Review: Hostages (Series 1, Episode 1)

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Hostages is an American show based on an Israeli series of the same name. Starring Toni Collette (Little Miss Sunshine) and Dylan McDermott (American Horror Story), this thriller takes over the 9pm slot of Channel 4 until the return of Homeland. This episode of Hostages is written by Jeffrey Nachmanoff who in fact directed the first and ninth episode of Homeland season one and wrote The Day After Tomorrow. The first season of this show recently began on the 23rd September 2013 ended on the 6th January 2014 on CBS in the USA.

Toni Collette plays Dr. Ellen Sanders, a surgeon at a major hospital in Washington DC and the President’s first choice for an operation scheduled for the day after the events of the first episode. Dylan McDermott plays the rogue FBI agent who leads a team that takes Dr. Sanders’ family hostage, forcing her to either kill the president during surgery or watch her family die. To make things more complicated, most of her family are keeping important aspects of their personal lives a secret to her.

Toni Collette as Dr. Ellen Sanders (left) and James Naughton as President Paul Kincaid (right).

Toni Collette as Dr. Ellen Sanders (left) and James Naughton as President Paul Kincaid (right).

The pilot is written in such a way that the true intentions of most of the characters are only teased and hinted at which only helps the maintenance of tension. This show would appeal to anyone interested in exploring the psychological ways in which hostages may interact with their captors, especially if the hostages were in compromising positions. It is clear that the captors are going to be more interesting than the hostages themselves, especially Agent Carlisle, whose reason for taking this family hostage are still kept under wraps. As is mentioned, there seems to be some kind of conspiracy going on which might soon be revealed.

Dylan McDermott as Agent Carlisle

Dylan McDermott as Agent Carlisle

Although some parts of the premise seems to be a little contrived (the president parading his surgeon on national television on the day before his surgery), it is still enjoyable. You will find yourself considering what you might do in that situation, which may divide the room as the episode plays out. Any fan of political conspiracy shows such as 24 would have no problem enjoying this episode. The premier of this show is definitely good enough to consider watching the rest of the season.

Rating: 7.5/10

Hostages airs every Saturday at 9pm on Channel 4.

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