Culture, TV

Review: Hunted, BBC TV

Melissa George in Hunted, BBC1Melissa George pouts and punches in BBC1’s identi-kit spy-drama Hunted.

“Sam Hunter, is a spy, a hunter who now finds herself hunted by a ruthless hidden enemy. Trapped in an intricate web of suspense and paranoia, she must discover who wants her dead by confronting her past.

Prologue to Episode One: over-excited production meeting in BBC HQ:

“We need another Spooks. Bond is out again soon. And Bourne. We need a spy show.”

“But not Spooks. We did that.”

“So what? It was a hit. Do it again.”

“Like Bourne. Only cheaper.”

“What we need is a female Bourne.”

“Yes! Petite, pretty, feisty -”

“Oh no, not feisty again – “

“A real kick-ass chick.”

“But vulnerable!”

“And she’s got to have behavioural problems. Quirks.”

“OCD – ”

“And a dark past.”

“Childhood issues.”

“Motherhood issues.”

“Trust issues.”

“It’s a bloody spy show, of course she’s got trust issues. No one can trust anyone. Ever.”

“Something like Spooks. Moody. Edgy. Dark – ”

“- Ludicrous – ”


“What do we call her?”

“A good macho name – Sam!”

“And she’s hunted, but she has to find out by who – ”

“Sam Hunter!”

“Is that very likely?”

Magnum, PI?”

“Point taken.”

“Liam Neeson!


Taken. We can do something like that. Abroad.”

“We’ll need some flashy high-tech sets – ”

“With moody lighting.”

“And trashy decrepit sets – ”

“With moody lighting.”

“And some whizzy high-tech hacking gadgets.”

“Art department can make something up.”

“Something real?”

“Don’t be silly.”

“Some shifty foreigners…”

“And a bit of violence to liven things up when the script gets dull.”

“Why will it get dull?”

“Stephen Dillane is in it as her boss.”

“He’s good…”

“But dull.”

“Make sure everyone else in it is ridiculously pretty.”

“Include a black actor for no reason.”

“And we need a villain.”

“Patrick Malahide’s available.”

“Good. Make sure the violence is really bloody. She’s got to beat up the stunt guys, like that Gina What’s name…”

“Carano. Or Mila Jovovich.”


Kill Bill!”

“Yes, yes -”

“And she’s pregnant.”

“She gets shot. She has to be in pain.”

“And have PTSD. With flashbacks. Lots of flash-backs.”

“And go away to recover. Run up mountains in Scotland.”

“And come back again.”

“Like Bourne?”

“With a bra.


Photo: Melissa George in Hunted – BBC Press Office.

Related: The Shadow Line, BBC TV

About Robin Catling

Robin Catling gained degrees in both arts and technology which led to a diverse portfolio of employment. A freelance systems analyst, project manager and business change manager for the likes of American Express, British Airways and IBM, he moved on to web design, journalism and technical authoring. He has also worked in film and television, both behind and in front of the camera, including productions by Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorcese, Ron Howard and Ridley Scott. A qualified three-weapon coach, he runs West Devon Swords teaching sports fencing to all age groups, and in recent years qualified with the British Federation of Historical Swordplay to teach medieval and renaissance combat in the Historical Western Martial Arts.


47 thoughts on “Review: Hunted, BBC TV

  1. It’s actually a great drama shaping up, who cares if it’s Bond-lite.

    Posted by Berezny Berens | Oct 13, 2012, 9:37 pm
    • I have watched all eight episodes expecting all to be revealed in the last episode.So why did I not find out
      1– who was the person with half a finger missing.
      2-the syringe guy where did he fit in-no explanation
      3-What was in the locker that Sam had the key for
      4-Why was the Mother murdered-no clarity whatsoever
      5-suddenly Sam has a baby or does shwhat a pregnacy as Sam is battered ,poisoned ,shot drowned while pregnant ,yet she must have been at least six months pregnant, but nothing showed then a month later this baby appears.
      ,What a frustating finish.

      I thought perhaps all these would be reveald in a second series.No second series so we will never know unless thwe writers explain online.

      Posted by ERIC SILVER | Nov 24, 2012, 5:20 pm
      • I agree with all of the above…i thought she hadn’t really lost the baby but just let someone else care for it whilst she did her mission….
        Please can we have a second series to answer these questions?

        Posted by Sarah Porter | Nov 26, 2012, 2:19 pm
      • Could not agree more – such a disappointment

        Posted by Michelle | Nov 26, 2012, 2:44 pm
      • I agree – very disappointing ending. More holes than a leaky sieve and hanging threads than a cheap cardi.

