Treadstone
US TV

Review: Treadstone 1×1 (US: USA; UK: Amazon)

In the US: Tuesdays, 10/9c, USA
In the UK: Friday, January 10, Amazon

Jason Bourne franchise spin-off Treadstone states in its opening titles: “Based on an organization from the Bourne series of novels by Robert Ludlum”. It’s tediously exact and speaks to an exciting level of copyright protection that even the nature of fictitious organisations is jealously guarded for their IP potential.

Nevertheless, despite this pedantry, it’s still only partially true.

The Bourne novels are a curious thing of the 80s. If you’ve only seen the Bourne movies, you’d probably be surprised by how different they are, thanks to the modernising skills of The Bourne Identity‘s director Doug Liman, who set the template with writer Tony Gilroy for the tone of the later movies.

Without wishing to spoil them too much for those who haven’t read them, they’re not the youthful, “American student with a Euro railcard”, agonised liberal take on the grey shades of US spying and colonial intervention in other countries’ affairs. Instead, they feature a considerably older Jason Bourne dealing with Carlos the Jackal on behalf of a US government anti-terrorist organisation called Treadstone. This Bourne is no super-soldier and the initial idea that he is a superhuman assassin turns out to be government propaganda.

Even by the second book, he’s only able to hold his own against younger men through virtue of his training, as his reflexes are slowing and he’s not as strong as he used to be. Plus he’s got a family and a lecturing career to worry about.

The TV adaptation of The Bourne Identity starring Richard Chamberlain as Jason Bourne was thus a far more authentic depiction of the book Bourne than the later movie version.

Bourne again

It’s considerably more accurate than Treadstone‘s titles suggest to say that its Treadstone is based on the movies’ version of the organisation – a top-secret US government programme designed to create stealthy young assassins from ordinary people through the use of certain dodgy brainwashing techniques and the like.

But just to crank things up from comparative to superlative, it would be most accurate to say that this is Tim Kring’s version of the movies’ version of Robert Ludlum’s Treadstone. Yes, the man behind Heroes has got his hands on Jason Bourne.

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Treadstone
Airdates

What time, TMINE? Including Treadstone and Stockholm Requiem

Every Friday, TMINE lets you know when the latest TV shows from around the world will air in the UK

So here’s a developing trend – shows being acquired before they’ve even been made, of which we’ve had quite a few this week. The drawback of these is that you can’t tell when they’re going to air because they’ve not aired in their native countries yet. And, of course, you can’t read my reviews of them to see if they’re worth bothering with.

Still, it is what it is. But we do at least have a couple of shows with actual premiere dates, you’ll be glad to hear.

TV3 (Norway)’s Wisting

Acquisitions

  • The BBC has picked up Viaplay/TV2/SVT (Scandinavia)’s Utredningen (The Investigation). That’s still being made
  • Walter Presents has acquired Één (Belgium)’s De Twaalf (The Twelve). No airdate yet, because it’s Walter
  • Amazon’s got hold of the latest spin-off from AMC (US)’s The Walking Dead. That’s so new, it doesn’t even have a title yet, so the best guess is “some time in 2020”
  • This very day, BBC Four has acquired TV3 (Norway)’s Wisting. That’ll air some time this year.

After the jump, though, details and premiere dates for Jason Bourne spin-off Treadstone and Scandi Noir Sthlm Rekviem (Stockholm Requiem).

Continue reading “What time, TMINE? Including Treadstone and Stockholm Requiem”
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