There were two kidnapping dramas airing in the Fall season. First up to the plate was Vanished which had a good pilot but proved to be a bit rubbish and was cancelled (Five bought it and may show it in the autumn) and Kidnapped which I thought was less rubbish but rubbish nonetheless and was also cancelled.
However I’ve just watched the first two episodes of Kidnapped again and ‘rubbish’ is perhaps too harsh. It is average and clichéd but it is OK.
The problem with a serial drama is that it has to be compelling and not just OK. With so many good shows requiring a lot of time commitment you have to be really good to get people making an appointment to view.
Of course, as with many shows, there’s a hard-core of fans who remained loyal and loved it but it wasn’t enough to keep the show on air. Although at least they got the opportunity to see the remaining unaired episodes online.
As we attempt to write our own thrillers, I think it’s useful to actively think about whether the characters are complex enough to care about, if you’re intrigued by the storytelling or whether the tension is too slack. Is there too much information you need to retain or is the level about right? Is it too convoluted or are the twists natural and believable?
The original order for the show was 22 episodes which was wildly optimistic considering the premise but it was cut back to 13 and the writers were allowed to tie up the loose ends. Channel 4 are showing those 13 eps in 6 parts.
Kidnapped, Channel 4, Tuesday, 10:00pm (repeated on E4, Friday)