You remember Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk, don't you? They starred together in a little known sci-fi TV series called Firefly, which was sadly cancelled before its time.
Or did they? Maybe they were really in a show called Spectrum, which was sadly cancelled before its time.
I'll get back to that in a moment.
Fillion and Tudyk have since gone on to all kinds of exciting projects, including Drive, Castle and Suburgatory. But recently, they crowdfunded a Galaxy Quest-esque new web series written and directed by Tudyk called Con Man, about the stars of a cancelled sci-fi show called Spectrum. While the star of that show (Fillion) has since gone on to fame and fortune, co-star Tudyk is resorting to attending sci-fi conventions and the like to make ends meet, with all the issues that brings with it.
Given that the crowdfunding for Con Man managed to raise $3.2m, the third highest amount raised for a film campaign on any crowdfunding platform ever, don't be surprised that first, the production values are actually quite high and that second, Fillion and Tudyk were able to invite some of their friends, former co-stars and general members of the 'Whedonverse' along for the ride, including:
It's probably almost impossible for the kids of today to appreciate just how exciting Heroes was when it first started, all the way back in 2006, when this blog was still quite young itself and had none of those twinges in its knee.
How fabulous it was to have an intelligent TV show that took superheroes seriously. How we thrilled at its weekly cliffhangers. How we marvelled at its pacing, its interesting characters, its interlinked serial narrative. How exciting was that! Each episode we'd wait to see which characters would turn up, what secret powers would be revealed and how it would all tie in with what we'd already seen.
The BBC acquired it very quickly, created its own tie-in TV series of documentaries, promised to simulcast it with the US and more, we were that desperate for Heroes content. As was the rest of the world. The cast went on world tours, where they met people thrilled by the new show. I even ended up reviewing every single episode of the show and starting Random Acts of Ali Larter.
And, of course, we were all waiting to see what would happen in the season finale, when Peter and Sylar finally came face to face with the full range of superpowers they'd each spent a season acquiring and learning to use, while all those disparate characters were going to join in to help out. How awesome was that going to be, hey? It was going to be Marvel's The Avengers only five years earlier, that's how awesome it was going to be.
Except that's pretty much the exact moment when the series went to shit. As the finale aired around the world, time zone after time zone went at the exact same time-shifted time: "Was that it?" Whatever it was we were imagining was precisely 6x10^23 times more exciting than seeing Peter twat Sylar with a parking meter and fly off.
Who was responsible for the disaster is subject to conjecture. There were whispers that the super-duper finale, full of the best fight ever, had had to be cut because two of the cast members (cough, cough, Milo Ventimiglia, Hayden Panettiere, cough, cough) had held the show to ransom and refused to film the finale unless they got epic pay rises, resulting in a corresponding special effects budget cut.
That wouldn't have explained season two, though. Or most of season three.
More likely, as show creator and former Crossing Jordan creator and showrunner Tim Kring testified, was that he'd never read a comic and didn't know how to do cool stuff. He thought origin stories were the best things about superheroes and it was those network bosses and the stupid old general public who were cramping his style by forcing him to have the same characters come back for the subsequent seasons.
Letting show and comics killer Jeph Loeb have anything to do with the show may have been the problem, too.
Anyway, that killed it. Interest in Heroes died and even the resurgence of quality in 'Volumes' Four and Five weren't enough to bring the audience back.
So with many people regarding the show as one of the most promising then subsequently disappointing TV programmes in US history, it's something of a surprise to see NBC bring it back for an event mini-series - if a 13-part series can truly be described as mini-, rather than "a standard length to quite-long-by-modern-standards single season'.
Both a continuation and a new beginning for the show, Heroes Reborn brings back everyone from the original series who doesn't have a functioning career right now - Jack Coleman, Greg Grunberg, Jimmy Jean-Louis - manages to lure in Sendhil Ramamurthy and Masi Oka for a couple of quick cameos during their lunchbreaks, and then makes Tim Kring's wish come true by allowing him to create a whole new set of new characters, who are much cheaper and far less interesting than the original series'.
Then, taking everything Kring failed to learn from his next epic failures, Digand Touch, it serves up a lukewarm, slow-moving version of the original series that just occasionally tries to be heartwarming but is just plain old nauseating instead.
And there's not even any Ali Larter in it? What's the point of Heroes, without Ali Larter, I ask you?
All the same, despite how not good it is, thankfully, it's still not as bad as Volume 3.
About the blog
A UK media blog focusing on the best scripted TV from around the world, with daily news, views, exclusive reviews and good conversation. There's a bit of a bias towards the latest and greatest US TV, but we also cover Scandinavian, Canadian, European and Antipodean TV, as well as UK TV ranging from new Doctor Who to old Z Cars, and BBC4 to S4C.
Add in film, theatre, art, books, events, competitions and even weekly reviews of Wonder Woman comics, and you've (hopefully) got officially the fourth best blog on the web for media lovers. Oh yes, and there's The Barrometer, the ultimate guide to quality TV.
Praise for the blog Cision: fourth most important UK TV blog Blogging Edge: Blogger running Britain 2013
"For most of us watching the telly of an evening is a way to wind down and relax, but for Rob Buckley it’s his blogging bread and butter. With reviews of cult classics and up and coming US and Brit television shows, The Medium is Not Enough is fast becoming essential reading for TV buffs, with over 50,000 hits a month."
"The Medium Is Not Enough is a light-hearted look at TV, often from the US, but also from the UK. With varied, well-written content, the blog features healthy engagement and features well in search engines."
"Billing itself as 'officially the fourth most popular UK TV blog', there are several whimsical regulars here that could help it climb as high as number three…"
I'm Rob Buckley, a freelance journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of, although you might have heard me on Radio 5 Live's Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I've edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for trade magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider and the equally short-lived Death Ray and Filmstar magazines; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it "web site for urban hedonists" The Tribe. I'm freelance now and have contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network and TV Scoop.