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"Veritas: The Quest" Review

By Shawn McKenzie 02/12/2003

When ABC announced this series, “Veritas: The Quest,” as a midseason replacement, it sounded so cool.  From the network’s brief description, it seemed like it was going to be Indiana Jones-meets-high tech.  After watching the first three episodes, I have to say, I’m a little disappointed.


Nikko Zond (Ryan Merriman) is an extremely bright but disobedient teenager who is still grieving the death of his well-known archeologist mother.  As a result, he sort-of blames his dad, Solomon (Alex Carter), for her death, and dad’s workaholic nature doesn’t help matters either.  Nikko and Solomon are foreigners to one another.  One day, after Nikko is kicked out of the latest in a long line of boarding schools, he and Solomon barely escape pursuit by armed men chasing them in their car.  After skillfully avoiding the men, Nikko finds out his father's career as a university professor is just a cover.  Solomon is actually head of the Veritas Foundation (“Veritas” is Latin for “truth”), whose mission is to seek the truth behind the mysteries of history and civilization.  Thinking that what they do is so much cooler than being a professor, he wants to join their team.  Solomon doesn’t want Nikko to join at first, because many of their adventures are highly dangerous, but comes to realize that his high intelligence might prove useful, and it would give them a chance to bond.  Aside from Solomon and Nikko, the Veritas team includes the very odd Vincent Siminou (Arnold Vosloo), Solomon's protector and right-hand man; Calvin Banks (Eric Balfour), a nervous but exceptional by-the-books archaeologist; and Maggie (Cynthia Martells), a skilled computer scientist.  One other member of the team, Juliet Droil (Cobie Smulders), a former student of Solomon, is responsible for being Nikko’s tutor, and is assigned to keep Nikko out of trouble.  The team spans the globe is search of the truth, but a secret evil organization, seeking to wipe out the Foundation's research, are always muddling up the works.


I’m a big Indiana Jones fan, and I was hoping to see more of that element in this series.  It might be that there are too many miscast people and characters here.  Vosloo is fine as the weird cryptic guy, but do we need a weird cryptic guy as a regular character?  Balfour, otherwise known as the messed-up boyfriend of Claire on HBO’s “Six Feet Under” and Milo, the computer expert on FOX’s “24” who went on the world’s longest coffee break, is the wrong actor to play Calvin.  Balfour can’t pull off the straight man; he’s best when his characters are a little off.  I know that is typecasting, but maybe over time he will grow as an actor.

The ironic thing is that ABC has already brought us a TV version of Indy with “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.”  I liked that series, and maybe I was hoping to see a little of it in “Veritas: The Quest.”  I know I sound totally negative about the show, but it’s yet another show that I will have to wait and see if there is any improvement.  It does have enough excitement in it to keep me watching, and I will, but based on the ratings, it might not be for long.

Ratings System:


Try to catch this show every week...

If a better show is on, tape this one...

If nothing else is on, maybe this will be good...

If this show is on, change the channel immediately!


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