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Hunted: Our fascination with spies

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Frank Spotnitz Frank Spotnitz | 10:00 UK time, Thursday, 4 October 2012

My career has been most closely associated with science fiction, which is no surprise given the years I spent writing and producing The X-Files TV series and feature films.

But for Hunted, the new series I created for the BBC, I've moved away from science fiction to the spy genre, which is my favourite in all of film and television.

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Hunted trailer: 'Think about the chaos you've unleashed'

There are some obvious reasons for this.

Spy stories provide plenty of opportunities for action and suspense - things motion pictures can deliver with unique effectiveness.

But I think the real appeal of the spy genre is much deeper.

By definition spies are duplicitous. They appear to be one type of person when they are actually someone else altogether.

They pursue one agenda while pretending to serve another. A spy simply cannot be trusted.

To varying degrees the same can be said of all of us, spies or not.

We all present a face to the world that is not exactly the person we are inside. Because part of us always remains hidden, none of us is truly knowable - not our parents, siblings, spouse or friends.

It's not surprising we all yearn to be surrounded by people we can trust. And fear betrayal.

Sam Hunter (Melissa George) on the set

Melissa George as Sam Hunter during filming

That for me is what spy stories do so well. Spies live in a world of deceit and distrust. Their stories externalise our deepest fears.

By design Hunted plays on these fears in the most intimate way I could imagine.

Sam Hunter suspects that she has been betrayed by the man she loves. She must expose herself to mortal danger, knowing she can't trust him or anyone else.

Of course Sam is more than an embodiment of our collective fears. Brilliantly realised by Melissa George, she is a unique, complex, contradictory character with a dark and troubled past.

I am neither a spy nor a woman and yet I find it very easy to identify with Sam. I suspect many audiences will too.

Complicating Sam's situation is the brave new world in which she we now live.

Over the past few decades espionage has become increasingly privatised. Sam doesn't work for MI5 or MI6 - she works for Byzantium, a private security firm dedicated not to defence of the realm but to serving the interests of its clients.

These clients' identities are not revealed to operatives like Sam which makes identifying who might want her dead - and why - even more difficult.

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Sam runs for her life through the alleyways of Tangier

Researching this world proved less difficult than you might imagine.

Business is booming - there are now thousands of private security firms operating all over the globe.

And while they keep secret their client lists they were very happy to talk (with names withheld) about the work they do.

I collaborated with a team of talented writers for six months on the stories for Hunted.

We devised a complicated web of deception with lots of action, suspense, and plot twists and turns.

But at the heart of it all we tried to never lose sight of the character of Sam, who anchors this dangerous world in a deeper emotional truth.

Frank Spotnitz is the executive producer and lead writer of Hunted.

Hunted begins on Thursday, 4 October at 9pm on BBC One and BBC One HD. For further programme times, please see the episode guide.

More on Hunted
Watch Frank Spotnitz talk to BBC Writersroom and BBC Media Centre.
Melissa George and Adam Rayner interviewed on BBC Breakfast.

Comments made by writers on the BBC TV blog are their own opinions and not necessarily those of the BBC.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    Hi Frank, really looking forward to seeing your show Hunted. I have been a fan of yours since your many collaborations with Chris Carter, and I think that you have created some of the most thought-provoking and intelligent series on television, such as the X-Files. I agree with your ideas on the duplicity of human nature, and how this allows the audience to really connect with Sam. I also love that you have picked a female protagonist, and it looks as though you have created the perfect balance between femininity and the strength needed for a good spy.

  • Comment number 2.

    I obviously don't get moern comedy but at least there was no canned laughter

  • Comment number 3.

    Thanks, ChrisL. I'll be checking in with this blog from time to time. Hope you enjoyed the show!

  • Comment number 4.

    I'm hooked. Great first episode. Interesting ethical issues to contemplate, Sam uses the child to get at Grandad even though she herself appears to suffered childhood trauma (was her Mum, perhaps also a Spy, murdered ?). More intriguing though, who is the Mole ?. Great TV for the dark Winter evenings.

  • Comment number 5.

    Hi Frank,

    Enjoyed the first episode last night. Very stylish and full of original twists. Looking forward to the next one,

    Clive

  • Comment number 6.

    Hi Frank.
    Enjoyed Hunted last night. A very complex story. It was my Morris Marina Estate that was featured in the flashbacks. Hopefully there will be more as we need to know how her mother was involved and subsequently murdered.Were there any still pictures taken of my car as it will give it a bit of history. If there is a follow up to Hunted the car will be there if needed. Great spy drama..............Larry.

  • Comment number 7.

    Hunted was so dull I won't be watching again. Another example of how the BBC can't compete with HBO when it comes to stuff like this. Badly acted, uninspired casting, awful script. The lead character seemed to be more concerned with her pout than anything else, and her "undercover" act was completely transparent.

    Thank god Homeland is back on our screens on Sunday, proper drama with a great script and cast.

  • Comment number 8.

    Agree fully with James above and also look forward to Homeland ;o)

    Further hmm... Far to unrealistic, in one scene she has a fight with a guy nearly twice her size, punches to her face and get her head smashed against a post but guess what, no marks at all on her face hmm... and during the beginning she acts very controlled and confident but just before she gets shot she seems frustrated and nearly out of control.

    Hope it gets better 5 out 10 so far.

  • Comment number 9.

    Sorry to have lost James, but I'm glad you'll give it another try, papadkuk, and delighted you were intrigued by the ethical issues, Giz. There are a lot more of those to come...

  • Comment number 10.

    Frank. Welcome to BBC ONE!

