Historical fiction television series such as Turn are among my favorite genres of TV, and my first impression of Turn is that it is going to be a great series with this first episode delivering on what you would expect.
Jamie Bell (King Kong, Adventures of Tintin) stars in the series and having movie quality acting is more than welcome. His performance is one of the strongest aspects of the pilot. He plays real life Revolutionary spy Abe Woodhull, and this first episode basically sets up what will happen for the duration of the series as Abe is recruited into Colonial ranks as an undercover agent.
As much as I like the historical fiction genre, movies are rarely given enough time to tell the story properly; however, a television offers ample time, which is why I have high hopes for Turn's future quality.
Plot: 8.4/10- As stated above, Turn's plot follows Abe Woodhull, and this pilot does a adequate job of setting up for the remainder of the series. The characters are introduced, and by the end of the first episode, we basically know all of the character's motivations. Some reviews have described the pacing of the first episode as slow, yet my brother and I never once thought of it as slow. From about 15 minutes into the story, I was hooked. However, when it comes to historical series or TV in general, I tend to be a little more patience than most. Considering that this pilot ran 63 minutes in length, opposed to the typical 45 minutes, it allowed for more story progression and development.
Acting: 9.2/10- Turn has an overall very strong cast with a few movie actors including Jamie Bell, Kevin McNally (Gibbs in Pirates of the Caribbean), Burn Gorman (The Dark Knight Rises, Pacific Rim), as well as some newcomers. All in all, the acting is top notch.
Production Value: 9.5/10- I love high quality historical sets and costumes, and not surprisingly, Turn does not disappoint. In many respects it reminded me of the often underrated John Adams HBO series in terms of quality. While not mind blowing or epic by any means, it looks just as you would imagine the era would look. It is dirty and grimy, not like the usual glossy look of network TVs; it is AMC, why would anyone expect anything less?
Overall: 8.3/10- While not groundbreaking, Turn is a very strong pilot that makes me interested to see more, and with the absence of my favorite series, Turn will likely be an adequate replacement until October.
Have you seen the series? Are you interested in seeing it? Please comment below and let me know.
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