ABC quietly plugged the plug this week on its summer sci-fi series The Whispers after two months of life support. The now series finale saw FBI Special Agent Claire Bennigan (Lily Rabe) abducted by aliens and spirited away to another galaxy.
Perhaps she will show up on The X-Files reboot, tagged and pregnant.
“Executed produced” by Steven Spielberg (who likely nodded his approval during a power nap), the series was originally scheduled to premiere during the Fall 2014 TV season but was pushed back to a Summer 2015 birth – its first sign of sickness. Rather than treat the cancer aggressively, ABC aired it opposite the shocking (and shockingly good) Fox series Wayward Pines which stole all the hot summer night buzz from the alien-themed series.
After a decent ad campaign and pilot that featured an abundance of creepy toddlers (always a good thing), The Whispers tip-toed into obscurity by failing on a number of fronts. First, it wrapped its alien-threat plot line in a wet blanket of recycled human drama, too soapy to take seriously but not soapy enough to become campy fun (see: Wayward Pines). Second, its plot simply wasn’t all that complicated, and, as the series dragged on through its 13-episode order, the plot became increasingly thin. Finally, perhaps the most egregious cancer in the series, the main villain – the mechanically named “Drill” – never took a creepy alien form. It was seen only in infrared images that resembled clouds of gas emanating from the actors or in power sparks and flickers of light, making the audience wonder if ABC was paying the power bills.
The series will be survived by Spielberg, who sneezes higher budgets than The Whispers ever saw, and star Lily Rabe who actually acquitted herself nicely in the series. She will next be seen in Ryan Murphy’s horror anthology series American Horror Story: Hotel as a serial killer. The Whispers also starred Milo Ventimiglia who surprisingly reminded viewers he was still a thing after years ago starring in NBC’s Heroes. Ventimiglia has had a particularly difficult year after appearing in Lifetime’s Grace of Monaco, ironically the highlight of his year.
The Whispers is still available for open-casket viewing at Hulu and ABC.com.