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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.


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  • Comment number 101.

    Please explain the last episode...the baby, her mother, the corporation, who is she? Was I not paying attention? Or are you saving it for the next series. Btw yes please

  • Comment number 102.

    I've just spent 8 hours of my life watching Hunted -which I loved- there HAS to be a second series otherwise, frankly, what was the point?? The questions need answering and I'm more than happy to sit through another series to get them I can't believe that the BBC won't recommission it, it's not as if there's a plethora of amazing tv drama out there. US series', which get you hooked and then disappear from sight are annoying enough, why follow them BBC? Please please bring it back.

  • Comment number 103.

    This episode was amazing! Didn't expect it at all. So many questions still, there MUST be another series!

  • Comment number 104.

    they axed a following season guys, and decided some kind of spin off.
    Hugely frustrated with the final episode, you need closure in a spy thriller, and i am left with so many questions.
    Who exactly was the eye jabber?
    Who was Aiden, and wat was in the locker?
    Who was the fingerless person?
    Did sam hide her baby/did she die?
    I feel totally let down by wat was shaping up to be a quite brilliant series, with great storyline, writing and acting.
    this needs a second series, and needs closure.

  • Comment number 105.

    Frank, you're an amazing writer, and I totally get that you want an element of the cliff hanger for your spin off series.....BUT what on earth???? The ending answered nothing, none of the questions that have kept your audience eagerly watching......

    SOMEone please explain what was the final episode all about. I echo all the questions above , plus a few more!!!!

  • Comment number 106.

    I am livid at this moment in time. I have watched this series faithfully each week and enjoyed it. I expected this last episode to tie up all the plot lines and it didn't. Now that is ok if there is another series, but the bloody BBC have decided not to pick up the next series. That is just what I pay my licence fee for, to be led up the garden path with a series that I invest time in that now makes absolutely no sense and that we in the UK are unlikely to be able to get. This is ridiculous and just puts the icing on the cake of a series of bad decisions and major screwups by the Beeb lately. Please can someone put us out of our misery and explain who the blank faced man was and what he was to Sam as he was obviously trying to save her (he did on at least 3 separate occasions). What did she know and who was the man with half a finger missing. Unbelievably irritating. I don't think I will bother committing to any new BBC drama's or series in future as I don't know when the Beeb will shaft us next...

  • Comment number 107.

    I have just seen last episode on i-player - greatly awaited but I am so disappointed! No closure, no explanation of many characters, why did that woman get shot in the head in episode 3? What happened to her Mum, when she was in the oast houses as a kid, is she alive/ dead/ mother/ imagining things/ all the tension of 8 programs to feel confused and bewildered at the end. I hope there is another series otherwise you have wasted your time writing it and my time watching it.

  • Comment number 108.

    In the link that Cblack62 posts, it says that Frank Spotnitz is happy with episode 8 and it provides satisfactory closure?????
    We don't know why Sam's mother was killed
    We don't know how young Sam escaped from the kidnappers!!!
    We don't know what she knows that neccessitated her killing
    We don't know who Aidan really is.
    We don't know who the Baby is.
    The program now has so many holes it makes a sieve look waterproof. Does Frank not care about how fans of his work feel? It is ok to have cliff hangers if more is to follow, but when the main threads of the series which have been pulling us back each week to find out more end up further apart than when the story began you have to ask did he just run out of ideas?? The ending doesn't seem mysterious, it now just feels lame and I feel that I have wasted 8 weeks of viewing and to cap it all we put it on hold to make tea and now have missed the last episode of Hebburn on BBC 2!!! Mind you they will probably cancell that too and spend the money on some sh@@e reality program about Celebrities learning to crochet whilst receiving great fat pay checks...

  • Comment number 109.

    Great series please make another one as soon as possible, this is the sort of programme that makes our licence worth it.

  • Comment number 110.

    Frank if you read this please comment, a lot of unhappy devoted viewers here, loved the series, incredibly well written, but now i feel as tho i have read a book with the last page missing. Can you say if the proposed spin off in planning will have the answers people are looking for, which in my opinion we shudn't have to wait for anyway.
    I know it can add something to leave a cliff hanger, but there was more questions than answers in the last epi.

  • Comment number 111.

