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The Last Templar on NBC: Let Us Hope So

Let’s hope NBC takes the title of its newest miniseries, The Last Templar, seriously. For all our sakes, this had better be the last one.

The Last Templar, premiering Sunday and Monday night at 9 ET, is a decode-the-clues, find-the-treasure adventure starring Mira Sorvino as the second least credible female scientist in modern entertainment history. (For the least credible of all, see Denise Richards in The World is Not Enough.) Sorvino plays Tess Chaykin, an archaeologist who teams with an FBI agent (Scott Foley) to track down secrets, including biblical scrolls, hidden by the medieval Knights Templar.

Along for the ride are Victor Garber and  Kenneth Welsh, good actors who have enlivened mythology-laden narratives in Alias and Twin Peaks, respectively. Here, though, they seem to sleepwalk through this adaptation of the bestselling Raymound Khoury novel, as though resigned to their inability to disguise its absurdities, predictabilities and similarities.

Certainly, the only surprise lurking in The Last Templar is how utterly predictable it is – how each and every scene ends just the way you guess (and fear) it will. As a comedy, it works rather well: Watch Sorvino try and run in her designer stilettos! Watch how well cellphone reception penetrates a remote desert! Watch the final cliffhanger scene, just to see how not to shoot scenes on a cliff!

Only thing is, this isn’t supposed to be a comedy. And when you ponder how few miniseries are attempted by the commercial broadcast networks these days, the failure of this Da Vinci Code wannabe is no laughing matter.