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TELEVISION REVIEW: FTN reviews Intelligence S01E01 ‘Pilot’

January 8th, 2014 by Irwin Fletcher Comments

Intelligence S01E01 Pilot
Starring: Josh Holloway, Meghan Ory and Marg Helgenberger

In Intelligence, Josh Holloway (Sawyer from Lost) plays Gabriel Vaughn, a covert agent with a super-computer in his brain. He is the first human ever to be connected directly into the global information grid, he can hack into any data centre and access key intel, between this ability and the unique technology in his noggin, he is the most valuable asset the U.S. has in their fight against, well, everyone really.

Marg Helgenberger (Catherine Willows from C.S.I. Crime Scene Investigation) plays Lillian Strand, his beleaguered boss and Meghan Ory (Ruby from Once Upon A Time) plays Riley Neal, a Secret Service agent who gets the fun task of trying to keep Gabriel alive in spite of his complete disregard for his own safety. Having a super computer in his head apparently does nothing to quell his action man impulses. The characters at first look, do seem to be clichéd but as things progress they turn out to be much deeper than expected.

Gabriel is of course troubled ,because no one can just be a normal person any more, in his case his wife is missing, apparently on the run following her involvement in a terrorist attack. Seriously there hasn’t been an agent/cop with a normal home life since The Commish!.

As you would expect from a show with this sort of premise, a lot of the pilot was spent filling the audience in on what Gabriel can do and why.

We get to see a major advantage of his super computer abilities are in a cool graphics laden scene where he recreates the attack his wife was involved in, after compiling police reports and videos of the scene. He then wanders the scene pulling up information on the various participants. It’s similar to the clue gathering montages in Sherlock or the crime scene investigations in the Batman: Arkham games.

The reason he is the only one around with this technology is that it exploits a rare genetic mutation, something to do with neurons. Which is a nice way of getting around some of the obvious questions raised by the very existence of this technology;

Later on you discover he can not only pick up wireless signals and bend them to his will but also hook directly into satellite feeds. for tactical advantage in combat.

Basically, if a thing can send or receive any kind of signal at all, he can access it,

What also becomes readily apparent is he is surrounded by a team with individual stories of their own that will naturally come into play as things develop. There’s seems to be the promise of some really good writing lurking in the corners of this thing,

The plot for the pilot seemed a bit predictable, not entirely so, and the details of the predictable bits were executed with some finesse, so I still enjoyed it despite that. The action scenes were quite good, not Banshee good but close enough to make Gabriel’s special forces background believable.

The odd comparison that kept popping into my mind was not with Chuck as I’d expected but in fact with something a lot older and a lot cooler. The Bionic Man. Just as  Steve Rogers was the perfect solution for a cold war situation now we are in era of an information war, the problems that used to require physical solutions now require virtual solutions Gabriel Vaughn seems to be a perfect solution.

The writing is promising, the acting is good, the special effects are well done and the action scenes are smart. I look forward to seeing a bit more of this.

4 out of 5 Nerds


Currently there is no date set for a UK airing of Intelligence, watch this space for updates!

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I'm an LA journalist who really lives for his profession. I have also published work as Jane Doe in various mags and newspapers across the globe. I normally write articles that can cause trouble but now I write for FTN because Nerds are never angry, so I feel safe.