STITCHERS is a breezy 43 minutes or so that combines a crime procedural with a sci-fi twist – in this case, cutting-edge technology that allows someone to go into a dead person’s memories to figure out how they were murdered, or what they plotted.

Our central character is Caltech graduate student Kirsten (Australian actress Emma Ishta).

She suffers what’s called temporal dysplasia which means she has no concept of time.

She also seems to lack empathy but that apparently is because of her condition.

Seeing the man who raised her dead doesn’t bring in a rush of grief for example.

Instead, “the knowledge of him being dead was instantly familiar”, she explains to a detective.

Kirsten’s life becomes a mess in the first 20 minutes or so of Stitchers. She’s on academic suspension and her house mate is chucking her out.

Enter Maggie (Salli Richardson-Whitfield) who heads up a secretive government operation called Stitchers.

She’s had Kirsten on her radar for a while.

Pretty soon Kirsten is whisked off to a secret underground location where, clad in a “Catwoman suit”, she climbs into a tank and invades a dead person’s memories. A bit like a Vulcan mind meld only we’re along for the ride and the subject is dead.

In the first episode, she steps into the memories of a bomber.

For Kirsten, there’s an unexpected side effect from the stitching.

Unable to read emotional cues, she finally feels something when she’s inside someone else’s memories. For the first time, she knows what it’s like to grieve or love.

She doesn’t like it. However, Maggie draws her into the program because her next “mission” is to find out who killed the man who raised her and find out what role Kirsten’s real father played in his death.

Stitchers is very firmly in the sci-fi camp; it not only asks us to believe in this new Stitchers technology but in Kirsten’s condition.

And she is intriguing. We sense her flaws will prove invaluable to the Stitchers’ mission.

My only issue is she’s so hard to like. No doubt she’s intended to be awkward, almost robotic.

However she’s also so cold, it’s hard to care what she does or what happens to her.

However perhaps she’ll grow on us.

And apart from Kirsten, Stitchers is enjoyable enough. It’s slick in its way, interesting, but compared to some of the other new shows around at the moment, this felt a bit try hard – so far.

Stitchers is on Fox8 on Wednesday nights


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