    The first episode was thoroughly enthralling, a thrilling rollercoaster of personal emotional backstory mixed with under-hand dealing and internal conflict. Yes, initially, I wasn't quite sure if the organisation was either Government sanctioned or private but all became clear.

    The biscuit crumb "signs" in the newspapers was very Conan Doyle, (best to emulate from the best, I suppose) as was the sense of 'whose watching who doing whom' (correct construction of terms?) was very BOURNE movie with a hint of 24 and the classic series version of MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE.

    These are not criticisms as HUNTED became, across the hour, a Gestalt beast of all its peers. Glorious. Mellisa George was engaging, believable as Sam but I wonder if Billie Piper had turned down the role/character?

    Yes, as reviewers have said, did no-one notice the stupid "false-walled-room-with-a-view-on-the-the-same-street" in the edit? The panes could have been 'frosted' with CGI?

    Six days and counting until episode 2.

  • Comment number 11.

    Lara Croft understudy meets wooden soldiers in an incomprehensible and unbelievable plot. If you are going to watch this, prepare to suspend belief and detach your brain.
    She should have stayed under water for the duration of the show - but there again, having survived a short range shot in her stomach, she would have survived!

  • Comment number 12.

    Thank you for the reply, Frank. And yes, I did enjoy the show; the story gripped me from beginning to end and, as others have said, the show addressed some really interesting issues. Great television.

  • Comment number 13.

    I was already looking forward to seeing this. Even more so since learning about Spotnitz's involvement from this blog.

  • Comment number 14.

    Hi Frank,

    Such a nice thing to see a writer as talented and well revered as yourself putting yourself forwards for a blog like this, and taking criticism amongst the majority of praise.

    I enjoyed the pilot and feel like there is much more to come in the future that will take it away from the Alias/Spooks procedural element. Which feels especially viable given the far more intriguing moral issues raised (with the child as a mark angle) that gave the pilot the unique element that will bring back viewers for episode two and beyond.

    I'm a young produced writer (I have a new pilot being released soon, trailer is here: http://www.channelfix.com/video/811/ )

    If you ever need a writer's assistant or you'd like to help a budding talent my details are all on here (This is so cheeky it just might work).

  • Comment number 15.

    Sorry but after watching every episode of 'Spooks' over the years I was expecting the same high standard of acting and story line but was disappointed with both. The casting falls short of average and is unbelievable given the scenario we are expected to believe. Sorry guys but although early days this doesn't appear plausible for a decent series. Please re-hash 'Spooks' asap.

  • Comment number 16.

    I can see very much what you mean about the deceit and questions of trust that pervade spy fiction. But "Hunted" just doesn't suit me. Sorry, but in so many ways it feels a little too superficial. I'd rather rewatch "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy".

    But you've given me one idea: if it's a world of private security companies, what do they do with people on Work Experience, cheap to the company, and expendable.

  • Comment number 17.

    Maybe her mother wasnt murdered. She maybe committed suicide when she saw the price of fuel

  • Comment number 18.

    Pity the BBC finds it necessary to plough straight into a "next time..." preview even before the credits, spoiling the following episode for anyone who thinks the point of a mystery drama is seeing the mystery being gradually revealed through unexpected twists and turn of the plot.

    Is the concept of "cliff hanger" foreign to today's BBC producers, or do they just think it makes them look smart to use every fashionable gimmick available?

    it seems to me that showing clips of the next episode demonstrates a lack of respect for the writers and the viewers and a failure to understand the genre.

  • Comment number 19.

    Is Hunted coming to Australia please? If so, which channel and when?

  • Comment number 20.

    Very irritating the way the main character speaks/looks. Very cold, zombie-like. She's even like that when she talks to her own work colleagues! No-one talks like that, not even spies!

    Might get a little tiring watching this over the next few weeks.

    When the BBC said that there would be new spy dramas, I was hoping more for the Tinker Tailor type, not more guns and bombs Spooks type.

  • Comment number 21.

    Quite unbelievable nonsense. A lead spy with model looks takes out five heavies in the first fifteen minutes, sleeps sitting on the floor (?), returns to her job without a debrief and immediately rehired? And idiotic one minute conversation between her and colleague about 'love'? Where do you get these script writers from?

  • Comment number 22.

    @bournelegacy - I think they come from Hogwarts, it would explain some of the delusion at least.

  • Comment number 23.

    Great TV again. I've looked forward to this for the last couple of days and I wasn't disappointed. Sam's really coming into her own here and we're seeing more of the recurring child/childhood theme, it's a very emotive issue at the minute.

    The mole thing and who the mole is getting more intrigung. I'm guessing to be the mole you have to know what's going on and from this episode that can only be the grey haired boss (who appears to to a sadist) or, perhaps, the guy in charge of the monitoring team ?

    For those on here who here who think it's too dramatic and far fetched I'd say go watch the Discovery channel.

    Great TV (Frank) I'm more hooked than last time !!! roll on next episode.

  • Comment number 24.

    Thoroughly enjoyed it. I think the mole is the woman with the scots accent (cant remember her name ) mainly because of the scots connection in the flashbacks. Looking forward to next week.

  • Comment number 25.

    Thanks so much, Giz. Hope everyone's enjoying it. And for those of you wondering who the mole is... you won't have to wait for answers as long as you might think.

  • Comment number 26.

    Great series, Frank. It is great to have intelligent story telling back on t.v. and something for the audience to really think about, rather than just watching passively.

  • Comment number 27.

    Excrutiating. Embarrassing. Naff. Implausible. Weak. Can do better. Must try harder.