    I was mighty confused at the end as well but after a couple of minutes of mulling it over I decided that her team must have set it up to look like she was dead in order to save her from those who wanted to kill her. What confused me was that the baby looked too young to have been the child she was expecting when she was shot the first time. There were so many unanswered questions. Does that mean there will be a second series or was that it?
    I agree that Hunted was rather unrealistic in the way Sam managed to take out men who were much bigger than her in no time at all and with such little trouble and little sign of injury afterwards. However, I love this genre (I was a big fan of Alias, which also featured Melissa George and a great female lead) and I loved Hunted. Shame it's over.
    P.S. If that was the definitive end, please could we have some answers?!!!

  • Comment number 112.

    Watched all 8 episodes only to be ruined in the last 10 mins! WHAT HAPPENED! Left more questions than answers like watching the lottery results,ticket in hand,and they only draw 4 balls! Perhaps a new director general can help us out.

  • Comment number 113.

    I actually felt so angry about this that I sent an email to Frank's (the writer) address on his big light web page. He probably won't read it , but I feel a bit calmer now. Still want some answers, but I guess I'll just have to go and eat a bar of chocolate to make up for the disappointment. Should know better than to trust the Beeb. They are turning into a cheap imitation of ITV propped up by our licence fee. I would rather have adverts and quality TV than pay the licence fee to have the Beeb treat us like mushrooms and feed us sh@@e. Rant over now for a chill pill.

  • Comment number 114.

    Ok, every Thursday night I looked forward to this show. Tonight was the last episode and all I can say is huh?????? Do I understand ANYTHING that happened in the last 5 minutes of the show? Sam said SHE remembered, but didn't say what happened. A cryptic fingerless hand. A shot to the chest with blood in the water. Then she appears "one month later" with a baby somewhere unknown. You bring in some poetic fluff from the fairy tale and make it sound like you've resolved it all. What in the world happened? It's as if your screenplay writer dropped off the face of the earth before finishing this. If you think you resolved this story, or that anyone in your audience 'got it', think again. How the heck did the exec producer approve this? Hourglass? Sam's mother? Goebel (or rather, the non-Goebel)? Baby? Huh?????????

  • Comment number 115.

    Very disappointed in the last ten minutes. Could somebody please explain it! Even if there was another series we wouldn't bother watching. 7 hours 50 minutes of enjoyment dumped in the rubbish bin. Never posted a comment before but feel so let down.

  • Comment number 116.

    Always be sceptical of a series pre-start write-up. I personally thought "Hunted" was two episodes too long and ending the series as happened was a real cop-out, it seems as though the writers went home an hour or two early on the final day or finished it in the pub. The way the 6th, 7th & 8th epsiodes played out seemed to indicate that there would be a big showdown between Sam and those out to get her but all we got was essentially a rehash of "The Bourne Ultimatum" ending and a poor one at that.

    All the 'major' drama's I've watched on the BBC recently have all copped-out with unsatisfactory open-ended finales. It leaves me wondering why these series get commissioned in the first place. I think I'll be sticking to the US drama's and those from the other 3 channels from now on (blasphemous I know) and will only watch BBC programmes that can't be beaten - documentaies and comedy panel shows.

  • Comment number 117.

    Excellent watched it from the start and couldnt wait for the next, please tell me thats not it? There is not many tv series i actually watch but this was the exception nice one Frank.

  • Comment number 118.

    Well, Frank - I didn't get the ending either.
    I enjoyed the series, despite swearing to give it up several times as it just didn't seem to fit anything other than a Super-Hero Comic. However, I needed a better ending with either everything wrapped up, or some obvious leads to a follow-up series. This just conjures up a healthy woman, ONLY ONE MONTH after seemingly being shot, even if it was a fake round or she wore protection she still vanished and didn't appear to be pregnant at the time!! Far too many ??????????

    Who is the shadowy figure with the short finger?
    Is Sam dead or alive?
    Is it Sam's baby?
    How old is it?
    Who is the woman in the Land Rover?
    Why was her mother killed?
    Where did the Son and Grandson go?
    Did Peter kill the Hoody Bro'?
    Who finally walked away - the fake Horst or the lanky tart?
    I can't figure it out at all from the meagre bits we were shown and I'm annoyed about it - after all it's a pointless end to a story .........unless there is a follow up series, and what the Heck would that entail, another dimension????

    I don't feel at all comfortable about having spent all this time watching 8 episodes, only to be left without what I deem to be "an ending" (even if a temporary one).

    John, 67 years old, York, UK

  • Comment number 119.

