Earlier today, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the third and final day of the London Film and Comic Con in the aptly named Olympia Grand Hall. The occasion: a world exclusive preview and panel discussion for Frank Spotnitz’s upcoming espionage thriller series for BBC One and Cinemax, Hunted. The panel featured none other than its now London-based creator and writer himself.
The event, which proved very popular, began with an eight-minute preview of the first episode. This was a high octane, action-led sequence that sets up the premise of Hunted, showcasing the extremely high production values and gritty realism of which Frank would later speak as characterising the series. It was immediately followed by a brand new trailer, which promised more of the same and featured glimpses of a number of striking locations. Both received a rapturous reception from the audience.
This led into a Q&A session, during which both Spotnitz and star Melissa George took questions from the audience. Asked what makes the series distinctive in its genre, both highlighted the central character of Sam Hunter, who is very much a “real” secret agent, and her pivotal quest to find out who has sought to have her killed. Speaking of his love for the spy genre in general, Frank talked of how there is a recent trend towards the use of private espionage firms, resulting in agents often not being certain for whom they are working. This shadowy world is the one inhabited by Hunted, and informs the central mystery to the series.
Both The X-Files and Alias came up in questions too, with Frank noting that he always draws upon his formative experiences with Ten Thirteen but once again stressing how unique this new series is, and Melissa referencing the sheer realism of Hunted as setting it apart from her previous work in the genre. The role of Sam Hunter was described by them both as challenging—both physically and emotionally—but Frank highlighted how well Melissa fit the role, and Melissa spoke of the project as a perfect collaboration for her.
Speaking of his experience of working in the UK, Frank talked of how there is less money and fewer resources available in British television as compared to the United States, but that the passion of those who work in the medium here and their artistry shines through. There was a tantalising mention of the biggest action sequence ever committed to the small screen featuring in the second episode, but also that the heart of the series lays in Sam’s emotional journey. On a personal note, I would add that based upon both the discussion and the preview footage, Hunted looks to be absolutely unmissable television when it premieres this autumn on both sides of the Atlantic.
The panel was then followed by an impromptu free signing event, which drew considerable interest out on the convention floor. Frank was gracious enough to come back after the signing in order to spend a little time with the remaining fans in attendance, and also afforded me a few minutes to talk with him about the Back to Frank Black book and thank him in person for his involvement. He expressed his thanks in turn for everyone’s efforts in producing the title, how he is looking forward to reading it himself, and considers it a smart move for the campaign to be seeking a new kind of exposure through its publication.
More on Hunted and Back to Frank Black will be shared right here in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for news on both counts!