We are in a golden age of television. We are also in an age of excess. As such, we often have to pick and choose what we watch, because we simply don’t have enough time to watch everything that is good. Unfortunately, that means that a lot of great shows slip through the cracks. As a fan of TV, who watches much more TV than the regular person, I am always sad to see some of the best TV shows slip so far beneath the radar that they become obscure and unknown. In an effort to improve the standing of some of these “lost” shows, I have decided to create Spotlight, a new Feature series at TVEnthusiast. Spotlight will be a regular article series that, with each iteration, pleads the case of a different series that has somehow slipped under the radar.
In 1990, French Director Luc Besson (The 5th Element) made his name commonplace among fans of film and Filmmakers alike, when he directed La Femme Nikita. Also known, simply, as Nikita, the film tells the story of a criminal who is sentenced to life in prison after killing a Police Officer during a bank robbery. A shadowy organization then fakes her death and offers her a choice. She can choose to become an Assassin for them, or she can refuse, and be killed on the spot. Choosing to become an Assassin, the titular character is ruthlessly trained as, and turned into, an immensely dangerous and prolific killer. Besson’s film would eventually inspire 2 film remakes, and 2 TV series. In 1991, Black Cat, was made in Hong Kong by Stephen Shin (The Last Race), the movie scored a sequel in 1992. In 1993, Point of No Return, an American remake starring Bridget Fonda debuted as a well respected remake and moderate box office success. In 1997, the Canadian series La Femme Nikita ran on USA Network in the States for 5 seasons, starring Australian Actress Peta Wilson (Superman Returns). Today we are discussing the second TV series, Nikita, which debuted in 2010 and ran for 5 years on The CW.
What is Nikita?
The TV series Nikita, without acting as a canonical follow-up to the movie, follows Nikita years after she has left the organization that trained her. The organization, called Centre in the movie and Division in the series, continues on without her, while being vigilant of her as a potential threat. Nikita is planning to bring down Division, and has planted her own operative within the organization to help her. The series stars Maggie Q (Designated Survivor) in the titular role, with Lyndsy Fonseca (Marvel’s Agent Carter) portraying her operative Alex, Shane Black (Salem) as Michael, Nikita’s old Division trainer and romantic interest, Aaron Stanford (12 Monkeys) as Birkhoff, who runs computer and tech operations for Division, Melinda Clarke (Spawn) as Amanda, who acts as the manipulative Psychologist within Division, and Xander Berkeley (The Walking Dead) as Percy, who runs Division. Craig Silverstein (Turn: Washington’s Spies) served as Showrunner on the series.
What makes Nikita good?
Clearly, a movie that was able to inspire 4 remakes, has a strong premise. That being said, we are only talking about Nikita, and not the previous series, La Femme Nikita, so the premise alone cannot be all that makes it worthwhile. Nikita features a strong cast with excellent chemistry, top notch action sequences, and a great layered story, all while upping the genre angle of the series with bleeding edge science fiction technologies. Most of all, Nikita lays out a world that feels real and lived in. The scope of the series is not limited to the bubble of Division, many organizations come to the surface within the story of the series. From an incredibly shadowy group that sells advanced technologies and medicines, to a Russian agency called Gogol, and, of course, Division’s own parent organization, Oversight, which is made up largely of corrupt Politicians. There is just a lot going on, and it all feels seamless. One of the stand outs of the series is Devon Sawa’s (Slackers) portrayal of Owen, a Division “Guardian” who holds a piece of a blackmail file called “The Black Box” which Percy uses to insulate himself from the threat of Oversight. Owen’s relationship with Nikita feels genuine, as the 2 share similar circumstances, ultimately leaving Division, individually, for the same reasons.
Why is Nikita being featured in Spotlight?
Nikita was a cult series, with a loyal fanbase, and enough moderate success to have a healthy run on a smaller network like The CW. That being said, the series was never even remotely close to having name value among the mainstream viewership of network television. Nikita was also able to come to a satisfactory conclusion which drowns out the fervor of fan outrage at its cancellation. As such, Nikita is in danger of fading into obscurity, as fans do not feel the pressure to spread and amplify the audience. Essentially, this means that every year after the series concluded, sees a significant drop of the series value among television enthusiasts. We feel that it is sometimes necessary to remind audiences about a great show that doesn’t get nearly as much attention as it should. All of which, makes Nikita, a prime target for our Spotlight.
Should I watch Nikita?
Does the story sound interesting? If so, then yes, you should definitely watch Nikita. Nikita absolutely nails the execution of its tone and pacing as an action series about Assassins, corrupt Politicians, and vast conspiracies. As with all things, Nikita is not for everyone, but if you have read this far, than you should be well within the demographic of people who would surely enjoy the series. So give it a shot, and thank me in the comments.
Nikita aired 4 seasons on The CW, with a total episode count of 73. All 4 seasons are currently available to stream for Netflix subscribers.
Have you seen Nikita? Are you interested? Tell us in our comments, and stay tuned to TVEnthusiast for more coverage of all of your favorite shows.