‘Human Target’ Might Be The Next Top Action Series

Human Target

Human Target is a new series from Fox based on the DC Comic of the same name that follows a bodyguard who protects high-end clients from assassins by impersonating them or by masquerading as someone close to them.  Whilst he protects his clients close by his partners work to investigate and find the killer.

No, it isn’t really a sci-fi show but given the pilot stars Fringe’s Mark Valley as the bodyguard Christopher Chance, Battlestar Galactica’s Tricia Helfer as his client, Watchmen’s Jackie Earl Harley (aka Rorschach) as his kind-of partner and given that it takes place on a fictional but futuristic speed train, the pilot qualifies for a write up.  It’s also been a long while since an action series has entertained me so that’s another good reason to give it some attention.

First, if you haven’t seen the trailer yet watch it now:

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Second, the official synopsis from Fox:

It takes a brave, selfless man to make himself a “human target” in order to save the lives of those in danger. Based on the popular DC Comics graphic novel, “Human Target” is a full-throttle action drama centered on Christopher Chance (Mark Valley, “Fringe”), a unique private contractor/security guard hired to protect.

Call him what you like, because for Chance, it’s about one thing only: saving his clients’ lives. When there is an unusual or imminent threat that can’t be solved through “normal” means of protection, Chance is hired to completely integrate himself into his clients’ lives to become the human target. If you’re a corporate manager whose disgruntled employee has gone violently off the deep end, Chance is your new auditor. If you’re the president of a bank who’s been tipped off to a potential heist, Chance is your unassuming bank teller.

During each job, Chance, assisted by his business partner Winston (Chi McBride, “Pushing Daisies”) and hired gun Guerrero (Jackie Earle Haley, “Watchmen”), puts himself directly in the line of fire as he races against time to save his client, while unraveling the truth behind the mission. With every new danger, Chance’s dark history will also unravel. Does anyone know who Christopher Chance really is, or what secrets lay buried in his past? What would make a man willingly become a human target?

The premise of masquerading as someone you’re not is eerily similar to Dollhouse although there’s no mind wiping going on in Human Target – Chance is simply so good he can blend in anywhere and as anyone.  Also it should be pointed out that the Human Target graphic novel and comic series existed long before Dollhouse, so there’s no regurgitation of Dollhouse going on.  That said, the new series deviates from the comic in enough areas that there really isn’t any reason to compare the two except to say that it is ‘based on’ the central premise of the comic and then move on (perhaps some fans of the comic may not be too pleased to hear that).

Human Target
Prior to seeing the pilot I had read a couple of poor reviews but now that I’ve seen it for myself I honestly don’t see how you can not enjoy the show.  I watched the pilot with a room full of people who all loved it and who all agreed they would definitely tune in to the series.  None of them had low expectations as a result of reading reviews like me either.

I’ll admit that the pilot had an unbelievable MacGyver moment (you’ll know what I’m talking about when you see it) and yes the series has questionable legs given the fairly simple episode by episode ‘blend in and protect’ premise, but the series isn’t pretending to be the next big philosophical outing.  It’s of the action/thriller genre and as far as that goes it hits the mark brilliantly. In fact the pilot has one of the best fight scenes I’ve seen on television for a while, one that reminded me of the fight scenes in the Bourne Identity.

The biggest let down I experienced was the knowledge that Battlestar Galactica actress Tricia Helfer is not going to appear as a series regular. Her presence in the pilot makes me say unfortunately because it reminded me of what an excellent actress she is and there is no question that alongside Mark Valley she more or less commands half of the pilot with her presence.

Nonetheless, whether it is in Fringe or Human Target Mark Valley is a highly engaging actor and it seems to me that his role as a semi-comedic bodyguard who just may have a deathwish could be the ideal role for him. Watchmen also turned me into a fan of Jackie Earl Harley and so I can’t help but see his involvement as a big drawcard for the series too. The regular cast also includes excellent actor Chi McBride (Pushing Daisies / I, Robot / Cradle 2 The Grave) as Chance’s partner. Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon / Predator 2) also makes a momentary appearance (a lot less I might add than the trailer portrays).  Suffice it to say Human Target is blessed with great actors.

