Agent X: TNT Sends Secret Agent Series to the Bench

TNT have axed a number of shows, two new and one that had returned with a drastically changed premise and cast. The secret agent series Agent X has been sent to the bench along with Public Morals, another new series.

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TNT have axed a number of shows, two new and one that had returned with a drastically changed premise and cast.  The secret agent series Agent X has been sent to the bench along with Public Morals, another new series. Legends, which had returned with Sean Bean as the “solo” actor to return from season one (apart from Morris Chestnut as FBI agent Tony Rice), has also been sent off the field.

Out of the three who have been cancelled, only Legends was no real surprise. While the first season squeaked into a second chance, the premise of a deep cover agent who had real identity problems could have worked, but not after taking out so much of the cast. Bean is an excellent actor but the chemistry between he and Ali Larter and Tina Majorino worked well, their removal felt like a coup of sorts instead of a re-imaging of the show’s plot line.

Public Morals was entertaining in a niche sort of way, Irish cops and a time when the beat meant taking bribes and under the table payments to look the other way. Criminals were handled and tolerated in this show and it could have been interesting to see how things were going to turn out.

Of the shows relegated into anonymity  Agent X showed the most promise, despite a rather tepid performance by figurehead star Sharon Stone. Jeff Hephner gave a performance that entertained even then the show’s writers left his character to stumble. Part of the problem had to do with  the show wanting to run before it could walk.

Time spent allowing the character of John Case to develop was minimal, instead plot devices were used to endanger the character before the audience ever really cared. Stone, as the vice president underplayed her role so much that she could have been sleepwalking. Gerald McRaney was good value, as was Olga Fonda, but this was not enough to guarantee a huge audience.

Sadly, the two characters with the best chemistry, Fonda and Hephner, were not paired up enough. Granted the inclusion of Andrew Howard, who was eliminated over on Agents of SHIELD,  turning up as “Bond-ian” villain Volker/Ray Palmer, was a nice touch but once again the audience was expected to really care whether Case won over his old colleague.

The shooting of President Eckhart (John Shea) also did not really accomplish much apart from allowing Stone to awaken from her slumber a second time. (The first being in an earlier episode where the actress got a little action in with a sidearm.) Of course the plot line relied upon a conspiracy to kill the president, but sadly, we never saw enough of Eckhart to like him, let alone care that he had been shot.

In the previous episode, it is revealed that not only Eckhart, but Millar (McRaney) as well, are not very nice people. This revelation means that the near-death of the president is even less bothersome than perhaps the creators had hoped for.

Agent X had the best viewing figures, but apparently not high enough to keep the show going.  It seems that “action” genre shows are not meant to be in 2015. NBC cancelled their slow starter The Player (which incidentally also had a film star figurehead, Wesley Snipes; who “got it” a lot faster than Stone) right after it settled into a decent pace and gave us more interesting characters.

Perhaps the demographic aimed at by TNT and NBC do not want action.  Something must be keeping the viewing figures down, each show, Agent X and The Player, and Legends to a degree, had impressive fight scenes, stunts and car chases.  It could well be that with insanely paced action films like Furious 7 and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation on offer, small screen versions just cannot keep up.

With the Internet and On Demand streaming, Netflix, Hulu and a plethora of other channels and websites  competing with television , it looks like the networks need to “up their game.”  That said, there also appears to be no real bench mark to aim for. Shows like Quantico (Miss World and Mr Universe put on FBI badges)  and Blindspot (which is basically “let’s solve a tattoo a week”  show) have fared quite well.

Still, Agent X will be missed, as will Sean Bean and those Irish cops in Public Morals. There was enough diversity in each show that the series offered something in the area of entertainment.  Things have changed in the viewing stakes, there are other shows with viewing figures comparable to Agent X‘s 1.7 million per episode. While these numbers are not overly impressive, they are more the norm for viewer figures across the board.

In the meantime TNT have, apparently, allowed Agent X the luxury of finishing out its only  season. Unfortunately it is difficult to watch a “deadman walking” series and drum up any enthusiasm.  Ironically, Sunday’s episode, Angels and Demons, brought back Olga Fonda but sadly it is a case of too little too late.  RIP Agent X and John Case.

Sean Bean: Legends Season Two is a One Man Show

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So Sean Bean has returned as Martin Odum, John Cameron, Dimitry Petrovich, et al. Legends, on TNT in season two is a one man show.  Gone is Ali Larter and the rest of the FBI team and all that remains is Tony Rice (Morris Chestnut) who is, according to press releases a “recurring” presence.

The show premieres officially on November 2, with The Legend of Dimitry Petrovich. The season opener sports a voice over by Bean where he brings viewers up to speed on what is going on in his fractured world.  The action this time around takes place outside the borders of the US and begin in London, for “present day” Odum.

The episode starts in Prague, 2001. Where Odum is portraying Petrovich, a particularly nasty bit of work who has blown into town and already inserted himself into the local mob family.

In present day London Martin has a one night stand  and meets the young lady’s former lover, a bent copper,  who tries arrest Odum as he leaves the woman’s flat.

He resists arrest and does so in front of a CCTV camera and as a result enters the law enforcement system as a bolo. Now “Odum” has to avoid the police while trying to remember who he is out of all the legends he has lived.

The season two premiere does a considerable amount of jumping back and forth, not just in time but locations change as well. Prague, London and an boarding school called The Sedley School where a young Odum reveals he  may have a photographic memory.

