HALLOWEEN 2013: BY HANNAH PRICE
Sitting in the middle of the ever busy Chicago Union Station seems the right place to reminisce about one of my favorite TV shows. Early Edition spanned four seasons, garnering a loyal fan-base (who, despite their best efforts, couldn’t prevent its cancellation). It’s my favorite example of speculative fiction because its premise revolves around the question of “what would you do if you could see into the future?” Gary Hobson gets tomorrow’s news today in the form of the next day’s Chicago Sun Times, delivered every day to his doorstep accompanied by a cat “guardian.”
Gary contemplates using the paper’s secrets for self gain but as a nice guy, Gary soon gives himself over to the hero within. Instead of using this unique gift for his own benefit, Gary chooses to help others. Gary takes it upon himself to prevent the tragic and unfortunate events he sees in the paper. In the process he becomes a human superhero, especially to the damsels in distress whose lives he saves.
Doing good is its own reward in Gary’s world, but a higher power (presumably God) is looking out for him. Gary can’t hold a job and be able to leave at a moments notice to save someone, so his hero’s path is a poor one for a while. Then the owner of McGinty’s bar leaves him ownership in his will. Gary suddenly has a place to live and a source of income and the bar comes to serve as his safe haven for him, his best friends and those who need a helping hand along the way. It’s amazing how God provides for us everything we need in ways that we least expect, isn’t it?
Throughout his journey from “ordinary man” to “hero,” Gary gets the chance to meet and save some very interesting people. Most are simple, everyday folk who just need a helping hand. Other times, Gary gets to help famous people, people from other countries, people from the past, people with villainous intent, people who have the ability to further what Gary has done and help others in their turn (sometimes greater numbers than even Gary could imagine), and in one harrowing instance, himself.
The ways Gary saves others are just as varied as those he helps. To save the marriage and career of a football star, Gary plays in a major game in the football star’s place, having a hand in winning the game. Gary has to guide a young, rebellious female royal from another country when she run away from her press tour to “experience the city.” To save a young idealistic librarian, Gary inadvertently plays the role of “modern day knight,” complete with horses, chases, escapes, harrowing rescues and eventually, romance (for the librarian, not Gary).
Through all his adventures, Gary doesn’t give up hope in humanity, in his friends, in the importance of his mission, or in himself. Fleeting doubts and occasional argument aside, Gary remains devoted to the cause he is chosen for. That is what makes his character so compelling and ultimately inspiring. Gary is a simple man with an ordinary past and no extraordinary abilities. He is chosen for a monumental task by a higher power. As Christians we know nothing happens by chance and that everything happens according to God’s design. Gary is chosen for his task because God knows he can do it and will empower him to achieve the seemingly impossible.
It is nice to have a compelling and entertaining portrayal of a modern day knight. Saving the world isn’t what Gary set out to do like the mythical knights of old who went questing. But when he is caught up in it, he does his job with a chivalry and “ordinary Joe” charm that could win over the most unromantic heart. We can always use more men like Gary in the world.
It’s just a shame that they won’t come with tomorrow’s news in their hand. ♥
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Hannah Price thrives on creativity and loves to be inspired by the creativity of others. Her passion is storytelling in all its forms of expression. Some of those loves are American Sign Language, theater, film, audio drama and the varied mediums of art (painting, drawing, etc.). She wants to be involved in film production someday, as she is already involved in theater production and would like to be able to turn her hobbies into a full time occupation.