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TV On Trial | Person Of Interest

TV On Trial | Person Of Interest

It starts tonight on Five with a big fanfare - but is Person of Interest worth an hour of your time? 

The Gist:
A secretive do-gooder (Michael Emerson) has worked out a formula for predicting which individuals are soon to be involved in a serious crime — maybe victim, maybe perpetrator — but needs a hero to help interrupt the schemes before the damage is done. Enter a mysterious bum (Jim Caviezel), whose single-handed whupping of a bunch of bad guys on the subway gets him noticed and lands him the job.

Tune In?:
The show is created by Jonathan Nolan, brother of Christopher and writer of The Dark Knight Rises and the short story which inspired Memento, and its executive producer is JJ Abrams, who made Lost; so as far as brooding and mysterious goes, these two should have things covered. Plus, US broadcaster CBS said the series was their highest-tested drama pilot in 15 years.

Turn Off?:
In the first episode, a white woman’s life is saved but an innocent black man gets done in, and yet the programme concludes with a sense that justice has been done. Hmm. Plus Emerson looks like Pee-wee Herman with hay fever and Caviezel appears to have been cut out of the side of a packet of Just For Men.

The Verdict:
Wait a minute, a mysterious stranger gets parachuted into a different crisis each episode, with only his wits — and a bit of help from his consumptive, occasionally ornery man on the ground — to see him through? We’ve seen this before. Only Dr Sam Beckett had better gags. We expected more.

Person of Interest starts on 14 August on Five