|| TV SERIES || The Beast
|| ROLE || Main cast member – Leading Role
|| AS || Alice Allenby, a reporter
|| YEAR || 2001
|| NETWORK || ABC
|| INFOS || The Beast is an American drama series that aired on ABC. Created by Kario Salem, the series premiered on June 13, 2001 and was canceled after six episodes.
|| PLOT || The series stars Elizabeth Mitchell as Alice Allenby, a New York journalist who takes a job at World News Service, a Los Angeles based 24-hour cable news station.
|| CURIOSITIES || The roles Elizabeth plays often end up influencing her outlook on life, proving she takes her work seriously, for instance The Beast made Elizabeth question her morals regarding the death penalty.
| Clips |
- Elizabeth Mitchell as Alice Allenby, a reporter from New York who began working at WNS in the pilot. She was became a celebrity after her first story and the public and Jackson viewed her as an on-screen beauty and was often complimented on her good looks.
- Jason Gedrick as Reese McFadden, the main anchor for WNS who made the job his own.
- Frank Langella as Jackson Burns, The owner of WNS and lover of Sonia. He created the channel and treated everyone like who worked for WNS like his family, especially Alice, who he felt he needed to protect.
- Naveen Andrews as Timir Naipaul, worked for WNS as a camera man and other things. He named the show the beast and that became the nickname for it by everyone.
- Wendy Crewson as Maggie Steech, works for Jackson and has a desire to have a child but she finds out she cannot have children.
- April Grace as Sonia, A reporter for WNS and lover of Jackson.
- Peter Riegert as Ted Fisher, Works for Jackson and has anger issues. He has been fired from every other broadcasting station in the country.
- Harriet Sansom Harris as Mrs. Sweeney, Jackson’s assistant and the mother f WNS.
- Kario Salem as Harry, The eyes of WNS. He watches everyone and decides what is aired on the web and, when there’s nothing else to put on, the TV.
- 1×01 The Price
- 1×02 The Damage Done
- 1×03 The Delivery
- 1×04 Functional Family
- 1×05 Travinia Part 1
- 1×06 Travinia Part 2
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1×01 The Price
New York journalist, Alice Allenby, is offered a job in Los Angeles, by Jackson Burns, owner and head of WNS, a twenty four hour news network affectionately called “The Beast” because of it’s insatiable appetite for the news. Jackson believes that the viewing public both hate and distrust the media, and by placing cameras throughout the station, (except for the bathrooms), the public can see exactly what is going on behind the scenes. Alice meets it’s denizens; Reese McFadden, reporter with an attitude, Ted Fisher, newsman behind the scenes, Tamir Naipal, producer, Maggie Steech, floor manager, Sonya Topple, reporter, Ryan Brown, cameraman, Mrs. Sweeny, Jackson’s assistant, and Harry, a mysterious and unseen figure who monitors the cameras within the Beast with an objective eye and sends the feeds out over the Internet. One of the stories followed closely at WNS is the hunt for terrorist bomber, Bobby James. Although she’s unsure if she wants to work there, Alice agrees to an assignment to interview Rory Carmichael, a prisoner who’s date with the electric chair is fast approaching. An opponent of the death penalty, Alice wants the 71% of the public who favor it to see exactly what it entails, and gets Carmichael to agree to let WNS air his execution, as it happens. After the execution, an emotionally exhausted Alice is ready to return to New York. Reese tells her she forced the 60 million viewers to rethink their views and also tells her, “You’ve gone through the looking glass Alice. There’s no going back”- thus beginning the “Alice Through The Looking Glass” theme of this six episode summer series. Their conversation is interrupted by FBI agents who are looking to arrest Tamir and Reese for interviewing one of terrorist Bobby James’ friends, and sending him out of town before he could be officially questioned. During the confrontation, a well dressed young man shows up looking for a job. He stares at the picture of Bobby James on the television monitor, as Alice is thrust into the limelight again, this time by doing her first television newscast in Reese’s place.
1×02 The Damage Done
Alice discovers election fraud on both sides of a close Senatorial race. Tamir goes looking for Bobby James’ past. Jackson weathers his birthday wth the help of Mrs. Sweeny and Sonya.
1×03 The Delivery
Reese receives a packet of cash in the mail that was meant for the former resident of his apartment. In tracking down the source of the money, as well as the man for whom it was intended, he discovers the answer to a question that has been haunting his best friend’s widow since the night his friend was killed. When Robert, Mrs. Sweeny’s new intern, turns out to be more complicated than meets the eye, Jackson defuses the resulting situation, saving the day for everyone involved. In the process, he reminds himself that life can still provide stimulating experiences, even though he’s now closer to the end of it than he is to the beginning.
