‘Hunted’: Series 1 Episode 2 review

Posted Filed under

One week in and is Hunted the worthy successor to Spooks that we hoped for? Last week’s opening episode had its moments – the action packed first 20 minutes and moody set-up in Scotland – only to get bogged down in talk for the second half, creating an odd domestic drama and introducing us to bland heroine Sam’s bland colleagues, who are more transparent than the windows of the office block they’re based in.

Part two offers a step up in plotting and tension, and some genuinely exciting action scenes. The problem is Hunted would work better at 45 minutes or even half an hour given the padding that’s stuffed in. The Byzantium ‘operative’ Hassan’s capture and torture takes up a whole hour and gets you screaming “just kill him” whilst Sam inexplicably manages to continually float around the secret lifts, desks and basements of a master criminal’s mansion without being noticed (not to mention effortlessly sneaking in and out of a flat where a brutal murder has just taken place).

The sub plot about Frank’s wimpish son and troubled grandson is largely shoehorning in human interest (though it could end up going somewhere). And what exactly happened to the mysterious ‘Doctor’ who climbed up the stairs of the house looking for someone to inject and who promptly vanished?

Human interest is Hunted’s biggest problem. You simply don’t care about anyone because little background or depth to them is revealed, thus making the Byzantium ‘mole’ subplot lacking in any oomph. It might as well be the office cleaner who’s responsible (though I’m warming to the spunky Scots girl in the team).

Sam herself doesn’t have enough just yet to really engage with, despite the teasing reveals of her mother’s brutal execution and her military background, and Melissa George just pouts her way through it all, except for when she’s doing the action bits at which Hunted really excels. Sam’s bone crunching fight with the bulky killer under the canal bridge and the ugly despatch of Hassan are terrific (and Hunted definitely doesn’t hold back on the gore).

Other positives are that the plot – involving a briefcase and a dam in Pakistan – is starting to gain some traction, and we’re keen to see where it goes. But overall Hunted is starting to remind us of ITV1’s The Fixer; a great premise that spends more time with dull people indoors than it does moving briskly along.

Aired at 9pm on Thursday 11th October 2012 on BBC One.

> Order Series 1 on DVD on Amazon.

What did you think of the episode? Let us know below…