Page 45 Review by Stephen
Before CRIMINAL came along, this was one of the smartest crime series out there. I used to say it was like Mission Impossible II if the film hadn't been written and directed by a gibbon. This actually makes good on its premise.
Christopher Chance is the ultimate actor - though you won't find him on the silver screen. His profession involves impersonating the intended target of an assassination just long enough for him to take the hitman out. For that time he will be you. He'll live your life, drink your wine, be married to your wife. Recently, however, getting into character has been a lot easier than getting out, a problem compounded by the fact that he may not be who he thinks he is.
In the second story Christopher's paid a substantial amount of money to become ageing film actor, Dai Thomas, the third celebrity in a row to be targeted by an extortionist and the third who refuses to pay. The other two are dead. Chance takes the job, assumes his role, and sends his wife to her sister's for a fortnight to make things easier. Surprisingly, it's when the gig works out exactly as planned - Chance blowing the assassin up in his own speedboat - that things really heat up. For one, Dai persuades Chance not to reveal that it was he who took out his assailant, so that Thomas can rejuvenate his career playing action heroes. Then there's the problem of child actor Ronan White, for it transpires that Dai wasn't the third person targeted, he was the fourth. Ronan was abducted earlier, his parents still haven't a clue where he is, and with the kidnapper now dead, it won't be long before the boy dies of hunger or thirst. Barely reoriented from his last mission, Chance must discover who was behind the demands and impersonate them in order to find out where Ronan might be hidden. And then, as they say, all hell breaks loose, most of it in what little's left of Christopher's mind.
A very neat satire on the horrors of Hollywood, from failed and bitter screenwriters to ambitious parents and manipulative agents, combined with identity crises and all the second-guessing of a tight psychological thriller.