TV Club: Dig: “Pilot”

Despite its tagline promising to “dig deeper,” the first episode of USA’s new 10-episode limited series feels remarkably flat. Created by Tim Kring (Heroes) and Gideon Raff (Prisoners Of War, adapted in the U.S. as Homeland), Dig centers around FBI agent Peter Connelly (Jason Isaacs). In the wake of personal tragedy, he requests reassignment to Jerusalem, where he meets a student archaeologist whose murder leads him into a 2,000-year-old mystery.

Pilots are notoriously unwieldy, cramming characters, plot, and setting—in this case, a setting crucial to the story—into too few minutes, but Dig makes those introductions blandly formulaic, undermining any sense of awe that springs from its early intimations of epic narrative. A tale of international intrigue, Biblical prophecy, and murder could be thrilling or mysterious or meditative, but this feels almost routine.

Peter’s disaffected and dislocated, and Dig wants to be sure we know …

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