TAKEN. “Pilot.” NBC, 27 February 2017. Clive Standen as Bryan Mills and Jennifer Beals as Christina Hart. Large ensemble cast, including guest stars, some of whom may return; others who won’t. Showrunner/screenwriter: Alexander Cary. Director: Alex Graves.

   Now as most of you already know, those of you who are well ahead of me on this, Liam Neeson played Bryan Mills, a former CIA operative whose life takes three separate and serious turns of events, each turned into a  fast action film and huge box office successes. Rather than a fourth film, what to do with the character? Go back to his beginnings and build a TV series around them.

   It lasted for two years, and believe it or not, this is the first I’ve known about it. I was scouting around on Amazon Video looking for something else to watch with Jennifer Beals in it, and there I found it.  I haven’t watched the movies either. Always meant to. Haven’t yet.

   Of course you realize that the TV series is totally generic. Take the name of the character and the title (Taken), and voila. There you have it. Name recognition from day one.

   The pilot has, unfortunately, no plot in and of itself. It’s an “origin” story all the way, nothing more. But nothing less, either. When terrorists kill Mills’ younger sister in retaliation for killing a drug lord’s son, Mills takes matters into his own hands – but not quite. He’s tracked all the way and given help (rescued) by Christina Hart’s team of operatives. She’s a Deputy Director with Special Portfolio at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. (Confession time. I had to look this up online.)

   The story ends with Mills being recruited by her. I hope I’m not giving too much away. The pilot is well enough done, but what kind of stories will follow next is not entirely clear. We are left with only our imaginations at work. I might watch the movies next, but on the other hand, since Jennifer Beals is in the series, I can’t tell you that I’m all that sure about that.