Threat Matrix (TV Series 2003–2004) Poster

(2003–2004)

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Joyless and idiotic propaganda
di0nne14 January 2005
I admit I haven't managed to sit through the pilot in its entirety. But my taste and decency wouldn't allow me to make that mistake. Every cliché in the book is trotted out for this sorry excuse of a drama. Playing "call to prayer" sounding music whilst showing clips of suspected terrorists. Hardly anyone in this so-called "elite squad" is anything other than nice middle class and white. From what I saw, it even made Independence Day look like it possessed a modicum of savvy.

My boyfriend at least seemed to enjoy watching it, so he could mock it in the extreme.

What worries me more is that there are people out there, believing the extremely prejudiced ideas spouted by such ridiculous programming. Oh well, there's no accounting for taste. Or intelligence for that matter.
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A cartoon
roberto114 January 2005
This show is so far away from reality, it can see the top of reality as it starts to dip below the horizon and sail far, far away. Don't watch it unless you want to experience the odd sensation of your brain running a white flag up a pole and trying to escape out of your ear lest it have to watch another episode.

Reading comments that suggest that this is based on real-life makes me realise just how much people's perception of reality has been warped by TV and movies.

Having said that, if you have an iron constitution, you might find it amusing in a precognitive kind of way: people in years to come might look on it the same way we look at King of the Rocket Men and the Batman serials of the 40s for their "realistic" interpretations of science, technology and the then-current affairs. Experience that feeling today with Threat Matrix!
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This show is Bad for America
novelidea10 April 2005
American xenophobic propaganda dressed up as entertainment for those same ignorant Americans – utterly disgusting, offensive, and repulsive to any non Americans and to anyone with an ounce of common sense.

American TV can be wonderful and entertaining, we only have to look at CSI or '24' for that, ground breaking and extremely well acted at the same time, but this show is utter trash.

This show only goes to show how gullible some Americans can be. I love Americans, and America, and this is not at attack, believe me. This is an attack on blatantly bad program making, using fear and ignorance.

We all hate terrorists in all forms, no matter what their religion, race, colour or whatever. Terrorists need to caught and stopped, but this show promotes the idea that terrorists can be murdered, no matter what, just as long as the United States of America survives, to Hell with any laws or personal freedoms or even the Constitution itself.

Ironically, in my opinion, the only people who should be afraid of Homeland Security Laws are Americans, not any terrorist. Americans, everyday honest working people, are slowly giving up what they pride most... Freedom! This TV show promotes this. This TV show is saying to the American people ... 'We will protect your Freedoms, even if we have to Kill you, Murder you, ignore your Human Rights, and Ignore Local, Federal, and International Laws - We Will Protect Your Freedom - Even if it Kills You!'

This TV show should be stopped now. It's trash.
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3/10
Jingoistic pablum at its finest
Pegapus16 February 2004
I thought this series was going to be another fun, action series with some dynamic plots and great performances. I was wrong. While I like Jamie Denton, this show is hardly worth watching at all, unless you enjoy watching some people brutalized and the actions of the agents supposedly warranted under the theme of "national security." The show is great propaganda for the current government, and spews out jingoism as though we talk that way every day. After a couple of episodes, it was boring the hell out of me, and I started watching reruns of House Invaders on BBCAmerica instead. Rather watch CSI and Without a Trace, without a doubt.
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Not bad at all.
wschm197618 October 2003
In Germany we have this saying that goes 'it's better to do a good copy then to make a bad invention'. I guess this about sums it up for "Threat Matrix", ABC's new '24' like drama, which borrows a lot of the Fox's hit, minus the real-time dramatic. And this is where the good part comes in: You can watch it WITH the occasional chance of missing an episode. As for acting and stories, the episodes I've seen so far are fast-paced, well- acted and well written for a TV show. Come to think that there is a real Threat Matrix report out there, which would give material for endless seasons, one wonders why ABC put this against NBC's MUST SEE TV THURSDAY. I mean, HELLO?!
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ABC's Threat Matrix: The First 21st Century Drama
adamyoshida30 June 2003
I wasn't expecting much going into ABC's Threat Matrix. My initial reaction to the show was further diminished by an opening sequence depicting a pair of US servicemen in a Minuteman Silo playing video games and the theft of an American nuclear warhead by a group of apparent terrorists made up of white Americans. I thought to myself, this is going to be like most of 24- they don't want to offend Islamists and liberals so they're going to make a show about the War on Terrorism with white guys as the villains. That's been the path taken by virtually every major television drama when it comes to terrorism. The West Wing responded to 9-11 by producing an hour-long sermon on tolerance. When Aaron Sorkin finally got around to writing a terrorist act into the show, he had it committed by white militiamen. Even shows like JAG and The Agency have addressed the war in only a half-hearted fashion- as a setting, not as a basis. There seems to be a reluctance to write about heroism in the war against the Islamists. As I've said, 24 made their villains turn out to be a bunch of Evil Rich White MenT, plotting to start a war for the sake of oil profits. For the first few minutes I wasn't expecting much better from this show.

A few minutes in, however, it is revealed that the theft of the bomb was not the work of terrorists; it was the work of special agents of the Department of Homeland Security, working to keep the Federal Government on its toes.

`And you two what, go around the country stealing warheads?' asks an incredulous General,

`When the President asks us to,' responds Special Agent James Kilmer (played by James Denton). That's when it hits me; this is going to be the first 21st century show, a show updated to the new sensibilities of the American people regarding foreign affairs and the current war. This isn't going to be a show which creates a fictional liberal-fantasy President (a la 24's 'President Palmer' or The West Wing's 'President Bartlett'), this is the fusion of that most venerable television genre, the police procedural, with the sensibilities of the many patriotic films made during the Second World War lauding the heroism of America's fighting men.

On reflection I ought to have known it sooner. The show opens with a little text and narration bit which, if it is retained, is destined to become a classic, it explains the meaning of the phrase, `threat matrix' (it's the report that the President receives every morning about terrorist threats) and explains how the job of the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and the CIA have the job of, `keep(ing) us safe.' New sensibilities for a new era.

The plot of the pilot episode revolves around a terrorist plot, which I will not describe to avoid spoiling several excellent plot twists but, needless to say, it's fun and entertaining. More than that, the show is filmed in a wonderful CSI-like style. It's a show about investigating terrorism which is as detailed, as thorough, as the newest crime shows.

But the best thing about the show is its general sensibilities and moral compass. A few years ago, the movie The Siege, depicting a terrorist campaign against New York City, was widely attacked by Muslim advocates for being 'racist' because of its depiction of Muslims as 'terrorists'- a charge that was backed up by many critics. This despite the fact that the movie went to wild lengths to differentiate between 'loyal' Muslims and terrorists, even suggesting that it was America's own fault for provoking terrorism (by holding a terrorist leader prisoner and abandoning the Kurds in Northern Iraq). The movie ends with a US Army General (who is the villain of the piece) being arrested for murder after having a terrorist killed. Even with all of this, film critic Roger Ebert claimed that, `the prejudicial attitudes embodied in the film are insidious, like the anti-Semitism that infected fiction and journalism in the 1930s.'

The same sort of attitude has infected virtually every other piece featuring Muslim terrorists, no one wants to offend those who slaughtered 3000 Americans. In last years The Sum of All Fears the producers went to the insane step of changing the villains from Islamic fanatics into generic European Neo-Nazis. There's none of that in here. At one point in the episode the agents end up taking a group of teenaged terrorists prisoner, classifying them as enemy combatants. One of the agents objects saying, `they're kids,' to which the other agent responds, `They're terrorists, sent by terrorists.' End of discussion in this new day and age. In another scene an agent tells a person with information of terrorism that either he will divulge his information, or she will leave him to be executed by Indonesia. A new show for a new age.

The cast is mostly made up of unknowns (with the exception of Melora Walters, from Magnolia and Boogie Nights). But, like other shows of this type, other things matter more than cast here. This is a brave show. I don't know if it'll survive in this form to air but, if it does, it will prove to be a hit- regardless of how many people denounce hit. Those associated with this production are brave- this defies the conventions of Hollywood by showing things as they are: American security forces as heroes, Muslim terrorists as villains. The way things ought to be.
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Did the Ultimate Warrior Dream this Up?
juddfranklin25 September 2003
I wouldn't be surprised if the newfound spokesman for young conservatives, former WWF wrestling champion, The Ultimate Warrior, wrote the first episode of Threat Matrix. Its just what the doctor ordered for his brand of dramatization of the political process. It says that we need wolf-like sheep to fight the wolves in sheep's clothing. Some other person commenting on this program suggested that this show is not afraid to make the bad guy brown-skinned. This show, on the other hand does cover the brown-skinned bad guy in the innocuous garb of white flesh and short hair with a friar's bald spot to demarcate his piety. In other words, he is a white guy. A white guy with the "evil" spirit of a fundamentalist. The message? An extreme Makeover does not actually change a person's soul. In this case, he is still accountable to Allah. For the neo-con, that Allah canbe translated into english as: Authority. Why suggest that you have faith in George W. Bush, or Donald Rumsfeld when they will be out of office before you are done serving your country? You might as well serve some more abstract authority, like the United States of America. This logic, transposed seems to be closer to what the Islamists do. That is why they are called Fundamentalists. They go to fundamental authorities. Let me just say that this show is stylish without saying much, and its plot is complex enough to allow the actors not to act.

This show is kind of funny, because it suggests that we should be glad to give other people access to our security so that they can make sure that it is, in fact, security. So that means trust no-one, except the Threat Matrix.
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No expectations, no disappointments...
Stibbert30 June 2005
Here's the deal: If you don't have any expectations it's worth watching.

