Tru Calling is an American supernatural drama series with sci-fi elements that was shown on the Fox Network from 2003 to 2005. Created by Jon Harmon Feldman, the series was produced byOriginal Film, Oh That Gus!, Inc., and 20th Century Fox Television.
The show starred Eliza Dushku as Tru Davies, a woman who works at the city morgue. In the course of her job, the bodies of dead people start talking to Tru, asking her for help. Tru then finds herself reliving their last day alive, trying to keep their death from happening.
Twenty-six episodes were produced before the series was canceled. Neither Fox nor CH in Canada aired the final episode due to its Christmas theme. The final episode was shown on TV in the United States on January 21, 2008 when it aired as part of a marathon on Sci Fi Channel.
Tru Davies (Eliza Dushku) is a young woman who intended to go to medical school after graduating from college. When her internship with a local hospital falls through, Tru takes an unexpected job with the city morgue. While working there, a dead woman asks for her help and Tru suddenly wakes up to find that the day has restarted and finds herself compelled to stop the death, which may be the result of anything from suicide to murder. In the course of the re-run day, Tru often takes the opportunity to rectify various personal situations involving her family and friends.
Supporting characters in the series include Harrison Davies (Shawn Reaves), Tru's irresponsible younger brother (who becomes a loyal asset to Tru by the end of the first season), and Davis (Zach Galifianakis), her socially-challenged but loyal friend, confidante, and supervisor at the morgue. As the series progresses, it is revealed that several years earlier, Davis had a fateful encounter with Tru's mother (who was, apparently, the last person to receive the "calling" before her daughter).
Supporting characters present in only a portion of the series included: Meredith Davies (Jessica Collins), Tru's older sister; Lindsay Walker (A. J. Cook), her best friend in the first season; Luc Johnston (Matthew Bomer), her love interest in the first season; and Gardez (Benjamin Benitez), her former co-worker at the morgue. The character of Meredith was inexplicably written out of the series in the middle of the first season and never mentioned again. Characters would speak about their family history as though Meredith had never existed.
Jack Harper (Jason Priestley), a counterpart to Tru's character, is introduced midseason as a foil. He is there to make sure fate gets its way and introduces a philosophical aspect to Tru's endeavors: should she be saving the lives of people who may have been intended to die? In the second season, Tru and Jack compete to get to a person first — she to save them and he to restore the order of fate and maintain the balance of the universe as he understands it. It is eventually revealed that Tru's father had played a similarly antagonistic role to Tru's mother, eventually terminating her by hiring a hitman. The series was canceled before Tru or Harrison finds out about their father, though it was revealed that he intended to tell Harrison and attempt to get him on their side.
The final episode contains a number of cliff-hangers: (1) Tru's season two romantic interest, a fellow medical student named Jensen, begins to remember reliving an occurrence he and Tru had together from the negated timeline where he was killed, causing him to obsess over death. (2) Although initially highly antagonistic to Jack, Tru invites him to a Christmas party with her, hinting he may in time become an ally against her father. (3) Carrie, the new psychologist at the morgue, who is revealed as an agent of Jack's working to seduce and subvert Davis, learns the truth about Tru from Davis, Davis is yet to tell Tru he has done so. (4) Jack, talking to Tru's father, hints he is still intent on killing Jensen, despite having failed to seal his fated death in a previous episode.
After the first season finale, FOX almost cancelled the show. They opted to renew it for a second season because ratings in the middle of the first season improved and the show's main competitor, NBC's Friends, was ending. However, FOX cut short the episode order of the second season from 13 to 6 episodes. On the last day of filming the sixth episode, the cast and crew were told that the show had been cancelled. FOX felt that their new series Point Pleasant would work better following The O.C. than Tru Calling (though Point Pleasant itself was cancelled before finishing its 13-episode run).
Initially, FOX had no plans to broadcast the episodes filmed for season two, however negative viewer response convinced them to show the episodes the following year. The sixth and final episode would never air on FOX due to that episode being Christmas-themed and would now not air in line with the Christmas season.
After the cancellation, Doris Egan (one of the show's writers) discussed the series mythology and plans they had had for the future story arc in four consecutive livejournal entries setting the premise of two opposing forces influencing humanity, one (presumably helping Jack) that refuses to interfere and allows humans to evolve at their own pace and the other which wishes to intervene and 'improve' things in a 'revolt against heaven' (presumably helping Tru).
Other plotlines would include Tru's boyfriend Jensen becoming more and more fascinated by death after her narrowly saving his life when he was fated to die. He would eventually become a serial killer and she would be forced to ask Jack for help in killing him to stop his reign of terror. Jack and Tru's father would cite this as justification for them stopping Tru from saving people, that she is messing with pre-destination. Harrison would discover that his father is in league with Jack but is torn in deciding whose side to take given what happened to Tru's boyfriend.
Davis' fake girlfriend Carrie Allen who was arranged by Jack and Richard to divide him from Tru begins to genuinely care for him and a romance develops between them. However he discovers that she really did kill her violent and abusive husband and must decide whether or not to turn her in? He also discovers that Tru's mother was supposed to be her mentor as Richard is to Jack but with her dead he now takes the role. Tru and Jack would find themselves beginning to experience other anomalies in reality allowing for more variations on the standard storyline (as was hinted in the last few eps) including being to be able to take other people with them on the 'rewinds' and explore parallel dimensions.
Jack and Tru would become involved in a bank siege in which Jack and her father use a mysterious journal in order to pick which hostages will die. Afterwards Jack would begin a relationship with a beautiful motorcycle cop he meets during the incident and his feelings for her make him question the morality of his actions and his monk-like solitary existence. The latest corpse to ask for Tru's help is that of her 12 year old half sister. Tru succeeds in saving her and when Jack attempts to stop her he is killed by Tru's father who cannot bear to let his youngest child die, whatever else he believes. The series would end on a cliffhanger with Jack's corpse in the morgue asking Tru to save him.