'Intruders': BBC America's newest 'doesn't treat the audience like idiots'

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A couple of minutes after tuning in to most shows, viewers usually know what to expect.
But with BBC America's "Intruders" premiering Saturday (Aug. 23), nothing is obvious. Set in the Pacific Northwest, "Intruders" is many genres: crime, horror, ghost story, romance and mystery.

"It's a paranormal thriller with a star-crossed love story," Mira Sorvino ("Mighty Aphrodite") tells Zap2it. She plays Amy, a lawyer who disappears. "It's about immortality and souls vying for control on a deeper level. It's what we are all worried and care deeply about -- love and death and whether there's something after [death]."

Amy lives with her husband, Jack, (John Simm, "Life on Mars"), a former cop. He's a smart man who trusts no one and when Amy disappears, Jack investigates independently, rather than involving authorities.

Amy's story is one part of several seemingly unconnected stories laid out in the pilot. These unrelated stories require viewers to take a leap of faith. Viewers need to know that during the eight episodes, all will be tied together, the actors aver. 

Richard Shepherd (James Frain, "Tron: Legacy") is an assassin, but he has more compassion than your typical assassin. When he is supposed to kill a little girl, he doesn't. Why? Like so much of this show, it's confusing.

"But confusing in an intriguing, tantalizing way," Frain says.

He will allow that his character's surname, Shepherd, is significant.

"There is meaning," Frain says. "Shepherding, we find out what that is and is related to. And nine is ultimately revealed."

But why people disappear, why people are killed in cold blood and what the number nine has to do with everything is not immediately clear. A group masterminds the murders and they seem to be committed to gain immortality. But how people's souls travel from one body into another -- becoming intruders -- is unclear at least from the pilot.

"The intruders can be intruded," Frain says. 

"People can come back in the bodies of others," Simm adds.

Jack, the cop "is the audience" says Simm of his character. "He's been spooked out. He is not sure what is going on."

"He is not a solo act," Frain says of the assassin. "He has a specific function. He might be breaking certain rules. He's teaching me the process. Then we find out more about his world. He is not necessarily the guy we thought he was."

The pilot features very tense and bloody scenes, and the actors all promise that if viewers stick with it, it will be worth the time.

"This doesn't treat the audience like idiots," Simm says. "I don't like being spoon fed. It is incredible and intriguing and impacts on everybody on Earth. And to find out why, you have to keep watching."
Photo/Video credit: BBC America