--> "The world will have to deal with us." — ''[[MessianicArchetype Jordan Collier]]''
'''''The 4400''''' (pronounced "The Forty-Four Hundred") began as a MiniSeries created for the USANetwork. The MiniSeries aired as six episodes in the summer of 2004, and the show was brought back as a series with a 13-episode season in the summer of 2005, followed by a third 12-episode season in 2006 and a fourth, 13-episode season in 2007. After that, between the writers strike and the very evident signs of TheChrisCarterEffect, the series was not picked up for a new season.
The basic premise is that four thousand, four hundred people from the past century have been abducted, then TouchedByVorlons, and returned to the present day. They have not aged and they do not remember their abductions.
Many of the returnees discover that they have new abilities, such as telekinesis, mind control, clairvoyance, or [[AppliedPhlebotinum unnatural control of phlebotinum]].
The main characters are Homeland Security agents investigating the 4400. A small group of 4400s are regular characters. Episodes combine the MythArc with a "Freak of the Week" (see below).
!!''The 4400'' provides examples of the following tropes:
* AntiHero: Jordan Collier was one of the rarest types imaginable: an AffablyEvil one. The Wrath of Graham illustrates this incredibly well.
* ArtisticLicenseAstronomy: In the pilot the nations of the Earth fire their nuclear weapons at the incoming "comet". Some strike, but do not deter it. Then the object is shown passing the moon. Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles are not designed to be fired into space, and certainly don't have enough power to get to the moon -- a three-day journey with today's technology.
* BadFuture: Pretty much any glimpse of the future thanks to precognition and TimeTravel, in both the short and long term.
* BlackAndGrayMorality: Even the best-intentioned groups are often [[WellIntentionedExtremist Well-Intentioned Extremists]], and those that aren't are not often very effective. Doubly so with [[spoiler:the different factions amongst the abductors, who both have to let horrible things come to pass for their preferred futures, though the evil faction definitely wants the worse outcome]].
** "Powers" have included spreading contagious diseases and other less-than-desirable abilities.
** Danny Farrell gained the ability to spread promicin to anyone who came in contact with him, thereby giving them abilities, which could be seen as awesome. However, due to the nature of promicin, there was a fifty percent chance that he would kill the person instead.
* CaliforniaDoubling: Filmed in Canada.
** Dennis Ryland and Nina Jarvis both disappear after the third season.
** As does Diana's boyfriend Ben in the middle of the fourth. Dang.
** Barely averted with Richard Tyler, who inexplicably vanishes for a while after the third season, but makes a last minute two-episode reappearance near the end of the series. His wife, Lily, also appears for an episode during this time, and despite the character only being projected by another 4400, they got the same actress back, who initially left after her real character died (or the other way around).
* CliffHanger: Which the now-canceled series ''ended on''.
* CoconutSuperpowers: Practically everyone, in fact, it was more unusual to find a character whose power actually involved special FX.
* CuckooNest: Which actually introduced a new LoveInterest.
* DatingCatwoman: [[spoiler:After Tom Baldwin is Marked, Meghan discovers she has literally been sleeping with the enemy.]]
* EpiphanicPrison: Crossed over with OntologicalMystery in one episode. A person has the power to create these for conflicting people so they can learn how to work together.
* ExtraordinarilyEmpoweredGirl: Isabelle.
** Dennis Ryland.
** Also Isabelle, who goes back and forth a couple times before being forced to learn that [[spoiler:RedemptionEqualsDeath]].
* FishOutOfTemporalWater: The title characters.
* AGodAmI: Besides Isabelle, a boy in the first chapter of fourth season goes all the way with this because he gains the ability of making other people think he is a god.
* TheGovernment: NTAC.
* HealingHands: Shawn.
* IdiotBall: Richard Tyler knows an original 4400 with the ability to reverse a person's aging. He tricks this person into returning Isabel to her "true" age. The idiot part is that if he knew of a 4400 that could reverse the aging process, '''why did he not think to bring his dying wife to this person'''?
** This would also be a GameBreaker as making loads of people younger, which includes removing their memories, would have far-reaching consequences on the world. Not that that wasn't the point of the 4400 in the first place, but if more people knew about her Cora would have more visitors than Shawn Farrell!
