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Crisis Season 1, Episode 1 Review

Crisis Season 1, Episode 1 Review

Dramas that focus on kidnapping scenarios don’t have the best track record. Just look at last year’s Hostages starring Dylan McDermott and Toni Collette. It had a promising premise, yet after only a few episodes the momentum began to dwindle and the series got lost in its own silliness. Unsurprisingly, it was cancelled after just one season.

Then it was Crisis’ turn to crack the US hostage/conspiracy drama series. Unfortunately, in the time it took for the show to secure a UK airdate, Crisis was also given the cancellation treatment. For those of us who were looking forward to the series though, and still wish to give the stand-alone season a go, Watch channel are airing it on Friday nights at 9PM.
Crisis - Season PilotBased solely on tonight’s pilot episode, the studio execs’ decision to axe the series feels like a shame. While it doesn’t exactly reinvent the genre, the first episode is fast paced and intriguing, building up a premise that could have a lot going for it and creating a number of twists and turns that genuinely surprise.

We’re thrown into the hijacking early on, when a group of teenagers are kidnapped on a school trip. These aren’t ordinary students though; aside from a few ‘normal’ kids, these are the children of powerful, connected and high profile people, including the son of the President. The teenagers are taken to a secure house where it’s made clear that this is a professional inside job.

During the kidnapping, one of the secret service agents charged with protecting the President’s son escapes with a teenager called Anton, whose father is a target due to his tech know-how and security access. After the hostages are obtained, the episode flitters between the kidnapped children as they fear for their lives, the men who are orchestrating the kidnapping, the forces and families on the outside as they set about trying to find the captured, and the agent and boy who are being pursued as they search for safety.
Crisis - Season Pilot
Running parallel to the kidnapping crisis are various sub-plots, which are established early on and form the backbone of the characters’ motives; there are two sisters who have to set aside their differences, a father and daughter with a strained relationship, a girl with a crush on her teacher, and the newbie agent with a lot to prove.

While these dynamics come across as well-worn tropes of the drama series – the estranged father battling for his sullen daughter’s approval is hardly inventive – the episode gradually peels back layers to reveal surprising driving forces for a number of the characters.

It seems like the writer’s main aim with this episode was to throw the viewer off course when trying to figure out who’s behind the kidnapping and what their motives are. Realism may be used sparingly but it’s still intriguing to see the real motivations creep out from behind the false facades initially set out in front of us.
crisis-episode-1-01So after an enjoyable first episode, what exactly did US viewers dislike about the series? With a cast including Gillian Anderson, Dermot Mulroney and Rachael Taylor, there are plenty of decent performances to keep it ticking along. Does the acting or plot get progressively worse as the series develops? Or were the viewing figures just not high enough to warrant spending money on a second season? As with many cancellations, time slots have a lot to do with a series’ success.

We’ll be sticking with the first season to see where it all went wrong. Will you be joining us? Check back at a later date to read our full season review.

★★★

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