Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Nikita, Season 1 (2010)

The organisation known as "Division" is an off-the-books black ops operation founded by the US government to perform the tasks that public agencies such as the CIA cannot.  Unfortunately the man in charge of Division has turned the organisation into his own private mercenary force.  He claims this is because the government shorts him on funding; the government in turn overlooks his freelance work because he still completes the missions they have for him; and because he has a series of 'black boxes' tucked away which contain all the dirty secrets they're trying to hide.  Anything happens to him, everybody suffers.

Nikita Mears was one of Division's finest agents.  However, the organisation's growing corruption eventually turned her against it and she has now gone rogue.  Her plan: find and destroy the "black  boxes" so that Division and its corrupt leader can be safely neutralised.

Of course, that's a huge task for one person, even when that person is a highly-trained and motivated James Bond type.  So it's a good thing that not everyone inside Division is quite as loyal to the organisation as they appear to be.  But even so, can Nikita and her small band of allies really hope to take on the powerful agency?  Well this is a TV show, so the answer is "of course they can".

This is the second TV series to be developed from the French film La Femme Nikita.  It's a mostly fun ride in this opening season, with entertaining characters, solid acting, excellent action choreography, and plenty of narrative twists and turns.  Said twists and turns actually get a bit over the top in the last two episodes of the season, to be honest.  It's clear that the status quo will be quite different in season two - many characters will now have different alliances and agendas - and an awful lot of the necessary plot points get hammered through in the last eighty minutes of the season.

That plot-compression issue aside, however, Nikita is an entertaining action-thriller TV show.  If you fancy watching improbably gorgeous people engage in high tech action skulduggery, it's got you covered.

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