Why Taken Is Making Big Changes Heading Into Season 2

Clive Standen is Bryan Mills in Taken

Don't call it a reboot. Think of it more as a reimagining, or a reconceptualization. That's right, when NBC's Taken returns to the airwaves in January for its second season (on January 12, to be specific), the program will be a heading in a new direction under the guidance of executive producer Greg Plageman, the showrunner for this second sprint. Recently, CinemaBlend traveled to the Toronto set of Taken to find out what was in store for Bryan Mills (Clive Standen) and his particular set of skills, and in the process, we heard from Plageman why he thought the show needed a repurposing. He explained:

What I was more interested in is this franchise hewing closer to the film franchise. I think everybody sort of felt that. And I think that was what drew me to the show, wanting to focus the show a little bit more on Bryan Mills' character. ... For me, I love the resourcefulness of Bryan Mills from the films. He was a guy, obviously, he was more of a father figure, with his daughter being taken in the original film. It immediately creates this personal sort of drive to get her back that everyone can relate to. He's obviously a man capable of extreme violence. We all know of his very special skill set. But it's all in service of something personal. And that's very difficult to continue with in a television show. What I want to do is, let's refocus on Bryan Mills, let's see that resourcefulness, let's see that guy who, when thrust into a certain situation, can take the mantle of someone else's situation on, and make the situation right for them.

Taken, which made its debut on NBC with a 10-episode run in 2017, acted as an origin story of sorts for the character Liam Neeson brought to life in three previous Taken films. We knew that Bryan Mills (played in the show by Clive Standen) was a resourceful former green beret with a special set of skills who routinely put them to violent uses in the movies. In the first season of the television show, Mills was overcoming a personal tragedy involving his sister, and those personal stakes carried the weight of the debut season.

But as Taken showrunner Greg Plageman elaborated, it's not feasible for the storylines to be personal to Bryan Mills every week:

It has to be something where we get invested in the person that's been wronged [each week], and then [Bryan] takes up the mantle of that, as well as the rest of our team.

The importance of that team will be centered around Jennifer Beals' character, Christina Hart -- the only other first season character to return. When discussing why it was vital to bring Hart back, Plageman told us:

I think, also, Christina Hart (Jennifer Beals) coming to the realization like, 'Oh, I got a different animal here.' We're refocusing the show around this, understanding that for us, the show should be in some ways more about prevention. If we can anticipate the thing that's about to go calamitous, then Bryan can come and he can be that blunt instrument that comes in there. But then we have these other characters too that are offering a skill set that allows [Bryan] to do what he does best.

We will have a lot more on Taken heading into its second season, including details on new characters played by Adam Goldberg and Jessica Camacho. For now, here's the latest poster for the new season:

Taken poster

Taken will hold its second season premiere on Friday, January 12, at 9 pm EST. There will be 16 episodes this season, which is six more than last year. What will Taken do with all of this new real estate? We're excited to find out.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.