Debuting on August 1 with a two-hour premiere, Discovery’s excellent and riveting Manhunt: Unabomber probes the real story of how Ted Kaczynski’s 17-year reign of terror was finally brought to an end. Having killed three people and injuring nearly two dozen in mail bomb attacks spanning 1978-1995, the child prodigy, Harvard grad and anti-tech Kaczynski was snared by the FBI in 1996. As the eight-episode first installment of Manhunt depicts, two years later the man known as the Unabomber struck a plea deal with the feds that sees him in prison today, where he will remain for the rest of his life.
Created by Andrew Sodroski who executive produces with showrunner Greg Yaitanes, Kevin Spacey, Dana Brunetti, John Goldwyn, Troy Searer and Ross Jacobson, the series spotlights bureaucracy-battling FBI profiler Jim Fitzgerald and his pioneering use of forensic linguistics to find and eventually capture Kaczynski at his rural Montana cabin.
That is the skeleton of the story led by Sam Worthington and Paul Bettany, but it is the journey to Kaczynski’s arrest and guilty plea that is the heart of this series. Tthe often underrated Avatar alum Worthington (as Fitzgerald) and the almost unrecognizable and often underused Avengers vet Bettany (as the Unabomber) are the undisputable and sterling core of that heart, as I say in my video review above.
With clear style reminiscent of the sadly canceled and also excellent Quarry, the Yaitanes-directed Manhunt also features forceful turns from Chris Noth, Mark Duplass, Lynn Collins, Jeremy Bobb and Jane Lynch, who doesn’t show up on screen as then-Attorney General Janet Reno for a while but owns when she does.
Click on my review to see more of what I think. Will you be watching on Tuesday at 9 PM? – you should.
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