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The Beast ? The Complete First Season
Patrick Swayze, Travis Fimmel, Lindsay Pulsipher
3 DVD 13 Episodes
Originally aired A&E 2009
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 2009

The Beast DVD set features all and the only thirteen episodes of this too short-lived cop TV show starring Patrick Swayze and Travis Fimmel. Swayze plays veteran FBI agent Charles Barker. Fimmel is his rookie partner Ellis Dove. The Beast was an excellent, original, well-made series where Swayze could really show off his talent. The thirteen episodes on this 3 DVD set make for great crime TV.

One of the many reasons The Beast was such a good show is it was not formulaic. Episodes have Barker and Dove investigating some scam, going undercover to get some bad guy, solving a series of murders, protecting a witness from both the U.S. government and her own people, and so on.

To add to the complexity of the story, Barker may or may not be a rogue agent. Dove learns not only was he chosen by Barker to be his sidekick but the FBI approved the choice hoping to have Dove report on his new partner’s activities.

The series also has an ongoing secondary story line involving a case in Barker’s past which may explain why he is being looked into.

A welcome change to most crime TV shows is The Beast does not telegraph its plot lines or story arc. This keeps the viewer guessing as to what is really going on within the FBI and who the real bad guy is: Barker or the people after him. The twists are excellent and warranted.

The key to The Beast really was Patrick Swayze. He made his character multidimensional and really interesting. Fimmel manages to stand his ground against Swayze’s acting chops but it is sometimes quite clear he is outmatched.

It is refreshing to see a cop show that shows some originality and new story lines. Unfortunately, it only lasts 1 season, 13 episodes, 3 DVD.