Created by Jim Field Smith and George Kay and starring Idris Elba as Sam Nelson, a corporate business negotiator, the series follows the hijacking of a seven-hour flight from Dubai to London. Desperate to get safely back to his son, Kai (Jude Cudjoe), and his estranged wife, Marsha (Christine Adams), Sam uses his skills to try to thread a path to a peaceful end of the terrorist event.
Elba is typically charismatic as Sam, playing him as a highly capable but not invincible man with a lot on his mind. Like all hijacking stories, there’s inherent claustrophobia involved. Everyone’s in a metal tube hurtling through the atmosphere. The series breaks this up a bit by also paying attention to what’s happening on the ground as authorities work to decide what to do about a terrorist-controlled jet heading for central London.
The story is propulsive, filled with twists, violence, and tension. After all, the clock is ticking, and eventually this jet will either be blown out of the sky by military fighters, crash with everyone on board, or somehow find a way to land. Since it’s purportedly season 1, maybe there’s not that much suspense, but thanks to Elba, I was glued to the screen. (seven 44- to 50-min. episodes)