Last January, Amazon Studios unveiled its latest batch of pilots for its 2015 Pilot Season and subscribers to its Amazon Prime membership in the U.S., UK and Germany were able to view the episodes through its Instant Video service. The episodes are still up and those that do well based on subscriber ratings get to proceed for a full season. For this batch, an American remake of the British series “Mad Dogs” is part of the selection. Below is a short recap and the teasers to the pilot episode.
“Mad Dogs” stars Michael Imperioli (Lex), Steve Zahn (Cobi), Ben Chaplin (Joel) and Romany Malco (Gus), as friends who have been gifted with a trip to Belize courtesy of their millionaire friend Milo (Billy Zane). They arrive at his gorgeous villa where they catch up and relive their bachelor phase, until things turn for the weird.
They overhear Milo having confrontations with someone on the phone and the guys find a dead goat in his swimming pool. They take a cruise on a yacht and learn that Milo actually stole this with the intention of ditching the boat in the middle of the sea.
Amidst the breathtaking landscape of the island, tension builds with the passing minutes. The situation turns for the worst when, during dinner, the guys gets a visit from a man in a cat mask who is demanding for the return of his yacht. Milo remains smug this whole time. Ultimately, the man in the cat mask blatantly shoots Milo dead.
Lex, Cobi, Joel and Gus spend the last remaining minutes of the pilot fearing for their situation, especially when someone from the police drops in, asking for Milo’s whereabouts. The episode ends with a cliffhanger—how will the four friends get out of this fix, without compromising their safety in another country?
The American remake of “Mad Dogs” is at par with its original version, which ran for four seasons, that is, from 2011 to 2014. Chaplin (Joel), by the way, was part of the British version; he played the role of Milo (Alvo, in the Brit series).
The pilot episode of “Mad Dogs” is compact, providing the right amount of amusement and thrill, and there is rarely a dull moment. The exotic location complements the visuals. It’s an immersive series that has a lot of potential.
Created by Cris Cole for Sky 1 in the UK, the U.S. version is developed by Shawn Ryan and is projected for 10 episodes, should the studio decide to push it into a full series. Ryan has said in press interviews that the American version of “Mad Dogs” will deviate from the original storyline, so that essentially, it becomes a different series altogether.
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Timothy M. Moore