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NUMB3RS REVIEW

NUMB3RS REVIEW
TV REVIEW
SEASON PREMIERE EPISODE September 28th 2007
ALSO ON SITE

Here's a bright idea for your season premiere.

Bring in your brother to direct, and random film actor you like so much you've worked with him no times. Could be a recipe for disaster.

However, if you're Numb3rs executive producer Ridley Scott, and your brother is respected action director Tony Scott, and that actor is Val Kilmer... well, let's say it could really create a buzz.

I'm pleased to report it was also a great success.

Kilmer is smoulderingly restrained as a corrupt double agent raised in China. I've never seen him so absolutely still in a role. He's pretty deliciously evil: it's not a huge role, but it's pivotal and juicy.

This is a show that's consistently one of the most intelligent on TV, not just because of the reliance on higher math to solve tricky FBI problems.

It also has great family drama in the relationships between brothers Don and Charlie and their father, and between the agents who work with Don and mathematicians who are friends with Charlie.

Also, any show that can take Peter MacNicoll here and now, and make him into something of a sex symbol has my vote as pretty damn special. Not to mention casting the wonderful Diane Farr as one of Don's colleagues and Kathy Najimy as a potential love interest for Judd Hirsch.

The premiere of Numb3rs continues to develop the Colby Granger plotline with more twists and turns. There's a genuine sense of betrayal among the agents who are forced to believe their friend has been a spy all along.

It's not so uncommon now to see a television show shot widescreen, but this episode uses it particularly well. You can tell Scott is a fine director of action sequences, and that he's used to working on the big screen. This is some great, exciting stuff.

Who knows if the show will throw as many resources and as much effort into every episode. I can't see how that would be possible, but the strength of this show has always been the writing and acting, and those things at least will remain constant.

Worth checking out - if you've never watched before, don't let the math scare you off. It's like understanding how a jet gets off the ground: cool to know, but not necessary if all you want to do is go along for the ride.

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