Believe is an American science fiction/fantasy/adventure television series that is broadcasting as part of the 2013–14 United States network television schedule on NBC as a mid-season entry. The series was created by Academy Award winner Alfonso Cuarón and Markus Friedman. The pilot episode aired March 10, 2014 before premiering in its regular time slot on Sunday, March 16.
Bo is a young girl who was born with special abilities that she cannot control, and as they start evolving, the people who are protecting her must turn to an outsider. This leads them to William Tate, a wrongfully convicted death-row inmate, whom they break out of prison. Although he is reluctant to take on the role as her protector, the two eventually form a bond that will guide them to helping each other, as well as others, while staying one step ahead of the evil forces that want the girl.
Johnny Sequoyah as Bo Adams: An extraordinarily gifted girl with the power to change the world. She was one of Winter's most promising subjects, born and raised at Orchestra and displayed extraordinary psychic and telekinetic powers inherited from her mother, Nina. To the government, Bo's existence is highly classified government property and is officially a national defense priority. Bo herself is regarded as a ward of the US government with no family. Winter is the only person Bo knows she can trust, and also she considers his team the closest thing to a family she has, but she steadily develops a bond with Tate after he repeatedly risks his life and freedom for her. It is currently known that she knows Tate is her father.
Jake McLaughlin as William Tate: Originally a death row inmate in an national security prison, Tate is weathered and jaded from years of imprisonment, and has anger problems - leading to a long history of violence and brushes with the law. Minutes before his execution for two counts of felony murder is scheduled (of which he claims he is innocent, something no one ever believed, having been framed by his friends during a robbery), Winter (disguised as a priest) visits him and he is offered a chance at freedom if he agrees to protect Bo. Tate reluctantly agrees to accept Winter's assistance, and later his employment offer as Bo's guardian. He does not know he is actually Bo's father (a fact known currently by Winter's team, the Orchestra Project and the FBI).
Delroy Lindo as Dr. Milton Winter: A cunning and brilliant scientist and the leader of a shadow organization responsible for protecting individuals with rare and incredible powers. He is Skouras's old partner, now mortal enemy. He is dedicated to protecting Bo from Skouras and the army of henchmen he employs. Originally Winter his team used to work at the Orchestra Project beside Skouras, and Winter raised Bo in the facility from infancy. At some point in the process, Winter and his entire team defected from Orchestra, took Bo, went on the run. Winter also faked his death, working from that point to protect Bo. According to his background, he worked at DARPA and MIT, and was a CIA field agent psychologist - Skouras describes Winter as "the global authority on the conscious and unconscious mind".
Kyle MacLachlan as Dr. Roman Skouras: A geneticist who runs the top secret Orchestra Project institution. He is Winter's old partner, now mortal enemy (although it is implied there is still respect between the ex-partners, and Skouras confided in Boyle he misses him). He is admired by many people for his work, and is a publicly awarded humanitarian, although others know he only cares about his own ideas and doing anything to achieve them. Skouras is a very powerful man working in cooperation with elements of the US government to locate Tate and recover Bo unharmed. He subsequently employs assassins, hires mercenaries and uses every resource at his command to recover the gifted prodigy and return her home to Orchestra. He claims he is only acting to protect Bo and offer proper guidance as a gifted telekinetic and psychic, but in truth he wants to market Bo's abilities as a weapon to the military. His nefarious schemes cost him his partnership with Winter who, with his team, broke ranks and fled with Bo, as Skouras's goals would endanger her. Skouras's erratic behavior and questionable experimentation methods lead his other researchers to doubt his intentions, but improvements in his other telepathic subjects, which he uses to further his objectives for Bo.
Jamie Chung as Janice Channing: Winter's second in command and an Orchestra fugitive. Dedicated and hard-working, she is devoted to protecting Bo. She has doubts about Tate's loyalty and feels the arrangement is never going to work; she believes she would be better at protecting Bo.
Juri Henley-Cohn as Luke Hayden: One of Winter's team and an Orchestra fugitive. Hayden later becomes disillusioned with the mission to protect Bo after the deaths of four of the ten team members, and ultimately feels he could not make the necessary sacrifices. He abandons the team, and is arrested by the FBI shortly after. Ferrell turns Hayden to apparently give up Winter's command center in New York, only for Ferrell's team to find it deserted.
Katie McClellan as Lila Leeds: One of Winter's team and an Orchestra fugitive.
Richard Hollis as Robert Gilman: One of Winter's team and an Orchestra fugitive.
Trieste Kelly Dunn as FBI Special Agent Elizabeth Ferrell: The FBI agent in charge of full-fledged manhunt launched to recapture escaped death row inmate William Tate, Ferrell is solicited by the Director of the FBI to help and work with Skouras and Orchestra to track down Tate and Bo. Skouras emphasizes repeatedly that Bo is his top priority, assuring her that Bo's safety is his main concern, but she can tell he's not being entirely honest with her. Ferrell issues a nationwide Amber Alert, broadcasting photos of Bo and Tate on every news channel over Skouras's repeated objections. Originally adopting traditional FBI methods to apprehend Tate, who she sees as a very dangerous fugitive, and "rescue" Bo, who she sees as an endangered minor, Ferrell steadily begins to understand what Bo is capable of, and also begins realizing there is more behind the manhunt than originally assumed. According to her background, she has a young daughter named Sasha.