    Thank you for the questions. While I can’t answer all of them, let me address the most pressing – the question of Sam’s survival after the bridge shooting and the baby in Scotland.
    A balance always has to be struck between how much you show viewers and how much you withhold in order to keep them from anticipating a surprise.
    In this case, there were viewers who surmised as early as Episode 1 that Sam didn’t lose her baby. I’m pleased if you were not among those viewers – I certainly didn’t want people to figure it out that quickly!
    If you reflect carefully on the episodes you’ve seen, I think you’ll realise that the clues leading to this revelation were there all along, hidden in plain sight:
    -- In Episode 1, when we first see Sam in Scotland after the shooting in Tangier, an entire year has passed. Why has she been gone such a long time? And why is she still in physical training?
    -- After Sam gets her coffee and newspapers in the village, she stops on the pavement. She leans down to greet a child minder with a baby in a buggy.
    -- When Aidan asks Sam whether she lost the baby, she doesn’t answer him. She simply shows him the scar from her shooting and says, “That answer your question?”
    -- In Episode 4, Aidan asks Sam about the sex of the baby he believes they’ve lost. Sam hesitates before answering, “A girl.”
    -- In Episode 7, Keel tells Sam he located her medical records from a hospital in Istanbul (the city where we first met the Blank-Faced Man in Episode 1). Sam freezes with fear when Keel tells her, “I know.”
    -- In Episode 8, Sam is seemingly assassinated by Deacon Crane with a sniper rifle – just as she seemed to be assassinated by Crane’s sniper rifle in Tangier in Episode 1. But wasn’t.
    -- Crane “kills” Sam after he’s turned in his letter of resignation, refusing to accept any further moral compromises. And after we’ve seen Keel facing his own mortality, staring at the image of a fatal brain tumour.
    -- Finally, when we see Sam return from running in Scotland a month later, she meets the same baby and child minder she greeted on the pavement in Episode 1.
    This was no dream. But it should make you reconsider everything that’s come before it.
    It turns out this was not a series about a woman seeking revenge for the loss of her child – it was a series about a woman trying to protect her child, to ensure her daughter doesn’t live to see her mother murdered, just as Sam did.
    Sam’s “victory” in the final episode was in being able to recover a memory from her kidnapping – a man she saw with part of a finger missing -- that she could use to begin to fight back against the men who would see her dead.
    It is true that many other questions about who wants to kill Sam were not answered in these episodes, but that was by design. This was always intended to be a long-running series, with the Hourglass mystery stretching over the course of years.
    It’s interesting how few posts talk about how many revelations there were in this episode – about the contents of the case, the reason Jack Turner was bidding for the dam, the “suicide” of Stephen’s wife, Stephen and Jack’s true relationship to Tyrone, and the identity of the girl in the window.
    But of course we wanted to leave you wanting more. If you as a viewer are frustrated that the series is not continuing, imagine how we as writers and producers feel after spending years developing it.
    The BBC’s decision not to proceed has brought an end to this series, but there is some good news. The American broadcaster Cinemax is proceeding with a spinoff focusing on Sam Hunter’s character. I would hope that series would find a broadcaster in the U.K. as well.

  • Comment number 120.

    Thanks Frank for some clarification, whilst its not everything it does help, a little.. The frustration is clear from your side too.

    A wicked well written story, well done. I am just sorry the BBC couldn't have dealt with this a little more professionally instead of leaving their viewers in the lurch..

  • Comment number 121.

    To those complaining, did you really think that Hunted was going to tell you everything? Because if you did, you've clearly spent too much time watching Grey's Anatomy. Real television takes work to watch. You don't just sit and twiddle your thumbs while images flash across the screen; you get engaged, you ask questions, and you see answers that aren't obviously there.

    A good show doesn't answer all your questions. They give you hint by hint, piecing it together so that you find some answers, but have to keep coming back. A lot of television these days, much like most things, has turned into spoon feedings of instant gratification. This is good TV, so you're not going to get that here.

    We did, however, discover lots throughout the series--about Sam, the people she worked with, and the people she was pretending to work with. And we know a whole lot more now than we did 8 weeks ago. Are there more questions? Sure. But why would I want the journey to end now? I don't want every question wrapped up because that would defeat the purpose.

    And be sure to read what Frank had to say because a lot of that was obvious, especially as you went on. All you have to do is pay attention to have seen that. Whose baby is it? Really? Come on guys. There were so many clues to the baby storyline! And that Deacon parallel at the end was brilliant. After all, we must come full circle to find the truth.

    I'm ready for next year.

  • Comment number 122.

    REALLY enjoyed this series Hunted Amazing so tense so watchable got into all the characters and story line (s) bit violent though. havn't watched anything so good in a long while - feel bereft now?!!!

  • Comment number 123.

