“Jake 2.0” provided some competition to “Smallville” in the fall of 2003, on the overlooked UPN channel. But it apparently aired only the first twelve episodes in most markets, I believe; four more were aired in the UK, and the last three were never completed, after CBS/UPN canceled the show, because of ratings. David Greenwalt had been the executive producer.
Christopher Gorham, 29 when the series was filmed, played Jake, a computer technician at the NSA (National Security Agency) who gets “infected” with nanomites accidentally after a minor wound resulting from a shootout with a saboteur.
Jake soon has super-strengths of the Clark Kent variety, including being able to run and jump great distances, and heal quickly. Most of all, he can affect the contents of computer files with technotelepathy, his mind, which would be a dangerous capability. (Indeed, “let the hacking begin.”) The idea somewhat foreshadows a similar idea in J J Abrams in “Revolution” today (to be discussed later).
Jake is also concerned about morality, and the proper use of power, an idea that comes up in a conference scene in a late episode, and that would certainly fit the controversy over the NSA today.
There are episodes including stopping EMP attacks (before the idea was widely discussed) and dirty bombs. There was a humorous episode with a paintball maneuver. In one episode, Jake rescues his immature younger brother, and talks about “loyalty to blood”.
In the episodes that didn’t get aired, Jake had become a target of the NSA.
UPN (CBS) apparently didn’t even try to air all the episodes that had been filmed, replacing it with the silly “America’s Top Model” in January 2004.
I think the series would have done better if aired on a more visible network, and not in competition with “The West Wing.”
The series was filmed in Vancouver, but the Washington DC backdrops were put in seamlessly.