Spy games laid bare in ‘The Enemy Within’

Spy games laid bare in ‘The Enemy Within’

“The People” is likely to be over — however espionage continues to be alive and properly on TV.

“The Enemy Inside,” a brand new NBC drama sequence premiering Monday (10 p.m.), follows Erica Shepherd (Jennifer Carpenter, “Dexter”) — an incarcerated former CIA operative and infamous traitor — and FBI agent Will Keaton (Morris Chestnut), who involves her for assist in catching a prison spy.

In different phrases, it’s the “Silence of the Lambs” dynamic— however with spies this time.

“I feel [that’s true] in the event you swap the gender roles,” says the present’s creator, Ken Woodruff, 39. “We weren’t eager about [‘The Silence of the Lambs’] going in, as a result of [Erica] just isn’t a serial killer or a assassin. What I feel is correct is that there’s at all times an agenda, one thing beneath the floor, a stage of inherent distrust.

“To me, that’s what made the scenes between Hannibal and Clarice [in ‘The Silence of the Lambs’] sparkle.”

Woodruff says the concept for the present first got here from his curiosity in the style, and it grew as he dug into analysis on espionage.

“I’ve at all times been an enormous fan of the spy thriller style. The ‘Bourne’ and ‘Mission Not possible’ franchises have been huge influences,” he says. “However in researching this world, the concept for ‘The Enemy Inside’ actually began to take form once I discovered of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division. They weren’t spies, they have been spy hunters.

“And that’s what this present is all about,” he says. “How do you catch the neatest, most well-trained operatives in the world? I knew I needed to see a better caliber of villain onscreen. And that meant the ladies who went after these villains wanted to be equally sensible and relentless.

“In essence, our characters are searching the Jason Bournes and James Bonds of different international locations.”

Though “The Enemy Inside” is ready largely in Washington, DC, it was filmed a lot nearer to dwelling — on units constructed in the massive house of the previous New Jersey Devils hockey area (the Meadowlands Enviornment, previously the Izod Middle.)

“Our present is ready in DC however we movie every thing in and round New Jersey,” Woodruff says.

In fact, it’s unattainable to boost the subject of espionage with out pondering of the present information cycle and figures corresponding to Maria Butina. Woodruff says he made an effort to not have the present really feel prefer it’s “ripped from the headlines.”

“There weren’t any occasions per se or political issues [that inspired the show,]” he says. “What I’ll say is there was a sense in the zeitgeist during the last three to 4 years. That’s what we needed to faucet into — we needed it to really feel up to date and contemporary.

“We’re not ripped from the headlines or something like that,” he says. “It’s extra capturing that sense of hysteria that permeates the tradition at the moment.”

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