Forgotten TV: The Gemini Factor

This 1987 science fiction mystery is one that you know the ending up front. The real mystery is in how it gets there. What transpires isn’t quite as satisfying as you expect, despite the show’s quality.

The set-up is that orphaned Leah (Louisa Milwood-Haigh) is a mopey sort of do-gooder who is not only taken advantage of by her so-called friend at school, but also her own family, which seems to resent her. There’s something missing for Leah that she can’t put a finger on, made plain by the nightmares that she has of a terrifying incident in an old clock tower.

At the same time, there’s Lee (Charlie Creed-Miles), an all around do-badder who is put into a foster home with a family that is trying it’s best, but the continually unmanageable Lee is like a fury of disengagement. He doesn’t want their help, and goes out instead to commit petty crimes and sneer at people. He, too, has strange nightmarish visions.

Both of them, because of their troubles, are sent to the exact same shrink.

You see where this is going.

Surprisingly, the show manages to build some creeps and suspense, as well as some genuine distress, as Lee and Leah just narrowly miss each other, each creeping around the edges of the other’s life, all the while just barely coming to terms that they are connected with someone else that they can’t access. It’s all done atmospherically, and the kid actors are pretty good, though it focuses more on the daily drama of the situation than any of the supernatural or science fiction implications of the story.

Unfortunately, one series does not suffice to sate the curiosity the show ignites. By the end, you do find yourself wanting to much more about the secret of the twins’ pasts, but they never made more than six episodes.