Series / Harsh Realm

Very short-lived TV series created by Chris Carter in 1999 which was so thoroughly Screwed by the Network (FOX), that's hard to believe that Hanlon's Razor really applies. Nine episodes were filmed but only three were originally aired before the show was cancelled.

The story revolved around US soldiers trapped in a virtual reality. There was a lot of conspiracy and paranoia, which is not entirely surprising in a series created by Chris Carter. And of some of the scenarios depicted, such as using the virtual reality to explore the outcome of a terrorist attack on New York City, take on a slightly spooky quality since the events of September 2001.

This show provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: In "The Three Percenters", Hobbes and Pinocchio find refuge in a village whose peaceful inhabitants turn out to be VR zombies, in essence. After they escape, Mel Waters shows up, immediately smells a rat, and destroys the village.
  • Everything Fades: Invoked. One of the things that distinguishes the virtual world from the real one is that dead bodies fade away like in a video game. It's visually impressive, but doesn't make a lot of sense for a simulation supposedly intended to model disaster management for the real world (wouldn't dealing with the dead bodies be a thing you'd need to plan for?).
  • Healing Hands: Florence
  • Naïve Newcomer: Tom Hobbes, although his unshakable faith actually seems to be an advantage.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Hobbes after philosopher Thomas Hobbes, Florence after Florence Nightingale, Omar Santiago after General Omar Bradley.
  • Replacement Love Interest: One of the characters in the virtual reality is a digital replica of the protagonist's fiancée.