  • Comment number 28.

    Thanks, ChrisL. The revelations are going to come fast and furious in the next three episodes. I'm interested to hear what everyone thinks once you start to understand who's behind the plot to kill Sam.

  • Comment number 29.

    Hi Frank.
    Rumors are flying every which way that Chris Carter will soon be shooting a movie some place Downunder. Could this be the long awaited third X-F movie and if it is are you involved too?
    Sorry for not commenting on your show but I can't see it where I live, darn it. But news of another X-F movie would just about make up for not be able to watch Hunted! :-)
    BTW : Annie Gurton if you're going to make accusations like that against others you ought to know how to spell the accusations before you make them.

  • Comment number 30.

    "Spies live in a world of deceit and distrust. Their stories externalise our deepest fears..." Bit like Jimmy Saville then?

    Seriously, great TV and if you missed it check out iPlayer ASAP!

  • Comment number 31.

    Just watched the second episode and thought I MUST catch up by watching the first episode and readany reviews to see if it was me that had to stretch his grasp on reality. I thought Homeland stretched "artistic licence" but goes one step beyond th worst B movie ever. She enters a crime scene! gets the drop on the assasin and allows herself to be dissarmed! gets and gives a good thrashing with NO facial,hand,arm injuries and has no other effects, Dctr, death considers a hyperdermic injection in the hallwayof his CONTACT but hands the case over instead ! Hassan or whatever his name was overpowers his captures,doesnt club them with the steel pipe and run away ,but stops for the camera,gets battered with a heavy steel chain but can still mentaly function and try to kill the heroin (in the dungeon). The list is endless ,and I have only scratched the surface of the one episode that I watched,probably wouldn't have wached that if I had seen the first one. Come on surely this plot and story line (even though far fetched) should be strong enough on its own without the far fetched over the top bull---- that detracts from what could be good entertainment .COME ON .ARE YOU THAT SHORT OF GOOD SCRIPTS. Too frustrated and dissapointed to continue.

  • Comment number 32.

    I have not really got into the whole blog thing and reading all of the above I wouldn't be surprised if you (Frank Spotnitz) gave this blog up! How do you deal with all the criticism? I am really, really enjoying 'Hunted' and I decided to go onto your blog to see what like minded people were thinking. But I find the negative comments so depressing. Maybe that's the nature of blogs - putting up with the rough and the smooth. I'd rather continue discussing my television past-times in the real world. Looking forward to Episode 3. PS - my favourite comment : was from the Morris Marina Estate owner. Nice car.

  • Comment number 33.

    Thanks mazzaj for the nice comment.It drove to London and back for filming. Round trip of 850 miles. Not bad for a 36 year old motor. I am really enjoying Hunted and hope there are more flashbacks.

  • Comment number 34.

    There will be more flashbacks, larrymarina. As you may have guessed, the terrible events of Sam's childhood have some connection to present-day events.

  • Comment number 35.

    Buoyed by the positive chat, I'm back! I am hoping there is a mirroring effect of story of Sam as a child with the child of her colleague. It would mean the present-day child survives...?

  • Comment number 36.

    I am very taken with Sam's wardrobe - where can I get a list of some of the stuff she wears? Is there a costume designer or something? I have to have those boots...

  • Comment number 37.

    I'm really enjoying this but have to agree that Sam is too petite to be able to fight off those huge bull - necked types , however having seen some very tiny women do amazing physical sports at this summer Olympics I guess we can just about put that down to artistic license. I used to hate stories told in flash back but ever since watching the superb White Heat ( for me, the best drama on TV this year, by far) earlier this year iv changed my mind as it does get the viewer thinking. Amazingly I never watched Spooks and have no idea what it was about, but I think I will check it out once Hunter has finished. Some scenes were unbelievable , such as Hassan's being beaten with heavy chains around the head and still being compus mentus - it would happen in real life - but this ain't real it's telly escapism so don't watch it if your fav programme is Gardeners World !

  • Comment number 38.

    Again I'm really looking forward to tonights episode. 2 1/2 hours to go !!!

  • Comment number 39.

    Just watched hunted, the most thrilling exciting programme on the tele a the moment BRILLiANT!!! Can't wait till next week!
    Talented writer thank yoou for sharing with us!

  • Comment number 40.

    Hello Frank.
    What made you have a woman as a tough leading role, and not a female steroetype such as women in James Bond movies etc. I know this sounds a bit cliche but it,s good to have a woman who is strong in character and personality. and not like a wag or a typical female stereotype.

  • Comment number 41.

    Great show but loosing the plot through poor sound and no subtitles.Having to guess what the actors are saying is not helpful in following the story line.

  • Comment number 42.

    Best telly I have watched in years, am hooked. Melissa George is fantastic

  • Comment number 43.

    So glad you're enjoying the show. To answer the question from jordan4marylebone: I think a woman in this world is so much more interesting. She's automatically the underdog. But it was incredibly difficult casting this role. We saw something like 200 actresses in London, New York, Los Angeles and Australia. A lot of them were amazingly talented, but I literally knew the first time I saw Melissa on tape that she was the one. She had this ability to play two things at once -- Sam's toughness, and the damage and vulnerability beneath. I don't know how she does it. It's like a magic trick.

  • Comment number 44.

    Great episode last night, cannot wait until next week.

  • Comment number 45.

    Fantastic episode last night ... so good I had to watch it twice !!!

    What a dramatic start, a brutal murder (by Turner's henchmen) quickly followed by the scene with Sam comforting the child. The ethical issue of Sam using Edward (the child) to gain access to Turner again gives great cause for thought.

