Viewers Welcome ‘Hostages’ Into Their Homes


Following its premiere on BBC Four, we take a look at the reviews of new the Israeli mini-series.

The palpable tension which Hostages exudes has been recognised by followers of Euro Noir and is reflected by its overwhelming praise. The reaction to the Israeli show has drawn audiences into its web of drama, provoking intrigue and anticipation for the next episode.

Hostages aroused speculation and fear of repetition. This was mainly due to Jerry Bruckheimer’s English-language version aired on Channel 4 in 2013 in addition to the popularity of Showtime’s Homeland, based on another Israeli series Prisoners of War created by Gideon Raff. Also, with the programme’s US remake already having been met with mixed reviews and starting after the fifth season of the acclaimed French detective drama Spiral came to an end, Hostages seems to have exceeded any doubt as to its ability to entertain and secure a burgeoning fan base.

Audiences took to Twitter to share their thoughts and reactions to the BBC Four launch:

#Hostages was pretty good. Nice to see @BBCFour continuing to show Saturday night fare from around the world…”

“BBC Four: Hostages certainly whips along. We’re straight into conflict from the very start…”

@BBC Four Hostages the new foreign language drama was superb well done to whoever continues to buy these top class international shows.”

“Well that first ep was so much better than the U.S. version we tried to watch. Will carry on with this one. #Hostages#BBC4

“Yes!!! #BBC4 continues to dish up gr8 international TV drama! #Hostages is gripping; WAY better than US version”

“Nerves are torn to shreds. Going to enjoy the next few Saturdays on #BBC4. #Hostages

The nerve-shredding, nail-biting reception is amplified by the Radio Times:“Intriguing… brutal… gripping.” The show has been awarded four stars by The Times stating: “This is so much more thrilling in Hebrew” and from TV Times:“You know a drama’s good when you go, ‘Ooh, I didn’t see that coming,’ and there are lots of those moments in this tense Israeli thriller series.”

The Arts notably commends the first episode of the show; setting up the overarching plot to assassinate the Prime Minister and introducing the ensemble characters of the family, the captors and the counter-terrorism agents. The main question posed is: “How directors Omri Givon and Rotem Shamir are going to sustain it over 10 episodes (40 minutes apiece) will be the main issue. How long can you keep up a hostage drama before someone cracks [?]” We can only shudder to think what could happen in the remaining 9 episodes, as the anxiety is heightened and the pressure continues to build for the Danon family and the fate of the Prime Minister.

Hostages continues to air on BBC Four Saturdays at 9pm