‘Hijack’ Star Archie Panjabi Promises You’ll ‘Be on the Edge of Your Seat’ for the Apple Thriller Series (Video)

The seven-episode show unfolds in real time as criminals take control of a plane bound for London

In the new Apple TV+ series “Hijack,” Archie Panjabi plays counter-terrorist agent Zarah, who gets a tip that there has been a “serious incident” on board a plane bound for London — a tip that is, at first, written off as a false alarm.

Meanwhile, Idris Elba (who also produces) plays businessman Sam Nelson, who’s trying to outwit the hijackers on board with a series of high-stakes gambits that may or may not work out.

The first two episodes of the series from co-creators Jim Field Smith and George Kay debut June 28 on Apple TV+. Panjabi, who previously starred on Peacock’s “Departure” and TNT’s “Snowpiercer,” promises viewers will be “at the edge of your seat for the seven-episode series, which unfolds in real time.

The actress, who won an Emmy for her role as Kalinda Sharma on “The Good Wife,” sat down with TheWrap ahead of the series’ premiere to talk about why she keeps finding herself on shows about planes and trains in peril.

TheWrap: This is your second plane thriller TV series in a row after “Departure.” Did that make you think, “Oh, I don’t know if I want to do this one?”

Archie Panjabi: On the contrary, I thought, you know, I love planes, I love flying and I seem to be doing work on planes and trains because I also did “Snowpiercer,” which was on a train, and “Run,” that was on a train, and then [Season 2 of] “Departure” was on a train again. I feel like my next few jobs are going to be either on planes or trains.

Archie Panjabi in Departure
Archie Panjabi in “Departure”(Peacock)

When I read this script, I couldn’t put it down. I just was at the edge of my seat wanting to know what happened to those passengers. I love the team associated with it. You know, it’s Apple, it’s Idris. It’s George and Jim. And I love the character. I thought this would be a really good character for me to sink my teeth into.

Can you talk about some of the differences between Zarah and Kendra on “Departure”?

I think what I really liked about this is that she doesn’t get herself into a fluster. But she’s a little bit more abrasive than, say, somebody like Kendra. So if something is bothering her, I don’t think she has a filter. I think she just says it. Or she just, you know, wants to interrupt a meeting, she won’t just quietly say, “Excuse me,” she will whack her hand on the glass and say, “Come here.” Or if she gets agitated, she won’t hide it. So it was quite nice. I relished the idea of playing somebody [like] that.

Why is it so fun to make a thriller like this?

Ah, it’s just exciting, particularly when you can’t put a script down, you know that it’s going to work. What I love about this is this is only two episodes [premiering at first] and then they’re doing it week by week. So I know I’m going to have all my friends phone me up all around the world all hours asking me what’s going on. And I can’t say anything. That’s a nice feeling, you know, that your friends are invested in a TV show, and I think a lot of them will enjoy this.

What have you told your friends to expect?

Be at the edge of your seat for the whole thing. And don’t phone me up.

The fact that it plays out in real time reminds me of “24.” Were you a fan?

I was a fan. I didn’t get to watch a lot of it. But I love that minute-by-minute coverage. I feel like you become a fly on the wall of the situation. I think it adds to the suspense. And I think it works really well here. Particularly because it’s a seven-hour flight. It’s a ticking bomb.