Hunted - First Episode Reviewed
Review by Jack Foley
The BBC appears to be going for broke on ambitious new espionage thriller Hunted. But while absurd and entertaining in equal measure, this first episode posed plenty of questions over it’s overall worth.
Melissa George heads a starry ensemble as Sam Hunter, a crack operative for an elite London-based private intelligence and security firm, who narrowly escapes being killed on her latest mission.
Convinced she has been betrayed by someone inside her own organisation, Sam returns to work some months later determined to find out.
Primary among the candidates is her then boyfriend (Adam Rayner), with whom she was newly pregnant. But while he protests his innocence, Sam becomes embroiled in a new mission involving corporate espionage.
Directed with considerable visual panache by SJ Clarkson and boasting a script by X-Files luminary Frank Spotnitz (not to mention co-funding by HBO) Hunted arrives with some impressive credentials.
But while the action is slick and the performances are suitably unreadable (at least at this early stage), there is already the suspicion that this show is attempting to be too clever for it’s own good while also relying on the odd contrivance to spur the story along.
The corporate espionage element, especially, is densely plotted and a potentially frustrating diversion from the main part of the story involving Sam’s betrayer.
That said, episode one laid some solid foundations and did enough to suggest the show will be worth sticking with.
The performances, especially, are good. George is a suitably conflicted heroine and convincing in the action scenes, Rayner is suitably enigmatic and there’s reliable support from Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, as a team member, and Stephen Dillane as Sam’s shadowy boss.
The action, meanwhile, aspires to the cinematic and pretty much delivers the goods, even if it wears its Bourne-like inclinations a little too blatantly (and can’t reach those giddy heights).
Let’s hope it really does deliver on the potential it has so far shown.
- Melissa George interview
- Adam Rayner interview exclusive
- Frank Spotnitz interview
- SJ Clarkson interview