June 18, 2024
007: Road To A Million

Cast: Brian Cox and nine teams, each with two members

Alice Smith, Jamie Goold, Tom Dumican, and Julian Jones were the directors.

Watching using Prime Video

Language: (subtitled) English

Runtime: Eight half-hour-long episodes

Rating: 3/5

Review of 007: Road to a Million: What It’s About:

The eight-episode reality competition series is a spin-off of the James Bond movie franchise. To win a prize of £9 million (£1 million for each couple), nine pairs of regular people set out on an adventure to find hidden clues at locations often featured in the British Secret Service film. The show’s host, Brian Cox, plays the “Controller,” a villain a la James Bond who takes pleasure in the suffering of the competitors.

What’s Good About 007: Road To A Million Season 1?

The episode opens with the couples trekking up mountains and dodging chilly loch waters in Scotland in an attempt to locate their first briefcases and provide the right answer to win £5,000. Fans of the James Bond movies will be in for a treat throughout the eight episodes, as they will be able to relive some of their best Agent 007 missions, such as the thrilling pursuit scene in No Time To Die or the Italian Alps in For Your Eyes Only.

The show will occasionally make you feel more knowledgeable about general topics, but other times it will make you clench your teeth as the competitors pull off some crazy feats like scaling a crane on Italy’s Gravina Bridge, weighing a tarantula, measuring a snake, climbing a volcano that erupted a year ago, and more. The show gives the competitors—siblings, husband and wife, father and sons, and friends—an opportunity to heal any wounds in their relationships while simultaneously putting their mental toughness to the test.

In contrast to other reality shows, where participants must complete a minimum number of rounds to earn cash prizes, 007: Road To A Million offers the duos an instant £5,000 prize if they correctly answer the first question (and turn off the green gas canister). The fact that the competitors on this show are working hard to get to the finish line and win their £1 million rather than fighting with one another for the money is another plus.

Extra credit goes to the camera crew for constantly being present and catching the uncut moments without really being seen, and to the producers for dedicating four years to the project (before Prime Video gave it the go-ahead).

What’s Wrong with 007: Road to a Million Season 1?

Although there are positive aspects of the show, there are drawbacks as well, such as its plain and monotonous nature. Unfortunately, 007: Road to a Million falls short of the thrilling, daring movie that comes to mind when you think of James Bond. Although there are exciting moments in each episode, the episodes do tend to repeat themselves, particularly in regards to how the answers are revealed as correct or incorrect and the clothes the contestants wear while wading through cold water (it’s amazing that we didn’t witness any of them shivering, in need of hot coffee or blankets, but instead saw them dry, and in the same clothes, moments later).

The show made an emotional connection with viewers by focusing on the contestants’ personal lives, how they met, and the opportunity to create memories that they were unable to make for various reasons (having children too soon, working on a rig, etc.). However, the show’s repetitiveness and inability to provide each contestant duo with an equal amount of time in the beginning caused it to fail.

Being the wicked host should have been a benefit for the well-known actor Brian Cox (who has won multiple awards, including two Laurence Olivier Awards, a Primetime Emmy Award, and a Golden Globe Award); instead, it’s one of the show’s worst flaws. Brian breaks up the dull action in a way that makes you want to see the competitors return. He watches the contenders while lounging in his lair and surrounded by screens. We’re curious about his compensation for the role.

Road to a Million Review, Episode 007: Final Words

Though it is essentially a cross between Fear Factor, The Amazing Race, and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, the Brian Cox-hosted James Bond spin-off reality show beautifully showcases the mountains of Scotland, the lush forests of the Amazon, the captivating locales of Italy and Spain, and many more locations that the spy has been spotted at. It won’t be worth your nearly six hours, but if you prefer watching people perform jobs for money, then go ahead and do it. If not, stay away from it.

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