A few years ago a movie called “Taken” was released in which Liam Neeson proved that middle-aged guys could be just as formidable action heroes as men in their 20s. Neeson played a retired spy named Bryan Mills whose teenage daughter, while on a trip to Paris, is kidnapped by sex traffickers. Mills warned the kidnappers that he had a “particular set of skills” that made him a nightmare for people like them. When the criminals did not listen, Mills flew to France and killed a bunch of people before finally freeing his little girl from the clutches of an oil sheik whose tastes ran to young women who had been made docile with drugs.

The franchise was stretched to two sequels and now a TV series.

In “Taken: The Series” Bryan Mills is a generation younger than the character in the movies. He is a retired Special Forces operator who is trying to readjust to civilian life. But assassins working for a drug cartel kill his sister and so, even though Mills has not quite achieved the Jedi master level of mayhem, he is good enough to make the drug lord, whose son he had killed back when he was being paid to kill people by the government, wish he had just called it a day.

One of the curious aspects of the series is that it takes place in the Present Day and not 30 years in the past of the movies. Therefore the TV Show cannot be properly called a prequel.

But it is also not a reboot because certain hints make it clear that the young Mills will become the older killing machine that will shoot France in the face decades later to rescue his daughter.

Mills is being monitored by a group of spies led by a woman played by Jennifer Beals who seem to be watching the mayhem in real life with the same dispassion that we are in watching it as a TV show.

Of course, they are hoping that Mills leads them to the drug lord so they can scoop him up and spirit him away to a black site somewhere where he can be squeezed for intelligence. Mills, unwittingly, obliges, getting rescued just in the nick of time by guys in black commando gear just before he is to be tortured to death.

The pilot is a set up to get Mills recruited into the spy group, which could use his particular set of skills to do harm to enemies of the United States. Mills, who thought he was done with that kind of work, has been sucked back in.