1×04 Functional Family
As Alice struggles to keep her attention on being an anchor, rather than a reporter, the new intern, Robert, struggles with demons of his own. Meanwhile, in jail, Reese McFadden and Tamir Naipal meet Brandon Romer, a former child star who fell into a world of addiction when his career ended. With the help of a microphone, smuggled in with Reese’s medication, and a cameraman stationed outside of the window of Reese’s and Tamir’s jail cell, the story of their incarceration ends up being broadcast, live, by WNS. Jackson discusses the situation with the station’s attorney, who is not very happy with the bootleg broadcast. Mrs. Sweeny interviews the new intern, Robert Tibideau, and takes a shine to him. Jackson pressures Sonya about the impending promotion of a piece on which she is working, “The Ray Family . A Startling Look At America’s Forgotten Underclass.” He fears that the most startling thing about the Ray family will be if the viewers are able to stay awake when the production is aired. An exhausted and bewildered Alice returns to her hotel room to find a huge array of flowers and a basket of bath salts, which were sent by Jackson. She also finds her boyfriend, Jeremy, waiting and clings to him as though he were the only port in the hurricane that has become her life. Reese smells a story in Brandon Romer, pays his bail and sends Ryan to get him upon his release. Ryan reluctantly baby-sits Brandon Romer while Reese does a story on the former child star, who turned to drugs and drink when his career faded away. Ryan has little sympathy for the former child star, but Reese wants to show the public what happens when the “system” puts people in jail for the crime of harming themselves and sees Brandon as the perfect means to accomplish that. Alice is ready to accept the proposal of marriage that her boyfriend made just before she received the call from Jackson Burns, but since Jeremy is a spy for the CIA, he tells her that her newfound fame has made a relationship between them impossible. Reese asks Ted to arrange a meeting with his friend, a liberal judge. He wants to turn Brandon’s story into a “cause.” Ted isn’t sure he can manage it, and Jackson points out to Reese that the story is really about him. Still, he asks Ted to try to arrange a meeting with Judge Bailey. Sonya airs the footage she has of the Ray family, which puts everyone to sleep except Robert, who rivets his attention on young Caleb Ray – there’s a connection there that goes unnoticed by everyone in the room, but clearly Robert sees something in the boy that the others do not. Jackson tells Sonya that she has to find another family for the story. She tells him that she knows it’s slow, but she’s certain that there’s something there – she can feel it. Jackson tells her there’s no more time to spend on it and tells her to pull the cameras out of the Ray’s house and to find another family. Reese does the first of the broadcasts on Brandon Romer that will tell his story while he awaits the hearing that will determine whether or not he goes to jail for 15 years. Brandon keeps trying to be someone else, to play a role, but Reese keeps reminding him that the story is about Brandon himself. Wally, one of the members of the crew, introduces Alice to the Mocambo lounge . an exotic bar, complete with faux sunset that can be watched from a sand-box beach, that is hidden away within the sprawling complex that is The Beast. There she meets Judge Bailey and they talk a bit about why he’s there. Ted and Reese arrive for their meeting with him and tell him that, through a series of circumstances, he will now be the judge hearing Brandon’s case. This should be a good thing, since Bailey is liberal, however, Harry caught the encounter with his web cams and sent it out to the Internet, live. Bailey has no choice but to recuse himself from the case. The next judge to draw the case has a history of taking a hard line regarding substance abuse – it’s not looking good for Brandon. Reese gives Brandon the news on that night’s live broadcast with him. He asks Brandon if he’s “okay” with the camera being there and Brandon confesses that he’s always been okay with the camera – his troubles began when someone turned the camera away from him. Brandon Romer is as addicted to the camera’s red light, which means he’s being filmed, as he is to any drug he’s ever ingested. Brandon’s emotional outburst, after hearing about the change in judges, worries Reese. He calls Ryan and tells him not to let Brandon out of his sight. Sonya tries to explain to Mr. Ray why she had to pull the cameras from his house, but he doesn’t want to listen and accuses her of wanting a “better” family for her production. She can see the children, but Ray won’t let her speak to them, nor say good-bye to his wife. Young Caleb finds his way to Sonya’s car before she’s able to drive away and tells her that he will miss her. The next day, while reading the Metro section of the newspaper in Jackson’s office, Sonya learns that young Caleb Ray stabbed his father to death the night before, to stop him from continuing to beat Mrs. Ray. She tells Jackson that the Ray family was performing for the cameras after all – they were the only thing keeping Mr. Ray from abusing his wife and children. Reese arrives at the hovel that Brandon shares with a myriad of other derelicts to find Ryan asleep and Brandon missing. A frantic search of the building reveals Brandon in a filthy bathroom, trying to kill himself because he doesn’t want to go back to prison again, but without the courage to finish the job. As Reese takes Brandon downstairs, Brandon’s only thought is to wonder whether or not Ryan’s camera is on. At the hearing, the judge makes a surprise decision and sends Brandon to a state sponsored rehab facility, rather than to prison. Reese reports that the facility won’t be able to treat Brandon’s real addiction, so he has no doubt that when Brandon is finally released, it won’t be long until he begins using drugs again. Jackson Burns goes on air to express his feelings about the fact that WNS may have indirectly had something to do with Caleb Ray murdering his father . it’s all about the insatiable appetite of The Beast.