Matthew Rauch as FBI Agent Martin: One of Ferrell's two best agents.
Ato Essandoh as FBI Agent Gardiner: One of Ferrell's two best agents.
FBI Director Loughton: The Director of the FBI and Ferrell's superior. He is also in league with Skouras and Orchestra. He gives Ferrell permission to use federal orders and other ample resources for the investigation.
Kerry Condon as Dr. Zoe Boyle: Winter's successor at Orchestra. One of Skouras's loyal researchers at Orchestra, who runs the research program following Winter's departure - working to continue experiments with the other talented telepaths at the facility. Zoe also cares deeply about Bo, seeing her as one of a kind - she is aware, with Skouras and Winter, that Winter took Bo as the military would use her as a weapon, as well as the possibility Bo's health could degrade due to her abilities. Zoe isn't comfortable with Skouras's excessive experimentation methods, but is in no position to challenge his authority.
Rob Morgan as Joshua Carpenter: An Orchestra Project test subject, Joshua is a talented telepath capable of matter manipulation, who has been with Orchestra almost three years, and is one of Skouras's most promising subjects. His experimentation has left him fully weaponized - Skouras sends his new weapon on a field assignment to track down Bo (who Joshua apparently knows) once and for all.
Development and production
The series first appeared as part of NBC's development slate in September 2012. In January 2013, NBC green-lit production of a pilot episode. On May 12, 2013, the series was placed on the network's 2013–14 schedule, where it was expected to debut after the 2014 Winter Olympics.
On July 17, 2013, co-creator and executive producer Mark Friedman departed the series. Cuarón will stay on board as executive producer alongside J. J. Abrams. Friedman was ultimately succeeded by Dave Erickson. A few months later, in December, Erickson also stepped down as executive producer/showrunner and was replaced by Jonas Pate, who was serving as a co-executive producer and series director. Pate now runs the day-to-day production of the series along with Hans Tobeason, who serves as "on-set" producer in New York, where filming takes place. To allow a smoother transition for the new showrunners and accommodate script re-writes, production went on hiatus from December 20 to January 6, 2014.
McLaughlin (Tate) was the first regular to be cast in February 2013, followed by Lindo (Winter),Sienna Guillory, Chung (Channing) and 10-year-old newcomer Sequoyah (Bo). MacLachlan was added in March 2013 as was Arian Moayed. In June 2013, Guillory was dropped from the series after the pilot, with producers choosing not to continue with her character, professional hit-woman Moore, going forward. Moayed, whose character Corey was originally conceived to be Moore's right-hand man, was quietly dropped as a series regular after the second episode.
Bo and her foster parents are forced off the road. The assassin proceeds to kill the foster parents, but before the assassin could kidnap Bo, other people are on scene and Bo is taken to the hospital. Tate is about to be executed for murder, which he claims he was framed for. But Winter and his team helps him escape and assign him to get Bo out of the hospital. He gets Bo to a safe house when she is reunited with Winter and Channing. But the assassin soon follows. Bo, Tate, Winter and Channing barely escape the safe house after Bo uses her powers.
Bo and Tate wake up on the bus in Atlantic City. He convinces Bo to use her powers to gamble and earn money at a nearby casino. Meanwhile, Skouras decides to recruit an FBI agent to kidnap Bo and reveals that she has powers but not why he needs her. A photo of Bo and Tate at the casino goes up online, with an AMBER Alert for Bo. She and Tate steal a car and stop for gas. One of Skouras's men attempts to kidnap Bo again, but fails, blowing up the gas station in the process. After a flat tire, they are cornered by the police, and Tate is arrested, while Bo is taken away in another car. Skouras, with cameras nearby, sees the arrangement and has everyone make sure that Tate was taken into custody and that they have the girl. It is later revealed that the policemen were working for Winter. Knowing that they have money problems, due to the child's illness, Bo gives a mother and child a wad of money.
Bo and Tate get trapped in Manhattan, and meet a very wealthy woman, who is still mourning the loss of her son from decades ago. The FBI figures out they are in New York when security footage shows them exiting a toll booth in Manhattan.
Tate goes out on a limb to find the author of a love letter that has been lost for a long time. As this unfolds, Agent Ferrell assisted by Skouras, intensify their attempts to bring Tate and Bo into custody.
Believe has received mixed reviews. On Rotten tomatoes, the show has an score of 37% based on all critics but 67% of the audience likes it. On Metacritic, the critics give the show a score of 54 out of 100 while the fans give the show a 6.6 out of 10.