On TV: Dan Brown’s Langdon: The Lost Symbol (2021)

  • Director(s): Mathias Herndl, Kate Woods, Félix Enríquez Alcalá, Norma Bailey, Dan Trachtenberg, Boris Mojsovski
  • With: Ashley Zukerman, Eddie Izzard, Valorie Curry, Beau Knapp, Sumalee Montano, Rick Gonzalez, Sammi Rotibi, Greg Bryk, Raoul Bhaneja, Laura de Carteret, Keenan Jolliff, Tyrone Benskin, Mark Gibbon, Dalal Badr
  • Number of episodes: 10
  • Duration: approx 440 min
  • Studio: Peacock (NBC)
  • Rating: 7/10


This follows the early adventures of famed Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, who finds himself pulled into a series of deadly puzzles when his mentor is kidnapped. The CIA forces him onto a task force where he uncovers a chilling conspiracy.


Oh I was so excited about this… I’ve been a fan of Dan Brown’s novels, especially his Robert Langdon adventure quests, and I have loved the three adaptations so far very much! They skipped The Lost Symbol (because they deemed the story was too much like the National Treasure movies) in favour of Inferno. And I honestly think this would have, could have and should have been a great movie… Here’s why!

This series is not bad but it has a few things working against it:

1. The pace! By making it a ten episode long tv show, they never truly caught the spirit of the book by giving it its slow pace… A Dan Brown novel is fast, witty and a non-stop ride through puzzles, discoveries and trying to survive… not a single moment in the books is wasted or being used for contemplation and standing still… and if if does, it serves the purpose of looking around, thinking and looking for a solution of a puzzle… Langdon is always thinking, moving, running, surviving…

2. Where’s Tom Hanks? I know, I should get over this little change… but Hanks ís Langdon! And although Ashley Zukerman does a good job, it’s just not the same… he’s less neurotic and brilliant… (not as an actor but as the character and I blame the writers of the show!)

3. The changes made from the book… always a bad idea to change great ideas and actions from a book for a movie or in this case a tv show… I have to admit, it’s been a while since I read the novel but I remember a few scenes I didn’t see in the show… plus characters suddenly changed from sisters to daughters, mothers to wives… why change that?

4. Too many episodes! I may have mentioned this already but it’s something I kind of get stuck on! I think 6 or maybe 8 maximum would have been better!

Okay… well… because I don’t like to nag or to be the one to always put everything down… here are some great things in the show I really liked:

1. Beau Knapp as Mal’akh! He’s the best villain! And that tattooed body is impressive as wel as menacing!

2. Rick Gonzalez as Nunez! Yes, he’s the comedic bit in the show and it suits the man well!

3. The puzzles! Although there should have been more and more elaborate puzzles, the ones they incorporated were good and suited the story well!

4. And although he is no Tom Hanks, Ashley Zukerman does a great job portraying Langdon! His claustrophobia is very prominently present and when he has to escape certain traps/dangerous situations he might be better at it than Hanks, because Zukerman is a younger Langdon, of course!

So all in all… a very good attempt to make a great book into a tv show but has a few flaws! Would I have liked a second season? Yes! So there’s regret there won’t be another one… especially with that open ending! But what I would like even more is a movie adaptation of The Lost Symbol, one that pays real tribute to the novel!

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