1×05 Travinia Part 1
Alice learns from a covert source that a small European country (Travinia) is secretly stockpiling chemical weapons. Knowing that Travinia has a defense pact with Russia and is due for an international weapons inspection in two weeks, Alice convinces Jackson to allow her to go to Travinia to investigate the story for herself (using the guise of doing a story on an orphanage). As Tamir has had prior experience in Europe, Jackson sends him with her. Since no unsupervised filming will be allowed, Ryan gives Tamir several “routine” items – each containing a component that will make a small, battery operated camera, when assembled – so that Alice and Tamir can document any evidence they find on film. When he learns that he has incurable bone cancer, Reese’s journalist father, Walter, comes to WNS to see his estranged son. In Travinia, Alice and Tamir meet their contact, a hotel worker, and in spite of having been told by a government official upon their arrival to stay within the confines of the hotel, they sneak out of their bugged rooms, and leave the hotel. They meet the man’s father, who is dying from Sarin poisoning. He was exposed to the deadly chemical while working in a machine factory that also received secret deliveries of chemical filled barrels. The contents of the barrels frequently spilled on the workers who carried them in. It was the dying man’s job to bury the exposed workers, when they succumbed to the same poisoning that is now killing him. He has his son take Alice and Tamir to the mass grave in which he buried the workers. Their bodies are exposed there, having been unearthed by heavy rains. Tamir is able to film the entire encounter – from the time he and Alice interviewed the dying man, including the unearthed bodies of the poisoned workers. When they return to the hotel, Tamir hides the film he shot that evening. Both Alice and Tamir find government agents awaiting them in their rooms – it has been discovered that they left the hotel after having been told not to do so. Tamir is beaten in his room while Alice is taken to meet the President of Travinia. The President initiates a live TV interview, which is also seen by Jackson Burns in America, and accuses Alice of lying about her reasons for being there. When Alice confronts him regarding the bodies that she and Tamir saw in the grave, he makes excuses – saying (among other things) that they were brought across the border by rebels from other countries. He asks Alice if she has “proof” of what she saw (meaning film) and when she tells the President that she and Tamir had no way to film what they say, he makes a show (for the camera) of saying that he is expelling them from his country. However, instead of driving Tamir and Alice to the airport, they are taken hostage by the drivers of the car. As they are driven off, Alice sees Jeremy, her ex-boyfriend who works for the CIA, standing by the road.
1×06 Travinia Part 2
Alice and Tamir are being held captive by the Travinian Resistance Movement, who are looking for the tape Tamir made of the dying man and the mass grave he dug for the poisoned workers. Their contact, Anders, is also a prisoner, and the captors torture him in front of Alice and Tamir in order to find out where the film is hidden, but Tamir, the only one who knows where it is, will not divulge the information. Anders is later killed in front of Alice and Tamir. The Travinian Resistance Movement goes on television and demands a ransom of 6 million dollars for the release of Alice and Tamir, due in three days. Unable to get help from the State Department, Jackson meets with the WNS insurance company representative, who advises Jackson that since the Movement does not exist, the Travinian government is most likely behind the kidnaping, and that challenging the President of Travinia to an on-air encounter would put him in a spotlight he wishes to avoid. On air, Jackson asks the Travinian president to invite him to his country to settle the matter in person. Backed into a corner, the president has no choice but to agree. Reese and his father air their differences over a game of pool and come to a new understanding. Jeremy, Alice’s ex-boyfriend, blows his CIA undercover role by rescuing Alice and Tamir. Jackson arrives at the hotel at which Alice and Tamir stayed and finds the film that Tamir hid in one of the ornamental gargoyles. Jackson meets with the President of Travinia, tells him that Tamir’s film was not where it should have been and that he did not find it. He agrees to pay the ransom, and make to make it look to the rest of the world as though Travinia did the right thing, in exchange for safe passage out of the country. Together, he, Alice and Tamir are able to return to the United States.