    What really struck me in ths episode was that it appears to be Keel/Keale, the boss, who keeps pushing the whole mole issue. I'm begining to wonder is Keel/Keale the mole himself (the best form of defence is attack). I'm satisfied Deacon isn't the mole (as I previously suspected) as he's showing too much, apparently genuine concern, for his team.

    Another intriguing aspect of last nights episode was that perhaps there are at least two sub plots going on. We have the whole mole issue but now for the first time we have infiltration of the team by MI6 (Sam's ex). Great twist.

    Sam's team only needed the Turner bid as they had the other two (plus their client's own bid of course) so given the episode finale, the stand off with Chinese Inustries, you would suspect that the mole in team (Keel/Keale?) works for the Chinese. Hence the MI6 angle ? or, surely not, Turner is of MI6 interest and they are trying to protect his bid against the Chinease, hence their infiltration ?

    The question I'd liked answered is why was Sam's Mum murdered and by whom ?

    I missed Piers Morgan's Life stories tonight (wonder if it was any good).

    (Frank) Totalling entralling. The best TV in ages and worth the BBC license fee alone. Roll on next week.

  • Comment number 46.

    I have to agree with Antonia T Tiger - but Le Carre's cold war stories are impossibly difficult to match. Hunted has a more 'pulp' feel about it and is easy so I'll definitely carry on watching!
    The bespectacled MI6 boss, 'George,' looks more like Le Carre's description of Smiley than Alec Guinness... Coincidence?

  • Comment number 47.

    Frank, Hunted is fantastic and I am hooked. I am trained to fight and have brought down men twice my size. It is very realistic and Sam uses people/objects/places to her advantage of being smaller. Down with the critics!

  • Comment number 48.

    Hi Frank! I like Hunted but I love The X-Files. When are you and Chris going to make The X-Files 3?

  • Comment number 49.

    Hi Frank, I have heard that Hunted was created by you but sometimes written by others. I am wondering what exactly the creator does, because I was under the impression that the creator wrote the series.

    Thank you for your time,
    Chris

  • Comment number 50.

    Hi Frank. I sent you a script to use for Hunted but instead you used your own. Why? Mine was much better. You and Chris Carter did the same thing to me a long time ago when I sent you scripts for The X-Files. I don't think you even read them. If you had used my scripts instead of your own that show would have been much better. I have a lot more scripts if you want to see them. Please can I have your email address as well as Chris Carter's addy? And your phone numbers too so I can talk to you about a writing position, because you never return my calls to your agent. Thanks. Chris Lyons, NYC.

  • Comment number 51.

    Thanks so much for all the positive comments. To answer ChrisL's post, I did create the series and write the first episode. After that, we convened a "writer's room," which consisted of me, three other writers, a script editor and a writer focusing on digital content. For the next six months, we outlined all of the subsequent episodes together. Each writer would complete his/her script based on the outline we devised together. This is the way series are typically written in American television, but rarely in the UK. I am big believer in this process, which fosters continuity and helps account for Hunted's narrative complexity, which you may be loving or hating at this point!

  • Comment number 52.

    OK. Thursday night. 21mins to go. Who wins the bid ? who is the mole ? What's keel's/Keale's position this week ? Why was Sam's Mum murdered ? Bring it on :-)

  • Comment number 53.

    My husband and I started watching Hunted from the first episode and we're now absolutely hooked. We're both fans of Spooks so thought this sounded new and interesting. I personally prefer Hunted - it is grittier. Aside from the script, the plot and the acting, there's so much thought put into making the most beautiful scenes. The colour, space and light in each scene are so well put together. I also agree with Fathima, I love Sam's wardrobe! I don't care that it is slightly unrealistic to see a petite looking woman beat up heavy boned men. I love it! More please!

  • Comment number 54.

    Absolutely hooked on this series! Thrilling and captivating the whole way through. Not been a single disappointing eposide yet. Cannot wait till next weeks!

  • Comment number 55.

    Thank you for all the positive feedback. Next week is a BIG episode. No one is who they seem -- and a lot will change.

  • Comment number 56.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 57.

    Hi Frank,
    You may not like my comment.
    This show has potential but I lost interest even from the pilot. This spy thing is great, suspense, mystery and all but it's at least one general rule, I think: that being that you have to know the main character and/or the team. From the pilot I don't know anything about her or the company that she works at so why should I care about them? And it seems that a whole season will go by until you reveal that and I don't have the patience for it.
    Secrecy and puzzle story can work for spy movies but not neglecting the above rule. I think that you miss out here what worked for spy movies like: James Bond, Alias (tv series), Nikita and so on.
    So, I will stop here just because I don't care about Sam Hunter and I don't know anything about her company so I don't know how things work. Sorry, I will pick up with the show later or if I find something different.
    Bye!

  • Comment number 58.

    Thank you, Frank, it is a lot clearer now. Loving Hunted's narrative complexity, and I cannot wait to see more.

  • Comment number 59.

    Loving the series, please could you tell me where I can buy the dress that Sam wore for her date with Lewis??

  • Comment number 60.

    Why do next weeks TV papers tell us what happens and who the mole is. Kind of wastes it a bit but its great viewing

  • Comment number 61.

    Patsy2493, I'm working on getting that information for you. I'll post when I have the answer. And I agree with you larrymarina. I wish critics would at least warn the reader first if they're going to write a spoiler.

  • Comment number 62.

