Legends, Sky1, with Sean Bean PREVIEW

Rating: ★★★½

Sky1: starts Wednesday, 17 September, 10pm

Story: Martin Odum is a troubled deep-cover operative working for the FBI. He has infiltrated the violent Citizens’ Army of Virginia pretending to be a stuttering demolition man called Lincoln Dittmann when the operation takes a nasty turn…

GETTING BEHEADED in Game of Thrones seems to have added a few worry lines to Sean Bean’s chiselled features. However, the on-edge, lived-in look suits the part he plays as a stressed FBI undercover man in this explosive new series.

He is Martin Odum, inevitably a maverick, definitely not a team player, who gets up the nose of his

fellow agents. And it’s not just his Yorkshire accent that bugs them.

Who knew the FBI allowed Yorkshire men into their most secret ranks? But then again, when your CV includes Sharpe, Lord of the Rings, Troy and playing GoT‘s Ned Stark, you’ve clearly got enough grit and bottle for the Feds.

Sean Bean shows his versatility as Odum

So, Martin likes to do things his own way. We first meet him on a six-month undercover gig during which he has not bothered to contact his colleagues once to let them know what he’s up to.

He’s immersed himself in a group of dangerous nutjobs called the Citizens’ Army of Virginia, having taken on the persona of stammering Lincoln Dittmann, a former construction worker who’s been dumped by his wife and who now wants to join some domestic terrorists in making his mark.

This has been part of the attraction of the series for Bean, because to take on his ‘legends’ – spook Accused series, he’s not scared to take a walk on the vulnerable side.

speak for fabricated identities – he gets to show another side to his tough-guy image. As he showed in his moving portrayal of the transvestite Tracey in the BBC’s excellent

From the makers of 24 and Homeland

If there is one major reason for watching this action show, which is based on Robert Littell’s bestseller, then it is Sean Bean’s presence. He has taken the trouble to get under the skin of oddballs such as Dittmann, and his switch between the stammering wannabe to action man is electric.

The action is pounding and the storytelling done in broad strokes. We glimpse Odum’s broken marriage to Sonya and his neglect of his son, Aiden. There is also the friction with colleagues such as Troy, and his corny on-off thing with Crystal (who at one point must pretend to perform a lap dance for Martin to pass a message to him).

The 10-parter is exec-produced by Howard Gordon, who was also behind 24 and Homeland, and Legends is pitched somewhere between that reactionary actioner and the more subtle psycho-drama.

Just who is Martin Odum?

It’s certainly worth a viewing for Bean’s presence and its intriguing theme of identity. In his danger-filled world, chameleon Martin Odum seems to be losing a grip on his own personality, even absent-

mindedly signing a cheque to his wife in the name of Dittmann.

And he is really unnerved when an apparently homeless man tells him, ‘You don’t know where your life begins and you legend ends.’

The opener finishes with a terrific twist as Odum tracks the mysterious vagrant…

Cast: Sean Bean Martin Odum, Ali Larter Crystal McGuire, Tina Majorino Maggie Harris, Steve Harris Director Nelson Gates, Amber Valletta Sonya Odum, Mason Cook Aiden Odum, Rob Mayes Troy Buchannan

Check out this link…
Legends on Sky1

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