In an episode of "Seinfeld" called "The Pilot", George and Jerry discuss their options after George botches their already minute chances to get a pilot on the air with NBC. In the episode, Jerry scolds George, telling him that out of the hundreds of potential pilots, NBC maybe picks up maybe one or two. While few shows still make it on the air today, few seem to stay on the air, despite many of these shows getting excellent reviews from the audiences that did tune in. If the audience isn't up to expectations from the outset, the series may not make it past a handful of episodes.
One of these shows was "Kidnapped", an intense NBC drama that lasted for 13 episodes before coming to a close. The show opens in the house of the Cain family, an extremely wealthy New York family headed by parents Conrad and Ellie (Timothy Hutton, Dana Delaney). As the show opens, their 15-year-old son Leopold (Will Denton) becomes the target of a kidnapping plot, which is pulled off shortly into the first episode, leaving Leopold missing and his bodyguard, Virgil (Mykelti Williamson) badly injured and also gone.
The family hires a mysterious pair of experts named Knapp (Jeremy Sisto) and Turner (Carmen Ejogo) in order to get their son back. He informs them not to go to the FBI, who cares more about getting the criminals than getting their son back safe. Also finding his way into the investigation is Latimer King (Delroy Lindo), a FBI agent who'd believed he was on his way to retirement before finding out that his friend - Virgil - had gotten into trouble. So the two differing hunters must work together to find Leopold and figure out who's really behind it.
"Kidnapped" has its downsides, which are apparent early on. As best as the series does try to add mystery and layers to the plot (and it does succeed reasonably well), the core of the story one that audiences have seen before, as the show seems like a TV series version of director Ron Howard's "Ransom". Some scenes throughout the episodes can feel rather cliched.
However, "Kidnapped" does work in other regards. The series manages to stage some intense action scenes and some equally tense quieter moments, such as a scene in the second episode when it becomes apparent that there's one more guest than there should be at a society party. The performances are also pretty good; while Hutton seems flat at first, the performance starts getting a little more dynamic as the show goes on. While we've seen this kind of story before in movies and TV, "Kidnapped" does a pretty good job of spacing out the clues/info.
Overall, this isn't a series without some flaws and one questions how long it probably could have gone on (although maybe it could have tackled a different story in the next season/s which is what the final episode suggests would have probably been the case), but it's still a largely compelling and sometimes quite intense drama.
1. 1- 1 101 Pilot
2. 1- 2 102 Special Delivery
3. 1- 3 103 Sorry Wrong Number
4. 1- 4 104 Number One with a Bullet
5. 1- 5 105 Burn, Baby, Burn
6. 1- 6 106 My Heart Belongs to Daddy
7. 1- 7 107 Front Page
8. 1- 8 108 Gone Fishing
9. 1- 9 109 Do Unto Others
10. 1-10 110 Impasse
11. 1-11 111 Mutiny
12. 1-12 112 Acknowledgement
13. 1-13 113 Resolution
VIDEO: "Kidnapped" is presented by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The presentation quality was mostly very good. Sharpness and detail were a little inconsistent (some low-light scenes looked a little too murky), although most scenes looked crisp and well-defined. The presentation's main issue was the presence of some minor edge enhancement at times. Otherwise, no artifacting or other concerns were spotted. Colors, as one might expect from a program like this, are quite low-key, but seem to be presented accurately.
SOUND: The show's Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack remained fairly active throughout, using the surrounds during the most intense seqences to deliver sound effects, ambience and reinforcement of the score. Audio quality was perfectly fine, with crisp dialogue and well-recorded effects.
EXTRAS: "Ransom Note" featurette and previews for other titles from the studio.
Final Thoughts: "Kidnapped" does have a familiar plot, but the series does boast fine performances and keeps the tension high. The DVD set provides fine audio/video quality, but minimal extras.