    You could probably get the second season onto Channel 5. It's something they'd go for. BBC1 prime time just wasn't the place for it. That way the British viewers who care about what happens will have some closure. Although you've said it will be a completely different story, so if that closure isn't offered, I doubt there is much point in another series appearing on British TV. The BBC must have had their reasons for axing it.

  • Comment number 124.

    please would someone explain who the guy without the finger was and I still dont know why her mother was killed and what the connection was - please will someone enlighten me?!

  • Comment number 125.

    hi Frank just wanted to say thank you to you and everybody involved in Hunted for eight weeks great of television

  • Comment number 126.

    Hi Frank,

    LOVED Hunted and i totally agree with TrustNo1117

    there's nothing like going to a performance or watching something that leaves you with questions and really gets you're brain going.

    Maybe my love of this just comes to me naturally after studying Drama at college, but there was nothing we loved more than to create more than just something to watch. Something that the audience were actually affected/included by, not just a 'show'

    Hopefully we can expect to see the new spin off series soon! Love Hunted, Love Sam and can't wait for it all again.

    Kerry x

  • Comment number 127.

    .... has anyone mentioned the fact that in the first episode part of Sam's training was to hold her breath under water for the time it took fro sand to run through an egg timer (hourgalss). Was it just a coincidence that this would save her life?
    I am so pleased that I found this blog because I thought it must be me,and thanks to Frank for explaining 'stuff '.

  • Comment number 128.

    Thank you all for watching. Making this series with the BBC has been one of the great experiences of my career, and I appreciate all the feedback, both good and bad (especially the good!).

  • Comment number 129.

    fantastic programme but shame it had to come to an end, even worse BBC wont be showing anymore. I so hope a second series is made as this one was pukka, also there are lots of loose ends to tie up and so much potential.
    I'm confused with quite a lot of it to be honest as not much was revealed. I know not everything is revealed straight away but we have been left with more than a cliff hanger we are missing half the story.
    What's aidans true identity?
    Is he more involved than we think or was he innocently just a mole and knows no more of sams kidnap as a child, her mother's murder and why she is wanted dead?
    What's in the locker?
    Who is the man with no name?
    Why has he been protecting sam?
    Why did he want sam at the end of the series?
    Is he good or bad and wants her dead?
    Who is the man with half a finger?
    What involvement has he with sam's kdnp and mother's murder?
    What is the man with half a finger, connection with polyhedrus?
    why is sam wanted dead?
    Was sam's, mums murder connected to the investigation polyhedrus set up?
    Why was her mum murdered?
    Who was the woman polyhedrus sent to kill sam?
    How did she know about sam?
    What happened to thw MI6 woman who was seeing aidan?
    Is she more involed than we think?
    Why give sam the key?
    Who else knows sam has a baby?
    Will aidan find out he's a dad?

    I understood about the baby and why deacon shot her but nothing else makes sense?
    i feel if this is to be a series that drags out over years people are going to forget the story line and it wont make sense unless it comes out as a box set and you can start from the beginning and watch it all.

    Fantastic storyline but i feel we could have been left with more understanding of the questions i stated above.

    hope a second series is made and these answers ive stated will be revealed and also pray that we british fans can still watch it!

  • Comment number 130.

    I agree with many of the later comments. The ending was dramatic but with so many loose ends and unknowns that it makes a mockery of previous viewing time and viewer expectations. Utter nonsense and quite insulting unless there is a follow on series ...if so let us know soon. If there isnt..then it takes artistic licence and pretentiousness to a level I dont want to experience on BBC again. Get a grip!!! Love to all!!!

  • Comment number 131.

    Hi Frank, thanks for clearing that up I was just going to say the same. And the training Sam put herself through to hold her breath or even train herself to stop breathing if required and return to life. It was a rather abrupt ending I thought it ran for about 12 episodes so thought we'd continue the story next week! However as not I am looking forward to the spin off and from where it ended, I did think it reminded me of the X files alot Sams character as Dana as I was watching it.
    I wondered from the beginning how big a part The Snow Maiden was going to be related to Sams life and the outcomes as it was drawn upon alot. As we saw Sam's retreat in Scotland as a parallel to her childhood with her mother as in the tale in the book, plus no mention of Sam's father as of yet. The place she was taken as a child was similar to the castle in the Snow Maiden and her retreat and meeting with Stephen and his son. Apart from the facts in plain sight on a deeper level it was as if she was at the moment of being traumatised as a child suspended her notion of self as a survival mechanism and went into the story in the book. She stayed with the story until it was time for her self to remember the events and get the clues to go after the men that took her and murdered her mother. Perhaps she realised this in reading it again to the son or it triggered something.
    Also I thought we are told she was 11 at being taken but from her DOB and the police file she was only 9. The man with the missing finger was he there to rescue her in stopping her screaming or quite the opposite?
    I thought it odd why if she hasnt told Aiden yet about the baby and they part on friendly terms, there are obviously very close, I hope to see in the next series how they met prior to Tangier and more about their relationship, even without her temporary full trust of Aiden she seems deeply connected to him. I would love to know more about Aiden and his background.

