I was introduced to "Paul Blue" during the opening segment of the series "803." It was a montage meant to familiarize me with the main character and give a brief glimpse of his history. Unfortunately, we're told that Paul's partner was killed in action sometime before this series begins, and I can sum "803" up in three words. Crusade, revenge, and Corruption. Let me tell you, reader; there's absolutely nothing wrong with those words for storytelling at all.
Chris Carter's pilot episode begins what could become an excellent series. The building blocks are all put into place, and the foundation is strong. I was thrown into Blue's world and left to face his version of horrors. From his past service to his country to his effort to start a new life as a cop, no stone is left untouched - even if we only get a peek underneath. Paul has been trying to take care of his partner's wife, a task she wants him to stop attempting, and Paul's life as a cop is under heavy scrutiny from the chief. As he continues to look for the people who killed his partner, he recruits some help which puts a target on his back from those who are truly in power. You get the idea. This is a bad guy cop drama, and it was much better than I had hoped. Not perfect, but still pretty damn good.
So, here is where I get to write something I don't usually have the opportunity to write. "803" is around twenty minutes in length, and honestly? It could have been a little longer. The pilot episode of this series never felt like it was dragged out, and even the way it was put together felt right. Starting things off with a quick montage and shortly after having an action sequence worked well to bring viewers into the show. An extra couple of minutes may have evened out this fast-paced episode. Usually, I write the opposite, but a little more meat would have been excellent in this case. On the technical side? An extra few minutes would have made the runtime perfect for an episodic series. Generally, your favorite half-hour show is around 24 minutes - leaving time for commercial breaks.
One thing I did notice was that I'm not really sure how to address Paul Blue. He's referred to as both officer and detective in the show. These are very different titles, and clarification should be made. Or, I just missed something along the way. It happens. But really - that doesn't really matter. "Blue" is the good guy with the bad guy attitude, and on so many levels, "803" has an excellent chance to be ... excellent.
That about sums things up for me. The pilot episode of "803" offers a lot of hope for excellence that I have a feeling will pan out as things progress. As I wrote above, all the pieces have been put into place. So for those looking for a well-crafted indie action series, you need not look any further. "803" is as good as it is promising—three and a half stars.