Well, that’s it. Sam Hunter has pouted her last pout. Unless you get to watch obscure US cable channels, in which you might see her again, if even they eventually can be bothered. Either way, a maddening two months has come to an almost-conclusive end with Aidan still not Aidan and syringe man still at large and unexplained.
As far as a series of anti-climaxes go, Episode 8 had them all. A ludicrous 20 year grudge by Jack Turner as being his motivation for buying the Khyber Dam; there must have been a simpler way than that, surely? And then there’s Stephen, who you half expected to kill his bad dad but just… went off. Still, the reveal of Tyrone as Jack’s other son was unexpected, if pointless.
Sam, meanwhile, got unwittingly taken by Goddess Zoe to be offed by Juliet Aubrey and no doubt a dinosaur, only for Deacon Blue to actually do something and shoot her. Well, pretend to. Then Deacon does a speech about a book which has been seen on and off all series but was so obliquely shown that its presence wasn’t intriguing enough. Oh, like Sam’s a snow maiden because she’s really cold and detached. You see now?
I really wanted to like Hunted. But, ultimately it will go down as an expensive misfire (and aren’t Kudos on a massive turkey run right now?) due to a convoluted plot that wasn’t worth all the effort of following in the end, characters and plot threads introduced, forgotten about then introduced again, a washy blue colour scheme, and last but not least characters you were meant to care about but, by close comparison with their predecessors on Spooks’s Grid, had not enough about them to retain interest. Apart from Zoe, of course.
So, if Hunted comes back, what needs to be done?
Standalone stories, backed up by a story arc. The Meera Syal episode was easily the best because it most closely resembled the old Spooks format whilst being its own thing. The regulars were at their most distinctive, too.
Reduce the number of episodes. Six would have been plenty this series; and there wouldn’t have been a need to introduce more contrivances into events.
Let the characters be themselves. The main team were cold and thinly drawn and the token attempts to give them depth cursory. A bit of downtime for them and off-duty interaction would make a world of difference.
Oh, and more Zoe. Of course.
Aired at 9pm on Thursday 22 November 2012 on BBC One.
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