Oct 18, 2014
Transporter TV Series Debuts Tonight On TNT
After taking a route as long and circuitous as one of the winding Riviera roads showcased on the series, the Transporter TV show finally debuts tonight on American television. Adapted from the Luc Besson-produced neo-Eurospy movies starring Jason Statham, the TV version stars Chris Vance as professional transporter Frank Martin. As one might expect of a TV show, there’s a bit more structure to his business on the show, allowing more regular characters than in the films. On TV, Frank has a reliable support staff. Transporter: The Series, and international co-production, was originally developed to air on Cinemax in the U.S. But for some reason Cinemax backed out, and the first season ended up airing in Europe, Australia and Canada a couple of years ago. Then TNT came to the rescue, ordering the existing first season and commissioning a second. The second one (now overseen by Strike Back’s Frank Spotnitz) recently began airing overseas, and tonight Americans can finally start watching the first one. But there are bound to be some changes from what Europeans saw. Since it was originally intended for Cinemax, the original version ofTransporter: The Series was full of gratuitous nudity, as suits that brand. The nudity will definitely be gone for TNT, and there may also be some edits for language and violence. While it certainly didn’t generate raves overseas, I found the first season of Transporter: The Series (which I broke down and bought on import DVD when it looked like there would be no American airing) to be pretty enjoyable. It’s got the same daffy action we’ve come to expect from the movies. Vance is no Statham, sadly, but then who is? He makes an adequate lead, but the real star of the show is the car chase action, which is top notch. It’s the sort of all-action, testosorone-driven fare that fuelled basic cable line-ups in the 90s, but has been missing in recent years. If that’s what you’re looking for, definitely check it out.Transporter: The Series debuts tonight on TNT at 9/8c.