        Posted by Sarah Crooks | Nov 29, 2012, 12:43 pm
    • Thanks Eric – I thought it was just me that had missed something!

      Posted by Ian | Nov 28, 2012, 12:21 pm
    • Have finally got round to watching all 8 recorded episodes (wanted to watch the end of Homelands before getting involved with Hunted) – couldn’t agree more with Eric Silver. SO disappointed to not have the answers to the questions posed throughout the series but would like to also add – wasn’t it quite ridiculous that the extremely wealthy Turner’s super-posh, secure residence was overlooked by a junkie who, apparently, saw the death of the wife then the poisoning of Sam!

      Posted by Patricia Martin | Jan 10, 2013, 9:14 pm
      • Patricia: Rehab Girl was yet another plot thread that didn’t go anywhere – except to show just how villainous Old Man Turner had been in the (predictable) killing of his daughter-in-law. I think we got that already. Still, an extra layer of Rear Window probably looked like a good idea in the script meeting! RC

        Posted by Robin Catling | Jan 11, 2013, 1:21 am
  2. good post. thank for sharing.

    Posted by Celina 2B | Oct 14, 2012, 3:59 pm
  3. How did the father of the boy get Sam’s mobile number to make the initial contact after the set-up rescue ?
    Looks like an enormous hole in the stoy line to me.

    Posted by david clennett | Oct 14, 2012, 7:28 pm
  4. I so wanted to like this programme and I’ve really really tried very hard (I am still pining for Spooks) but there is no comparison – this is absolutely dreadful – boring and monotonous with characters that have no personality at all, I don’t care for a single one – the central female just pouts and sulks all the way through with no real justification for the terrible plot, the director seems obsessed with the black and white tiled floor in that ridiculous house, honestly if I see one more person walk up and down that staircase i won’t be responsible for my actions – I beg you – please please please do not commission a second series!

    Posted by julied | Oct 26, 2012, 1:13 pm
    • Caught the latest episode with its Mission Improbable break-in caper. All shot at night, very expensive in production terms. Every shot seems to have St Pauls or the Shard in the background. Yet all quite ludicrous and unengaging.

      Meanwhile you know its all going wrong when Indira Varma turned up (never a good sign, evidently her attempt to get famous in America in Human Target failed) and the Irishman appeared doing a turn as a downbeat George Smiley figure in a dowdy 70’s office at MI5.

      Teasing us with halucinogenic flashbacks of Sam’s childhood abduction is getting quite tedious. Sigh. RC

      Posted by Robin Catling | Oct 27, 2012, 1:21 am
  5. Bring back SPOOKS !!!! ASAP

    Posted by Timothy Pryke | Nov 3, 2012, 6:11 pm
  6. Love it! Caught on to this late on I player – where have I been? Finally caught up watched all back issues and now can’t wait for episode 8. Ok a few holes in logic and reality but which film hasn’t. Love Sam, impressed with Deacon and even Jack Turner. Blank look man is creepy. Very well done everyone.

    Posted by Mr Jay | Nov 16, 2012, 11:31 pm
  7. Frank Spotnitz should be ashamed of himself. This series should be credited to the great American J.J.Abrams as this whole thing is a British version of Alias replaced by a new girl but the story is exactly the same. Wait a minute, the girl has not been replaced. I remember now, Melissa George played a nobody in Alias when Jennifer Garner was the star of the show and rightly so.

    Posted by Sarah | Nov 22, 2012, 10:25 am
  8. Ok we are all confused now…

    Posted by Daren Beaney | Nov 22, 2012, 10:09 pm
    • Confident finish to the series; full of set-ups for season 2 to continue.

      I lost interest when the principal villains turned out to be the Illuminati… Masons… blokes in grey suits. Whatever.

      Posted by Robin Catling | Nov 23, 2012, 1:28 am
      • Apparently season 2 has been axed already due to the fall in viewings.

        Posted by Daren Beaney | Nov 23, 2012, 7:23 am
  9. after watching for 8 weeks i had hoped for a better explanation..can anyone tell me what exactly went on when she was a child in that stable……………

    Posted by judith plows | Nov 22, 2012, 10:20 pm
  10. I wonder if everyone thinks it’s such a good programme now the final episode has just been shown? Waste of time, waste of effort and waste of licence payer’s hard earned dosh.

