BUY: The Looming Tower – Season 1 on DVD in Australia
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Highly recommended. This is an effective serialization of the book, The Looming Tower. It reveals the FBI-CIA distrust and competition, partisan politics, and flawed heroes behind the failures to protect the US from 9/11. No one person or failure is completely responsible for 9/11; however, the totality of mistakes and office politics consequently led to a disaster that we are all paying for to this day. Among the producers and writers are Alex Gibney and Dan Futterman.
Contrary to public opinion, the attack on 9/11 was not totally unexpected. The bureaucratic infighting that created the government’s weakness has never been better chronicled. Jeff Daniels is consistently excellent, but it is a testimony to Peter Sarsgaard’s acting on how much you despise him by the end of the series. All the actors excel at their roles in a tightly scripted drama. I hope the series makes you want to read the source material. I have read it twice, evidently because the first time didn’t make me angry enough.
This is a good series, mostly for the fact that it fairly accurately portrays the absolute debacle that happened between the US intelligence services and the White House (both Clinton and Bush), in the years prior to the terror attacks on September 11, 2001. There is plenty of blame to go around. There’s a feeling of anticipatory doom with each episode that is chilling. The acting is excellent, even Jeff Daniels who plays larger than life character John O’Neill is quite good. He was the FBI agent who made the mistake of rubbing everyone the wrong way on his relentless search to put the puzzle together only to lose his life in the inevitable attack. And with all the mistakes made, it was inevitable. In the end, the hearings were a huge KYA session that pretty made everyone look bad. I believe it’s worth watching as a cautionary tale if nothing else.
I only have two complaints. I do think there was an attempt at fairness but I spotted a few times when the political leanings of the writer(s) was pretty evident. Not too bad though. I do have one huge WARNING for anyone thinking of watching this, there is a huge amount of gratuitous and unnecessarily graphic sex scenes. Yes, we know, O’Neill was a horndog but didn’t need it portrayed in graphic detail. The scene in episode nine involving the hijackers could have also been handled without being all that explicit. The fast-forward came in handy for me so just be warned if you’re sensitive to that.
1. Now it Begins.
The chief of the FBI’s counter-terrorism unit, John O’Neill, invites rookie Muslim-American agent, Ali Soufan, onto his squad.
2. Losing My Religion
Following the simultaneous embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, the FBI begins its investigation on the ground while the CIA starts working on a retaliation plan.
3. Mistakes Were Made
The FBI finds one of the surviving terrorists and discovers a game changing lead in Nairobi, while the CIA’s retaliation plan is approved.
Continuing to keep information from the FBI, Schmidt is fired from Alec Station. Diane makes an important discovery about the owner of the phone number Owhali gave Chesney.
The CIA and FBI are on high alert as threats surrounding the new millennium abound. O’Neill and Soufan raid an AQ cell in Brooklyn. The CIA continues to hide vital information from the FBI.
6. Boys at War
Vince continues asking for permission to share Mihdhar’s visa with the FBI. O’Neill loses his briefcase and an investigation into his handling of classified materials begins.
7. The General
O’Neill and Soufan travel to Yemen to begin the investigation into the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole. The FBI becomes aware of a meeting in Malaysia and of Khallad.
8. A Very Special Relationship
Everyone adjusts to a new president and, with it, a shift in threat priority. The terrorists in the US, Hazmi, Mihdhar and Atta, are lost by their U.S. handler.
The CIA becomes aware that Hazmi and Mihdhar are gone and must relay that to the FBI. O’Neill accepts a job as head of security at the World Trade Center. Soufan is sent back to Yemen.
September 11, 2001 and no one can get a hold of O’Neill. Soufan’s evacuation from Yemen stops short as the CIA Station Chief gives him all the answers he has been asking for.
Actors: Jeff Daniels, Tahar Rahim, Bill Camp, Wrenn Schmidt
Format: Color, Dolby, Widescreen, PAL
Region: Region 4 for Australia
Number of discs: 2
Rated: Not Rated
DVD Release in: 2018
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