    Hi Frank - great drama can't wait for the next episode. can you tell me where I can find out about Sam's styling and wardrobe. I really like the coats and particularly the chunky grey jumper worn by Sam in episode 3. I would like to buy one for Xmas. Thank you and ignore the negative comments, Hunted is great.

  • Comment number 63.

    Some wardrobe information for Patsy2493 and bubsy: Sam's blue dress was by Antonio Berardi. At the time of filming, it was available exclusively at Harrods. I'm afraid we don't know where it can be purchased now. The chunky grey jumper was from APC, as was the coat she wore to the funeral. The navy blue pea jacket was from Rag and Bone.

  • Comment number 64.

    It's so refreshing to see good drama back on the BBC, loved the first episodes. I have been missing decent TV since we lost Waking the Dead from the BBC. Really hope to see a second series.

  • Comment number 65.

    Hi, loving the show, absolutely brilliant and refreshing, was a big fan of spooks, so was looking for something to fill the void.
    Hunted has been a welcome addition, great cast, direction, production and writing.
    When I foundoutnaboutt he show, expected a spooks style drama, but even though its a spy series the storylines are so far away from Mi5 working for the good of queen and country.
    Right from the off have been hooked with Sams story/ backstory, Can't wait until the conclusion really hope bbc commission more series as this show is up there with the best shows on tv in Britain at the moment.

    A gripping epic

  • Comment number 66.

    Another brilliant episode. I still cant figure out why she was taken hostage and why her mother was murdered. Wonder if the Americans are liking it.Could do with more shots of the marina mind you.

  • Comment number 67.

    Fantastic. Every week just gets better. Tonight's episode had a real sense of the Da Vinci Code about it (Secret Societies, Art Museums and Priests). Turner reminds me of the "Krays" but I can't help suspecting he's being looked after by Mi6. Why would MI6 want Sam dead in Tangiers ? (Is our hero a villian ? What's her Mum's secret ?). The recurring childhood theme (Card from school, Sam's flash backs, held captive as a child) are excellent and gripping. Keel/Keale doesn't sit well with me. He's still in my reckoning for the mole.

    Sam get's more attractive every week, no matter what she wears. (Frank) Brilliant. Roll on next week.

  • Comment number 68.

    It's so good to hear so many people are enjoying the show. The narrative is very demanding, so it's OK if you feel a little lost right around now. If you hang in there, it all starts to coalesce as we approach the end of the series.

  • Comment number 69.

    I love this series! The casting is great...I have always been a fan of Melissa George even more so after she played Lauren Reed in Alias. I love spy drama's and this one always leaves me waiting for the next episode.

  • Comment number 70.

    I went against my better judgment and watched episodes 2-4 also. It's a lot to comment but I will resume to this: Inconsistency. Sam Hunter is a top agent who wins a fight with just about anyone but she enters careless into Faroux room just so he can surprise her with a gun. And in the 4th episode to be easily surprised and immobilized by a creep to stick a needle in her. Come on. I agree with steadier. Too much fault play here.
    I don't know how other people here doesn't notice these things and don't get frustrated about it. What you people watched all your entire life? Only Benny Hill?
    PS. In a further episode Sam will probably be beaten by an old lady.

  • Comment number 71.

    Great viewing.
    Anybody criticising this should get a reality check. If you want a factual program, tune into the History Channel or National Geographic !
    Loving the twists and turns, and please don't tell my wife, but have fallen hook, line and sinker for Sam !! :-)

  • Comment number 72.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 73.

    Where are her affections, with Aidan or Stephen? Have been on tenterhooks all week!

  • Comment number 74.

    Yet again another riveting episode. Finally Sam's been compromised (by the bent Police Inspector) but interestingly this has come at exactly the same time as Stephen's relationship has broken down with his father. If I was Stephen I'd choose Sam :-)

    It looks like the file given to Stephen will help explain why Sam's Mum was murdered (Hour Glass ?). Did Sam's Mum know about the "hundreds killed" the now murdered Professor knew about ?

    In response to no. 73 Pedran, I think Sam's feelings have always been with Aidan (surely he can't be the Mole but does he protest too much ?).

    Great twists and turns and excellent TV.

  • Comment number 75.

    Thanks for all the thoughts. The answers to so many of the questions we've asked since Episode 1 start coming next week, and Episode 8 is one revelation after another. I'm very excited for everyone to see these final installments.

  • Comment number 76.

    Hi Frank, thank you, thank you, thank you.... I've was hooked after the first 120 seconds of Hunted. I am not an avid TV watcher to be honest and I am selective when it comes to drama/fiction but this series has me. I just can't wait for the next episode, in fact I find myself counting down the days. I love the twists and turns, the suspense and the jigsaw of the story coming together week on week. Bravo to all involved.

  • Comment number 77.

    Look forward to Thursday evenings, great viewing. Any idea where Ian (Lex Shrapnel) got his leather jacket from?

  • Comment number 78.

    just-will, Ian Fowkes' leather jacket is from All Saints.

  • Comment number 79.

    Some people here complaining about how much better HBO is at doing things should go back to watching John Adams and the Tudors then as they are just as historically and practically inaccurate and the acting is overrated in them as well

    one guy even sites "Spooks " as being an example of a good spy series , let me tell you mate I am not overly fussy about the realism of such drama on TV any more than I am when watching the latest say James Bond movie , but to site spooks as being anything but an overacted ham fisted ohh ahh production that if it was reality it would kill off most of the agents in the first episode, as being better than this little ditty is a bit like moaning that Dr who is historically inaccurate lol.

    some people were complaining about a few scenes where the character Sam doesn't appear to sustain any injury in some of the fights, well actually I was impressed after some of these fight scenes she does appeared well blooded and bruised , these of course are the same people who would probably rave about the borne movies ( in every fight he would have surely collapsed afterward and died of exhaustion , had this been" real life" to use the movie critic vernacular .

