It’s practically customary for a TV pilot to be a little artless in places as it tries to define itself and crosses its fingers that audiences (with an almost unlimited range of other options) will stick with it. Suspicion, from Apple TV+, hits the ground running, delivering a satisfyingly thrilling thriller with an air of undemanding sophistication. Seemingly unconnected narrative strands unfold parallel to one another, leading to wild speculation about how and why these will ultimately intersect – and what more can reasonably be expected from a first episode? While talent agents and producers undoubtedly wrangled about the cast’s billing, it’s a fairly even-handed ensemble effort, featuring an interestingly recognisable cast of Brits and Americans.
A young man is kidnapped from a New York hotel in a dramatic and redundantly stylised fashion, with suspicion falling on a disparate group of Londoners who all happened to be at the same hotel on the night in question before flying home the next morning. Aadesh (Kunal Nayyar from The Big Bang Theory) was allegedly chasing a job opportunity; Natalie (Georgina Campbell from Broadchurch and Black Mirror) was apparently taking a brief pre-wedding holiday; Tara (Elizabeth Henstridge from Agents of SHIELD) was grudgingly speaking at a conference. Some parties have a vague connection to the victim and his influential mother Katherine (Uma Thurman), and since this is a transatlantic affair, FBI agent Scott Anderson (Noah Emmerich from The Americans) is dispatched to London to help unravel what promises to be a deliciously convoluted story.
This remake of the Israeli series False Flag perhaps doesn’t need all its conspicuous attempts to induce a sense of paranoia and intrigue. With its place name title cards appearing on-screen with an electronic whir, its abundance of overhead aerial photography (drones have made these shots so much easier in recent years), and its establishing shots depicted as CCTV footage, it’s as though the show’s visual style has been substantially inspired by the Bourne series of films. However, this is a fairly trivial grievance. Somewhat more frustrating is Thurman’s level of participation – so far, anyway. While she doesn’t have top billing and her appearance in the previewed episodes is barely a cameo, it’s implied that her inevitably dodgy communications executive will become significant as the series progresses.
There’s nothing revolutionary or even particularly bold about Suspicion; it’s simply a very tightly constructed piece of entertainment.
Suspicion is released on Apple TV+ on 4th February 2022.
Watch the trailer for Suspicion here: