British Invasion: Instinct, with Alan Cumming

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Alan Cumming and Bojana Novakovic on Instinct

While the primary topic of discussion around here is British television, a lot of British actors do find their way onto American television screens. Many times, I’ve come to know and appreciate an actor through British TV or movies, only to later spot them on American shows that I enjoyed more for their presence in them. That’s definitely the case with Alan Cumming in Instinct.

Who’s Alan Cumming?

For those who aren’t familiar with Alan Cumming, he’s a highly respected Scottish actor who started his career with small roles in shows like:

Bear in mind, some of the shows above are only available on British DVDs, meaning you’ll need a region-free DVD player to play them.

Cumming later hopped the pond and started showing up in American-produced movies like Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion, Eyes Wide Shut (as a desk clerk!), and Get Carter. Today, many people know him from larger roles in things like Goldeneye, The L Word, and The Good Wife. PBS fans will also recognize him as a host on Masterpiece Mystery. If you watch Inspector Lewis on Amazon, you’ll see his intros before each episode.

What’s Instinct?

Instinct is a new CBS police procedural about a former CIA operative (played by Cumming) who’s moved on to a quieter life in academia. When a murder based on his book gets him involved with the NYPD, he gets just enough excitement to make him hungry for more. Three episodes have aired now, and while they’re a bit formulaic, they’re still reasonably good. We much prefer Cumming with his native Scottish accent, but his acting is great either way.

You can watch Instinct online here.

The Controversy with Instinct

Incredibly, at just three episodes in, there’s already a bit of controversy with Instinct. Some observant fans noticed Episode 3 was quite similar to an old Bones episode (Season 5, Episode 3), and The Independent put together a video outlining the similarities. Both episodes featured a murdered young person who had left an extremely religious Amish/Amish-like background. Both were piano prodigies, and the episodes contained some lines that were almost identical. You can view The Independent’s take here.

Showrunner Michael Rauch issued an apology and stated the similarities were 100% unintentional. The episode has since been removed from Amazon. It will be interesting to see if anything comes out of this, and whether the rest of the season airs like normal. It seems like a very unfortunate mess for all the innocent actors and crew members whose hard work is being tarnished by this eerily similar episode.

 

Episode 3 of Instinct doesn’t appear to be available on Amazon anymore

 

Have you Watched Instinct?

Have you watched any episodes of Instinct? Let us know what you thought!

5 Comments

  1. I love Alan Cumming and have enjoyed Instinct. The “third episode” mentioned in this article is one I haven’t seen as the show has only aired twice so far. (And I think Alan would probably prefer being referred to as a Scottish actor rather than as a British one.)

  2. I’ve been watching “British” TV for over 50 years. No problem with accents at all – well the “Shetland” accent was a little tougher but few misses.

  3. I love Alan Cummings and was happy to see him on a new show. I did notice the same story line in episode 3, but that goes to the writer and producer not the actors. I feel this show will get better as time goes on and hope it’s given a chance. One of the main problems was that because of March madness it wasn’t on at the time listed and many people like myself who tape the show didn’t get to see the whole story unless we went on line. Please leave it on it’s hard to find shows that aren’t geared to 20 yr olds.

  4. Have watched British shows for decades, PBS, Masterpiece; A&E, etc. Love getting ready for Mr. Cummings American series. March madness tried getting in the way. Didn’t dampen my spirit! Do, enjoy the slight subject twist on the series. I believe the accent should of stayed. Make us Americans sit up & take notice! 😁 I have watched so many different mysteries, both American & British that after awhile they all seem to run together, plot wise. 🤨 I watch for the entertainment of it all. Hope the series stays!

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