Quote from the intro-sequence: "Every morning the President receives a report that updates the most active terrorist threats against the United States. This report is called "The Threat Matrix". The department of Homeland Security handpicked teams of agents from the CIA, FBI and the NSA, to analyze and respond to the Threat Matrix report, now their job is to keep us safe." We follow Special Agent John Kilmer (James Denton) and his team who makes a living out of stopping terrorist in reaching their objectives.

And that is mostly what this show is about. Now I know 24 comes to your mind when you see this but this is not 24 and don't think about 24 when you watch it. You'll be disappointed. This is not a bad show, but it's not a masterpiece. It is, however, entertaining and worth watching if you don't take it all too seriously and think too much about it. The cast is good and the stories are OK. The effects could have been done better, but you buy it. Over all it's well made.
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Watched 14 episodes and loved them.
chris19-217 September 2005
I think that before anyone starts rubbishing this series as being over the top, nationalistic rubbish they might want to think about one thing. What if what we see in these episodes, or similar is actually happening each day in the USA? I mean if it is, and the US Gov certainly ain't going to be announcing it on TV if it is, then I think it paints a whole new picture on this series! Whilst some of the episodes may be a little near the edge, I think many of them show us a world that we don't want to face. A world were individuals rights are infringed, liberties taken away at a whim, and people falsely accused of things they never did. All this because a few guys flew some planes into a building ( a fact that is actually mentioned in one Ep.) I think this is a great idea and I only hope it can take off again some day.
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Awesome show
tweetymac527 September 2003
This show is just what we needed. The cast is great although they are mostly unknowns and the action scenes are awesome. The stories told are about what we are facing in the world today. Enough of these reality shows, they are getting old. This show deserves a chance and I hope ABC will give it one. This is the last season of Friends which should help it out in the ratings next season should it be renewed and kept in that time slot.
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7/10
terrorists !
clarapuce821 September 2007
It is definitely not the best show ever made but I do not agree with the comment before mine. It is indeed one of these action series but it is very well directed, you are tensed during the whole episode and it is not at all propaganda for the government. You might think so because they work for homeland security, because they use the Patriot act all the time, using methods close to torture sometimes but there is always one of the character who asks the good question at the right time. The complexity of the war against terror is well rendered. Americans as shown in this series are far from being always the good guys. Anyway, as i said, not the best show on earth but nice to watch if you don't have anything else. And I really think that there are several degrees into it and it is propaganda only if you don't dig a little.
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This show is great!
clgraham8230 September 2003
This show is great! I'm so happy to see Jamie (James) Denton on such a great show. The pilot was hilarious, and if it's a glimpse into the future, I'm ready and willing to be a fan. Already the cast is working together - with a comraderie that it takes seasons to perfect, and they all have such charisma as to make the show completely enjoyable. A 10 in my opinion!
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Best New show of the Season!
kiki_19631 October 2003
Threat Matrix is the best new show of the season! It's got a kick-ass cast, a great plotline, and a winning attitude. I wish people would give it a chance! It was put in a suicide time slot, up against Friends and Survivor on Thursday nights at 8, which weighs down its ratings, but it is still has the 3rd highest ratings in that time spot! The characters have great depth and charisma, the writers are absolutely amazing, and it never gets repetitive. You couldn't ask for a better show. I sincerely hope ABC realizes that the show is struggling only because of its competition, and decides to renew it for another season and give it a real fighting chance. Threat Matrix is the brightest star out there, only nobody can see it from behind the clouds. the show deserves a chance to shine. I hope they get that chance.
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What a great show........I miss it
blleeson6 July 2004
During the time it was airing, I found Threat Matrix to be the only thing on network TV worthy to record from week to week. The plot lines were imaginative, exciting and timely and the characters believable. I love watching Jamie Denton and the gorgeous Kelly Rutherford, whom I remember from Brisco County Junior. However, I was surprised that a series so patriotic and supportive of the current administration would be shown on what is normally left-wing network TV. It was probably a victim of bad timing since it ran into the presidential campaign season and the network didn't want to show the current administration in a good light. It's probably why it was cancelled.
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1/10
One to avoid
vlahov22 December 2008
Now we were chosen to be tortured with this disgusting piece of blatant American propaganda. It came no wonder for me that this is admired by most American viewers and hated by Europeans. This show is made for Americans - it is too stupid and full with hatred and clichés to be admitted elsewhere. Almost everyone involved must be return to school, acting is utterly predictable and bad, script is pile of garbage all round. operator work is ground zero etc. etc.

You have been warned. It doesn't even have "guilty pleasure" entertainment for those brainwashed iq=0 human beings.

I wish I could enter negative values, admins? Anyone?
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Had me in a spell for the duration!
deskeff-18 October 2003
Great show, every episode equally as good as many full length feature films. Like someone said, a "brave" show. I'm not an American, and I don't agree with a lot of things the American government does, but apart from the show being as realistic as possible, I don't recall a text anywhere saying "Based on true events" or something like that.

So don't let yourself get too political about this, it still is fiction....and damn entertaining aswell...
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