I know I’m behind on getting this out into the ether, and for that I apologize. Last Friday the new Cinemax series called Hunted premiered and my intention was to get this posted immediately. However, that pesky thing called life got in the way and I’m finally able to get to it. If you’ve followed this site at all, you know that Cinemax has done a good job of planting its foot firmly in my TV viewing schedule with Strike Back. Sadly, that show is done until next year and now I find that my Friday nights (aside from Fringe) are left wide open. The marketing machine for Hunted revved up quite some time ago and when it did, of course, I was snookered into learning more about the show. After months of waiting, the pilot episode finally aired. The question I had though was, could the show live up the hype?
The premise is this: Sam Hunter (Melissa George) is an operative for a private British intelligence agency. After one of her missions is completed, an attempt is made on her life. Her boss and team think she’s dead, however, she’s anything but. Hiding out in Scotland for a year, Sam recuperates from her injuries on the DL and takes that time to regain her strength. All the while she gathers information on who could have possibly been behind the hit. Knowing that the time has come, Sam heads back to civilization and shows up at her old office and confronts her boss Rupert Keel (Stephen Dillane). Sam is welcomed back by her old team, one of whom is her former lover (who was also the father of the unborn child she lost when she was shot). Sam’s mission now is to infiltrate the house of the company’s next target and gather necessary information. Sam’s personal mission is to find out who sent in the men to kill her. Was it her boss? Was it her former lover or someone else from the company? No one knows.
Going into Hunted, I figured that I would like it. The fact that is was created by Frank Spotnitz wasn’t lost on me and knowing he’s serving as producer and writer on a couple of episodes cemented the need to watch, mainly because of his work on The X-Files, Millennium, and more recently, Strike Back. I think it goes without saying that his track record has a solid standing with me. There is also the cast to take into consideration. Melissa George from what I’ve seen in the pilot does a decent job of handling Sam. She’s a character with a traumatic, complicated past, who is suspicious of everyone and everything. Conveying the sense of suspicion while making like everything is status quo isn’t easy, and George seems to pull it off for the most part. The angst is rather heavy and I hope that wears off soon. Then there’s the physical aspect, which she’s also able to handle, although those scenes were few and far between. I will say that it’s nice to see her in a role that isn’t evil Lauren Reed from Alias.
As far as the rest of the supporting cast goes, how can you not love seeing Stephen Dillain in something else? He’s Stannis Baratheon for crying out loud. His presence alone screams for you to kneel before him. What really sold it for me though was the inclusion of Adewale Akkinnuoye-Agbaje. I love this guy! He’s been in LOADS of stuff and every time I see him, it makes me happy. Even when he’s playing a bad guy. I’m not familiar with the rest of the cast so I can’t really speak on their previous work. I will say that Adam Rayner (Aidan Marsh) is quite yummy, if a bit underused in the pilot episode.
While this doesn’t fill the void left by Strike Back, it could possibly serve a different purpose altogether. Strike Back is more akin to a game of dodge ball. It’s physical and explosive, but also requires strategy. Hunted seems like it’s more of a chess game. It appears to be calculating and subtle, but with some action thrown in.
I will say that this first episode didn’t have me at hello, like other series have. I’m hoping that the semi stilted dialogue will disappear once we get into the meat of the series and that the action will increase. The second episode should be a more accurate barometer of what’s to come and my fingers are crossed that it will be a show worthy of my Friday nights. I shall not judge too harshly just yet as it’s a bit hard to get a read on a show after only one episode. I’ll stick with it for now and may provide recaps, depending on if it keeps me interested. It looks like the first season runs 8 episodes so it’s an even shorter season than Strike Back. That also means that the show has less time to meander through story-lines. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this weeks episode will kick things off a little quicker.Tags: Adam Rayner, Adewale Akinnuoye Agbaje, Frank Spotnitz, Hunted, Hunted 1.01, Hunted Mort, Hunted recap, Hunted review, Hunted season 1 episode 1, Melissa George, Stephen Dillain