Earlier this week, the BBC announced that they would not be commissioning a second series of Hunted. It was hardly shocking news; while the first episode drew over 5.5 million viewers, numbers steadily dropped as the series progressed, with episode 6’s numbers dropping to just over 2.5 million. With just two episodes remaining, it seemed unlikely that the show would win viewers back, so the BBC pulled the plug. It might not be completely dead though, as Cinemax (the American network working with the BBC to produce the show) want to continue the Sam Hunter story, but that would require significant changes to the style of the show and probably the cast too.
But it’s difficult to see what makes Cinemax want to keep going; Hunted is a poorly written show and the plot is all over the place. If people aren’t watching it now, why would they in the future?
We’ve reached the penultimate episode of series 1, and there are so many revelations piled on top of each other that it feels like the show’s writers finished episode 6 thinking ‘Ah, halfway through series 1’ only to be told that they only had two episodes left, forcing them to empty their creative guts into episode 7, to tell the viewer ‘This is why this is happening/did happen’ again and again.
Some of the revelations in this episode include:
- Byzantium find out who they are working for (it’s the man that also wants Sam dead. Wait, what?)
- Natalie giving Alex the key (literally) to finding out who Aidan really is
- What’s really in the case the team have been trying to find for weeks
- Jack Turner’s plan to get the dam contract
- The Turners figuring out that Alex is a spy
- Some other stuff that I’ve forgotten because I was bored
So we’re suddenly in a position where Alex is about one step away from getting to the man that wants her dead (she actually begins the episode by breaking into his house) when it had previously seemed like that wouldn’t be revealed in the first series, and she’s also about to find out who Aidan is. Keel has also found out why Alex disappeared, and seems to hint that Alex didn’t lose her baby.
Fowkes recovers the case before barely escaping Tyrone (who kills Dave) only for the Byzantium team (remember, they are apparently an intelligent and respected spy team) to notice that Jack Turner actually gave Dave a different case in the first place, keeping the important one with evidence that will help him secure the dam contract in his office. It again makes you wonder how Byzantium ever get any work, as they’ve repeatedly missed, ignored or just forgotten hugely important things throughout their time watching the Turners.
The episode goes on and on with more and more revelations, with Stephen trying to turn his dad in after he’s recorded a conversation with the dodgy detective (Who is later well murdered by Tyrone and Bingham), although Jack stops him and tells him that they’ve discovered Sam is a spy.
It’s another rubbish episode of Hunted, and shows why it’s been losing viewers so rapidly. I can sum up how bad it is with an example from this episode. Early on, we see Jack Turner shaving, and he cuts himself (we’re treated to an arty shot of a drop of blood plopping into the sink). At no point in the rest of the episode does he have a plaster, or any evidence of a cut, on his chin. After going to the trouble of showing that moment, you’d think the writers would remember to make it at least appear like he’s gone to the effort of sticking a plaster on it.
I know that’s a small mistake to pick up on, but it just highlights how lazily written the show is, and why it’s no wonder that it’s one series and done for Hunted.