5. M. Night Shyamalan
Shyamalan is best known for his silver screen thrillers, including The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and The Village, but the director has now turned his attention to television.
The man is a master of the big reveal, the slow, unravelling mystery with a final twist to make an audience gasp. Expect a similar trajectory in Wayward Pines. The first episode threw up more questions than answers, but knowing Shyamalan, the answers will satisfy when they arrive.
It’ll be interesting to see how he stretches the plot over the course of a series rather than a 90-minute film. But he doesn’t usually get things wrong *cough* The Last Airbender *cough*.
Oh, and keep an eye out for a Shyamalan cameo. He likes to make fleeting appearances in his projects, so see if you can spot him when he pops up.
4. Car crash TV
Matt Dillon, Terrence Howard, a car crash – haven’t we seen this before somewhere? The director obviously asked for two of the world’s leading car accident actors, and you can’t argue with their choice.
Dillon and Howard starred together in 2004’s Oscar-winning drama Crash, about – you guessed it – the aftermath of a road traffic incident. It makes Wayward Pines feel eerily familiar. In a good way.
All you tree lovers out there, this is the show for you. It features some of the hottest pine action on TV. Tall pines, little pines, pines that have fallen over, wayward pines, people running through pines – it’s all there.
You certainly won’t be left – wait for it – pine-ing for more. Ha. Haha. Ha. This really is the pine-accle of arboreal drama. Oh, forget it.
2. It’s all a mystery
Shyamalan loves teasing the audience, and the first episode pumped out more mystifiers than an air freshener factory.
Where is Wayward Pines? Why don’t the local police care about the dead body in a nearby cabin? Why are the staff at the hospital so weird? How does Matt Dillon drive out of the town and immediately end up back where he started? Why is there no trace of him in the car he crashed? What about all the CCTV cameras following everyone in the town? And where is… my question mark button stopped working. Probably a good thing.
1. Matt Dillon
Wayward Pines boasts a fantastic cast. Terrence Howard we’ve already mentioned, and Juliette Lewis and Melissa Leo also feature.
But the man driving the show is Matt Dillon, and he does so valiantly. He’s perfected the dazed-and-confused-after-a-car-crash face, and he wears it for the entirety of the first episode. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if that facial expression lasts the whole series. And viewers will probably copy it.
This is M. Night Shyamalan, after all, and ‘Night’ is his middle name for a reason. Because he always leaves you in the dark. But not in a creepy way.
You can watch Wayward Pines on Thursdays, 9pm, Fox. Have a look at the trailer here.