Fox 'Prodigal Son' season 1: Michael Sheen and Tom Payne introduce us to the twisted world of serial killers and their families
Amidst the sea of critically acclaimed shows such as 'Hannibal', 'Mindhunter', 'American Crime Story', Fox's 'Prodigal Son' takes a fresh look at the genre.
September is a busy busy month but out of all of the shows that are scheduled to air we are really hyped for 'Prodigal Son'. And rightfully so as Fox is set to take viewers inside the mind of a serial killer. There's nothing spectacularly new about the concept though but amidst the sea of critically acclaimed shows such as 'Hannibal', 'Mindhunter', 'American Crime Story', Fox's 'Prodigal Son' does take a fresh look at the genre.
Malcolm Bright (Tom Payne) has a gift. He knows how serial killers think and how their minds work. How?
Back in the 90s, his father was one of the worst, a notorious serial killer called "The Surgeon". So naturally, this makes Malcolm the brightest minds in the field of criminal psychology - as it turns out, murder is the family business.
After the FBI fired him, as we can see in the trailer, Malcolm is a lot like his father; Payne's Malcolm uses his abilities to help the NYPD solve crimes and stop killers. At the same time, he is dealing with a manipulative mother, annoyingly normal sister, a homicidal father still looking to bond with his prodigal son, and his own constantly evolving neuroses.
But it is his father, The Surgeon, who makes for a fascinating character. Played by the Emmy Award and Golden Globe nominee Michael Sheen, Dr Martin Whitly is intelligent, wealthy and charismatic and he also happens to be a predatory sociopath who has killed at least 23 people.
Malcolm's sarcastic mother, Jessica Whitly (Bellamy Young) has an opinion to share about everything that goes on in his life. In the little sneak peeks, Jessica is seen warning Malcolm about his father.
But the closest thing he has to an ally is his sister Ainsley Whitly, a very normal TV journalist who wishes for Malcolm to just have a normal life. She wishes her brother would “take a break from murder”. For Malcolm though, that is a little too difficult. The only way that he feels normal is by solving cases with the help of his longtime mentor, NYPD Detective Gil Arroyo (Lou Diamond Phillips), one of the best detectives around.
During the TCA panel for the new series, executive producers Sklaver, Fedak and Schechter were joined onstage by stars Payne, Phillips, Halston Sage, Aurora Perrineau, Frank Harts and Keiko Agena to discuss how the series puts a Sherlock-Freud twist on the genre. "Chris and I were really just playing around with characters and what makes them interesting on TV," Sklaver said about the origin of the series. "We were wondering about parents and how they can affect the children. What if your father was a serial killer — but also a really good dad?" And so was born 'Prodigal Son'.
The procedural crime show revolves around the not-so-normal family. “We will have cases in the show… we will have crimes and we will have mysteries,” said Fedak. “But it’s about the family.”
'Prodigal Son' is produced by Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television and Fox Entertainment. Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter serve as executive producers. Chris Fedak and Sam Sklaver are both executive producers, showrunners and writers. Lee Toland Krieger directed and executive-produced the pilot.
'Prodigal Son' premieres Monday, September 23 at 9/8c on Fox.