This Sunday, Starzplay premieres this fast-paced thriller starring Maggie Civantos

We live in a time where everything can and must happen fast; fast food, consumers wanting everything at the touch of a button, and relationships that begin and end with a click. Even crime has entered this dizzying spiral as the phenomena of the express kidnapping is on the increase, and this is the terrifying mirror held up to us by Iván Escobar (Locked Up) in the thriller, Express, Starzplay’s first series with a Spanish label, produced by The Mediapro Studio and starring Maggie Civantos, as Bárbara, criminal psychologist and survivor of one such abduction who now leads a team devoted to putting an end to the criminal scourge. Her race against the clock to save lives begins January 16.

Tired of feeling shackled in her work as a cop, tied up with endless protocols, her unorthodox ways permanently subject to the suspicious gaze of her colleagues, Bárbara decides to accept an offer from the head of a private insurance company (Kiti Mánver), whose character falls somewhere halfway between fairy godmother and textbook villain. The new ‘A team’ she puts together to fight express kidnappings is as cutting-edge as it is diverse: a drone pilot (Loreto Mauleón), a young hacker (Omar Banana), a former kidnapper (Bernardo Flores), a blind teacher whose heightened sense of hearing means she’s capable of detecting what no one else can (Ana Marzoa), not to mention the company’s driver (Vicente Romero). However, the criminal psychologist’s home life is no walk in the park either, as she struggles to overcome the demons from her own kidnapping and a divorce, while bringing up two young daughters.

Written by Iván Escobar, Antonio Sánchez Olivas (Aída) and Martín Suárez (Rabia) and directed by Gabe Ibáñez (Automata) and Iñaki Peñafiel (Stolen Away), Express moves at the same breakneck speed the society it portrays, with action scenes as good as any US cop show, while also adeptly handling the ethical dilemmas the characters face along the way: is violence the only way to meet violence? Lurking in the shadows lies the business of fear, ever-greater inequality, and the need to step on the brakes of the daily maelstrom our lives have become. Three issues that are even more on the button today than they were when the series was penned, prior to the pandemic.

The show also talks about the issues and daily struggles facing women, just as critical as in Locked Up, from the right to going out alone without having to fear what might happen, to the doubts she faces about how best to bring up her daughters. “In the past it was men writing about women, now it’s fundamental that women are writing for women, and the issue now is that this has to be extrapolated to reach every level, from direction, executive production, and screenwriting, a feature we strive for in our production company”, said Iván Escobar during the presentation of the series.

Cultural diversity

All eight episodes of Express were shot on location in Madrid and its surroundings, while the cast not only features Spanish names, but also Mexican and Argentinian actors, with their respective accents. In fact, Express will also be released in Italy, France, USA and Latin America, where express kidnappings are far more palpable. The globalization of entertainment is unstoppable.

Helena Cortés
Helena Cortés. Journalist (by profession) and audiovisual communicator, is the girl on TV on ABC and ABC Play. I was analyzing series and programs in ‘Non Stop People’ (Movistar +) and Cope and now you can listen in to it on ‘Las cinco letras’ of the ‘El enfoque’ program on Onda Madrid. Learning and lecturing on Journalism at Universidad Carlos III.