Directors: Oz Scott, John Terlesky & Bill Roe
Starring: Famke Janssen, Ryan Eggold & Tawny Cypress
Synopsis: Covert operative Tom Keen joins forces with Susan “Scottie” Hargrave, the brilliant and cunning chief of a covert mercenary organization that solves problems that are too dangerous for the government.
Rating: 15 Duration: 8 x 43 minute episodes Release date: 9 October (UK)
Some TV shows just aren’t meant to be. Be they a new series or a spin-off to an already established and popular show, one can never predict how far they will go. The Blacklist: Redemption is one such show and suffers from the lack of a certain James Spader. Here, much like the Suicide Squad we have a team of bad guys who are trying to do the right thing and save the day. Save the day they do, but they do so without excitement or charm and give us a show with little to recommend.
Spinning off from The Blacklist we have The Blacklist: Redemption. A snazzy title for sure, and one that will get the attention of anyone who has an interest in the main show. The aim, you would think, is to win over fans of the original series and hope that the brand name will intrigue new viewers too. While it may succeed in the former, it fails spectacularly in the latter. At only eight episodes long, fans should count their blessings while they can. All that was good about The Blacklist is here, but in a condensed almost lite version. It’s like Pepsi Max or Coke Zero, there is a similarity, but things have changed and not for the better.
The fact that James Spader does not fill the screen is a shame, but then again this being a spin-off why would he? The trouble being that not one of the actors here has the charisma or charm of Red and even the combined forces of five good actors cannot muster the same sort of presence provided by Spader. Of course this being a new show, it should be judged on its own merits. So, what do we have to recommend? Well, Famke Janssen is always enjoyable to watch and her Scottie is utilized well as the leader of this team of mercenary’s. Ryan Eggold’s Tom is given plenty to do in each episode and has a nice back story playing out regarding his “deceased” father. The trouble is Eggold is too good-looking and lacks the character development to convince as a skilled assassin who has now gone good. On the other hand, Edi Gathegi provides the necessary snark and sinister charm to succeed in the role and provides many of the shows better moments. Tawny Cypress is largely wasted, while Adrian Martinez is the go to tech guy who does little more than sit behind a desk while the others get on with the manual labour.
It’s not all bad, I must admit. There is a hook placed in the first episode and the mystery of “Whitehall” does intrigue. Also, the action is well paced & convincing and has an edge to it that other prime-time shows sometimes lack. The acting is sufficient and the direction capable, but it simply is not enough and for a show with such pedigree this really does not cut it.
- Deleted and extended scenes
- A New Beginning featurette