• Network: FOX
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 20, 2002
  • Season #: 1
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22
  1. Reviewed by: Noel Holston
    Feb 24, 2013
    40
    Who is he? Who-who, who-who? I really want to know. But I don't think I want to sit through four or five episodes, let alone a season or two, to find out. [20 Sept 2002]
  2. Reviewed by: Adam Buckman
    Feb 24, 2013
    88
    If they can maintain that level of intelligence, then John Doe stands a chance of becoming the kind of special series - like "The Fugitive" and "The Prisoner" - that people will talk about for years to come.
  3. Reviewed by: Mike Duffy
    Feb 24, 2013
    50
    Mr. Know-It-All can be rather irritating. [20 Sept 2002]
  4. Reviewed by: Scott D. Pierce
    Feb 24, 2013
    70
    Both intriguing and very iffy. It's all going to depend on how good a job the writers do in making this mystery work over the long haul. If they follow the "X-Files" example of one-step-forward, one-step-back, this could get old quickly. [20 Sept 2002, p.C08]
  5. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Feb 24, 2013
    83
    It's an inventive, affecting and sometimes amusing hour. [20 Sept 2002, p.6C]
  6. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Feb 24, 2013
    75
    Friday's opener is intriguing, but shows such as Doe have a habit of collapsing quickly — usually because the rules governing the hero's behavior bend and stretch to suit the needs of the writers.
  7. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Feb 24, 2013
    70
    When Doe is just exploring the depth and breadth of his great brain - playing a virtuoso rendition of "My Funny Valentine," showing off for a crowd of library patrons - John Doe feels like a show that a lot of people may want to get to know. [19 Sept 2002]
  8. Reviewed by: Staff [Not Credited]
    Feb 24, 2013
    60
    The fun part of this series is watching Doe become aware of his powers and limitations. Purcell supplies all the wonder and charm needed to turn Doe into a fascinating and curious character. [19 Sept 2002]
  9. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Feb 24, 2013
    80
    Watching him color in the lines of his own personality is fascinating. [19 Sept 2002]
  10. Reviewed by: Phil Gallo
    Feb 24, 2013
    70
    It's so stylishly executed, with Mimi Leder's direction, a crisp script and magnetic lead by Dominic Purcell, that the John Doe indeed has a solid identity.
  11. Reviewed by: Amy Amatangelo
    Feb 24, 2013
    50
    Can we please have a moratorium on voice-over narration? This lazy device is being overused to convey what simple dialogue should. In John Doe, the title character's innermost thoughts won't stop. [19 Sept 2002, p.48]
  12. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Feb 24, 2013
    40
    Viewers who don't mind being dragged along for a ride, who are gluttons for punishment ("X-Files" faithful, perhaps), may want to join in John Doe's search. For the rest of us, Doe will remain the personification of an unsolved mystery. [20 Sept 2002, p.40]
  13. 50
    So how come he knows absolutely everything, but some things he doesn't? You're not supposed to ask.
  14. Reviewed by: Tom Shales
    Feb 24, 2013
    60
    Distracting and annoying as some of its bad habits are, "John Doe" is still hauntingly distinctive enough to warrant further investigation. Who knows but that eventually we may even find -- yes, I'm going to say it -- Doe a dear.
  15. Certainly, Dominic Purcell creates quite a presence as this man of mystery. [20 Sept 2002, p.1]
  16. Reviewed by: Phil Rosenthal
    Feb 24, 2013
    88
    The shrewd thing about John Doe is that it uses its fantasy element as an addition, not a substitute for interesting characters and good storytelling. At its heart, this is just a mystery show with a twist. [20 Sept 2002, p.46]
  17. Reviewed by: Hal Boedeker
    Feb 24, 2013
    50
    There were so many paths that Joe Doe could have gone that the chosen route is a disappointment. Prime time has enough crime solvers. John Doe might not know who he is, but what he becomes is all too familiar. [20 Sept 2002, p.E1]
  18. Reviewed by: Howard Rosenberg
    Feb 24, 2013
    90
    Highly arresting. [20 Sept 2002, p.C1]
  19. Reviewed by: Caryn James
    Feb 24, 2013
    80
    As forced as its concept seems, John Doe is alluring because it flows so easily from humor to drama then back again and because Dominic Purcell's smooth performance as John is perfectly in tune with that fluid style. [20 Sept 2002, p.E26]
  20. Reviewed by: Jonathan Storm
    Feb 24, 2013
    30
    An annoying voice constantly explains what he is thinking, things like "What am I?" "Where did I come from?" Surprisingly, he never asks, "What am I doing on this stupid show?" [20 Sept 2002, p.D13]
  21. Reviewed by: Aaron Barnhart
    Feb 24, 2013
    90
    Compelling. [20 Sept 2002, p.E1]
  22. Reviewed by: Steve Johnson
    Feb 24, 2013
    40
    I found the lead's lack of irony or even much anxiety a bore. Just because you don't know who you are doesn't mean you can't be self-aware. [20 Sept 2002, p.C3]

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