The Pretender Episode Guide
A trip down memory lane.
Episode Guide | Ranger Jarod
Story by: Steven Mitchell and Craig Van Sickle
Directed by: Ian Toynton
Original Air Date: 2-15-97
Jarod pretends to be a Search and Rescue worker in order to find the whereabouts of a researcher who has been lost for several days in the wilderness.
Talk about sensory overload! I mean, what’s a man to do when he discovers love and the Three Stooges in the same episode? But that’s exactly what poor Jarod had to deal with while Pretending to be a search and rescue worker trying to find a student missing in the mountains. We dealt with a lot of interesting and delicate issues in this episode. First, having been so tortured in his youth, Jarod’s character needed to find and experience the opposite sex in a loving, human way. With Nia we found such a character, someone who could discover Jarod’s secret past and not question or judge him because of the scars she carried literally and figuratively from her own. We also revealed to the audience for the first time Miss Parker and Jarod have a past that is more complicated and involved than any other characters know. We see that during a sexuality simulation that little Miss Parker was brought before Jarod and was in fact the first girl he’d ever seen and later when everyone was gone, she snuck back down to see him. While there they not only shared their first kiss, but Miss Parker whispered her first name into his ear.
This is also the first episode where we employed what we called an ‘Instant Pretend’ where-in Jarod jumps into a situation and makes up his Pretend on the fly as opposed to having researched and prepared for his new identity. This technique became one that allowed for greater immediacy of the story as well as a change of pace for the viewers (and us).
The original photo of the Three Stooges movie logo where Jarod replaced Moe, Larry and Curly’s faces with Miss Parker, Sydney and Broots’ remains in our office to this day as inspiration. Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck!
Little Known Fact:
Not only was ‘The Pretender’ a hit show in America, it was also a smash overseas, and nowhere more so, than in France. The Parisian newspaper, ‘Le Monde’, called the show, “The most sophisticated American Serial of the day…the most sophisticated show to come out of the US in a decade”. Now, we know the French also love Jerry Lewis… But we can’t argue with their taste about ‘Le Cameleon’.