Human Target
I’m not going to comment on the story in the pilot for that would ruin it for you, even though it’s not terribly complicated by any means – and that’s why the series should do well.  If you manage your expectations and tune in for a thriller/action series rather than the next big answer to the meaning of life you’ll probably enjoy it as much as I did.

Human Target will premiere January 17, 2010 at 8pm EST on Fox.

The Human Target pilot will also be screened at the San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday, July 25 from 4:45-5:45PM and will be previewed on Wednesday, July 22 during the Warner Bros. Preview Night.

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This entry was posted on Saturday, July 4th, 2009 at 6:53 pm and is filed under All News, Featured, Human Target, Reviews, TV Trailers and Videos. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

9 Responses to “‘Human Target’ Might Be The Next Top Action Series”

  1. Brian Erzen said:

    I saw an early test screening of this show and I really didn’t care for it. Sounds good, looks like it should be comic style since it’s DC, but this show wasn’t entertaining. At least I doubt this will make it past 13 episode.

  2. Sharon E. Dreyer said:

    I certainly hope that the early test screening isn’t the pilot for the series; especially since Brian Erzen commented and gave it a boring result. Time will tell.

  3. JD said:

    I personally enjoyed it a lot. I thought the guy who plays Chance was excellent. He was great in Fringe too. Tricia Helfer is more than hot, she’s an excellent actress. I will absolutely watch the series. (That said, I’ve seen the pilot, not the test screener so I don’t know if there’s a difference).

  4. Sharon S said:

    I watched the pilot on Jan 15 ‘10 & enjoyed the action scenes. “Chance” was great, but the plot was weak. I knew “who done it” right from the start. I know the series is for TV, but I really hope the story lines are not as simplified in upcoming episodes. I hope the show does well.

  5. wg said:

    Boring! Get rid of Tricia Hefler. Let’s hope they don’t plan to make her a regular. Go get Grace Parks from Cleaner. Nothing sexy about this show. Computer generated imagery was way too fake. Fight scenes were too long and fake, characters aren’t believable either. Won’t go further than one season.

  6. cgk said:

    Fantastic show!! Amazing special effects- barely any CGI, special effects were the real thing. Excellent fight scenes and good casting.Looking forward to different female leads each episode. This is the next big hit for FOX!

  7. George said:

    I didn’t even know about this series until I opened Hulu earlier today. At first I was going to turn it off like I do a lot of Hulu stuff that pops up, but that’s also how I got into Burn Notice, and Warehouse 13. So I decided to watch it and see what it was like, and I have to agree with the writer here.

    The first scene had me thinking, yea right, what a dope idiot, no way that is happening in real life. Stupid. And I was going to turn it off, but decided to give it a little more time, then the woman showed up, the other characters came into play, the lead became more likable, then the real action sequences, and I thought the same thing with hand-to-hand fighting scene, totally like the Borne series. The action sequences alone were a lot better than a lot of movies I’ve seen, and the acting top-notch. The futuristic train was a cool addition, which I liked, and of course the great action. Good sweet action, that had me cheering when the lead was running out of the tunnel with the woman next to him. Sweet show, I’ll definitely be tunning into this one.

  8. Jamie said:

    My husband and I have been looking forward to another Mark Valley vehicle, since the cancellation of the phenominal Keen Eddie (currently available on DVD). We thoroughly enjoyed his new show, Human Target. It is an action packed thrill ride. It may not be “in depth” with their character developement….buy who cares? I want to be entertained. Valley’s humor, pared with great action sequences make this a must see form of escapism. After all it is based on a “comic” book.

  9. Scout said:

    I just starting watching a few weeks ago, the ‘junglish’ episode caught my eye; reminded me of Indiana Jones…and I’m hooked.

    the two side-kicks; Chi and Jackie are fantastically played and add to the main character not overshadow.

    The show keeps me amused through-out and that’s all i ask for.