    I really don't know what mood these people must be in when they watch these series , but it seems to me that the bigger the corporation usually American and the size of the budget has a direct relationship with how some people criticism of these dramas
    Hunted is a low budget BBC production and on balance the acting is superb, I don't agree with one post that Mellisa George is more concerned with her pout, on the contrary she should be , part of the characters job is to seduce and act out the life of a normal/abnormal other self so i would imagine that pouting would be one of the character chief assets, other critics site her entry into the Arabs ex pretend lover as careless because" she wins all her fights and never loses " unquote , actually she has lost quite a few fights and real people make mistakes , besides in the scene in question the Arab guy had plenty of time to prepare what with the noise of her entry.
    I do admit in fairness though that her apparently easy subjugation by the creep from hourglass was a valid point.

    However as for the poster Bourne legacy ( as if that doesn't say it all) he seems astonished that anybody could be hired five minutes after being away for a year . I wonder what sort of job he has but it must be one in which he would not be appreciated if he did the same , but actually "borne" there are some of out here that are so good at our jobs that even if we died our ex bosses would dig us up, but never mind you go back to stacking shelves.

    incidentally lots of people in the real world sleep out of bed on floors I think their called homeless isnt it ?

    Now to "Martinfartin" who thinks he knows how spies should act ( not like the character Sam) but wants more tinker tailor soldier spy , All I might add who act twice as zombiefied as the SAM character in Hunted
    Then there is "Alcesterman" who finds the plot incomprehensible, why oh why would he be watching spy movies then when most are famous for their early incomprehension , he also believes it is not possible to survive a short range shot in the abdomen , better tell that to 1.2 million war victims then ALcester.

    James thought it dull and his little helper and fellow "Homeland " Fan Papadkuk agreed with him , Hmmm Homeland ,another pile of over overacted sensationalist garbage from our friends across the pond , but I agree more exciting if you don't like having your brain challenged, as of course you don't with 90% of US productions because the intellectual level of the average American would just not either warrant as such and besides it would bomb and the producer would lose money .

    All in all the only attempt at a valid criticism IMO of this series was by "Dr Walter 21"

  • Comment number 80.

    Hi Frank, love the show. I have a question about Hunted. I have seen on the adverts that it is described as an original British drama, but I do not understand how the BBC can say that when you are American, and Melissa George comes from Australia. What is it that makes it British, is it just that it has been commissioned by the BBC?

  • Comment number 81.

    Hmmmmm.... diverse opinions

    So, onto my comment. Good evening Frank. Well done on crafting an espionage series that keeps us asking the questions and wanting more....
    And and provides us with blogoshere fodder to chew over.

    Just watched the 6th installment and waited until now to comment on the series so far in order to absorb the plotline complexity, and mull it over before waxing lyrical. ;-)

    Positive feedback: curious on how the twists will resolve themselves. Some characters chime with a less is more personality leaving enough to our imaginations to make them credible.
    Casting generally good, helped by one or two heavyweights (Stephen Dillane, Patrick Malahide, Meera Syal).

    Neutral feedback: casting a woman in the lead is imaginative. Yet, it shouldn't really matter whether the lead protagonist is male or female as long as they have a story to tell or the narrative behind them is compelling enough. No issue with the apparent imperviousness of Sam to the pounding she receives. After all, we have long been fed a diet of leading men with extraordinary powers of healing. Shock hooror then that this is repeated in female form.

    Not so positive feedback: acting quality (a recurrent theme here) - is for the most part distinctly avaerage (save for those mentioned above). If I can single out one character in particular, it is Aidan Marsh (Adam Rayner) who is so wooden, you kind of expect branches to sprout at any moment. He seems almost disinterested and rattles through his lines through gritted teeth. By extension, his chemistry with Sam (or lack thereof) stetches credultiy.
    Script - at times poorly developed and/or delivered. Whatever happened to the great BBC/British dramatic tradition of saying less and letting the cultured pauses or what is not said tell us more than the actual words themselves.
    Character develpoment - again, poorly handled because it feels like tokenism, where after a revelation I have to pinch myself and sagely admit, 'ah yes..... now I understand the complexity of character x'. Just a bit hammy really meaining I find it hard to want to engage with any of the characters. And not what I have come to expect from BBC productions over my more than 40 years of lauding BBC quality.
    A singular highlight has been the performance of Patrick Malahide as the slightly menacing East end mobster trying to go legit, yet cannot change his spots. Well done.

    Nevertheless, I will continue to be an avid viewer.
    Hope my coments will be viewed constructively.

  • Comment number 82.

    As a patient group representing patients diagnosed with MDS - Myelodysplastic Syndromes - we were both surprised and glad that this condition was featured in episode 6 of Hunter (bedroom scene where escort girl has a nose bleed and bruises and says she suffers from MDS). This condition - MDS - is a rare blood disorder/bone marrow failure and belongs to the group of blood cancers.
    It is almost never mentioned in the media or drama - despite affecting a growing number of people world wide. Nearly 3000 people get diagnosed every year in the UK - and this will be increasing in years to come.
    We congratulate you on including this in your programme - and would like to know why you chose to feature this?
    It would have been good if the BBC had made support information available to people affected by MDS after the programme.
    Some of our members called us to mention the programme and were a bit disappointed that not more details were given in the episode - but we understand this is just a small part of the drama.
    We'd be interested on getting in touch with you and post further details on our website about the programme and the involvement with MDS. Thank you.
    www.mdspatientsupport.org.uk

  • Comment number 83.

