TV Review – Believe “Pilot” (2014)

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Multi award winning Alfonso Cuarón who has 2 Academy awards, BAFTA’s & Golden Globe winner, an acclaimed filmmaker and writer since the mid 80’s, his first major film A Little Princess (1995) nominated for 2 Oscars.

 Believe is an American science fiction/fantasy/adventure television series that is broadcast on NBC by Alfonso Cuarón & Markus Friedman also executive produced by J.J. Abrams.

As Believe begins I couldn’t be faulted for having high expectations of this show even when you consider it’s a pilot NBC Mid-season starter show, when you look at the two big names involved you expect good things, the premise of the show is Bo (Johnny Sequoyah) a 10 year old girl who has telekinetic powers which have recently got stronger, she has a group of people after her lead by Skouras (Kyle MacLachlan)  and a group of people who are trying to protect her lead by Winter (Delroy Lindo) who enlists the help of a wrongly convicted death row inmate Tate (Jake McLaughlin) after breaking him out of jail to be her reluctant protector.

I was put off a little at the start by the awful looking “neck breaks” that occur I know she is an assassin but I think I have turned my head faster than the force she used to break their necks, Believe has other annoyances in the show such as spending far too much time on stories that aren’t pivotal to the plot but are what the episodes are going to centre around, awful hiding from Bo and Tate in the one cupboard that the assassin fails to check in, Skouras the over played cliché of a humanitarian on the outside, bad guy on the inside, the pilot seeds the history between characters fairly well, offering lines here and there that hints at the past that led to current events.

Tate’s abruptness at times with Bo even though he is supposed to be misunderstood and all moody and brooding at times he just seems nasty with her and tells her she is wrong even though she rarely seems to be wrong, I feel he is good as a strong anti-stereotype protagonist who is tough and rugged but has clearly got room to grow when he lets his armour down and he has the odd funny moment like the first fight scene between Tate and the female assassin, I did think it was strange how good a fighter he was yet they made no real mention of it in his opening history monologue which gives a lot away some might say a little unnecessarily but perhaps it might explain itself in episodes to come, But those are, to a degree, forgivable staples of a pilot episode for a series that probably won’t find its footing for a few episodes yet.

Overall I feel that Believe could be a good show if they don’t focus too much on their weekly cases and getting into too many routines and become the generic kid with powers show because even from the pilot I couldn’t help but think about Tim Kring’s Touch (2012-2013) as a comparison show and that got stale very quickly but the lead few characters seem strong especially (Johnny Sequoyah), as Bo the writers seem to have done a good job with her script to make her ask questions that a child would ask instead of them just asking “the right questions” all the time, I feel given time this show could be really good if the characters evolve as Bo’s powers evolve.

***1/2 Stars (out of 5)
Gavin Tones

Drama, Fantasy
Watch. (UK)
Aired On:
27th March 2014
Thursday 9pm (UK)
Johnny Sequoyah, Jake McLaughlin, Kyle MacLachlan, Jamie Chung, Delroy Lindo