NBC’s television adaptation of the hit movie franchise, Taken, is set to debut in February, and ahead of that, NBC has released the first official trailer for the prequel series. If you were already nervous about a TV show version of the popular action movies, the Taken TV show’s trailer will either add fuel to the fire or calm your concerns. Below are the top three takeaways from the Taken trailer. You can watch the trailer on Taken‘s official YouTube account here.
Before beginning, here is a little background on the prequel series. The Taken TV show will follow Bryan Mills (Clive Standen) as he becomes the man audiences know from the movie franchise. Consider this his origin story. Here’s the official synopsis IMDB has posted for Taken.
“As former CIA agent Bryan Mills deals with a personal tragedy that shakes his world, he fights to overcome the incident and exact revenge.”
Now, if you noticed anything right off the bat, it is that Bryan has to deal with a “personal tragedy.” The Taken trailer reveals what that tragedy is. During a train ride with his sister, Bryan ends up stopping an attack, but his sister is killed in the commotion. Welcome to the first takeaway from the Taken trailer.
1. Mills is unable to save his sister
It is true to life that you cannot save them all, but Taken has always been a fantasy in that regard. That being said, the entire Taken franchise revolved around one plot point of Liam Neeson’s determined dad taking whatever measures were necessary to save his kidnapped daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace). No matter the odds, he always managed to succeed.
The question is whether viewers, who will presumably be checking out the TV show because at least some of them are fans of the movies, will be turned off by Mills’ inability to save his sister in the pilot. The exact opposite premise of the original movies. It is a huge gamble for the show to take.
One of the key aspects that made Taken such a hit with audiences was that we, as viewers, always believed that Neeson’s Mills would prevail in saving his daughter. Now, we know he loses his sister right out of the gate.
If he cannot save his sister, the confidence that he can succeed in saving others is exponentially damaged. While the twist makes the stakes more palatable and the tensions higher, it dampens the excitement of watching Mills battle the bad guys, knowing he will more than likely have to work overtime to win.
2. Clive Standen as Bryan Mills
One of the most encouraging aspects of the Taken trailer is the glimpse viewers get of Clive Standen as Bryan Mills. Throughout his time on History’s Vikings, Standen has been a standout, so his casting is logical and ideal. Having already given away the more emotionally charged parts of his performance, it is clear that Standen is up to the task of shouldering his own series. Taken should be a great vehicle for his skills.
3. No utterance of Bryan Mills’ iconic lines
In the original Taken, Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) confronts his daughter’s kidnapper over the phone. When he does so, he forewarns the following.
“I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.”
Those were the lines that catapulted the original Taken from being considered just another action film and placed it atop the pop culture mantel as an iconic one. It also cemented Bryan Mills as a more cutthroat protagonist than the usual character to front this scenario.
If you have watched the trailer for the Taken TV series, then you know none of those lines, or ones like it, are present. It is hard to imagine the TV show being able to incorporate the iconic lines that made the movie a phenomenon.
In the movies, Mills was a single dad on a single mission to save his daughter. Throughout the film series, his ability to do this degenerates. Given the deteriorating reception each Taken received following the original, it would seem certain changes, such as that one, were not well-regarded by fans of the franchise, or audiences in general. One can only hope the Taken TV series charts an improved course, in that regard.
There is a lot of interesting ground to cover with the Taken character. Watching anything other than the persona Neeson cultivated (a hard-nosed former operative and motivated father) in the original Taken would undoubtedly be different to watch. Only time will tell if viewers are “taken” along for the ride. Taken premieres February 27 at 10 p.m./9 p.m. Central on NBC.
Editor’s note: a previous version of this story erroneously identified Mills’ daughter as being killed during the train attack.
[Featured Image by NBC]