Saturday, January 2, 2021

Veritas;The Quest (2003)13 Episodes

  Recently, in one of those recommendation links -  you know “you like The Mummy you may like Tomb Raider and Indiana Jones" type of thing, Veritas The Quest came up. I had vague recollections of this show when it came out back in 2003,  I assume that it was 2004 that it came to Australia and it promptly went to the genre wasteland of 2am airings. I may have taped some episodes – I know I definitely taped episode 7 but I couldn’t tell you much more, but I had fond memories. So I went looking for the show – there’s no official DVD release and it doesn’t appear to be on any streaming services that I can access.  I thought I might be able to find a few clips on youtube but blow me down if the entire series is there. And it was really enjoyable. The story focuses on Nikko Zond, a high school student who has been in boarding school after the death of his mother 10 years ago.  He gets expelled from his 17th school and his father Solomon Zond takes him to be home schooled by graduate student Juliet Droil, while Solomon works as a freelance archaeologist for the Veritas Foundation. Solomon’s team consists of bodyguard Victor Siminou, research assistants Calvin Banks and Maggie Hayes.  As you can imagine Nikko and Juliet quickly join the team (although it’s unclear if Juliet was already part of the team who drew the short straw or hired as the tutor and got roped into the team). I have to say the cast really impressed me. Ryan Merriman as Nikko I’d seen him previously in The Pretender as young Jarrod and Jarrod’s clone.  Alex Carter as Solomon -  Carter’s been in a lot of stuff but he was a detective on CSI I hadn’t seen Cynthia Martells (Maggie) in anything else. Eric Balfour as Calvin had also been in Haven. Colbie Smothers as Juliet – I’d completely forgotten that she had been in this before How I met your Mother, Agent Maria Hill in the MCU and as Dex in Stumptown. And the big gun at the time Arnold Vosloo as Vincent – the Mummy himself and the second Darkman, In my research I also found that the series creators Patrick Massett and John Zinman had also worked on Lara Croft Tomb Raider as screen writers. Oh yeah this was a great series with some serious action adventure credentials. The show originally aired on ABC but was cancelled after four episodes – the entire season later aired on the Syfy Channel (which was the source of the you tube episodes) The show has a bit of Jonny Quest vibe as the Veritas team travel the world with a nice mythos being built around it – that’s one of the more frustrating things I felt the show was really just starting to hit its stride with some interesting hints about what might happen in the next season.  We discover that there is a rival group DORNA that are also seeking the same artefacts with the hint that 2012 was going to be significant as several artefacts hint that there will either be the end of the world or the dawn of a new age.  Episode 7 has the team finding an Incan mummy and Vincent says “Mummies, nothing but trouble” which I do remember from back in the day had they done more like that (A later episode Nikko makes a crack that there’s always a Mummy popping up as Vincent comes in the room. )  Perhaps more of that type of meta-humour and commentary would have helped early on. I loved this show and was disappointed to see it didn’t continue,  the team works well together, there’s a nice arc for the series trying to stop the end of the world, a mystery of what happened to Nikko’s mother.  The artefacts are interesting and varied.  The characters work well off each other, Calvin and Nikko have a nice sibling rivalry going on, which plays out nicely in episode 7 as we see the pair competing to impress the ladies but as soon as they are called into action work together as a well oiled team.  While Nikko could have been annoying, I found that they balanced his character out well and he never got to the point where I was wanting to yell “shut up Nikko” at the screen.  His relationship with his father plays out nicely, with their plans for father and son time are frequently interrupted by new adventures. Look it costs nothing to check out the series on youtube It’s an enjoyable action adventure romp.