Keep a safe distance from this derivative crime series, or you may put yourself in danger.


Ok, I’ll admit I am struggling to find anything remarkable about Stalker.

Despite having the name Kevin Williamson (Scream, Dawson’s Creek, The Vampire Diaries, The Following) attached, this is 44 minutes that feels highly derivative of procedural US crime shows. Are we supposed to be taken in by the fact it specialises in all things stalker-y? Meh.

Maggie Q (Nikita) stars as Lieutenant Beth Davis, the head of a Los Angeles-based Threat Assessment Unit. She tells us that 1 in 6 women in America have been the target of stalkers and 1 in 19 men.

“Anyone can be a stalker,” she says. “…anyone can be a victim.”

And it seems the inter-webs are to blame, along with apps that give us too much access.

“Social media is the #1 reason stalking has tripled,” she explains.

Sorry ’bout that. I guess gun laws have nothing to do with it, nor America’s obsession with celebrity. But I digress…

She is soon joined by former Hostages and American Horror Story star, Dylan McDermott as homicide detective Jack Larsen who has moved to LA. He sleeps around, we learn, because “apparently he can’t help himself.” Poor guy.

He’s joined the TAU having watched movies including The Bodyguard, Swimfan and Fatal Attraction, in one of the few savvy moments that remind me I am watching a Kevin Williamson creation. It’s a pity he didn’t watch Hostages. God knows, I had to.

In Stalker, McDermott’s character is an American asswipe: a misogynistic boor who reads a crime scene like a show off, or possibly to audition for The Mentalist.

The crime these two are swept up in involves a stalker who is dousing women in petrol and setting them alight. There are the usual scenes of suspects who will become red herrings, you know the drill. There’s also a subplot of a second stalker case with gay overtones.

Along the way there’s a lot of characters talking ‘at’ one another (rather than ‘to’), some questionable camera lingering on Maggie Q given the subject matter and a bit of histrionics for good measure. McDermott’s character is also a deliberate contradiction given he is seen following his own target in his own time. Oh and did I mention the vigilante footnote?

The writing feels like a routine plot that would suit The Mentalist or Criminal Minds, rather than having enough distinction so as to justify a Pilot, let alone a Series. Maybe it will improve, but with the dull McDermott I’m not holding out much hope.

Biggest crime? I just didn’t particularly like anybody. Where is Dexter when you need him?

Stalker airs 9:30pm Sundays on Nine.

8 Responses

  1. They left this lame show running whilst 2 much superior shows were deleted after 2 weeks(The Following & Almost Human).It pains me to see another show with . a weak man being walked over by a woman.Dylan mcdermott was much better in Hostages.

  2. I gave up waiting for it to start, Adds during 60 minutes said it was at 9:30pm my EPG said 9:41pm but it came on at 9:45pm by then I was done waiting, I was only hanging around to see if it would ever start

  3. Yeah this is one of the new shows of 2014 that I particularly like. Some of the cases of the week are very interesting and the continuing story builds up really nice. I hope that a second season will be made, although that seems unlikely as I’ve heard from somewhere that they’ve gone a redone the ending so that it finishes the season with no cliffhangers.

  4. I’m still gonna give it a go maggie Q was pretty great in Nikita, and his a good actor aswell,
    Hostages wasn’t that bad and he was the best thing about it,
    And u trying to say gun laws is a good thing or a bad thing? Cause for me it’s a bad thing only hurts the honest folks and all the bad folks can still buy guns, but for stalkering I would say social media is a main problem

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