'Taken' Tells A New Story On TV

by Alaina Urquhart-White
Christos Kalohoridis/NBC

We're all finally about to find out where Liam Neeson acquired his particular set of skills. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you clearly haven't seen the movie Taken and need to ASAP, since NBC's prequel series premieres on Monday, Feb. 27. And even if you are familiar with it, you may still be a little confused, because the Taken movie and TV show are very different. In fact, it's hard to even call the series a prequel — or a reboot — because it takes place in the present day, but tells the story of Neeson's character, Bryan Mills, 30 years before the events of the 2008 film.

Though the timeline is confusing, the Taken series should be similar to the movie and its sequels in tone, even as it tells a different story. When audiences meet Bryan in the first movie, he is the divorced father of a teenaged daughter. We learn that Mills has retired from the CIA and is attempting to form some kind of relationship with his daughter, because apparently being a super secret CIA operative and former Green Beret for most of your can put some strain on your personal relationships. However, his daughter is kidnapped by Albanian human traffickers while on a trip to France, causing him to use that famed "very particular set of skills" that he has "acquired over a very long career" to find and kill her kidnappers, and save her.

Taken the series won't be following Mills, here played by Clive Standen, on a journey to rescue his daughter, but instead, chronicling that "very long career" from the very beginning. Fans will see where he learned those skills and what he went through to become the hardened badass that we see in the films.

It should make sense, then, that Bryan won't be looking to save his daughter, because he doesn't have one yet. As the trailer below shows, he will instead be out for vengeance for his sister, who was murdered in revenge for Mills accidentally killing a powerful man's son during a military raid.

It's a very similar premise to the Taken movie, but one that will take Mills on a different journey as he moves up in the ranks and evolves into, well, Liam Neeson. Thanks to those vague similarities, the NBC series should make fans of the movie feel right at home while allowing newcomers to jump right into the action without any prior knowledge of Mills' future when it premieres on Monday at 10 p.m.