    One part in the last episode re: the girl opposite, this seemed very unlikely a neighbour being brave enough to do this. Just after the bomb with security on full alert before lockdown, how did they not check a hand delivered letter and what she wanted. This is nice to see then luck that the letter slipped through and that she was brave enough to finally try to warn Stephen.
    Tyrone being the son of Jack was a good move it was easy to spot in hindsight, his over confidence even someone of his "rank" in the shady underworld pecking. Well acted. And Jacks utter trust and reliance on him, unlike Bellinger who seemed an Eton henchman just to undertake Jack's underdealings for some class reason rather through loyalty.
    All in all it was very good but very condensed in the last episode. Also the woman who wanted to kill Sam looked like she had escaped from daytime Loose Women, so that was rather distracting!
    Has Sam retired if shes training again and a minder is still present? Hopefully if she's going to continue her search for answers and working for Byzantium she will slow down or find a more efficient way of killing rather than getting into situations she has to recover from or it could become non believable, even for someone in top condition. Or her team would have to come up to scratch more to prevent this, perhaps Deacon could ensure this and ask her to come back if so?
    To end it is so far rather primitive the intel and way of working much like most spy stories, couldnt Byzantuim or this team in Byzantuim if there are ohers? Perhaps become one step ahead to others before but in a subtle way so no-one can tell, is that what Hourglass was supposed to be in the first place?

  • Comment number 132.

    Disappointed that the BBC decided they weren't going with further series to help with the loose ends, but what else can you expect from a corporation that has, over the weeks this series has been shown, shown itself to be an inept, crumbling old boys network, now terrified that the skeletons are coming out of the closet. Frank, thank you for the series. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it.

  • Comment number 133.

    Hunted has been a great series - totally preposterous but very watchable nonetheless - we loved it. But....... so many pieces left unresolved - why did Hourglass want Sam disposed of? Whose baby (if hers, why so young)? Who is Aidan really? Why aren't the BBC going to partner on series 2 - spoilsports! We saw the same thing happen with Zen which was excellent, then they dropped it for no good reason and keep going with rubbish instead. Come on BBC, you can do better with good fun drama.

  • Comment number 134.

    hi everyone, not sure how you do this first time blogging!!! I loved this series however i was a little confused by ending, hoping she'd end up with aiden. never mind i assume stephen father of baby then! i do hope there's another series. I have to say i love reading peoples comments! i Liked the fact that she kicked arse on a few men but thats just me.

  • Comment number 135.

    hi everyone, i'm new to this blogging lark. i loved this series i hope they make another series. I do love reading other peoples posts as they make me lol. i liked the fact that sam wasn't worried by beating up a few men in her way.also take it the baby s stephens then?

  • Comment number 136.

    @PeteMK did you read anything Frank said? He explained it all. That baby was not a newborn. That was the baby she was pregnant with at the start of the series. This isn't *that* complicated lol.

  • Comment number 137.

    Some answers ... Where did Aidan go? Back to (or probably just to) acting school with Stephen and most of the others. Why didn't Sam find out who Aidan really was? Ostensibly because he was the dad of her baby and she didn't want to find out, but actually so they can spin it out to episode 2 along with the identity of the 'is he a saint or a sinner' fake Goebel character. Who was the woman in the Land Rover? Who cares, the child minder but probably a character they planned to weave into a 2nd series.

    Getting bored of these screenwriters who build in to the plot things they only intend to answer in a subsequent series (which, in their arrogance, they assume will be commissioned). It's patronising of the audience who don't find out they won't get closure until they've invested 8 hours of watching.

    It's not surprising the BBC pulled series 2. S1 wasn't any good. Ultra lightweight acting, embarrassing character stereotyping and overcomplicated by trying to be too clever.

  • Comment number 138.

