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.
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.
It’s “What have you been watching?”, your chance to recommend to fellow TMINE readers anything you’ve been watching this week
This week’s reviews
I miss my iPad. The screen broke a couple of weeks ago and although I had it repaired, they didn’t repair it properly, so I had to take it back again.
That means I’ve been confined to watching TV on my iPhone and not ‘co-browsing’ any more. Couple that with the “one connector so you can listen or charge but not both” syndrome and the crap battery life now available on my now old iPhone 7 and you can see my lack of iPad has been seriously cramping TMINE’s style – and review schedule.
However, over the past week, I’ve managed to review Nancy Drew (US: The CW) and season one of Raising Dion(Netflix), which ain’t bad. But as always, it’s the francophone TV that suffers in these things and I didn’t manage to watch either season two of Plan Cœur (The Hookup Plan) or any of that Beau Séjour on Walter Presents.
Oh well. Cometh the weekend, cometh the iPad, so hopefully I’ll be able to start watching more again.
What’s coming this week
I’ve not watched any movies this week at all – thanks, broken iPad – but that does give me room to review Jason Bourne spin-off Treadstone (US: USA; UK: Amazon) tomorrow.
Competition for Boxset Monday/Tuesday is frenetic, however. Released today on YouTube is season two of Impulse, which I hope to watch, and coming on Friday are Paul Rudd comedy Living With Yourself (Netflix) and romance anthology Modern Love (Amazon). I suspect I’ll go with Living With Yourself, as it’s only 8×25 minutes, but let’s be surprised next week, hey? I might even watch The Hookup Plan or Beau Séjour.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, we’re finally be getting HBO’s Watchmen sequel series, so I’ll definitely be chatting about that on either Monday or Tuesday.
I’d like to have watched Engrenages (Spiral), but no iPad, two episodes? I got 10 minutes in and decided it was up to the usual quality, but never had the chance to get any further. I never even got to see Audrey Fleurot, bar the ‘Précédemment dans Engrenages‘ at the beginning. Shame!
Cometh the iPad, cometh more Spiral.
That meant I had to stick to the new, stable, regulars list for now. After the jump, I’ll be talking about Batwoman, Evil, Magnum PI, Mr InBetween, Mr Robot, Pennyworth, Stumptown and Titans.
Lots of US TV, huh? But as always, the rest of the world has television we can watch. In Australia, a show called Total Control has just started. Dull name, hey?
But as we learned with Doctor Doctor – aka The Heart Guy – Australians do like to rename their shows for international audiences. So while Australian readers and I can chat about Total Control after the jump, by the time it hits UK screens, you’ll find we may have been talking about the far more excitingly titled Black B****.