Hijack is a seven-part thriller miniseries created by George Kay and Jim Field Smith, starring Idris Elba. The premise revolves around Sam Nelson, a talented business negotiator, who must use his skills to broker a peaceful end to a hijacking of a seven-hour flight from Dubai to London.


Hijack unfolds in real time and sticks to the tried and tested method of story telling. The main character, Sam, we are told, is particularly gifted in convincing people to do what he wants. Naturally, this is a talent that comes in handy when the plane he is on – from Dubai to London – is hijacked by a gang of Brits. Initially, of course, there are question marks about how these hijackers managed to get guns onto a plane but this is all adequately explained later on.

From then on, the narrative follows a linear path, as quick thinking Sam needs to muster all his wits to survive the hijacking. His goal is simple and clear, and Sam never ever drops the ball in this respect. Sure, there are lots of twists and turns along the way, especially regarding who is behind the hijacking and why. Throughout the miniseries, Sam is able to suss out the hijackers on the plane, using his understanding of psychology to keep one step ahead.

Apart from the drama in the skies, on the ground, the authorities attempt to get on top of the situation, while over at UK ATC, air traffic controllers try their best to resolve the difficult issues faced by the hijacked plane when crossing different jurisdictions. Ultimately, we discover that the hijacking is a scheme by a major crime organisation to free its leaders and to profit from a stock market crash brought about the hijacking itself.

Idris Elba is the absolute star of Hijack, as expected. Elba is charismatic, forceful and entirely convincing as negotiator Sam Nelson. The supporting cast bring their A-games and follow Elba’s lead throughout. Another strong original series from AppleTV+. Highly recommended.

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