This is just a reminder to all you TV watchers out there: NBC premieres the first episode of Christopher McQuarrie’s “Persons Unknown” later tonight. This is the first of what is expected to be a 13-episode mini-series. So what else are you gonna watch tonight instead? “King of Queens” reruns? Of course not. Here are some excerpts from our review of the pilot episode (which you can read in full here):
The first hour of Christopher McQuarrie’s first foray into television, the mystery-drama “Persons Unknown” is exactly how you would set up a TV show with a finite number of episodes (in this case 13). The premise is killer: seven strangers wake up in a hotel in a small town in the middle of nowhere. The town looks a lot like a Hollywood movie backlot, and everything there is to see can be seen from the porch of its lone hotel. There is a Chinese restaurant, a Sheriff’s office, phones that don’t work, and other stores to provide the basic necessities of life, but beyond those buildings, there are only … mountains.
As the show opens, divorcee Janet (Daisy Betts) is at the park with her 5-year old daughter when strangers abduct her. Janet, not her child. Janet wakes up in a mostly empty hotel, unsure of how she got there, where “there” is, or who the culprits are. She quickly meets Joe (Jason Wiles), another abductee, and soon the two locate others in the same predicament: the high-strung Charlie (Alan Ruck), who longs to return to his dependent wife; empathetic grief counselor Moira (Tina Holmes); tough Marine Sergeant McNair (Chadwick Boseman); happy-to-lucky car salesman Blackham (Sean O’Bryan); and party girl Tori (Kate Lang Johnson), who wakes up with one mean hangover and the best line of the pilot. Later, the hotel finds itself staffed with a night manager (Andy Greenfield), who has no idea how he got there, but only knows that he applied for a night manager’s position at a hotel and, well, got it.
“Persons Unknown” premieres today on NBC, 10/9 central. Check your local listings.