It is investing to note that Bean’s adult Martin sports a rather calmed down Yorkshire accent even though, according to the flashback, his younger self did not. Since most boarding schools in England require quite  a bit of money to attend, it can be taken for granted that the youngster came from money.

Ergo, the accent would have been that of English toff versus Yorkshire “bit of rough.” That said,  with Odum’s background and the amount of Legends that the character has gone through, it is not surprising that his adult accent has changed.

Taking away the expository scene set in the boarding school, which shows not only a remarkable memory, but a rebellious streak, “David  Bowie the First,” leaves the jumps between Prague and London.  FBI agent Ballard features in scenes that take place in both America (Washington DC) and Prague and the man has definite issues with Matin Odum, aka Dimitry Petrovich who must have been responsible for removing a limb from the agent in Prague.

In terms of moving the story forward, it makes a huge amount of sense for Odum to head to Europe and England.  Placing season two in a more global setting and moving away from the US also gives the series a better chance at longevity.

Legends continues to entertain, the scene set at the posh boarding school (which could conceivably not be a boarding school, but as it appears to be a boys only establishment the odds are it is) where the headmaster/history instructor asks “who am I” is an excellent nod to the adult Odum’s predicament.

Bean’s character still has no idea who is he or what his origins are. Just as last season, he is a tortured and lost individual.  The scene where Odum meets with Graves, who suffers from Alzheimer’s, and for the merest moment thinks he is the old man’s son, is revealing and touching. These are the scenes that reveal a vulnerability that is a clear juxtaposition to the man’s violent expertise and ability to totally  immerse himself into another person’s life.

Harking back to the school scene once more, it is this astonishing feat of memory that obviously allows Odum to easily and automatically assume new legends as required.  With total and absolute recall, the lie must become real, so much so that the real man was lost long ago.

Herein lies the allure of the series and despite the loss of all those familiar faces from season one,  Sean Bean’s character in Legends is complex enough, and the actor talented enough, that the show should continue to do well.

Season two begins properly on November 2 but can be seen early via TNT’s online site.  Tune in and see this Sheffield born actor go through his paces as Martin Odum yet again.

 

Legends and Sean Bean Are Back on TNT

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Legends and Sean Bean are back on TNT. The second season begins on November 2 on the network. However, there have been some changes with the show that viewers became addicted to in 2014. The cast roster has been completely turned on its head with a lot of familiar faces now gone. In fact the only other character, and the actor playing him, from season one to return is Tony Rice (played by Morris Chestnut).

10 episodes will continue the story of Bean’s covert operator who learned in season one that his entire life was just another legend. While “Martin Odum” will continue his search for identity, his compadres have changed. Gone are Ali Larter, Tina Majorino and new actors, Ralph Brown (Agent Carter), Ave Zoli (Sons of Anarchy), Steve Kazee (Shameless), Aisling Franciosi (The Fall), Kelly Overton (True Blood) and Klara Issova (Crossing Lines) have joined the operative’s journey of discovery.

Where the first outing of Legends was land-locked in the US, with a few flashback sequences set outside the borders, the new season has been filmed across Europe. Season two opens with Odum (Bean) avoiding authorities for the murder pinned on him at the last of season one. The tortured man and agent will travel across the European continent and England searching for clues to his true identity and will discover some pretty horrific facts that he may wish he had never learned.

While Crystal McGuire has left Martin’s support network, new contact Nina Brenner (played by Kelly Overton) from the CIA and Tony Rice (Chestnut) help Odum in his global quest for the truth. These two lead him to a possible link to his past, Ilyana Crawford and her troubled daughter Kate (Klara Issova and Aisling Franciosi)

Martin learns that he has connections with a retired spook, Terrance Graves (Brown). All he learns begins to clash with his present life and the lie (legend) he has been living. Odum also finds out that he has more than one crime that someone wants to pin on him. Back in 2001 the FBI wanted to arrest him for a different offense entirely.

The older case was run by Agent Curtis Ballard (played by Steve Kazee) and the agents accomplice a Czech police officer Gabrielle Miskova (Winter Ave Zoli). Martin must learn the truth in oder to clear his name and attempt to keep his troubled past from catching up with him.

Legends is adapted from Robert Littell’s award-winning book and is produced by Fox 21. The showrunner is Star Trek: Voyager and Perception executive producer Ken Biller. Other executive producers for the second season are Howard Gordon (Homeland, 24), Homeland and Lie to Me executive producer Alexander Cary and Jonathan Levin (Charmed).

Academy Awards Honor Four Legends

Academy Awards Honor Four Legends

At the sixth annual Governors Academy Awards four legends were honored on Saturday November 8, 2014. This ceremony gives a gong to those artists in the industry whom the Awards panel deem worthy of honorary statuettes, generally because these professionals have either been ignored for “real” Oscars or are, as the recipients were on Saturday night, legends in the film world. The winners were Harry Belafonte, Hayao Miyazaki, Maureen O’Hara and Jean-Claude Carriere and Belafonte was awarded the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

Legends Two Hour Season One Finale (Recap and Review)

Legends Two Hour Season One Finale (Recap and Review)

Legends with its two hour season one finale sees Martin Odum being held and beaten by the Saudi security team of Prince Fayeen. As they rough Odum up, they threaten his family, Martin responds by telling his interrogator that he is going to kill the man. In last week’s episode the prince’s men broke into his old home and took Sonya and his son. When they call Martin, his wife attacks the men and gets the worst of it. Odum tells his captors that he will give them what they want. They unwisely untie the agent who then summarily overpowers them all.