Secret Agent Trio
Maybe I'm old, but I got the distinct impression I'd seen Three before. Hundreds of times, in fact. There's nothing wrong with a formula adventure show; even though every episode of Mission: Impossible is exactly the same, I still watch 'em.
And Three is a formula adventure show, pure and simple, with nothing whatsoever to make it stand out from the pack. Sure, they're "criminals", but they never act like criminals. See, if they were real criminals, and the hacker mentioned that he could wire himself a million dollars (but won't because it would be wrong), they would have stuck a gun in his ear and forced him to do it anyway. That's what criminals DO.
David Warner is, as always, eminently watchable as the shadowy Charlie of this team of not-quite-Angels. The actors are okay, I suppose: they're convincing in their roles, but how hard is that when their roles have no dimension? It must be harder than I think, judging from how many plain bad actors are out there on adventure shows.
The plot of this installement was fair: deranged hacker plots to blow up Denver just because. Three criminals stop him by hacking in, then sneaking into a government base, then attacking the rogue missile with pliers and a blowtorch...yawn. It beats Voyager.
I have a confession to make. Ever since I saw my first episode of Three, I've been hooked. I'm not sure whether it's the cheesy James Bond equipment or The Prisoner-type situation or the hot ex-jewel thief - or the inanity of having a secret government agency which is willing to sacrifice the city of Denver just to protect its own anonymity - but I think this show is a lot of fun. Steve's right about it being derivative, but it also has a sense of humor, plus three very appealing leads and the imposing David Warner as the nameless Man.
It's true that the characters are pretty one-dimensional, with the exception of Amanda who has a dark backstory - I really liked last week's episode, in which the former abused child pretended to be the daughter of a legendary counterfeiter and started care about with him. There's just enough gritty realism in her to balance her stints as the resident sexpot, plus the actress plays her as slouchy and boyish in her off-time, which emphasizes that the miniskirt routine is an act she doesn't buy into. The guys don't have a lot of depth, but they both come across as eminently likeable - not at all convincing as ex-cons because it's too easy to see them as socially responsible citizens.
This episode was actually the dumbest plot I've seen on the series so far, and I had all sorts of questions about what happens to the ecosystem when an ICBM detonates underground, even if it's allegedly been disarmed. Moreover, the idea that nobody informed any legit government agency made the whole story ridiculous for me. Still, I liked the Bill Gates-lookalike psycho hacker with the twisted sense of humor, and I loved the darts made out of animal tranquilizer which the group just happened to figure out how to put together. Very Bond.
Man, Steve, you just HAD to get in a crack about Voyager, didn't you? And they did a nice expensive gadget episode this week, too!
This column was originally written for AnotherUniverse.com.