Hostages

7.5 / 10
43 min
Drama
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8
" gives "Hostages – Pilot" a 8."
Written by on 1 October 2013.
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Hostages – Pilot

A seemingly quite evening in front of the TV in a typical American suburban neighbourhood. Father, mother, son and daughter are sitting on the couch watching a sports game. The camera zooms out and we see a group of hostage takers with masks surrounding the family. This is a description of what happens within the first minute of the new CBS series called ‘Hostages’. An exciting start, cause we as viewers of course would like to know what’s going on and what will happen next.

The description of ‘Hostages’ is very clear. It’s a series about a doctor whose family is taken hostage the day before she’s about to operate on the president of the United States, Paul Kincaid (James Naughton). The hostage takers only want one thing, the doctor needs to let the president die on the operating table in order to save her family. The female lead, Dr. Ellen Sanders, is played by Toni Collette (‘United States of Tara’). The male lead, is head of the hostage takers Duncan Carlisle, a role played by Dylan McDermott (‘American Horror Story’). Two familiar names which are supported by an equally great cast of other main and support characters.

After the opening scene we’re taken back in time to twelve hours earlier. We get to meet the main characters and see what happened during the day leading up to the hostage situation. Duncan Carlisle turns out to be a FBI agent with a big ego, who’s a single dad since the mother of his daughter is in the hospital in a coma. The Sanders seem to be an ‘all American family’ but as you could’ve predicted, seeing is deceiving. The family members turn out to have some secrets of their own, but one thing is already clear… They’re not as happy as they look.

Father Brian Sanders (Tate Donovan, ‘The O.C.’) tries to protect his wife and kids (Quinn Shephard & Mateus Ward) but is blackmailed eventually into a more ‘laid back’ position after the hostage takers show him some footage of one of his escapades. “We have eyes and ears everywhere. We have thought of everything.” – Is a quote from the show which seems to be very accurate. There’s no escaping this drama. The other hostage takers in addition to Duncan are, Archer (Billy Brown, ‘Dexter’), Sandrine (Sandrine Holt, ‘House of Cards’) and Kramer (Rhys Coiro, ‘24’). Unfortunately, their stories haven’t been told yet so we don’t know that much about them at this point. What we do know is that they have contacts everywhere to pressure the family into doing exactly what they want.

The story of ‘Hostages’ is based on an Israeli series which will premiere there in a couple of weeks. With a name like Jerry Bruckheimer as an executive producer and his production company behind this show my expectations were high. Luckily, the pilot lived up to those expectations! The tension is high throughout the whole episode and the characters are very believable. The story is off to a great start and left me, as a viewer, with lots to look forward to. Who will survive? Will the secrets of the Sanders family members come out and why does such a large group want the president dead anyway?

My only point of concern at this moment is whether or not they can keep up this level of excitement throughout the whole series. The story itself doesn’t seem to be enough to make a whole TV series about, so I’m curious to find out what’s next for all the characters. A lot of questions are still unanswered at this moment, so the next couple of episode should not be that hard to make. How the series will progress after that is what I’m most curious about to see. Will it survive in a country that already has so many good thrilling/action/drama shows on air right now? My first impression of ‘Hostages’ is a very good one at least! I’m looking forward to the next couple of episodes of this exciting series and hope they can keep up this strong level of acting and storytelling.
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