Alias is my kind of show. It’s got a cute, strong-willed female lead (Jennifer Garner), storylines involving shadow wars between rival espionage agencies, and the obligatory James Bond like spy toys.
And yet, somehow over the last three years I’ve never seen it on TV. Not once. Not even for five minutes while clicking through to another show. Why? Part of it is the Sunday night slot — my wife likes to watch Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and I’m usually watching The Simpsons or Malcolm in the Middle. Jumping over to Alias on ABC just wasn’t something I thought of doing.
Enter Netflix. Just as its done for me with Stargate SG-1, the DVD-rental service is letting me catch up on a series that I never had a chance to watch. And I’m finding it to be a very addictive experience. The first three episodes of Season 1 were great. In classic spy-drama fashion, our heroine suffers a crippling loss after she reveals to her fiancee that she works for a covert branch of the CIA … and that branch promptly kills him to keep their secret. Only then does she realize that her employers aren’t really the CIA, but in fact a branch of a terror spy network she thought she’d been fighting against for years. She immediately turns on her masters, and becomes a double agent working for the real CIA.
The series combines aspects of my two favorite role-playing games — the over the top action of Spycraft (Internet Archive), and the murderous conspiracy of Delta Green — and does it in a way that pays homage to the cliff-hanging serials of old. I’ve only seen three episodes, but I can safely say I’m hooked. If you’re into the spy genre, I strongly recommend picking up a copy of Season 1.