Hijack Is the Best New Series That You Should Be Watching

Dept. of Cabins, Chaos, and Claustrophobia


In this day an age of multiple streaming services, with a new series popping out nearly every other day, it is fairly common for some content to get lost within the jungle of media that’s out there. While Netflix is the biggest perpetrator of this churn, streamers like HBO and Apple TV Plus have been taking a fairly traditional route of providing quality over quantity. As we’ve mentioned before right here on Goggler, Apple TV Plus is, hands down, one of the best streaming producers out there, delivering some real gems that you really shouldn’t be missing, and their latest effort, Hijack, is yet another example of why this service deserves your subscription fee.

The premise of this high stakes thriller is a fairly simple one. Soon after take-off, a group of armed criminals take control of a flight heading from Dubai to London, sending the entire plane into a state of fear and panic. Although it may spell certain doom for everyone on board, there is one man, Sam Nelson (Idris Elba), who takes it upon himself to negotiate with the hijackers so that everyone gets home to their families. We soon discover, however, that not everything is as it seems. Chaos ensues.

This Isn’t a Gerard Butler Movie!


While it may sound like your everyday, run-of-the-mill action thriller, what Hijack does best, is to keep you on your toes. It may only be seven episodes, but there is a very 24 feel to the whole thing. After such successes as Criminal, Lupin, and Killing Eve, writer George Kay knows how to construct a nail-biting thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Just when you think you may have come to a moment of clarity, just when you think you’ve figured out what the next step is, or what the hijackers’ true motives are, Kay throws an utter curveball, leaving you agape and staring at the screen. But unlike some other shows out there that seem to implement twists simply for the sake of it, every revelation here is truly well earned.

And then there’s Idris Elba. Let’s face it, no matter how good a bad a movie or TV show might be, his presence will always elevate the material. The man can do no wrong, and unsurprisingly, he delivers yet again in the role of “everyman” Sam Nelson. In this one, Elba gives us one of the most internal performances of his career; utilizing his brain more than brawn. Spending nearly half the show sitting in his seat, we bear witness to an immense amount of face acting. We watch as his eyes dart around the plane and use that as our gateway into his thought process. He carefully calculates each and every move, in an almost Sherlockian manner, never losing his cool, and somehow remaining effortlessly calm and collected throughout the entire process. It’s engaging on a whole other level and it’s something only a great actor can deliver.

If the writing wasn’t enough to keep you hooked, Elba’s performance most certainly will. Fans of his work on Luther, will definitely appreciate the performance in this one.

Cabin Fever


Being inside a plane on a long-haul flight is not the most comfortable experience. You’re packed together like sardines, there are unwarranted noises from unruly passengers, the kid behind you is kicking your seat, the air is stale, and everyone is on edge hoping to get to their destination in one piece. But when you add a situation like a hijacking to the mix, there’s no doubt the entire journey suddenly becomes one of utter chaos, and director Jim Field Smith has masterfully painted that on screen for us. After collaborating together with Kay multiple times on Stag, Criminal, and Litvinenko, Smith wonderfully compliments Kay’s writing, bringing his words and atmosphere to the screen with ease, showcasing the feeling of being trapped in a tight space, thousands of meters in the air.

Spending nearly half of the series in the air, it’s down to the director to translate that sense of claustrophobia by way of camera work and performance, and Smith has definitely mastered that art of that tension, making you feel as trapped as each one of those passengers, gasping for air, and scrambling to get out as soon as humanly possible.

Kickin’ It Old School


What Hijack does best is to bring back the nostalgia of an old school action thriller. This is a slow burn the likes of Speed, Air Force One, or The Negotiator. It is unafraid to take its time and build up that tension to an explosive revelation and resolution. Too much of our modern action fare feels rushed. It’s frenetic. It’s edited to within an inch of its life. This sort of story keeps a deliberate pace, one that gives the chaos space to breathe, thereby creating a sense of real stress for the audience.

There’s honestly nothing about this show that didn’t work for me. In fact, the only crime here is that Apple hasn’t publicized this series as much as they should have. God knows there’s an action thriller of some sort dropping every week. Most of them are mediocre. (Hijack isn’t!) None of them have Idris Elba. (Hijack does!) Which is why you really should be on this already.

Hijack is now streaming on Apple TV Plus.

Nick Dorian spent most of his childhood dreaming of being a plumber, mainly because he loved watching Super Mario go on adventures. When he heartbreakingly discovered actual plumbers don't go on great adventures in real life, he went on to sit in front of a TV or movie screen, watching more people go on adventures, and then talk to anybody around him about what he's seen, whether they liked it or not. Fast forward to today, he somehow managed to make watching movies and TV shows, and discussing them, an actual living. Which goes to show, dreams do come true. Except when you dream of being an Italian plumber who fights mushrooms and toads.

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