After the events of 9/11, a flight deviating from its course even by a few degrees is accounted as a distress call. The new Apple TV+ miniseries Hijack throws us such morsels of fascinating information at regular intervals making it an intriguing watch despite its thin plot.
Within just the first episode, Hijack shows all its cards and explains the nature of everyone who the audience would be travelling with for the series’ seven-hour runtime — the flight time from Dubai to London is a little less than seven hours as well. It introduces us to Sam Nelson (Idris Elba) who has boarded the flight to see his son and ex-wife Marsha (Christine Adams) who is now seeing another man. The pilot has an affair with one of the air hostesses, there’s an annoying lady who randomly picks fights with fellow travellers, a bunch of school girls, a gang of trigger-happy men, and more. Closer to the ground, we’re also introduced to an air traffic controller in Dubai who is working on his birthday and a Malayalee woman working as a security screener whose actions could have started the whole chain of events. Within no time, hijackers take control of the flight and without being able to communicate their status to anyone outside the flight, it’s up to Sam, a talented business negotiator, to use his skills and de-escalate the situation.
Director: Jim Field Smith
Cast: Idris Elba, Archie Panjabi, Neil Maskell, Eve Myles, Christine Adams
Streaming platform: Apple TV+
Runtime: Around 50 minutes for each episode
Storyline: A business negotiator has to save himself and his fellow passengers from those who’ve hijacked their flight
It’s these supporting characters that make an otherwise straightforward and simple story stay on its toes as the story demands a certain level of raciness throughout its run time. And Hijack pulls it off quite decently. But, at least for the first two episodes this review is based on, it’s Elba’s Sam who carries this series on his able shoulders. With a commanding presence, it’s difficult to not give him the attention he deserves or lend our ears to what he has to say. In fact, one of the main hijackers, Stuart (Neil Maskell), pays heed to Sam’s words way more than you’d expect his character to do.
Within a couple of episodes, Sam is branded as a traitor by his co-passengers when the word of him “helping” the abductors spreads. They aren’t to be blamed when Sam, even when he gets a gun, dutifully hands it over to Stuart. The flight might be on course to London but Hijack is all over the place at the end of episode two. Will those on the ground know about the status of the Kingdom flights? What horrors will the passengers have to go through before the flight lands safely at Heathrow? And more importantly, will the flight land safely? There are a lot of questions Hijack leaves us with and given there are five more episodes — despite the leeway the series takes with its narration — there seems to be a lot of action instore. Sam might be calm given the unimaginable circumstances but our flight-or-fight responses are definitely triggered.
Hijack’s first two of seven episodes premiere on June 28th on Apple TV+, with new episodes dropping weekly every Wednesday