Review: ‘The Librarians,’ with Noah Wyle, opens fun new chapter on TNT

Los Angeles Times Television Critic

After years spent saving the world from invading aliens on “Falling Skies,” Noah Wyle is back to saving the world from magical objects, or at least those that might fall into the Wrong Hands. And now, with the new TNT series “The Librarians,” which premieres Sunday, he’s got a crack team that includes Rebecca Romijn to help him.

Back in 2004, Wyle starred in three smart and entertaining TNT films that centered around the Library, a sentient repository of wisdom and mythical artifacts lying beneath the fictional Metropolitan Public Library in New York. Through many adventures, it was regularly stocked and protected by Flynn Carsen (Wyle) otherwise known as the Librarian, a fast-talking cross between Indiana Jones and the Doctor. He, in turn, was aided by two on-site assistants, Judson (Bob Newhart) and Charlene (Jane Curtin).

After the third film, “The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice,” there was some talk of a feature film, but nothing came of it.

Until now.

Just in time for the holidays, the family-friendly adventure tale returns as “The Librarians,” a full-fledged series with its original cast intact, though in “reoccurring” roles, and ready to aid a newer (and younger) set of adventurers.

Romijn plays Eve Baird, a counter-terrorism agent who encounters Flynn while chasing down her own set of bad guys. Soon after she receives an invitation to join the Library, as a replacement for Judson who, in the years between the last film and the series, has passed. (Not, thank heavens, completely or permanently; the appearance of Newhart, and with Curtin, is reason enough to watch “The Librarians.”)


Together, Eve and Flynn realize there’s a nefarious plot afoot that involves finding King Arthur’s sword and systematically killing all those once considered for the job of Librarian. Obviously, the Librarian and his new guardian must find the sword first, but only after collecting the surviving applicants: Jake (Christian Kane), a genius and art savant; Cassandra (Lindy Booth), a math whiz with perfect all-sensory memory, and Ezekiel (John Kim), a tech-head and master criminal.

Oh, and John Larroquette shows up as the Library’s wonderfully cranky branch officer and new team wrangler.

Unabashedly retro, with plenty of high- and low-tech silliness — “a henge!” Flynn yells at one point, because, you know, there has to be a henge — “The Librarians” resembles all manner of other shows, including Syfy’s now defunct “Warehouse 13" (which came out after the films), though most of them from simpler times when heroes were heroes, fight scenes clearly choreographed and no one ever got eviscerated, on camera or off.

Action-packed with more than a little history and mythology thrown in, “The Librarians” is one of those rare and wonderful shows that isn’t out to change the television landscape, just make it a little more fun.

Which it most certainly does.

Twitter: @marymacTV


‘The Librarians’

Where: TNT

When: 8 p.m. Sunday

Rating: TV-PG-LV (may be unsuitable for young children with advisories for coarse language and violence)