You wanted a new heroine? A brunette heroine? We may have one for you.

melissa george huntedGolden-Globe nominee Melissa George stars as Sam Hunter, a private security operative for Byzantium,  in Cinemax’s Hunted. She’s brunette and she kicks ass.

Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files) created the series and will also pen most of season one. So, the first thing you should know is that there is a heap of talent behind this project. (I was too afraid of aliens to ever watch The X-Files, but I still know what a well-run series it was.)

The pilot episode follows Sam Hunter as she and her team from Byzantium rescue a doctor. Later, she is targeted and decides to disappear for a year. She is assumed dead. When she comes back to her company she is paranoid about how may have put a hit out on her life and decides to return to her old job. Her first mission involves gaining intimate access to the family of Jack Turner, who is a criminal and multimillionaire.

I was able to screen this episode early.  My immediate thoughts were of the shallow variety – I think Melissa George really pulls off being a brunette, and I wondered if she draws on her experience from working on Alias for this new role. (You can’t stop an avid Alias fan from constantly mentioning how much they love/miss Alias, sorry!)

While I appreciate USA Network’s ability to bring us a more family-friendly spy with Annie Walker (Piper Perabo) on Covert Affairs, I often complain that Walker comes across as such a soft spy. But there’s no room for that kind of criticism towards George’s Sam Hunter, who is a strong, unyielding spy who is instantly believable as being someone you’d best not cross. She’s not the type of heroine that would have to “accidentally” kill her foe as to still seem likeable, instead she actively fights for her life by being ruthlessly skilled in hand-to-hand combat and making MacGyver-like used of objects in her reach.

It’s easy to side with Hunter, and root for her. Though given plenty of opportunities, she never submits to a victim status. And thus, Sam Hunter is a character I can get behind. Melissa George gives a solid performance as this tough chick with a very real, human (fragile/paranoid) side. Flawed? Of course. But that’s what puts the weight of substantial interest behind her. There’s a hint of rebelliousness behind her wary glances, and therein lies a good story.

George is joined by talent in the form of Stephen Dillane (Game of Thrones), Adam Raymer and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Lost).

The production values on Hunted are high. All in all – it is an atmospheric, suspenseful hour of television. I highly recommend giving it a watch.

A Brief, Spoiler-Free Hunted “Reactions” Recap:

Wait, who’s the bad guy here? Them or them? Or him? Or ALL of them? I trust no one.

Melissa George! So pretty. I want that stylish-yet-disheveled outfit (seen above). POW, blammo. Ow. Well, that can’t be the … oh, no.

Seriously, is that a crinkle silk scarf or what?

This reminds me a bit of Sarah Michelle Gellar 2006 movie The Return. Totally underrated movie, too.

Never trust him! Or him. Or anyone. THIS GOES ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP, probably. It usually does, right?

Right time, right place. Aka totally plotted. But that’s their job. To be plotty.

Sometimes kids are amazing.

Familiar face!

Hunted Trivia:

  • The series was previously called Morton and Nemesis.
  • Gillian Anderson was once slated to play the role of Sam Hunter.
  • Sound stages are not used, instead it is all on-location shots in places like London, Scotland, Morocco and Wales.
  • Similar: Homeland, 24, Alias
  • The Campfire marketing team has created two sites you’ll want to check out that integrate with the show: byzantiumsecurity.com and byzantiumtests.com.
  • There is also a Hunted subreddit.
  • Ben Harris will be a writer for Hunted season 2, which has already been ordered.
  • Season One will have eight episodes.

The series premiered on Thursday, 4 October 2012 on BBC One and will begin on Friday, 19 October 2012 on Cinemax in the US.

Photo Credit: Cinemax

Hunted Review | Hunted Pilot Review | Hunted Reviews

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Follow TV Critic Jessica Rae on Twitter @ThisJessicaRae.



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