    There is a striking resemblance between Jack Turners son Stephen and Michael Vaughan the cricketer.

  • Comment number 84.

    Thank you so much for all the thoughtful comments. They're greatly appreciated. We featured MDS because it fit our storyline. I'd be delighted if the episode in some small way helps lead to a broader awareness of the condition.

  • Comment number 85.

    To answer Christopher's question: it's true that I'm American and Melissa George is from Australia. I still think it's still fair to call this British drama because virtually every other actor, writer, director, producer, cast and crew member on the series was British. I'm delighted you're enjoying the show!

  • Comment number 86.

    Hi Frank, thank you for clearing that up for me. If almost everyone else was British then I guess that is fair, yes. Yes I am enjoying the show, cannot wait for tonight.

  • Comment number 87.

    One hour and 40 mins to go .... What does the corrupt Police Inspector's file say about Sam and does it reference her Mother's murder......?

  • Comment number 88.

    I got lost in the storyline this week. According to the tv papers she was meant to go to Scotland this week and find out why her mother was murdered. It is a riveting series though and I cant wait until next week when it will all unfold.

  • Comment number 89.

    Sorry. Jack Turner and his son having a meeting/confrontation in a Police HQ !!! Surely Not !!! C'Mon !!! Is this commensurate with the story so far ?

  • Comment number 90.

    An Honour to meet you and converse with you Frank,

    I love Hunted just discovered it this week and iplayed them all that led me here. Great job all round as the only 2 other programmes that hold my interest on TV recently and are plausible are Person of Interest and Burn Notice script and acting wise. Have never been one for Spooks or watched it from the clips it looked too badly acted and improbable for one to contemplate watching. Same run of the mill spy by numbers, but this is different it is clever and extremely intelligent writing.
    However this is a breath of fresh air to see the protagonist as a woman Sam, played perfectly by Melissa George. Yes she is petite that's the point unassuming Bruce Lee was also quite petite and similar build. I think her ex Aiden and their relationship is spot on aswell, and brilliantly acted by Adam Rayner. Infact the whole cast is just perfectly acted and casted.
    So perfectly casted and timed that Curson could be a young ringer for the late President of Ghana John atta Mills and likewise Pres.Zazhir a ringer for the late Pres.Benazir Bhutto, am really curious to see the Chinese link and to see if your character resembles the new Pres. Xi Jinping in anyway, please check ahead and have a good chuckle to yourself!

    Anyhow moving on some things to ponder on why did Sams leave the window to be easily seen externally so one could easily discover the false room if she was being watched from outside. Was it because the flat was rented so the external window had to remain, or does she have unlimited funds and time to just buy and sell flats, or did Byzantium arrange this safe house?
    I can understand Sam sleeping sitting up by she would not leave her bed unslept in for the maid to find and report back, can she even trust the maid? Who is the woman in silouhette Sam can see from her bedroom window opposite it is not Georbral, and too petite to be the maid, is it Jack Turners dead wife being held captive unbeknown to him and not really dead for some reason? It also seems improbable there is no security cameras in the lift or the house anywhere.
    Geobral is a very creepy character but old enough to perhaps have played a part in freeing Sam those years ago when she was a child perhaps an assassin who looked over her. Sam also had cupboards of tinned spam as a diet whilst recovering in hiding does she eat this as it was given to her by her captors as a child also? This seems improbable as surely she would have an aversion to it, unless she associates it with the last meal after she saw her mother was killed.
    I also think from sleeping with Jack surely he would recognise a bullet wound on her body from a car accident scar, i liked the way Sam covered her bruises with concealer to wear the dress but surely this would have easily rubbed off aswell on contact.

    I am wondering if Hourglass in the future plot somehow trained Sam from a child age 11 we are told, I hope if she is in hourglass as a sleeper unbeknown to herself she does what her character we have seen will go through with in a way only Sam can.

    I also think the MI6 female protagonist is rather stupid in her questionning and lifestyle and and all round probably accurate character of people who do land such jobs, she is somewhat jealous of Sam and a womans jealousy could lead her to undermine Sam more and Aiden in his humble remorse her shows to gain Sams trust back. Sam has this week encountered this, so i doubt she believes what is in the locker.

    Also workers at Byzantium obviously are well paid and get paid into Swiss bank accounts, we are told.
    The painting of the Ambassadors does have those objects in the painting but the meaning is different and not clear in real life. Was this painting chosen for that reason only?
    Even Sams boss may play a major turning point in it if he is going to die anyway of his brain tumour I'm sure he will lay tracks before he dies, no matter who signs his checks he seems to have no family.

    I cant wait till next week to watch it again, please please make another series this goes very deep. and people here and watching obviously have some connection with the characters youve brought to life. Well done again everyone its a small gem to have found. Please contact me if you need any ideas with future plot turns or outcomes.

  • Comment number 91.

    ps. that sound read Jack turners son, Stephen sorry that would have been an episode of Spooks otherwise!

  • Comment number 92.

    I have enjoyed the series, though you could drive a tank through some of the holes.

    When she first enters the Turner household, she goes into a room (study) and starts placing camera's, considering the security measures the house had in place surely it would have surveillance cameras installed.

    Is it feasible that Sam would leave the police report in her room to be found as, she was capable enough to ensure that she didn't leave her torn tracksuit in her wardrobe.

  • Comment number 93.

