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Believe: TV review

Newly crowned Oscar-winner Alfonso Cuarón turns to television with a new sci-fi thriller

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Johnny Sequoyah as Bo and Jake McLaughlin as Tate in Believe

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Johnny Sequoyah as Bo and Delroy Lindo as Winter in Believe

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Jake McLaughlin as Tate and Johnny Sequoyah as Bo in Believe

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Sienna Guillory as Moore and Johnny Sequoyah as Bo in Believe

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Jake McLaughlin as Tate, Johnny Sequoyah as Bo, Jamie Chung as Channing and Delroy Lindo as Winter in Believe

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Jamie Chung as Channing and Johnny Sequoyah as Bo in Believe

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Jake McLaughlin as Tate and Johnny Sequoyah as Bo and Believe

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Johnny Sequoyah as Bo in Believe

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Jake McLaughlin as Tate in Believe

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Johnny Sequoyah as Bo and Jamie Chung as Channing in Believe

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Johnny Sequoyah as Bo in Believe

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Delroy Lindo as Winter, Jake McLaughlin as Tate, Johnny Sequoyah as Bo, Jamie Chung as Channing, Arian Moayed as Corey and Kyle MacLachlan as Skouras in Believe

Premieres Monday, March 10 at 9pm on NBC and will air regularly Sundays at 9pm.

After delivering the intense sci-fi drama Children of Men in 2006, fans of Alfonso Cuarón had to wait seven years for the director to return to the screen with Gravity. Now, a mere 8 days after accepting his first Oscars, Cuarón has teamed with producer J.J. Abrams to bring his next sci-fi thriller, Believe, to the small screen.

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Young girl Bo (the fantastically named Johnny Sequoyah) is special. She has a unique set of abilities that, at her age, only manifest when she's very emotional. A small group of people have made it their mission to protect her from a rival group that wants to use her powers for evil. When Bo's latest set of foster parents are killed in an attempt to capture her, Winter (Delroy Lindo) seeks out a new guardian. In a visit to death row, Winter helps the falsely convicted Tate (Jake McLaughlin) escape with the agreement that he will take on the job of protecting Bo.

While the title sounds borrowed from a Sunday morning evangelist, Believe is a lot more fun than most stories about supernatural kids tend to be. This has much to do with Sequoyah, who in addition to being cute as a bug maintains likable banter with McLaughlin that's spirited without being annoyingly precocious. Kyle MacLachlan, who plays Winter's former partner and the head of the nasty folks out to grab Bo, is seen briefly in the pilot, but his casting is sure to pay off in the future.

Believe's opening episode is largely a 40-minute chase scene that leans heavily on Cuarón's directorial talents. While it can strain credibility at times, it's always engaging to watch, though it's unclear how the show will fare without an award-winning director behind the camera.

Believe may not live up to Cuarón's best work, but it's a fun supernatural thriller.

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