I saw the first episode of the troubled TRANSPORTER tv series. And it's immediately obvious from the opening scenes why they've blown through two showrunners over just 11 episodes of what ened up being an aborted 22 episode order…and that the studios involved ended up putting their line producer and a director in charge.
There's lots of European-shot 2nd unit car chases cut into a few scenes of Canadian-shot "drama." But beyond that, it's not a TV series as much as it is a TV adaptation of a co-production contract. Someone along the way forgot there's supposed to be characters and a story in a TV series. There's no creative vision whatsoever to the show, just deal points being honored, ticked off one by one without regard to whether any of it adds up to entertainment.
The only thing that's interesting about it, purely from a technical/editing standpoint, is studying how they matched their 2nd unit footage from Europe (which is 60% of the show) with the stuff they shot on streets and stages in Toronto. Sometimes it's very smooth, other times you can really see the rough edges. The actors (namely Chris Vance, stepping in for Jason Statham) clearly spent a lot of time acting with green screens. Watching the show reminded me of how Bill Rabkin and I built episodes of COBRA (syndicated 1993) around Steve Cannell's stock footage library to save money.
The writing on the series is just atrocious and, since there is no human connection to the action, the stunts/chases lack any visceral impact. You just aren't invested in any of it. The martial arts sequences, though, are cleverly done and well-staged.
But as Bill and I learned on MARTIAL LAW, that just isn't enough to sustain a series (at least Chris Vance speaks English and doesn't have to work with Arsenio Hall).
1 thought on “Transporter: The Series”
I actually liked Arsenio Hall in Martial Law.