Jarod, a boy genius with a special gift for pretending, was kidnapped and held prisoner by a corporation that used him as a human simulator in their clandestine research. Escaping from The Centre more than 30 years later, Jarod now searches for clues to his true identity and family. He also uses his ability to quickly become an expert at anything to right wrongs and exact revenge on the wicked. All the while, Centre operatives led by Miss Parker work relentlessly to capture Jarod, and return him to The Centre.
The only major broadcast network during the late 1980's and early 1990's that was willing to stick with science ficiton was NBC. First, it aired Quantum Leap, then it aired Seaquest (it was probably too patient with that one), and then it aired The Pretender. The Pretender is about a genius named Jarod, who after years of captivity at The Centre escapes. Jarod hasn't been a part of the outside world since he was a boy, so he constantly experiences every day things with a childlike innocence. Jarod sees life in black and white. Most episodes have Jarod helping fix injustices while searching for his past and his family. Jarod has to do all this without getting caught by agents of The Centre.
The final part of the formula developed back at The Centre. Instead of merely having a stream of nameless heavies pursue Jarod every week, the writers developed major characters and intrigue at The Centre itself. As the series moved on, Miss Parker and her cronies were fleshed out and some episodes focused on them, rather than Jarod. What started out as a twist on The Fugitive with a bit of MacGyver has added the conspiracies (minus the aliens) of an X-Files to create a must-watch series.
The Pretender Cast & Crew List:
Steven Long Mitchell
Craig Van Sickle
Michael T. Weiss
... Miss Parker
... Mr. Parker
... Mr. Lyle
... Dr. Raines