Fall First Impressions: NBC’s Crisis
Coming to NBC this midseason is Crisis, a new action thriller starring Dermot Mulroney (My Best Friend’s Wedding), Gillian Anderson (The X-Files), Lance Gross (The Last Fall) and Rachael Taylor (Transformers).
The action centers on the fallout surrounding a key event from the pilot episode in which an innocent field trip for the students and teachers of Ballard High School goes horribly wrong when their bus is intercepted on a quiet wooded road and all of the students are taken hostage by a deadly and professional team of terrorists.
What ups the ante in terms of storytelling is that Ballard High School is home to the children of America’s wealthiest and most powerful – CEOs, foreign royalty, international power players, key diplomats and even the president’s son. As the FBI struggle to understand how such an event could have happened when the school bus was operating with a heavy security detail attached, it soon becomes obvious that this mass kidnapping is an inside job.
The log line for the show asks how far would you go and what would you become to ensure your child’s safe return? The answer to this question is perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the show. With so many juicy targets, the shadowy kidnappers are relatively free to discreetly bend the country’s elite to their demands, and the pilot episode we screened shows just how far one parent is willing to go to see his son again.
If the premise isn’t enough to lure you in, then the multitude of characters may. From the fraught relationship between two estranged sisters (Anderson and Taylor) to the FBI agent who is having the worst first day on the job ever (Gross) to the cowardly father hiding a surprising secret (Mulroney) Crisis offers a smorgasbord of emotionally charged drama from the large ensemble cast in addition to constantly changing up what we think we know. No one, from Gillian Anderson’s hard as nails CEO Meg Fitch to Dermot Mulroney’s cowardly and desperate Thomas Gibson, to the shadowy organisation itself, is quite what he, she or it appears. Over the course of the pilot’s first hour secrets are exposed, people reveal their true intentions and the stakes are raised.
Is Crisis worth checking out later this year? We’re going to go with yes. We can tell you that it’s got four strong and very watchable leads in Anderson, Taylor, Mulroney and Gross. It’s also got multiple human interest plot lines going on in addition to the overarching storyline. The large ensemble cast is diverse, solid and well fleshed out, from James Lafferty’s guilty teacher Mr Nash to Max Martini’s genuinely scary Koz. It’s also got action sequences worthy of the big screen. But perhaps most importantly, it’s easy to see where the pilot’s subtle procedural notes could potentially take the show over episodes to come. There’s great potential for some solid viewing here.
Crisis is from writer/producer Rand Ravich (Life, The Astronaut’s Wife). Ravich, Far Shariat (Life, I Love You Phillip Morris) and Phillip Noyce (Salt, Patriot Games), who directed the pilot, serve as executive producers.
Crisis also stars Stevie Lynn Jones (Battle Force, Rogue), Halston Sage (The First Time, How to Rock), Joshua Erenberg (The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, The Green Hornet), Max Schneider (How to Rock, Rags), James Lafferty (One Tree Hill, S. Darko), Max Martini (Saving Private Ryan, The Unit) and Michael Beach (The Game, Third Watch).