|The heat is on – Reese has to work out who is about to commit a violent crime|
Channel 5: from Tuesday, 14 August, 10pm
5USA: from Wednesday, 15 August, 10pm
Story: A tramp-like drunk on the New York Subway beats up a gang that picks on him. The man refuses to give his name to the cops, but they soon realise he has had special combat training and that his fingerprints put him at the scene of several crimes. Before they can find out more, the tramp is sprung from custody by a reclusive billionaire who he does not know, but who makes him a dangerous offer.
This is a crime thriller of interest, make no mistake. The premise of two very different mavericks using computer/CCTV surveillance to unofficially predict violent crimes in New York is topical and intriguing. The tense action is a bonus.
Jim Caviezel, recently seen in the already forgotten The Prisoner, plays Reese, a former CIA operative now trying to drink himself to death. In police custody after flattening a gang of hoods on the subway, he is released from the cells by a lawyer working for a mysterious billionaire called Mr Finch.
|Reese is convinced by the mysterious Finch|
Reese is suspicious of the limping, weaselly Finch. 'You don't know anything about me,' he tells Finch. 'I know everything about you,' comes the reply.
Finch (Michael Emerson) wants to recruit tough guy Reese to help him stop violent crimes against people that are about to happen. Reese dismisses Finch as a bored rich man.
But Finch really does know all about Reese, and convinces him that assistant DA Diane Hanson (Justified's Natalie Zea) is about to come to harm.
Finch's machine predicts violent crimes
Finch is a software genius who devised a post-9/11, city-wide surveillance 'machine' of CCTV, PCs, phones – 10,000 eyes, a million ears – that collates every individuals' behaviour and flashes up patterns of terrorist activity.
His mistake was to program it to ignore potential criminal activity, and so now he secretly and illegally accesses the system to gain the social security numbers of people who could be in line for violence. Reese is given secret identities as cover and money, his job being to spy on the victims, work out what the danger might be and protect the person in danger.
JJ Abrams and Jonathan Nolan
The drama is packed with possibilities, and the pilot has a strong story about police corruption with a neat twist to it. Reese is an all-action hero whose life was blown off course by the death of the woman he loved, Jessica. He's a no-nonsense hardman who forces a bent detective (Kevin Chapman) to become his mole on the inside of the police department. The characters are fresh and the story hard-edged.
JJ Abrams (co-creator of Lost and Fringe) and Jonathan Nolan (Christopher Nolan's brother, who wrote Memento and co-wrote The Dark Knight) have developed this sharp and intelligent show for CBS in the States. It's already been renewed for a second series.
You don't need Finch's machine to predict busy viewing patterns for this engrossing new drama.