Entertainment Television

The Brave a gutsy military drama

The Brave star Mike Vogel tells 24 Hours how proud he is portraying a military character. NBC

The Brave star Mike Vogel tells 24 Hours how proud he is portraying a military character. NBC

DENETTE WILFORD/ 24 HOURS

Whenever you watch a show or movie that involves characters following other people, it's all you can do to stop yourself from yelling, "TOO CLOSE!" In the pilot of NBC's latest drama, The Brave, there's a scene that will have you on the edge of your seat - not because the team following the episode's baddie was glaringly obvious in their pursuit; rather, the tactical operation was such a well-oiled machine, I wanted more.

"There are times when it will seem unbelievable ... if these situations didn't actually happen," series star Mike Vogel told 24 Hours during Corus's upfront presentation in Toronto. "But there were advisors, and people that we know, that we've spoken to, and are intimately familiar with who have lived these lives and that's what makes it interesting. These guys and gals are living this every day and I am humbled by their ability to do so, it's just incredible."

Every year, when new series are unveiled, we see, what appear to be, the odd copycats: sitcoms that centre on six friends, hospital dramas and last year's timetravel trend immediately spring to mind. This season, military shows are the latest It Girl, from The Brave to CBS's SEAL Team, The CW's Valor and Fox's Behind Enemy Lines. But each one tells its own story so if you think you've seen one, you've seen 'em all, think again.

Vogel describes The Brave as "more Jason Bourneish than it is a shoot-'em-up thing," so yes, it has plenty of action to satisfy, but it also has loads of intricate, suspenseful, well-crafted scenes.

"The mission profile for SEAL Team 6 is incredibly important, but they do one or two missions and they're the best in the world at it," Vogel explained of the squad on CBS's show, arguably The Brave's biggest competition. "It's hostage rescue, it's highvalued target interdiction, and that's that. They go back and forth to home because it helps to mix it up."

As for what The Brave brings to the table, Vogel acknowledged that showrunner Dean Georgaris wanted was "to be with a team, in the field, for the run of their deployment. And it just so happens that this unit allows us enough variety in what they do to make that interesting."

And just when you question whether you're ready to commit to watching a show about super-elite people doing super-elite things, it's the impressively and effortlessly diverse cast who make these undercover missions believable that will draw you in. Vogel - who's in a role tailor-made for him, particularly because he has many loved ones from this military community - can't say enough about how honoured he is to be part of The Brave.

"I want to get it right, and I want to do them justice and do right by them with what we can say and portray," Vogel said. "I think Hollywood, a lot of time, takes stuff like that and wants to put its own stamp on it and its own agenda. But this is something that just highlights the incredible people that these folks are."

As for why he keeps getting cast as these military dudes. The answer is simple. "It's the beard. Anytime I can have a beard, sign me up. It's strong right now."

The Brave debuts Sept. 25 on Global and NBC at 10 p.m.