A star rating of 2 out of 5.

In the weeks leading up to release, Citadel has been dubbed a "global event", with it reportedly being Prime Video's second most expensive production of all time, after The Rings of Power.


Unfortunately, it doesn't live up to that hype at all - at least not in the first three episodes, which were available to RadioTimes.com to review.

The spy thriller stars Richard Madden and Priyanka Chopra Jonas as Mason Kane and Nadia Sinh, the spies who have had their minds wiped to protect the secrets of agency Citadel. Somehow, they have to find their way back to each other and escape the threat of rival intelligence agency Manticore.

Producers Joe and Anthony Russo have made it clear that the main draw of Citadel is that it will tell stories across the globe. While this season has been dubbed the "mothership", spin-off seasons are set to follow across the world in India, Italy, Spain, and Mexico.

Richard Madden and Priyanka Chopra in Citadel
Richard Madden as Mason Kane and Priyanka Chopra Jonas as Nadia Sinh in Citadel. Prime Video

It's an interesting concept and the cast and creatives behind the series are absolutely right to champion local talents. At the UK premiere, Chopra spoke eloquently about how talents from different countries should have the chance to be on the same, international stage. But diving into "the mothership" season just begs the question - is there much more story to tell here?

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Those behind Citadel have been open about its influences. It's a big action spy thriller with a sci-fi twist - so there's plenty for it to take from, with Joe Russo pointing toward Bond and Mission: Impossible as the big comparisons. Unfortunately, in being so determined to place it among the classic spy stories, Citadel brings nothing new and, slightly ironically considering the subject material, struggles to find its own identity.

The script is the biggest issue, with Chopra and Madden's scenes together quickly becoming grating as their characters attempt to out-quip each other. Their lack of chemistry can be easily explained away by Mason's mind-wipe, so it doesn't cause a huge problem, but it can be a little awkward to watch.

Stanley Tucci in Citadel
Stanley Tucci in Citadel. Prime Video

Speaking of the mind-wipe situation, Madden successfully flits between his two versions of the same character - but again, it's nothing we haven't seen before, and nothing that hasn't already been done better.

We've been promised mind-blowing twists and turns, with the cast and creatives constantly repeating the tagline: "Everything you know is a lie." The first three episodes, at least, don't exactly live up to that promise - here's hoping the final three give us something more along those lines.

Of course, it's not all bad news. Stanley Tucci and Lesley Manville play off each other incredibly, with a delicious dynamic that you could expect from those two. The pair of them have clearly relished their roles - Tucci as the enigmatic Bernard Orlick, and Manville as the villainous Dahlia Archer, and we can only hope there will be much more of them together in upcoming episodes.

Meanwhile. the action certainly can't be sniffed at, with Chopra recently revealing that the actors did plenty of their own stunts - and she even got scarred in the process. While it doesn't seem totally necessary, clearly the work paid off.

Ultimately though, from its first half, the six-part season doesn't look likely to set the world alight in quite the way we've been promised.

Citadel will land on Prime Video on Friday 28th April. Try Amazon Prime Video for free for 30 days.

Check out more of our Sci-Fi coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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