Patrick Swayze Returns with 'The Beast'
Patrick Swayze Returns with 'The Beast'
Kris De Leon
Kris De Leon
Staff Writer, BuddyTV
It's been a long time since we've seen Patrick Swayze on the small screen.  He's been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer and has had a public battle with the disease but is, as he described it to Barbara Walters earlier this month, “kicking it.”  Proving that he still has what it takes to make it in the entertainment industry, he has signed on to be the lead in A&E's new TV series The Beast, which kicks off tonight at 10pm ET/PT.

The Beast revolves around Swayze's character Charles Barker, an unconventional FBI veteran who takes on a rookie partner named Ellis Dove (Travis Fimmel) to train in his cynical yet clever style of “agenting.”  Also featured on the show are Brette Taylor as Karen, Lindsay Pulsipher as Rose and Larry Gilliard as Nick.

In tonight's season opener, Barker hazes Dove as they go undercover on their first case to break into a weapons smuggling ring.  The mischievous Barker tries to manipulate the situation, constantly testing his new partner's abilities and drives him to delve deeper into the roles of the undercover character he creates.  Dove takes a liking to Barker but the new job takes its toll on him. Moreover, the anxiety and risk of being an agent immediately makes him realize that he can no longer sustain normal relationships outside of work.  To make matters worse, the rookie is confronted with a larger challenge when an FBI Internal Affairs team tries to enlist him as a double-agent in the bureau's investigation of his mentor.

Meanwhile, it's hard indeed to talk about The Beast without talking about Patrick Swayze's illness. The 56-year-old actor checked himself into a hospital for pneumonia on January 9 and was forced to cancel his appearance at the Television Critics Association press event to promote his new series.  The Ghost star reportedly knew something was wrong earlier that morning when a persistent cough wouldn't go away.

“It made me suspect there was a possibility of some kind of infection,” he said.  “I wanted to jump on it before it turned into a problem.  As soon as I got home, I called my doctor and then went straight to the hospital and was immediately put on antibiotics.”

How is he doing now?

“I am almost in the clear,” he said.  “I am alive and plan on continuing to stay that way.”

-Kris De Leon, BuddyTV Staff Columnist

Source: A&E, People
(Image courtesy of A&E)