Screen Test

Grand ideas, poor execution in new TV series Collateral and The Looming Tower

In The Looming Tower, Jeff Daniels plays FBI's magnetic but flawed counter-terrorism chief John O'Neill (far left) and Tahar Rahim plays his junior agent Ali Soufan.
In The Looming Tower, Jeff Daniels plays FBI's magnetic but flawed counter-terrorism chief John O'Neill (left) and Tahar Rahim plays his junior agent Ali Soufan.PHOTO: LEGENDARY TV

Two new series, Collateral and The Looming Tower, have the sort of pedigree that screams "prestige drama". But they are unfortunate examples of why that is no guarantee of quality.

Collateral, a four-part thriller about the killing of a London immigrant, is the creation of David Hare - the venerable English playwright and Oscar-nominated writer of The Hours (2002) and The Reader (2008). He has always had a nose for hot-button social issues and anti-establishment critiques. But this story - about the shooting of a lowly delivery boy - is a grab bag of so many grand ideas so poorly stitched together, it leaves your head spinning.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 08, 2018, with the headline 'Grand ideas, poor execution'. Print Edition | Subscribe