Written by Jennifer Amato
From Botswana to Los Angeles, the world is in danger of attacks from a new terrorist: animalia.
In James Patterson’s new television series Zoo, the pilot episode titled “First Blood” has different meanings: primary character Jackson Oz (James Wolk aka Bob Benson of Mad Men’s fame) is technically the first blood of his scientist father, who spent his life – and ultimately drove himself crazy – studying the animal world. But the first blood is also drawn as the animal kingdom begins to trump the human race, as lions fatally attack a safari tour in Africa and two men in an alley in Los Angeles after escaping from the zoo.
What begins beautifully as a real-life version of The Lion King quickly unfolds as more of a murder-mystery, as scientists, researchers and journalists try to uncover the root of the evil eye, so to speak, as the animals who are killing humans seem to have a mutation in their left eyes.
Although the lions appear “fake” during the up close and personal scenes, overall the filmmaking is done well in terms of scenery and camera angles. Several times, my heart started to race as I watched the impending lion attacks, almost forgetting that I was safe behind a TV screen.
I think there is a lot to be developed throughout the 13-episode series, and I look forward to seeing why the animals are acting out, if there is anything the humans can do to stop them, and how the foreshadowing words of the late scientist Oz play into the overall theme.