Going after DaVinci Code intrigue and Homeland action – the marketing promos also namedrop Indiana Jones and The FBI -- USA’s new series, Dig, has a great title, a solid cast, and, maybe best of all, a compelling main setting in Jerusalem’s Old City.
There are intersecting storylines also set in Norway and New Mexico, but the real action is on and under the millennia-old streets of Jerusalem, with as many background shots of the golden Dome of the Rock as possible.
FBI agent Peter Connelly (Jason Isaacs) is stationed there, working for Lynn Monahan, played by Anne Heche. Monahan, his occasional sex buddy, offered him the posting after Connelly’s daughter died and his marriage collapsed. One night he spots a redheaded American archaeologist (Alison Sudol) who closely resembles Connelly’s dead daughter. She leads him to an underground dig site where, irritatingly, she has carved her initials into the wall. (Do archaeologists do that?)
It’s a metaphorical rabbit hole for our hero, who will soon be investigating a murder that he, in theory at least, could be implicated in, and that elicits clues leading into ancient secrets and Ark of the Covenant invocations.
In New Mexico, meanwhile, there’s a walled compound where, it appears, a religious sect is training a young boy to carry out an unspecified but very important mission. David Costabile (who played Gale the chemist in Breaking Bad) and Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under) are part of that. In Norway, a red heifer has been born and must be protected from dangerous enemies so that it can help fulfill a prophecy.
There are plots and subplots cooking right and left, and ancient stones and symbols, that keep the action moving and the viewer guessing. They will come together, eventually, over the course of more than the three (out of 10) one-hour episodes I watched. But we learn from the opening moments that the end of the world could be coming.
The storytelling is not at the level of co-creator Gideon Raff’s Homeland (the other co-creator is Tim Kring, of Heroes.) But Dig is certainly fun and colorful and worth watching. For more, check out the show's site.
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