Wednesday, 23 May 2012

TV/DVD: NIKITA -the complete first season (2010)

Looking for a good time, sweetie? Try Nikita which might be the best action thriller TV series ever. Or it might not. But it is pretty good. What makes it outstanding, however, is Maggie Q in the title role.

I first came across MQ in Naked Weapon, an entertaining Hong Kong thriller and assumed she was just another HK starlet and that the Q stood for something unpronounceable to a Western tongue. Which was completely wrong. Quigly (dad American of Irish/Polish descent, mother VietNamese) is quite pronounceable. Taken under the wing of Jackie Chan, the hard working Q became highly proficient in faking martial arts moves. Several film and tv shows later, she'd also developed into a more than competent actress who now reminds me of (and I can't give any higher praise) a young Michelle Yeoh. She's also a vegetarian, active supporter of PETA, and owns three rescued dogs which ticks all my boxes.

On to the show. First the back story: Super secret agency Division, theoretically part of the US government, goes its own way under the directorship of the ruthless Percy. It recruits older teenagers to be agents and eliminates them if they don't make the grade. When they murdered top agent Nikita's teacher boyfriend, she went rogue and vowed to bring them down.

The set up. Nikita has recruited Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca) to infiltrate Division and pass information on to her so she can screw up their missions. Alex has her own secrets which are gradually revealed as the series progresses. Nikita is hunted by Michael (Shane Ward) who trained her but, even though they are enemies, they share an intense attraction. Two other major supporting characters working for Division are a computer geek with the hots for Nikita and Division's beautiful bitch counselor and information extractor. As the series progresses, Nikita finds other allies to help her. Not everyone survives and twist piles on twist by the season's end.

While it is a sort of mission of the week show, there is a lot of continuity with the characters and what happens to them. Alex develops from new recruit to full agent, undergoing many changes in the process. Not everything goes well for Nikita who is revealed to be more vulnerable, physically and emotionally than at first thought and Maggie Q is just terrific and completely believable. Not that the other actors are bad. Far from it as the acting is of a very high standard indeed from the principal players, particularly Xander Harris as the devious manipulative boss Percy. It's also good in all the technical departments and the action scenes are great.

Season 2 is out on DVD in September (can't wait) and a third season is already shooting. One of the producers said that they had about 4-5 seasons worth of story arcs. Looks like they'll get them too. Great stuff.
Nikita & Michael
Q & Fonseca

Captured by Division

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