    I found the whole series gripping and watched it all, even though it was totally unrealistic and completely amoral. The ending was extremely frustrating and disappointing. Thank you to to the writer for giving the explanations above, but it should not have been necessary. The answers given above could easily have been included within the 8 episodes. It was just a cynical ploy to commission another series to keep the same storyline going. It would have been much better to complete this story, then develop another related one for another series, which seems to be what is happening.
    Disappointed with the ending -it reminds me of those american series that started off so well, then dragged on and on with no resolution.

  • Comment number 139.

    (Stamping her feet....) I want to know who Aiden was in relation to Sam's past and not just as her ex! That was what frustrated me the most. Apart from that I enjoyed this series. Seen Melissa in The Slap screened here last year and I liked her in that.

  • Comment number 140.

    Thanks Frank for responding to the comments, decent of you. I agree lots of "Turner" revelations, I guessed a few of them before they were confirmed as the series progressed but I think it was apparent throughout that the Turner part of the story would be concluded by the end and then it would turn to and finish the Sam-and-her-past storyline, but there again I'd assumed that this was a one-off series.

  • Comment number 141.

    I must write to say I absolutely loved this series. I don't watch tv because basically most of it is rubbish but I really did look forward to watching this. I loved Melissa George in it and all the characters. In one of her scenes in the cafe recalling her childhood, I thought she was believable and really into her character as she has been throughout.
    I understood the ending too and loved the twist. I guess the only bit that puzzled me was the hand with the missing finger....I am guessing that it was mean't for the next series but again I drew my own conclusions on that and reasons why she was kidnapped as a child and not killed etc.... The man who saved her could have been her Dad perhaps? A very clever and thought provoking ending. Please run another series :-)

  • Comment number 142.

    Like all fans of Hunted, I have been eagerly awaiting the hugely anticipated last episode of the series.
    Unlike most other bloggers, I am more than satisfied with the ending; I expected a few unanswered questions and assumed that the writers to some extent left any obscure conclusions to the viewer’s own imaginings. I also expected that the writers would have hoped that the BBC would also commission a further series to the show in order for them and us to fully explore and understand Sam’s history and exactly what happened to her on her return from Tangier. However, as we now know, this is not to be.
    What I loved most about the last episode is the small twists of fate, for example I wholly unexpected the revelation of Jack and Tyrone’s relationship. Tyrone’s view of Stephen is that although he, Tyrone had been the most ‘faithful’ son to Jack, it was Stephen who received all the privileges from his father’s relationship.
    It was also interesting to understand what drove Jack to bid for the dam contract. The human element of one man going up against a big corporation in order to revenge the death of his son gave Jack for probably the first time throughout the series an emotional connection the audience. That said, he still remained an awful and ruthless character. However, I must say, I particularly loved this character. His ‘rough diamond’ persona made him scareably believable. His story line and the delivery of this character by the actor gave this show it’s ‘horror’ content.
    After reading Frank’s blog of 23 November, I can now in hindsight appreciate some of the subtlies of the script writing. There were clues to be had that would have tipped off the viewer as they went through the series. However, as most viewers are used to being spoon fed the answers to questions in most dramas nowadays, it not surprising that most of us missed these.
    It’s probably worth watching the whole series again on the BBC iPlayer, now that the ‘stress’ of wondering what will happen next is no longer an issue so that I can really appreciate the work that has gone into this script.
    But this is what I loved most about this series. I had to work hard mentally to keep pace with the unfolding storyline! It was in parts complex and tricky to understand some of the dynamics and relationships between organisations and individuals. This was not Downtown Abbey! This was an exciting, cliff hanger of a series that tested my mental agility to grasp particular information and understand and relate it’s significance to particular plot lines. I am not a stupid person (I like to believe that I am above average intelligence!) but most contemporary television is no longer challenging and this series was extremely refreshing in the way that it demanded the audience attention if they were to succeed in fully understanding the story line.
    Finally, I am always amused when reading comments from bloggers who are overly critical about the ‘reality’ content of shows such as this. Personally, I don’t care how unlikely or improbable certain scenarios may be or the unlikeliness of a character’s response or action in a particular circumstance may be. I don’t know enough about the day in the life of a spy nor do I need to in order to recognise a fantastic story line and credible acting. My own day to day life is enough of a ‘reality check’ for me! I am more than happy to come home from work on a Thursday night, get the kids to bed, open a nice bottle of red and suspend belief for 1 hour in order to watch an intelligent, well written, mentally stimulating racy drama such as Hunted.
    Loved, it loved it, loved it.

  • Comment number 143.

    I think this was one of the best thrillers that I have seen on the BBC in quite some time.The plot was baffling at times,you may even say bewildering but also gripping.
    Lets hope I am not alone in looking forward to yet another series from the BBC.

