of racism and LGBTQIA+ in the modern era as these are hot topic issues in 2021.
Ariana Jackson wrote the pilot episode, which will be directed/co-executive produced by Erica Watson.
Watch the teaser video below:
4400 is scheduled to premiere on Monday 25 October on The CW.
There are no details for when the series will air in the UK but you can access the free CW app on your Roku or Firestick.