Maggie Q is in her second season as NIKITA on the CW. The show put me off a bit in the beginning with action sequences that stretch the bounds of credibility. (For instance, if three people are being chased through the woods by ten people firing automatic weapons for several minutes, one of them is going to take a slug by random chance. In NIKITA, all three emerge unscathed.) But if one leaves aside the cartoony combat stuff, this series isn’t entirely bad.
Nikita’s backstory is from the 1990 film, LA FEMME NIKITA, and not the subsequent 1997 TV show. She actually did kill someone in a robbery. In the TV show with Peta Wilson, Nikita had been framed. This Nikita relies on the martial arts much more heavily than her predecessors who depended on skills with weaponry to a greater extent.
The big difference in the CW series is that our hero escapes from DIVISION at the very beginning of the series and is never subject to their restrictions. One never really believes she is in danger, at least after a few episodes of her impossible escapes from what should have been certain death. Nikita’s relationship with Alex (Lindsy Fonseca) reminds me a little of the Gabrielle/Xena dynamic, with Nikita trying to preserve Alex’s blood innocence (and ultimately failing).
There are interesting political references sprinkled throughout the CW series to the likes of Ollie North, Lee Harvey Oswald, and such folk which I am reasonably sure will go completely over the heads of the CW’s largely 20-something audience. The original film was completely non-political, and the 1997 series lapsed frequently into American propaganda, so in this area, the new show is an improvement.
Seymour Birkhoff is a character from the ’97 series, not the original film, and appears in NIKITA. He is still a geeky sort, and the ’97 version of him (played by Matthew Ferguson) reminds me a bit of Radar O’Reilly in MASH, as played by Gary Burghoff. See the similarity in the names?
Still, when I think of Nikita, I think of Peta Wilson.