    Posted by Mary | Nov 22, 2012, 10:35 pm
  11. Briliantt show. Kept me wating for Thursday to come rounf faster! Please do a second series we want more

    Posted by Eve | Nov 22, 2012, 11:11 pm
  12. Best spy drama ever, bring on season 2.

    Posted by Vesna | Nov 22, 2012, 11:41 pm
  13. Really enjoyed the series but I am sooooo confused with the ending “Help”

    Posted by Davey | Nov 23, 2012, 11:10 am
    • SPOILER ALERT!!: Davey: Keel and Deacon set up the fake assassination between them – if Sam dies in public then the real assassins think she’s dead and Sam can go back to Scotland to reunite with the baby she had all along.

      I still have no idea what all the flashback childhood trauma *BS* is about, I suspect the writers hadn’t bothered to work it out either; Sam’s quest for Season 2 would have been searching for the 4-fingered man (like the one-armed man in The Fugitive, only cheaper). It’s all a bit JJ Abrams/Tim Kring ‘make it up as you go along.’

      Posted by Robin Catling | Nov 23, 2012, 11:34 am
      • Thanks Robin. Thought I must have missed something. Its a great pity season 2 has been scrubbed (If it has)

        Posted by Davey | Nov 23, 2012, 4:26 pm
      • I agree , she was shot with a high powered rifle and one month later running on thr moor, some recovery.
        Flash backs were annoying ,one expected some explanation . spoilt the whole show for me

        Posted by james cooper | Nov 23, 2012, 6:28 pm
      • I thought she had been shot with a paint ball gun, but very confused about the Asian guy with the hyperdermic, and the fingerless man, did he save her when she was a child, otherwise how did the young Sam escape?

        Posted by Lynda King | Nov 24, 2012, 11:40 am
      • The child was to young to be the one that Sam was to have lost.

        Posted by Jay | Nov 24, 2012, 11:17 pm
      • Hm. Sam was away for a year, wasn’t showing a bump so maybe no more than 3months down, plus 6 to birth, makes the baby 3 months old when she goes back to Byzantium. About right. Still crackers. RC

        Posted by Robin Catling | Nov 27, 2012, 10:13 pm
      • thanks that makes things a bit clearer shame no 2nd series that might have helped

        Posted by Rosalyn Orchard | Nov 27, 2012, 9:50 am
  14. really rate Hunted, please make a second series. Well contsructed and better than a lot of what eles is on on a thursday night.

    Posted by Rosemary | Nov 23, 2012, 9:30 pm
  15. Too slow and too damn monochromatic – who do I see about getting a refund on our colour TV licence?

    Posted by Tim A-C | Nov 24, 2012, 4:44 pm
  16. Fantastic……….more please

    Posted by n clark | Nov 25, 2012, 6:36 pm
  17. i love it! so so so so sooo good! who can’t love a bit of drama and puzzles!

    Posted by Rosalind | Nov 25, 2012, 9:46 pm
  18. Hunted was a brilliant series, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Although I agree indontnquite get the whole baby thing at the end and I still don’t understand why Sam is wanted dead.mi really hope you make a series 2 and more, best drama I have ever seen

    Posted by Lucie | Nov 26, 2012, 11:05 pm
  19. You need to do a U turn Beeb. The Americans are going for a second series they have got it right. The first series always is a character builder and lays the way for more. Spooks also was slow in getting going. They had to push a girl in a deep fat fryer for shock tactics. This was the only thing worth the licence fee unlike the other mind numbing reality tv and repeats you are pedalling at the moment. Compromise and push it onto BBC 3 or 4. Crikey have you actually watched The Killing now in its 3rd series?? and this is in Danish!!

    Posted by Mike | Nov 30, 2012, 7:54 pm
  20. Thanks like your Review: Hunted, BBC TV Everything Express

    Posted by Wahington | Dec 6, 2012, 12:09 pm
  21. Please just bring the show back.

    Posted by Rosemary | Dec 21, 2012, 12:11 am
  22. LOVE this show!! Episode 8 is on tomorrow night – CAN’T WAIT!!! (Australia – SBS)

    Posted by Jo | Jan 11, 2013, 4:51 am
  23. I found this website very funny and I just wanna say thanks.

    Posted by Maragni | Jan 13, 2013, 12:16 am
  24. “Review: Hunted, BBC TV Everything Express” was actually entertaining and beneficial!
    In modern universe honestly, that is tough to carry out.
    Thx, Bryan

    Posted by | Jan 25, 2013, 4:25 am


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