Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol
Season 1 Episode 1
As Above, So Below
Young professor Robert Langdon is pulled into a complex mystery when his mentor is kidnapped.
Like everyone else, I have my guilty pleasures. One of those is the Dan Brown series of books that feature symbologist and professor Robert Langdon. I even have a soft spot for the Ron Howard films based on the same character, so I was curious to see how Peacock would translate The Lost Symbol into a television series.
The first episode opens with Langdon teaching a class about symbols and receives a call from the assistant of a friend and mentor. I don’t know what to make of Ashley Zukerman as Langdon yet. He doesn’t have much presence yet, but there is a slight charm to him. They seem to be playing the character as a young professor so it will be interesting to see if there is a level of insecurity or vulnerability that Zukerman can pull off as the series progresses.
Langdon travels from Harvard to the Smithsonian to present at a gala and discovers that something strange has happened when the man who led him to DC reveals that his mentor Peter has been kidnapped and Robert is tasked with finding an ancient portal. Though skeptical, the caller points (literally) Langdon to the first clue he will need with a pretty prominent object that gets the attention of a security officer and a CIA investigator. The tension begins to mount when Langdon informs Peter’s daughter about her missing father and we even get our first look at the unnamed muscle for this endeavor which is a mainstay of Brown’s work.
After finding another clue, Langdon and company head to the sub-basement while Peter’s daughter Katherine has a run in with the CIA. From this point, things become classic Dan Brown. There are underground booby traps, a weird looking villain that’s connected to some kind of cult and more clues. The story works well for the one hour drama format and it is interesting enough to keep me invested, but the performance of Zukerman has got to get more interesting to hold mine. He’s so milquetoast that I have a hard time thinking he can emote beyond deer in the headlights shock.
As a Dan Brown fan, I am invested in this show from a curiosity basis and hope it gets more interesting in the next episode.