Noob Reviews: Treadstone (Season 01)
Please be advised that during the review, I have tried to avoid a lot of spoilers. However, there may still be a few included helping explain specific points.
What is Treadstone?
Released exclusively on Amazon’s Prime Video service, Treadstone was created by Tim Kring and is based on the events from the Bourne series of books (also adapted into excellent films).
Treadstone follows the experiences of several people who have all been caught up in not only the establishment of Treadstone. But also the awakening of its agents. Both as agents themselves and caught up in a conspiracy that sees agents executing high-value targets in various fields, to further the reach and influence of shady organisations on both sides of the fence.
When it comes to the stories, there are quite a few, but they are all interwoven with one another. The main stories are that of...
John Randolph Bentley, a captured CIA operative in 1973 East Berlin who has been forced into a Soviet behaviour modification program called Cicada that seeks to establish a foothold in other countries key departments. John’s adventure follows everything from his capture to the endurance of the experiments and then his fight to bring the Soviet organisation responsible to justice. Unfortunately for John, the Soviets are not the only country interested in Cicada and is quickly flagged as a valuable intelligence asset for the CIA to further their own program.
Tara Coleman is a disgraced journalist who tried to expose the fact the Soviets ‘misplaced’ a nuclear missile called Stiletto Six. In present-day London, she is summoned to meet a North Korean general who years later, after her initial disgrace, tells her she was correct, but there is something bigger at play. Unfortunately for them both that is about the time the Treadstone agents begin to be activated and Kwon (the Korean general) is on their hit list. Tara’s adventure sees her globe-trotting not only to reach the bottom of this shadowy conspiracy but also to save Kwon’s daughter from assassination and to bring the Treadstone program to light once she discovers who is behind the attacks.
Doug McKenna was an oil platform worker until he is laid off by the oil company and his entire crew replaced with a Russian team. On the same night that the news is broken, Doug finds himself in over his head after a few drinks at the pub turns into a fistfight with a rival crew. He ends up getting kidnapped and activated. Waking the next day next to bags of money in the middle of a frozen waste. Not sure how he got there or what he was doing, he eventually makes his way home only to have a Treadstone operative attempt to take him in. Refusing to let him go, his wife (Samantha) kills the assassin, and from there, things descend into madness. Everything Doug ever knew, including what he knew about his wife, are apparently a lie. And he seeks not only to set out and take down Treadstone but also protect targets from Treadstone assassins that his investigations uncover.
As with all spy based series, there are also a lot of scheming government groups from multiple countries, shady private organisations as mentioned before, private armies for hire and the rogue nuclear warhead intended for detonation on US soil.
Do you have a trailer to show us?
- Official Trailer -
You can also find the official trailer and listing on Amazon’s Prime Video here.
When did it come out?
Season 01 was released in October 2019.
How many episodes are there?
There are ten episodes in total with most averaging about forty minutes. However, the first episode runs at fifty-three minutes as there is a lot of groundwork to lay.
Who are some of the actors and actresses in the series that we might know?
Brian J. Smith (Doug McKenna)
Emilia Schüle (Young Petra)
Gabrielle Scharnitzky (Petra Andropov)
Han Hyo-Joo (SoYun Pak)
Jeremy Irvine (John Randolph Bentley)
Michelle Forbes (Ellen Becker)
Omar Metwally (Matt Edwards)
Tracy Ifeachor (Tara Coleman)
What did you think of Treadstone (Season 01)?
From the first episode to the last, Treadstone is a non-stop thrill ride that takes us to many countries. From London to France. Russia to North Korea. The scenery that acts as the backdrop for many of the locations is stunning with lush open landscapes, jungles and mountainous regions. However, don’t be fooled, there are some very white knuckle stunts too such as one Treadstone assassin having to cross between huge tower blocks over the heads of North Korean soldiers, using just a rope to slide along. There are also plenty of well-choreographed gunfights, chase scenes and melee combat sequences.
When it comes to the storylines, and how they connect, everything plays out quite well (but not flawlessly) with the help of some interesting scripting choices and acting. However, there are times where some of the episodes could have been a bit longer and done with further explanation that never comes. By the final episode, there are unfortunately a few loose ends; however, it could be this was intentional as there is more than enough material for a second season. In addition to the loose ends, there were times where although the acting was okay, there was no emotion to it, which meant investment in character development took a knock.
Due to the lukewarm reception of Treadstone by many, it appears a second season is planned and may be released around October 2020, but that is to be confirmed officially. However, it has been mentioned by several reputable sources online.
Overall if you have read the Bourne books by Robert Ludlum, Treadstone can at times deviate away from some details and even with its own script leaves itself open to plot holes and poor cohesion. What could have been a fantastic series is mediocre. Worth a watch but nothing to rave about.
What rating would you give Treadstone (Season 01)?
I would give the first season of Treadstone a 3 out of 5 bananas.
I wanted to love Treadstone so much, but when taking a step back, rewatching some episodes and trying to look at it from a critical point of view for the review, I felt been honest was the best way to go. It can be fun, and it can be a good watch, but it’s nothing really to rave about compared to the Bourne outings. If season two does come out, I will give it a watch, but I really hope it ups its game as this could be a fantastic outing in its own right.
Thank you very much for checking out the review, and if you are interested in Treadstone (Season 01) and would like to check it out for yourself, to form your own opinion, you can check it out here.