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Review: Cinemax's 'Hunted'

Cinemax will look to follow up its successful original series Strike Back with espionage- themed drama Hunted.

The series, produced by X-Files writer and producer Frank Spotnitz, stars Melissa George as Sam Hunter, a skilled operative for global intelligence and private espionage firm Byzantium. Despite being haunted by her emotionally scarring past, things are running smoothly for Hunter until, during a planned rendezvous with love interest and fellow team member Aidan Marsh (Adam Rayner), she’s ambushed, shot and left for dead.

After going underground for a year to recover and rebuild her strength — which includes training herself to hold her breath underwater in a bathtub for minutes at a time and running up steep hills — she returns to Byzantium and rejoins her team in an effort to find out which of her co-workers may have set her up to die. Trusting no one, she must walk a fine line of completing the tasks set before her while secretly investigating those closest to her.

As Hunter looks to find the truth behind her attack, Hunted also delves into the often shady workings of Byzantium and the often questionable tactics it uses to achieve its goals. As a result, Hunter must often work outside of the system in an effort to complete her assignment as well as snuff out her attacker.

The series lacks the fast pace of Strike Back as it takes time to flush out Hunter’s complex personality while defining the characters working with her — including the company’s aloof boss, Rupert Keel (Stephen Dillane), and new and outspoken team member Ian Fowkes (Lex Shrapnel). The slow pace however, helps to contribute to the intrigue of the overall storyline, and is buttressed with several action scenes that add to the series’ overall appeal.

Fans of spy shows will gravitate to Hunted, a smart and entertaining series that will further build Cinemax’s reputation for delivering interesting original fare.

R. Thomas Umstead
R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.