Military Connection: “American Odyssey” – NBC’s New Television Drama

american ody

By Debbie Gregory.

Television drama is trending to feature women of power and influence, and the new series “American Odyssey” joins these ranks. Anna Friel stars in this new thriller as Sgt. Odelle Ballard, a soldier serving as an Arabic translator to a Special Forces team in Mali. Their mission is to eliminate a terrorist commander, but when unexpected intelligence is uncovered and the team is attacked, Sgt. Ballard becomes the sole witness and survivor. The series chronicles her determination to seek the truth behind the conspiracy by which her comrades became casualties and her journey to return home.

Simultaneous to Sgt. Ballard’s point of view, the saga is intertwined with the life of an attorney in New York. As he investigates his case on a major merger, Peter Decker, played by Peter Facinelli, uncovers evidence related to the actions in Mali, and the attack that supposedly took out all members of the team. “American Odyssey” creatively weaves the perspectives of both Decker and Sgt. Ballard, and continually reveals more of what, and who, are contributors to international cover-up and espionage.

Writer-director Peter Horton of “Grey’s Anatomy”, and writers Adam Armus and Kay Foster of “The Following” fame, collaborate to create this dynamic and multi-layered action drama. Much of the series was shot in Morocco, which provides for an impressive backdrop to the action.  Casting director Salah Benchergra lent a unique flavor to the cast, especially in casting a young 14-year old boy with no acting experience, but as a result provides a very believable character integral to Sgt. Ballard finding her way.

The series also stars Jim True-Frost (“The Wire”), Sadie Sink, Omar Ghazaoui, Elena Kampouris (“Men, Women & Children”), Daniella Pineda, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (“Lost”) and Treat Williams (“Everwood”).

“American Odyssey” airs on NBC at 10 pm eastern, 9 pm central.

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Military Connection: American Odyssey – NBC’s New Television Drama: by Debbie Gregory