Review: Hostages on BBC 4 (Episode 1/10)
A family is presented with harrowing decisions.
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Hostages is a BBC 4 thriller drama series originating from Israel. With a 40 minute suspense filled running time, it is not one to be missed. If you are not used to foreign film, then the subtitles can detract from subtext and visuals, but they do not encroach on the story by any means.
The first episode doesn't waste time jumping straight into the action, with the opening police covered crime scene telling us that there is a highly sensitive and tense situation going on.
The head police officer is informed there is a man being held hostage and that if demands are not met, the hostage will almost certainly be killed.
This instantly draws you into the story with nail biting suspense and, as the situation unfolds, you have to admire the writers' smart and satisfying storytelling.
Change of setting and characters is frequent throughout this episode which only makes the story more complex and interesting. After the initial intense feelings from the hostage situation, we are then moved on to a surgeon operating in a hospital, which although not too from away from a life or death situation by any means, the feel of the new scene seems to bring us back to normality.
Dr Yael Danon finishes up with her patient and is swiftly called away to be told she is to perform a simple surgery on the Israeli Prime minister- Mr. Shmuel Netzer. This causes jealousy amongst one of her colleagues but, although conflicted, she prepares for the coming surgery.
We are then introduced to the doctor's daughter, Noa, who appears to be in some emotional distress when talking to her mother on the phone, her individual story continues along with the rest of her family and a sense of attachment to each character starts to form.
Of course, keeping in with the change in dynamic, we are then transported to a school where we meet the schools principal and the good Dr's husband Eyal, and their son, Assaf. It becomes clear that Assaf can be quite a rebellious child considering his fathers position, but we learn his reasons and again, his naive and boyish ways bring out feelings of protection towards him.
We start to get a sense that the Danons are a close family with their own, very relatable problems. This creates an immediate affinity between viewer and the on screen family which I think helps set the precedent for the next part of the story.
As the family innocently prepare for an evening of quality time together, we see several masked men standing outside the house and a sense of foreboding is very imminent. The whole family is then captured one by one and left bound and gagged in their very own living room, the fear they must be feeling is portrayed perfectly by the cast.
Dr Yael Danon is informed of their demands, she must kill the prime minister in the upcoming surgery, or her family will not survive.
The harrowing decision will be sure to unfold in the upcoming episodes and it will be interesting to see how the doctor decides to proceed. "How much do you love your family? I don't think you really know until it is put to the test..."