Prodigal Son is so-called because it the lead character, Malcolm Bright (Tom Payne – The Physician), is the son of jailed mass-murderer Dr. Martin Whitly (Michael Sheen – Staged), a man known as ‘The Surgeon’, who killed 23 people and was locked up in 1998.
It’s now 2019 (so, the broadcast has clearly been delayed a bit, because it’s only just showing on Sky), and to bring things up to speed, there are flashbacks going back to when he was imprisoned in an inescapable cell within a room, and given that Malcolm is making visits to him, it all began to feel rather like Silence of the Lambs prequel Manhunter, with former FBI profiler Will Graham (William Petersen) wanted to find a serial killer and needing Hannibal Lecktor’s (Brian Cox) help whilst he is in his cell. Bear in mind all of this…
As a child, Malcolm asks his father why he killed all those people, but he doesn’t have an answer, and suggests they figure it out together, whilst also denying he’s the monster they say he is because, “There’s no such thing as monsters.”
But he stopped going to visit in 2009, and wouldn’tcha know it? He needs his help! So, he has to go back, and given that Malcolm has moved on from the FBI to working as a criminal profiler, that makes it seem less a Manhunter rip-off, and morelike A BLOODY MANHUNTER RIP-OFF!!!!!
Along the way, Malcolm tells colleague Dani Powell (Aurora Perrineau) how he tries to imagine the crime from the killer’s point of view, helps him understand his state of mind and ‘think like a killer’, leading to graphics recreating the crimes which I saw most recently in Detroit Become Human, when Connor would study crime scenes to work out what happened.
What was instantly apparent is how Malcolm is certainly quite an unlikeable character because he’s cocky; and since he downs a ton of medication each day, he’s basically a bit nuts.
Throw in some filler such as him having talks with his sister Ainsley Whitly (Halston Sage) whilst walking in the centre of New York – for some “Hey, this is New York!” scene-setting, and this was largely pointless… but there is a saving grace.
Michael Sheen is great, as always. However, the rest of the programme is a clichéd mess with no cliché stone left unturned.
Prodigal Son begins on Sky One tomorrow night at 9pm, and I expect all episodes will be available on demand at the same time. The series isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
Episodes 1 Score: 3/10
Director: Lee Toland Krieger
Producers: Jennifer Lence, Jason Sokoloff
Screenplay: Chris Fedak, Sam Sklaver
Music: Nathaniel Blume
Malcolm Bright: Tom Payne
Gil Arroyo: Lou Diamond Phillips
Ainsley Whitly: Halston Sage
Dani Powell: Aurora Perrineau
JT Tarmel: Frank Harts
Dr. Edrisa Tanaka: Keiko Agena
Jessica Whitly: Bellamy Young
Dr. Martin Whitly: Michael Sheen
Carter Berkhead: Michael Cerveris
Nico Stavros: James Cusati-Moyer
County Sheriff: Jeb Brown
Young Malcolm: Kasjan Wilson
Mr. David: Esau Pritchett
Lee Toland Krieger, Jennifer Lence, Jason Sokoloff, Chris Fedak, Sam Sklaver, Nathaniel Blume, Tom Payne, Lou Diamond Phillips, Halston Sage, Aurora Perrineau, Frank Harts, Keiko Agena, Bellamy Young, Michael Sheen, Michael Cerveris, James Cusati-Moyer, Jeb Brown, Kasjan Wilson, Esau Pritchett
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.