    Hi Frank, I'm really enjoying the series. I'm afraid I've got another wardrobe question for you. In episode 7, Sam wore a grey coat with contrasting lapels, my wife is desperate to know where it is from. I hope you can help!

  • Comment number 94.

    Well Mr Spotnitz, your background you say is in science fiction. Well you havent left it really have you? Talk about having to suspend belief.. Are we supposed to believe that a group of supposedly descent human beings murder on a daily basis not to mention kill one of their own, not in the name of national security or any grand belief but for a salary paid by an invisable powerful rich client who's identity or motives they have no idea about? Are these supposed to be the good guys, totally devoid of any morals as long as the money keeps coming in? Talking of morals, besides appearing totally undisturbed by killing and maiming on a daily basis, Sam beds anyone she's instructed to without a qualm. Just how much DOES she get paid? In the first episode alone, in freeing Dr. Hill she takes on and either seriously injures or kills several guards then after getting out of her "pretend lovers" bed that morning and dispensing with the afore mentioned, coyly kisses her real lover and arranges to meet him for a chat. She then cooly kills 3 armed thugs and after being shot herself, kills 2 more. She then goes on through the series, this young woman, to kill several more assailants often in unarmed combat without compunction or trauma. Yet we are supposed to believe that when "blank face" sits astride she is rendered so totally helpless she can't even move her head to avoid being jabbed in the eye! Then it turns out he did it so he could 'talk to her'. What happened to, "excuse me madam". Some of the violence is totally unbelievable. When Sam's ex army buddy can't tell "grey hair" where Sam is, he shoots her. Why? Wouldn't the normal proceedure be "Sorry to disturb you" and leave. When Deacon and Aiden want to talk to Zahir, instead of saying "excuse me" they severely beat up her guards. To make matters even more unbelievable, if such a thing did really happen to a visiting dignatry, it would have caused an international scandal, the two assailants arrested and slung in gaol and questions asked in Parliament. I don't think everyone would carry on as if nothing had happened. But these people who are not police or secret service but private mercinaries appear to be able to leave a trail of bodies and mayhem through London with impunity. Besides being an amoral killer Sam isn't the brightest knife in the box either is she? Minutes after he tells her he will get £100,000 if he kills her she sets Hassan free. Then after Aden suspiciously doesn't turn up for their date (but 5 gunmen do), admitting Aden Marsh isn't his real name, that he was the MI6 mole all along and worst of all he betrayed a fellow agent to protect his own skin, she still goes along with him Incidentally I don't see how giving Hassan up to Jack Turner helps Aden from being exposed as the MI6 mole. Am I missing something? Oh and Lewis waking up and not remembering that he and Sam hadn't actually done anything! It wasn't as if he was drunk or high on drugs. How was it for you? How was what? Bye the way did you have fun with the names? Financial wizard, Vince Cage (Vince Cable?) and Dr. Goebbels? come on. I am wondering if you went into this thinking "I wonder just how much unbelievable rubbish we can get away with?" People like John Le Carre, Robeert Ludlum and Frederick Forsyth who go to meticulous trouble to get their facts right and their plots plausible must wonder, why do we bother. If the public can swallow this they can swallow anything.

  • Comment number 95.

    Mr Spotnitz, I'd be interested in your opinion on "next time" clips being shown at the end of each episode.

    I would think that a writer would expect his audience to be sufficiently intrigued by the cliff-hanger he has crafted at the end of each episode to watch the next. Don't you find it insulting that someone in the BBC considers you so bad at your job that they have to tempt the audience with glimpses of what happens next?

    Who decides which programmes should show these spoilers, and why? Does the screenwriter have a say in this decision or is it, as it appears, down to a media-studies undergraduate on work experience in the promotions department determined to use every gimmick at his disposal?

  • Comment number 96.

    I've been enjoying Hunted so far. However, I was very disappointed with the Hindi/Urdu aspects of the show. Surely, you could have found an actor who spoke these languages convincingly enough for Fatima Zahir's aide, for instance. Further, while the dialogue was accurate enough, it was stilted and did not have the idiomatic quality you would expect of native speakers. It really did feel like the dialogue had been translated by Google translate and fed directly into the script. Only the girl Noura sounded like a native speaker... and she only had a couple of lines! If Hunted is going to continue (and I hope it does), it may be an idea to pay attention to details of this sort, especially if you're going to continue the globe-trotting.

  • Comment number 97.

    Hunted: once agin the BBC delivered a well written beginning and middle, well acted and then a terrible worthless ending. All faith in our house is lost in the BBC. We all feel what a waste of 8 hours and anticipation. We live in hope and that is why we prefer films now.

  • Comment number 98.

    I have watched every epiosode and looked fowards to closure...... but feel after tonight I have none. Was that you're intention? Did she die and her heaven was with her unborn child, or did she have a baby and survive like last time? It was not clear and I felt I still had too many unanswered questions over why she was hunted?? And why her own people decided to kill her, and why, If he wanted her dead somone set out to help her survive only to kill her??

  • Comment number 99.

    I lost the plot in this last episode. Whose was the hand with a missing bit of finger? Did Sam really die? Was baby Morton the baby she would have had if it had not been for the attack on her at the start?

  • Comment number 100.

    Sorry Frank but I didnt get the ending either.Is she dead or alive. Is it her baby.Who is the woman in the Land Rover. Why was her mother killed. I cannot figure it out at all.........unless there is a follow up series, and what happened to my marina estate. Did no one take it away for finger printing after a body being found at the side of it.....there has to be a follow up.At the moment I am lost.

 

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