I don't know why it's taken me this long to watch the Global Frequency TV pilot, since it's been floating out there on the geek web since mid-2005 after it was abandoned by the CW in 2004. Better late than never, I guess. Response to the leaked pilot was exceptionally positive, I recall, and it seems to have remained one of the most legendary never-ran shows, up there with Heat Vision And Jack.
After a youtube viewing I have to agree. I'm shocked that this show was tanked (after originally receiving a 13 episode order). I haven't read the comics for almost a decade so I wasn't comparing the show to Warren Ellis' series while watching, but reading the first issue again, it is a tonally accurate adaptation, though certainly not a Iiteral one. The pilot takes the first issue and expands upon it to make it 44 solid minutes of new-cinematic quality television, adding an outsider character (played by Cougartown's Josh Hopkins) to the Global Frequency to bring the audience in with him.
The pilot adeptly establishes Miranda Zero (Michelle Forbes, perfect in the role) as the mysterious, genius, well-connected benefactor/commander of the network of volunteer experts, as well effectively shows the Frequency at work as conducted by the snarky Aleph (Aimee Garcia). The episode loosely adopts the first issue's plot of a forgotten Russian experiment, a human weapon from the Cold War whose unconsciously causing a lot of havoc and is close to destroying San Francisco entirely.
There's an X-Files element to the show but the structure of it was more than enough to distinguish itself from likeminded peers. Almost a decade later, the pilot still plays strong (only a quip about the cel phone having a camera struck me as dated) and seems a forebearer to Person of Interest and Fringe.
I realise they are different mediums attempting to achieve different things with their storytelling, but to be honest, I kind of like the TV show structure setup with a regular cast than the ongoing done-in-one setup of the comic. I mean I like the comic and will continue my re-read but despite being late to the party, I'm now lamenting the TV show's sudden end.