* IJustWantToBeSpecial: Danny Farrell, Shawn's younger brother. After his older brother gets healing powers, he gets jealous. Eventually, in later seasons, he's one of the first main characters to [[spoiler:take the superpower-granting drug that has a 50% fatality rate. He's given the power to spread the drug to others like a contagion, [[BlessedWithSuck which may kill them]], and [[PowerIncontinence he can't control it]].]] BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor. [[spoiler:Shawn has to reverse his healing powers and MercyKill him after Danny accidentally kills their mother and several other people and can't stop it.]] So there's that.
* ImprobableAge: Thirty-year-old NTAC boss Meghan.
* MagicFromTechnology: Superpowers such as telekinesis are explained with a new neurotransmitter: Promicin.
* TheMainCharactersDoEverything: In season one, you wonder how Tom and Diana have enough time in their lives for Tom to visit his son in the hospital every day and Diana to spend time with Maia.
* MercyKill: Shawn does this when Danny is dying painfully from his ability in the last episode.
* MessianicArchetype / DarkMessiah
** Jordan Collier from season 2 on, though after [[spoiler:his death and resurrection]] he becomes less sleazy and more of a WellIntentionedExtremist, causing many deaths but treated as the biggest threat to the real bad guys.
** Also, Graham Holt. [[spoiler:Jordan did not take this well.]]
* MonsterOfTheWeek: Really a "Freak of the Week," a one-shot returnee whose new ability provides the plot of each episode (although this becomes somewhat less the case as the series progresses).
* MysteriousWaif: Maia.
** The abductors were clearly psychics in regards to how the powers they gave out would be used; they made a serial killer far more effective, so a relative of one of his victims would start killing random innocent members of the 4400 for revenge, which was used to invoke public sympathy for the group. No telling which one's worse: the GambitRoulette or the disregard for innocent lives.
** They sent back a woman whose power was the ability to wipe out an entire town overnight. UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans, right? It's either that, or a horrible future for humanity where billions of people have died. Also, the "TyphoidMary" thing was suggested to be [[spoiler:TheGovernment's fault -- their [[DePower Promicin Inhibitor]] fucked up a lot of people's powers before it started killing them.]]
* OracularUrchin: Maia.
* PlotRelevantAgeUp: Isabelle. Twice.
* RadiationImmuneMutants: Or rather, Promicin Immune Returnees.
* RuleOfDrama: In the pilot, the ACLU steps in and successfully argues that holding the 4400 against their will violates their rights. There's a lot of headscratching that can be done about that, but it is simply a way for the writers to get the 4400 out into the public and to have to try to go back to their lives without the counseling that they would need.
* ShoutOut: The finale scene of the final episodes has "Where Is My Mind" by Music/ThePixies playing.
* StoryBreakerPower: Maia's precognition abilities are powerful enough that she could solve most of the important story plots before they become extremely complicated. Whatever she predicts comes true 100% of the time. [[BigBad The Marked ]]even considered her a significant threat to their plans. Which makes you wonder why other characters don't simply ask Maia to help them solve some of the shows [[FridgeLogic big mysteries]].
** No, as it's clearly stated that Maia can't force herself to have visions, she merely has them whenever they come to her. Keeping her around could be handy, as she is seen interacting with people in close physical proximity more often than other, but there are several sides who want her with them and on their side, plus her adoptive mother and lots of other people won't let her get abused, partly as she's an orphaned, FishOutOfWater child.
** Shawn and Cora also count, as if everyone knew about them and could get to them they would both be flooded by requests of use of their powers on themselves or people they care about, as we see the few times Shawn tries to set up a healing service.
* SuperhumanTransfusion: Isabelle's blood can restore other returnee's abilities from the inhibitor.
* UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans: Jordan Collier's plans to establish a new world order of people with abilities. Considering their methods, this also applies to the abductors of the 4400. Particularly harsh when it comes to the abductors: the ''best'' outcome of their machinations involves [[spoiler:half the human population dying at some point so every survivor can have superpowers, just so that the remaining half of humanity can survive and create a less horrible future]]. The worst (and default) outcome is [[spoiler:everyone but a very small group of well-off and privileged humans dying and the world becoming an ecological nightmare]].
* TouchOfDeath: Shawn, though thankfully he rarely uses it.
** There's that scruffy-bearded guy who's BackFromTheDead... and whose initials are J.C.
* YearInsideHourOutside: Alana's dream-land power works this way.