Peta Wilson takes on the role previously incarnated by Anne Parillaud and Bridget Fonda.Once a street person, Nikita is forcibly recruited by an ultra-secret government organization andtrained as an assassin. Many adventures ensue. While Wilson certainly has the requisitetoughness and sexiness demanded by the role, the character herself has been largely defanged. Inits film incarnations, the story already ran into problems in the second half, as the formerlyferocious street…animal develops a conscience from out of nowhere and loses a lot of her force. Inthe TV version, she is framed for murder in the opening. She is an innocent, and this kinder,gentler version of Nikita robs the concept of much of its force and the character of almost all ofher ambiguity. The special effects range from the solid to the embarrassing, but a complicatedmythology grows out of the fact that the story has become an ongoing series.
The pounding electronica score rarely lets up, and is well served by the 2.0 surround score.So persistent is the music that it eliminates virtually every opportunity for surround soundeffects. Thus, in the pilot episode’s restaurant shoot-out (which re-creates an identical moment inthe movies), the gunfire and explosions have no rear presence at all. The sound is neverthelessvery clear, with no distortion on the dialogue.
The fullscreen picture isn’t bad, but has some of the weaknesses I’ve come to associate withtransfers of TV productions. The picture is a bit on the soft side, and there is some grain. On theother hand, the colours are vibrant and lively, and the blacks are very good. Many of the scenestake place in the dark (Section One’s headquarters is another one of those bases where no oneever seems to turn on the lights), but the shots are never murky.
The features are rather selective. Most of the episodes are accompanied by deleted scenes,which can be viewed with commentary. Episodes 1 and 22 have full commentary by executiveconsultant Joel Surnow (who is joined on the pilot by creative consultant Robert Cochran anddirector Jon Cassar). There is a lot of technical information, as well as explanations for thedirections of the storyline, not to mention why the character’s backstory was changed. “SectionOne Declassified: The Making of La Femme Nikita” is your standard-issue featurette,running barely 10 minutes. The menu’s main page is scored.
Kudos to the series for building a success around a female-led action story, and the boxed setis handsomely packaged. The extras are rather thin on the ground, however.
Special Features List
- First and Last Episode Commentaries
- Deleted Scenes with Commentaries