Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Sam Nelson (Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation), a corporate business negotiator, barely makes it on board Kingdom Airlines flight KA29 en route from Dubai to London. Sam hopes to win back his ex-wife Marsha (Christine Adams) who is now sleeping with Detective Inspector Daniel O’Farrell (Max Beesley). Shortly after takeoff, KA29 is taken over by Stuart Atterton aka “Gerald” (Neil Waskell) and his team of hijackers, Terri Reid aka “Marcus” (Jasper Britton), Lewis Atterton aka “Ryan” (Jack McMullen), Jamie Constantinou aka “Bella”(Aimee Kelly), and Jaden aka “ Alexander” (Mohamed Elsandel). Before the Wi-Fi is turned off, Sam texts Marsha who passes the info to O’Farrell who immediately contacts his ex-wife Deputy Chief Inspector Zahra Gahfoor (Archie Panjabi) from the London Police Department’s counter-terrorism agency. When Heathrow air traffic controller Alice Sinclair (Eve Myles) notices a slight deviation in the KA29 flight plan, a recognized post-9/11 indication for help, she calls Gahfoor with her concerns. Matters escalate when Tindall (Alex Macqueen), a senior official, calls in Foreign Secretary Louise Aitchison (Hattie Morahan).
After Stuart kills the first passenger, a fight breaks out and Lewis is stabbed by another passenger. As KA29 enters Romanian airspace two NATO jetfighters are summoned to shoot the plane down but are called off after O’Farrell and Gahfoor uncover the hijackers’ identities showing they belong to an organized crime group.
Passenger Dr. David Miller (Marcus Garvey) a performs a makeshift thoracostomy on Lewis to enable him to temporarily obtain oxygen. However, before the plane can land, Lewis undoes the tube placed in his chest and dies. It is revealed that the hijackers have been ordered to get crime bosses Edgar Janssen (Simon McBurney) and John Bailey-Brown (Ian Burfield) released from prison. Terry tells Sam that their organized crime heads will kill them and their family if they land, as he reveals that they have not only Sam’s family info but that of all the passengers on KA 29 and have deployed a team of “cleaners” into the field to ensure the cooperation of everyone on board the plane “or else.”
At an airfield near the prison, the utterly heartless goal of the now-freed Edgar and John is revealed and as KA29 flies inexorably toward London, unless someone on board intervenes, the remaining passengers and crew will be doomed.
There have been dozens of films about aircraft hijacking and this genre has served the movie industry quite well for decades. Screenwriters and directors like George Kay and Jim Field Smith know that anyone who has flown on a commercial jet airliner, 30,000 feet in the air, would understand how terrifying such a situation may become, particularly with the added risk of being shot down by heavily armed fighter jets. In this respect, Hijacked ticks all the boxes for terror, suspense, and continuing plot twists that will keep the audiences of this series literally on the edges of their respective seats from one episode to the next as life-threatening events continue into the very last minutes of the final episode. With a typically strong and mostly British cast, Idris Elba stands out as the cool-headed, unlikely hero who fully understands that he holds the fates of Marsha and his son Kai (Jude Cudjoe) in his own hands. Having seen nearly all of the previous hijack films and television series to date, Hijack moves near the top of my list with some very creative plot devices that I did not see coming. Highly recommended.
Hijack is streaming now in its entirety on Apple TV+
- Rating Certificate: TV-MA
- Show Creator: George Kay | Jim Field Smith
- Original Release Date: 28 June 2023
- Streaming Service: Apple TV+
- Episode Run Time: 60 Mins.
- Num. Episodes: 7
- Studios & Distributors: 60Forty Films | Archery Pictures | Green Door Picture | Idiotlamp Productions | Apple TV+