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'Prey': Two 3-Hour Dramas that Will Recall 'The Fugitive'
February 25, 2016  | By David Hinckley  | 2 comments
 

The Brits love a crisp, concise police drama, and BBC America’s Prey provides precisely that.  

This crime/mystery/action story, which has already aired in the U.K., launches stateside at 10 p.m. Thursday ET. It’s really a pair of back-to-back miniseries, six episodes divided into two dramas running three hours apiece.

The connecting thread between the two is Detective Sergeant Susan Reinhardt (Rosie Cavaliero, right), a cop with, naturally, some problems.

That includes a divorce, compounded by Susan’s inability to let it go even after her ex remarries. She maintains an unhealthy interest in him and his new wife, happily mitigated by the fact she recognizes she has a problem.

To sidestep it she throws herself into the job, where two major cases happen to be waiting. She thinks that’s a blessing until she gets into them and finds what they will entail.

The first opens with a police van overturning, liberating the prisoners in the back. A man in a prison outfit helps someone else, then dashes away and escapes.

Turns out the man is Reinhardt’s friend and colleague Marcus Farrow (John Simm), a detective sergeant who has been charged with the murder of his estranged wife and his son.

We know he’s innocent, and we can also see the vague outline of how he was framed by a gangster he had been pursuing.

Reinhardt’s mission is to track Farrow down and bring him back. (Simm, right.) Farrow’s mission is to stay in the wind until he can nail the real killer.

Anyone who remembers The Fugitive may now raise his or her hand because yes, the premise is as familiar as it sounds.

Happily, Prey creates its own set of details. Farrow still has friends at the stationhouse who help him just enough so he can pursue the bad guys while staying one step ahead of Reinhardt’s posse.

In his evasive maneuvering he has no shortage of close calls, and he requires remarkable strokes of luck at several key junctures. Considering he’s been falsely accused of murder, perhaps the luck is no more than he deserves, but viewers after a while may wonder how long it will be before he starts shape-shifting.

On the other hand, his escapes also ensure that the pace feels quick and the tension stays high, letting Cavaliero and Simm fill in the human side of their characters.

Cavaliero conveys both the weariness and the determination that Reinhardt needs to thread a needle of her own. She doesn’t want to deprive an innocent colleague of his only chance to acquit himself, yet on the other hand he’s breaking the law and her job is to bring him in.

Farrow comes across as a decent cop and also an Everyman. He has no superpowers. He just needs time that he doesn’t have.

In Prey’s second story, Reinhardt again finds herself hunting a lawman gone rogue.

This time it’s prison officer David Murdoch (Philip Glenister, right), who has become tangled against his will in a plot to bust some inmates loose.

The problem: The plotters are holding his daughter.

Once again, then, both Reinhardt and her target have needles to thread, and once again the three-hour drama maintains an engaging level of tension as we head toward an uncertain outcome.

Both parts of Prey could be seen as movies with two intermissions. That’s a compliment.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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2 Comments
 
 
Angela
I was feeling less than optimistic about the premise of Prey's first set of shows only to be totally engaged and loving it by the end of the first episode. There's something strikingly honest and real about the characters that won me over quick. Never-mind it being an instant attention grabber. And don't worry about it being a Fugitive repeat because to me it feels like something completely different. It's also online at BBC America for those who may have missed any of the episodes like I did. It instantly grabbed my attention.
Mar 5, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Eileen Deerdock
Unfortunately, BBC America is broadcasting only 1 episode at a time!! :(
Feb 26, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
 
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