Well that was an unusual experience!

We went to a movie theatre, stood in line, then went in and watched the pilot of a new television series, "Leverage," transmitted to the screen from a DVD played on the producer's laptop. Afterwards we had a Question and Answer period with Producer Dean Devlin ("Who Killed the Electric Car?" "Flyboys," "Independence Day" and "Cellular") along with Gina Bellman, an actress in the series.

Remember that old, old classic television series "Mission Impossible"? Yes, the one Tom Cruise has turned into his ultra-successful movie franchise, distinctive theme music and all. This one evokes that same feeling! (And Devlin admits that he had it in mind as he developed this new series.) We watch an angry but honest man who has been betrayed by a big corporation; he is approached by a fellow who claims he too, has been betrayed by a large company. He explains that his airplane prototypes have been stolen by a long-time rival and he desperately needs them back in time for an upcoming shareholders' meeting.

Our reluctant hero, played by Timothy Hutton ("French Kiss," "The Last Mimzy," "Ordinary People" and "Beautiful Girls") assembles a crack team of professional crooks, each of whom has a specialty:
  • Aldus Hodge ("American Dreamz" and TONS of television work) plays the computer geek, technical wizard and unrepentant crook.
  • Beth Riesgraf ("Struck" and many TV spots) is the amoral thief, expert pickpocket and double-jointed gymnast.
  • Christian Kane ("Hide," "The Christmas Conspiracy" and lots of TV shots) is a martial arts specialist, jack of all trades and all-around thug.
  • Gina Bellman ("Permanent Vacation" and many TV shows) is a grifter, a failed legitimate stage actress and successful con artist. (Her "take" on Lady Macbeth is something to behold!)

The premise of this series will be to rectify a wrong each week, with corporate fat cats as their usual target. It will feature lots of smart people matching wits with lots of other smart people -- one of my favorite plot devices. If the next episodes are half as much fun as the pilot, we have a winner!