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A man wakes up on an island off the coast of Seattle, unsure of who or where he is, unable to see in color, and with a strange mark on his body. But he knows everything, every single scene of every single movie, the composition of bullets from all sorts of Rare Guns, the full history of Jack the Ripper, etc. He makes friends and solves crimes for the police.
The series was canceled by FOX and ends on a Cliff Hanger revealing PHOENIX to be led by Doe's bartender friend Digger, although the Word of God indicates that it's actually a person who had his face modified to look like Digger.
Not to be confused with another "John Doe" who served in a military unit named FOX, or the serial killer.
Needs Wiki Magic Love quite badly.
- Artistic License Physics: John's science can be a little spotty at times.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: What one has to do in order to gain all of the knowledge John now has. Then you have to "fall back to earth", so to speak.
- Ancient Conspiracy (PHOENIX)
- Awesomeness By Analysis: He doesn't just know everything, he has the ability to apply that knowledge.
- Brain Uploading: A scientist experimenting in this field is killed. At the end, it is revealed that the scientist encoded his mind onto bar codes of several ordinary-looking items.
- Brought Down to Normal: In one episode, a lightning strike causes John Doe to regain his color sight and lose his Encyclopaedic Knowledge of nearly everything. The status quo is restored at the end of the episode by another electric shock.
- California Doubling (Vancouver variant)
- Chewing the Scenery: John can get a little... emotional when angsting about his amnesia and special abilities.
- Death in the Clouds ("Manifest Destiny")
- Do Not Pass Go: Doe confronting a serial killer with all his abilities (living Magical Database, monochromatic vision) after faking his death and appearing behind him to tell him he has been caught. The killer was faking it, by the way.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: (Karen Kawalski)
- Encyclopaedic Knowledge: John Doe knows everything. Well, almost everything.
- Episode on a Plane: With the tagline "How do you solve a mystery at 30,000 feet!?" The answer being, of course, by knowing everything, as usual.
- How Many Fingers?: One of the first signs of John Doe's unusual nature. He responds to the question using medical jargon to explain why the thumb is not technically considered a "finger."
- I Am Who??: John's reaction when someone tries to con him into thinking he's this or that person.
- Instant Expert
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: John's one of the more unique cases.
- Magical Database
- Mr. Smith: "John Doe" is, of course, a placeholder name.
- No Name Given: His name remains unknown (up to the point that the producers of the show never made one).
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist (Justified by the premise)
- Omniglot: Due to his Magical Database nature.
- Put on a Bus: John's girlfriend. The series was cancelled before it became clear whether or not it was a Long Bus Trip.
- Quest for Identity
- Retired Badass: Digger.
- Space Madness: A metal dome in the forest turns out to be a simulated space vessel, in which astronauts have been confined for months to test the mechanisms and psychological hazards of a manned trip to Mars. Initial investigation suggests the crew have killed each other due to Space Madness from prolonged isolation but it turns out their air-circulation system was sabotaged, causing a gas imbalance that impaired their reason.
- Stalker Shrine: The protagonist has one about himself, as he tries to find clues about who he is. Upon discovering it, Karen comments that it looks like a serial killer's shrine.
- The Bartender: Digger.
- Word of God (explaining a lot of things due to cancellation)
Spoiler tropes: (Kept separate to avoid self-fulfilling spoilers.)
- Amnesiac God: John's access to almost all the worlds current collected knowledge pretty much makes him this.
- Death Amnesia: With a twist! John lost the memeory of his past life and gained knowledge about every thing else. After he came back of course.
- First-Episode Resurrection (The main character is the way he is because he was killed and resurrected, under the recollection theory that all knowledge is granted to a person when they die.)
- Fetal Position Rebirth: The pilot episode.