TV Review: ‘Dig’

DIG TV Review USA

Writer-producer Tim Kring likes telling a certain kind of story, incorporating far-flung locales, disparate characters and a vaguely supernatural element, with the connections only becoming apparent over time (and sometimes, not completely even then). That approach produced “Heroes,” an NBC hit for a while; “Touch,” a short-lived Fox series; and now “Dig,” on which the producer teams with “Homeland’s” Gideon Raff, embarking on a global conspiracy whose biblical-inspired implications yet remain fuzzy after three episodes. Some will no doubt lose themselves in the mystery and casting, which includes Jason Isaacs; others, feeling twice burned, might decide to break ground elsewhere.

“Dig” opens with Orthodox Jews in Norway inspecting a red calf. “The prophecy has begun,” one says, dispatching a wide-eyed young man (Guy Selenik) on a mission of great importance but unclear intent.

From there, it’s off to Israel, where American FBI agent Peter Connelly (Isaacs, adopting a Yank accent) is working a case with a local detective (Ori Pfeffer), and not incidentally, having an affair with the boss (Anne Heche). A third narrative strand leads to New Mexico (actually the Israeli desert as a stand-in), where Debbie (Lauren Ambrose) is responsible for watching a beatific young boy (Zen McGrath) who also evokes a lot of talk about his destiny, mostly from the religious leader in charge (David Costabile, who, after “Breaking Bad,” is really deserving of a show in a more hospitable climate).

Connelly, naturally, has experienced a great personal loss, which might make him more emotionally vulnerable when a beautiful young woman (Alison Sudol) leads him to an archaeological site and allows him to secretly view a strange ritual conducted there. Yet his attempt to catch an elusive suspect only hints at a much larger plot, which, lest anyone not grasp the stakes, is made explicit when someone ominously says, “This is bigger than any of us.”

And so it goes. Beyond its handsome locations (shooting extensively in Israel) and impressive list of players (among them Richard E. Grant and Regina Taylor in supporting roles), “Dig” keeps referencing the grand forces at work, but also does little to divulge what they are. And while that might be fine for those determined to hunker down for this entire 10-episode event, it can feel a bit tiresome to others still debating whether the show merits such a commitment.

In a special designed to promote the program, Kring and Raff noted that much of the story is rooted in actual biblical prophecy and beliefs, which give this limited series heft in light of the visible impact of religious extremism around the world.

Those less inclined to accept on faith — either due to the auspices or a lack of patience — that “Dig” is leading somewhere can be forgiven for rolling their eyes at another show that promises to threaten “everything we believe in.” For such skeptics, to borrow a line from “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” USA might be digging in the wrong place.

TV Review: 'Dig'

(Series; USA, Thurs. March 5, 10 p.m.)

Production

Filmed in Israel and Canada by Keshet and the Jackal Group in association with Universal Cable Prods.

Crew

Executive producers, Tim Kring, Gideon Raff, Gail Berman, Gene Stein, Avi Nir, Alon Shtruzman, Karni Ziv, SJ Clarkson; co-executive producer, Mark Winemaker; prducers, Liat Benasuly, Jenna Glazier; director, Clarkson; writers, Kring, Raff; camera, Nate Goodman; production designer, Yoel Herzberg; editor, Liana Del Giudice; music, Peter Himmelman; casting, Libby Goldstein, Hila Yuval. 90 MIN.

Cast

Jason Isaacs, Anne Heche, David Costabile, Lauren Ambrose, Omar Metwally, Alison Sudol, Ori Pfeffer, Richard E. Grant, Regina Taylor, Guy Selenik, Zen McGrath

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  1. Joanell says:

    I so wanted to like it… but it was plodding and had THE most disappointing ending. It looked like it was all going to come togerther and then it ended with a whimper and a few trite lines. I mean seriously… “I didn’t count on falling in love with you,” and “I’ll see you in hell…” “not if I see you first.” Really? That’s how you wanted to end it?

  2. Lynn says:

    Loved the ending of dig. Very interesting

  3. Gaby says:

    I very much enjoyed the series even though, yes, “it started out a bit slow”. The final episode, however, was a big disappointment. With all of the various mysteries starting to come together, and ancient prophesies to be fulfilled, the actual ending was a huge letdown. I was expecting a resolution of a more, excuse the pun, “biblical proportion”, but was left feeling very unfulfilled when it was over. It was like expecting a fantastic finale to a fireworks display, and the last few fireworks just sort of fizzled out.

  4. les clark says:

    The characters are so flawed, the pace maddeningly slow, lots of foot chases that just take up frames, commercials that fracture the flow, predictable events. This is a two hour HBO thriller but no, it’s on USA. I’ve wasted enough time in it so I’ll see it through but not again.

  5. Nemo says:

    Wish they produced “DIG” after the old computer game, which had a beautiful script.

  6. Susan Christensen says:

    RE “DIG:” I think patience is required. The great religions of the world will come together and prepare for the coming of the Messiah, at least that’s how I see it.

  7. DC says:

    Points made in this article withstanding, the graphic knife murder of the babysitter in the pilot turned me off. Not another look, done watching this flatulence for good.

  8. Pat Davis says:

    It felt very flat to me and my partner, we gave up after the first hour or so.

  9. danmacre says:

    What is the breast plate for “to communicate with God” and if it gets into the wrong hands.
    This is where the story will lose many viewers. The shows writers mock Christianity and Judaism by implying the breast plate of the high priest can be used like some magic weapon. The insult even goes further by implying God can be manipulated . Prediction ” the show will not last very long.

  10. Kenneth Kump says:

    DIG is an Indiana Jones soap opera. I don’t like soap operas so I took DIG out of my DVR record list.

  11. I’m really tired of the “Dig” logo breaking into shows I’m watching. Probably won’t watch Dig because of it.

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