  • Comment number 144.

    Good points YMEL. Sooo not looking forward to Thursday 9pm without Hunted : Fantastic Frank. I also love your thrilling Strike Back, as does my 12 year old son (and two daughters) But Hunted is better and I agree Frank, you need untied threads - "Red Herrings" of old- to avoid people guessing and keep the compelling exhileration going...right to Deacon's last fake shot -great link to opening episode - and the baby, which completely threw me. I loved the holding breath underwater suspense to elicit Turner's demise (link to episode 1). Frank Turner was so superb and all the revelations in Part 8 were enthralling.

    I enjoyed the complexity, if possibly over-egged in contrast to your Spooks, Strike Back and the superb The Shadow line (BBC 2011 Hugo Blick) But The Usual Suspects film was fragmented and complex back in the day and the incredible tension and suspense of Hunted is reminiscent of Luc Besson's Leon, Alan Parker's Angelheart and the film LA Confidential ...all twists, conspiracies and high drama.

    I do like "fantasy", my rock, dance and heavy metal muzak do that too...a state of other worldliness. And as for designer-violence: witness the great, glitzy film Drive from last year. If you want vaniila reality, watch I'm a Celeb, or Downton. Or much better still, see Gomarrah, a terriffic, shocking documentary style; but then I was still yearning for the fantasy, tinsel and surreality of the Godfather trilogy. I think the paralells with Jason Bourne - Treadstone/Hourglass - are an earnest strength. And why not ? Isn't 007 still alive and kicking :) Having said that, Byzantium did seem slightly ridiculous but...who cares, it's fabulous.

    Can't wait for series two, somewhere in the ether. Also, as a former karate instructor, I must suggest to Bloggers that Sam Hunter is perfectly capable of winning a few fights ! She's not just the girl down the gym. Check out martial artist Gina Carano in film Haywire (2012) And did has anyone see Jade Jones win her taekwondo Olympic Gold for Team GB ? I was there, get your pads on guys, as Jonathan Ross found out on his show ! (as he did with Melissa George too ha-ha)

    Well done on Hunted Frank. Amazing, one of the best thrillers ever on TV and film.

  • Comment number 145.

    I thought Hunted was the best programme on screens at this moment. I thought that it was very gripping and complex, just what I like to have in programmes! There are a few unanswered questions but that may be due to the fact you were going to do a second series. Why have the BBC cancelled the programme? If it was due to the numbers of people watching it why did they put it on when I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here was?

  • Comment number 146.

    Great series. The best thing on TV at the moment. But the last episode was ridicules. What happened at the end? Just a very annoying jumble of events that explained nothing. Rubbish!

  • Comment number 147.

    Thank you for confirming what I hoped was true Frank!

    I have to admit initially I did think Sam had died and gone to heaven (her childhood home) to be with her mum and baby (who - I thought - arrived together in the landrover in the final scene). Most of the clues I noticed but interpreted another way, e.g.: When Sam "greeted the childminder" I thought she just couldn't resist having a look at a random baby who passed, feeling wistful about her own lost littlun; when Keel said "I know," I thought Sam was nearly overcome with emotion at the lost baby being brought up in conversation in her boss's office, where she was supposed to be superhuman instead of human; when Keel offered Crane the director's job I thought Crane's decision to lead a moral life might have gone out of the window and he might kill a team member after all (like he had already given orders to kill Hasan).

    HOWEVER, in the end I decided that the team must have faked Sam's death - for two reasons:
    1. Otherwise, what was the point of showing us Sam training in the bath with the hourglass - this was shown so many times, it had to be significant.
    2. Otherwise, why on earth would Sam walk out onto the bridge like that - a perfect place to be shot at, so exposed? That she trusted the Scottish woman wasn't enough of an explanation - all the preceding events had shown us that (a) Byzantium team members couldn't trust each other, (b) she understandably didn't trust easily, and most of all, (c) SHE WASN'T STUPID!!

    All in all, from my point of view there was just enough ambiguity to make us think BUT enough certainty to arrive at the correct conclusion. I might have been a little slower on the uptake than the writers intended but the "extra" ambiguity made it work well for me :) I thought it was a really good ending.

  • Comment number 148.

    Rumour has it there will not be a second series made? Is this true? If so series one will not make sense to any of the viewers and really be a pointless programme. There are so many questions to be answered that I wrote earlier on. Without these answers it's like reading a book with the last chapter missing and u'll never know the true ending. Will your fans be kept updated as to where hunted will go from here? Also as to whether uk viewers will be able to watch? I was hoping the second series tied up the lose ends and that Sam would be safe and her and Aidan got together for their daughters sake. Maybe I'm too lovey dovey ha ha but the unanswered questions would be nice to find out! Now that the BBC won't show anymore does that mean your plan for this programme lasting years will have to be cut short? Or are you hoping to do more than just 2 series? Would be much obliged for answers!

  • Comment number 149.

    I don't really watch much television but happened across this really great series, compelling and thought provoking in addition to being well acted, directed and produced. A few points have puzzled me on reflection; are M15 really for hire, why did it take so long for someone to decide that Sam Hunter could incriminate them and why did the Horst impersonator seeming save Sam when he had the opportunity to kill her on several occasions?

  • Comment number 150.

    I lost the plot with the whole series. It moved from confusing and boring to incredulous and irritating. At least after patiently waiting for 8 episodes I expected some clear resolution at the end - especially an answer to the question of what was Sam's secret. But I'm no wiser. Can anyone tell me who was the man with half a finger?

  • Comment number 151.

    Hi Frank, having read the comments I'm amazed that few seemed to have got half the points that you mentioned. The '1 year' time lapse made perfect sense to me after episode 8, and I was left in no doubt about Sam having lived and had the baby. I also love the fact that you did leave a lot of questions unanswered, for just the reasons you mentioned, i.e., a lot more episodes and series to come!

    Maybe it's just my spy loving and conspiracy theory loving mind that wants to say, did the BBC get ringers in to comment about the lack of understanding at the end of the series just because they didn't take up the recommission!!! I'm only joking, maybe! But I was truly surprised that no one posted sooner to back up your revelations towards the latter end of this thread. My only reason is this is the first time I've ever bothered to read a blog on a series, the reason being, I enjoyed it so much. I'm truly astounded the BBC didn't go for at least one more series to start to explain some of the, obviously, deep storylines that you and your team have already thought through to some degree.

    I truly hope that another broadcaster can consider not just a spin off series, which I admit I look forward to, but maybe giving us all that much needed TRUE follow-up that would satisfy our curiosity.

    Thanks so much for a great show, along with a lot of other fine work over the years, you certainly haven't let this viewer down, and even provoked me into writing on the blogosphere! Ooh, scary!

    Keep up the good work, please, and BBC, have a rethink! Soon!

  • Comment number 152.

    TrustNo1117 - I totally agree with you for the most part. Good shows lead you hint by hint towards the answers and Hunted certainly set itself up to do just that. However, it's clear that the answers were being saved for subsequent series that now just won't happen.

    This is why so many people want the answers now. None of us want to be spoon fed, that's why we enjoyed Hunted so much. But if we can't enjoy being slowly teased towards a conclusion then why not tell us what was going to be revealed had the BBC had the common sense to make series 2?

    Frank, you did a brilliant job here. You set everything up nicely for a follow up and were then let down just like the rest of us. I'd just like to know if you had any plans for the other unanswered questions you said were held back by design or whether those were still to be written had the BBC not pulled the plug.

  • Comment number 153.

    Loved the series. Gutted that the BBC are pulling out. I guess this means I will end up buying the next series on DVD like I do other HBO series.

    While I had failed to notice Sam's interaction with the child minder and baby in episode 1, I had spotted the other hints mentioned. It does make a wonderful motive for her to come out of hiding in the hopes of flushing out her hunters.

    For me it seems kind of obvious that the fingerless man is a backer of Polyhedrus (and hence part of the Hourglass operation). The mysterious saviour figure is presumably opposed to Hourglass - after all any powerful organisation must have its enemies - and it may be that their finding out about what Sam knows is what triggered Polyhedrus deciding to kill her.

    I ended up feeling almost sorry for Jack Turner. The revelation of his motive makes his monstrous ruthlessness sympathetic, and seeing that his son does not understand is rather touching. Well done!

  • Comment number 154.

    ***** First time I've left a comment on any TV show or otherwise. The show must have caused a reaction with me to do this. I loved the series. I felt that I had to stick with it through a few episodes but, by heck, did it pay off in the final episode. So clever how the themes not only revealed themselves clearly, but also how they came to a point. A beautiful crescendo of a finale: the frustration of the human condition, the greedy and immoral haves set opposite the jealous and immoral have nots, the acceptance of the force of life, and the absurdity of warping human nature to try to control it- for better or worse: the icicle becoming a snowflake, melting in the sunlight as it ascends.


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