The CW has announced that they are giving the long gestating Archie TV show a shot and have ordered a Pilot for Riverdale. (Head to Comics Alliance for the details!) Which is great!
Because Archie is a beautiful property that despite its age has kept up with the times and trends of America, albeit in an idealised fashion. However the past year has seen an reinvention of Archie as a brand and it has recently been relaunched in comics with a more young adult focus by Mark Waid, Fiona Staples and friends. The results of which are some of the best comics I have read in the past few years.
Seriously do not be put off by the Archie wrapper and your notions of what that means. Go buy the first few issues and thank me later.
There are three big chunks of Doctor Who related news that you need to consume, digest and reflect on:
- After six years at the helm Steven Moffat is stepping down as show runner for Doctor Who.
- Chris Chibnall, writer of several Doctor Who episodes (42, The Hungry Earth, Cold Blood, Pond Life, Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, The Power of Three, P.S.) and also the guy behind Broadchurch is taking over as the new showrunner.
- There will be no new Doctor Who this year, leaving series 10 and Moffat’s big finale until 2017.
Adam Driver hosted Saturday Night Live over in America this weekend and they have shared this clip of Kylo Ren going undercover to find out what it is really like to work at Star Killer Base.
Part of me wants to this to be official Star Wars canon now….
Netflix have released to Sizzle videos for two of their new original programs for this year. Which is important for me as a cord cutter because Netflix is one of the main ways I consume new TV content these days.
First up is The Crown which “[…] reveals the political rivalries and romance behind Queen Elizabeth II’s reign and the events that shaped the 2nd half of the 20th century.”
Then The Get Down “[..] a mythic saga of the transformation of 1970s New York City.”
Both shows look pretty good with The Crown banking on its casting and subject matter. (People sure do love entertainment about the Queen!) While The Get Down is being put together by Baz Luhrmann (Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge!, The Great Gatsby, etc.) so I am expecting a kinetic mix of music, style and “high stakes drama.”
Both shows look like fine additions to Netflix’s growing range of original content. I just need to get through every other TV show on my To Watch list before they come out later this year…
Overnight CBS unleashed a weird semi-condensed (but dressed as a trailer) version of the Pilot for their upcoming Supergirl TV show. My feelings towards it are mixed but mostly optimistic. It does some things right, others not so right and some….well….more on those in a bit.
Before I go any further it is worth outlining what exactly a Pilot Episode is in terms of US television and the role they have. They are a catch all, “Look this is the show we want to make!” 40 minute setup for what will hopefully be a full or part season order from a network. They paint the broad strokes of a show, its characters and overall tone. They are also used as a test bed for potential ideas or approaches which is why they can fluctuate wildly in quality in such a short space of time. More often then not things are chopped and changed from the Pilot to the production run of a show and I am guessing (read: hoping) that is the case for the more problematic aspects of Supergirl.
When it comes to Daredevil I have a general indifference to the character. I only really like the widely known classics and key arcs. He is probably one of the Marvel characters I have read the least of. Still I have always liked the concept of the character and the general approach of the book. Sadly it has never really taken me in like Marvel’s other series.
Still this trailer for Netflix’s Marvel Cinematic Universe set Daredevil series has me exited for a few reasons:
So the first couple of trailers for Gotham, the Fox network’s fancy pants new take on the origins of Gotham City (that place where Batman hangs out) in television form are out and my reactions are mixed at best.
The show has promise, mainly because it is Batman related and Batman has such a rich setting and characters that you really do not need him to tell great crime stories within the setting. See Gotham Central for a great Batman-less Batman comic. But where it falls down for me is in the presentation. The trailer is full of every cliché you can think of. Every single bit of corny “grim’n’gritty” dialogue is thrown into the mix as the show tries to sell itself on being a different kind of Batman story: The origin of everyone else apart from the one person who brings them all together. We see glimpses and flashes of the night the Wayne’s died and young Jim Gordon running about the city being a good cop in a bad town. It all seems like very surface level stuff. There is not much meat to it.
S01E03 “The Asset”
Written by Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen
Directed by Milan Cheylov
This is what I have been waiting for! Three episodes in an we hit the sweet spot! It is safe to say I am now on board for the long term. (As if I wasn’t already!)
“The Asset” uses the show’s format to tell a brilliant story that can both be viewed on its own and works towards building the greater whole for the series. While there are still a few lingering problems with the episode itself, it is a solid effort that sets a new high bar for the fledgling series.
The plot for this episode sees the gang having to recover an asset from a rich and powerful businessman (read as: evil and corrupt), Ian Quinn, based in Malta with the asset in question being a scientist, Dr. Franklin Hall who has uncovered the secret of the mysterious and powerful element, Gravitonium. Skye is put on point as she can be a deniable operative if caught in Malta where S.H.I.E.L.D are not allowed to operate. (Why? Because of reasons!) While Fitz and Simmons have history with Dr. Hall adding more to their backstory. Oh and something might be wrong with Agent Coulson! Dun, dun dunn!
WARNING THERE BE SPOILERS AHEAD!
Written by Maurissa Tancharoen, Jed Whedon and Jeffrey Bell
Directed by David Straiton
After the mixed bag that was the pilot episode, it is good to see the show up its game considerably in its first “proper” episode. Designed in part as a showcase for each of the main character’s skills and as a way to get them working together as a team “0-8-4” gives a strong indication as to what the week to week flow of the show will be. It is also good to see yet even more references to the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe thrown into the mix too while the show continues to build its own mythology. The plot for the episode is simple enough, the team heads to Peru to recover a piece of unknown tech and then hijinks ensue as they encounter a previous partner/lover of Coulson’s the very tough Peruvian Army Commander, Camilla Reyes. Who quickly hijacks The Bus (the fancy S.H.I.E.L.D plane the team live in) in an attempt to recover the unknown tech. There’s guns, explosions, jokes and quips in this decent enough episode that ends with a cameo that works to legitimise the show in the eyes of the Marvel faithful.
So why is this only a decent episode rather than a stellar episode?
WARNING THERE BE SPOILERS AHEAD!
I have decided to start doing write ups of various comic book related shows, games, etc. (movies will be coming further down the line. I have plans!) and I figured the best place to start would be with the hottest new show to come from the land of freedom and hamburgers, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D!
A few notes before we kick things off:
- This is one of those rare US TV shows that actually has a reasonable UK air date, mere days after its Tuesday air date in America it hits Channel 4 here in England at 8pm on Fridays. So being a lover of watching things in HD rather than grainy torrented/stream-o-vision I will be watching it with my fellow Brits as much as I can. So these posts are never going to be day after inital showing write ups. (Also this first post coming nearly a week after the original US air date should give you further indication!)
- I am a huge Whedonite so yes that means these write-ups will be fairly one-sided and full of praise for all things Whedon and Co. You have been warned.
- I will try and highlight as many references, winks and nods to Marvel’s comics, other movies and TV shows, etc. as and when they come up in the show. But I’m not perfect, I will miss things! Try not to judge me too harshly 😉
I’m sure there is more I can add to the above but we will discover it together as I stumble my way through this whole write-up lark.
Anyway onto episode one!