The good old spy thriller has rather fallen off the televisual radar lately, superseded, in the main, by countless police dramas. An itch for a good bit of espionage was just starting to arise. So, thanks be to Paramount+, who have given it a good scratching with Rabbit Hole. It brings a steady diet of delicious plot reveals, characters’ ingenious schemes carried out to a tee and, of course, an incomparably capable protagonist at work. All the classic stuff, no doubt, but pulled off deftly and contributing to a highly intriguing whole.
Sure, the lead, John Weir (excellently realised by Kiefer Sutherland), is another all-abilities-covered mysterious sort, who is a man of approximately 40 years; neither original, nor a draw. Likewise his no-nonsense approach, quickness in thinking on his feet and the fact he is just a little bit quippy. This is not a unique character design and the creators haven’t particularly tried to make it so. Nevertheless, Weir and his story are well written and compelling, in a large part thanks to Sutherland’s performance.
The series has a lightness of spirit that pops up upon occasion but otherwise lurks in the background, its humour sufficiently subtle and sparingly applied. Pleasingly, there isn’t an over-importance applied to tropes of high-end living, nor even the aspiration of being generally swanky.
Though a drop in the current flood of similarly austere serial releases from all contributors, Rabbit Hole makes a good case for itself. It’s tidily put together, it maintains its mood to good effect and it pursues a considered and well-paced narrative – well-poised cliffhangers are rife. These boons quite outweigh the minor drawbacks of the soundtrack being perhaps a touch too electro-pugilistic (to coin a term) and utterly addling callback sequences. Its classic, off-the-shelf spy thriller nature means the viewer might take a while to become convinced, but Rabbit Hole has a lot to give, if afforded just a morsel of patient anticipation.
Rabbit Hole is released on Paramount+ on 27th March 2023.
Watch the trailer for Rabbit Hole here: