Photo : CW
I know what you’re thinking – what makes this “remake” worth my time? There are already a few other butt-kicking, name-taking super (hot) spies on TV to choose from – why “Nikita?”
By : SHAWNA BENSON
I know what you’re thinking – what makes this “remake” worth my time? There are already a few other butt-kicking, name-taking super (hot) spies on TV to choose from – why “Nikita?” First, let’s clear up the confusion – “Nikita” isn’t a remake, exactly. It’s more like a furthering of the original tale with new characters added to the mix. Nikita is the same character from the original series and film – this time played by Maggie Q (“Mission: Impossible 3”), who commands the screen every second she appears. It’s been three years since Nikita has escaped from Division, and she’s hell bent on taking down the organization that made her. While Nikita plans her takedown, a new recruit is brought in – a young girl named Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca) who is arrested during a break-in and framed for a murder. In quick order Division has brought her in, faked her death and started to put her through training.
Photo : CW
At first glance it doesn’t look like the kind of show you’d see on the CW, but it has a stealth factor. The recruits, their relationships and their missions are clearly going to be a big part of the story; almost as big as Nikita herself (after all, we have to see what Nikita is trying to stop). The youth infusion to the show is what adds a dynamic that works as a bridge to keep the audience the CW already draws and bring in a new audience who has rarely if ever looked for the CW in their sea of choices. The show has a little something for everyone – tight, thrilling action, sexy spies, intrigue, conspiracy, and some fun. The elements that made “Alias” work are here too, and that’s not a bad thing. “Nikita” seems to have learned the lessons of what worked in “Alias” and have adopted the best parts. One hopes they also learned what sank the former series in later seasons, and have learned what types of stories to avoid.
There’s a lot of chemistry in the first episode – Shane West (last seen in “ER”), who plays Michael, Nikita’s former handler who still works for Division really comes alive in his scenes with Maggie Q, and Melinda Clarke as the “Henry Higgins” of Division is intriguing and delightful. The one cipher is Alex. Clearly she’s a pivotal character for the series, and the pilot spends so much time setting up the premise and Nikita herself, that Alex gets a very thin character treatment. This is completely forgivable, as we shouldn’t know too much about her at the start, and allow her character to develop through the show, as she grows and adapts in her new life.
The bottom line: The show is fast, fun and worth sampling, even if you have to look up what the CW affiliate is (or at least find it online).
“Nikita” premieres Thursday September 9 at 9 PM Eastern/Pacific on the CW.