I really don’t like doing reviews of a new series until at least the third episode. You can get really mixed feelings from a TV show when it first comes out, so best to let it get its feet wet a little first. So no, this review is not late, just matured.
My first memory of the Human Target: was from reading some old DC Comics issues of Batman in the 1980’s. It was an interesting character but not really enough to drive his own comic at the time. Christopher Chance, the name he went by but not necessarily his real one, was a master of disguise. When he entered into a contract with a client he would literally become that person. A very sharp mind, skilled martial artist and marksman made him a great bodyguard/double.
Next up, I ran into the character in the early 1990’s in a very short-lived (properly so) TV series starring Rick Springfield. Yeah… that pop singer/soap star was cast as a bodyguard. Well the series, which I still have on VHS if that tells you anything about my packrat problem, only lasted 7 episodes on ABC. The FX’s they used for Springfield doing his makeup was pretty cheesy, but the concept for the show was good.
Now we have the new FOX series, which at this point has had three episodes aired. Starring Mark Valley as Chance, Chi McBride as Winston his handler (formerly from Pushing Daisies) and Jackie Earle Haley as Guerrero the resident geek/brain (he was Rorschach in the film Watchmen).
Frankly the casting is spot on, all solid actors with their own strengths and they thus far have brought solid performances to the show. The main thing they have changed is the fact that Chance is no longer a master of disguise but rather a bodyguard. A highly skilled and connected bodyguard that is.
They have dropped many hints that he may have been a spy at one time, but nothing concrete. What we do know is, he speaks multiple languages, so far Japanese and Russian, knows martial arts, is a master shot and tactician.
I like the show for its action and humor. So far the writing has been very well done and as I said earlier, the casting is very good. They are actually using some quality comic book writers for the scripting, Carmine Infantino and Len Wein have writing credit on the first two episodes. Also they have had some excellent guest stars so far, Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica), Danny Glover, Alessandro Juliani (BSG), Sean Maher (Firefly), and Emmanuelle Vaugier (CSI NY).
I think FOX may have a good show on their hands, if they don’t muck things up like they have with other shows in the past. Over all I give this a 3.5 Stars out of 5!