Forever falls in a long line of single immortal in the big city television, from the Canadian Forever Knight, about a single immortal vampire in the big city to New Amsterdam, about an Indian cursed single Jamie Lannister in the big city. Doctor Henry Morgan (Ioan Gruffudd) is a 200 year old New York Medical Examiner who teams up with a New York cop to solve mysteries. Call it Quincy meets Sherlock Holmes meets Castle meets Lazarus Long.meets…and so on.
The actual reason of why Morgan is immortal is vague and Morgan doesn’t understand it himself. Thrown off a slave ship centuries ago he “dies” and somehow comes to life again. Each time he dies, he wakes up in a nearby body of water, totally healed of what’s killed him. Left unanswered, does his body vanishes from the moment of death until he’s reborn or does he just get a new body? One assumes the latter since in the pilot episode, he dies twice, each time at a crime scene where an extra body would no doubt raise questions.
This sort of mechanism of being reborn in water as a path to immortality leads to a supernatural explanation, rather than some pseudo scientific one. An odd choice when the doctor in question is wedded to reason and logic. And, like Sherlock Holmes, he’s annoying in the way he loves to show how smart he is by pointing out all of his little deductions. People really love to be told their business first thing in the morning, so Dr. Morgan isn’t exactly overloaded with friends. But in this case that’s a good thing. For the viewer, it makes Morgan likeable and human by being an aggravating know it all.
With new grumpy female cop partner that he has to hide his secret from (will they…?), a close friend who knows his secret and a mysterious phone caller who also knows his secret, and may be immortal like Morgan, the story arc is already built in. Is this show a copy of a copy of a copy of several current and previous TV shows? Heck yes, but for all that it seems to have its charm, and given the strength of last night’s pilot episode, I’ll give it a thumbs up.