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Review: DC's Legends of Tomorrow 1x1 (US: The CW; UK: Sky 1)

Posted on January 22, 2016 | comments | Bookmark and Share

Legends Of Tomorrow

In the US: Thursdays, 8/7c, The CW
In the UK: Thursdays, 8pm, Sky 1. Starts March 3 (TBC)

Well, here it is. Finally. After months of cameos and dicking around with the storylines of both Arrow and The Flash, we finally have DC's Legends of Tomorrow. 

For years now, these two shows has been building up a guest roster of superheroes and villains. That's inevitable in TV programmes adapted from comic books that mass up a couple of dozen episodes a season, particularly since fans always want to see how their favourites shape up on screen. This process was initially organic. On Arrow, we had a whole season of former ninja assassin turned good, Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) aka 'The Black Canary', before her eventual and much lamented death at the start of season three. We similarly got a whole season with Superman Returns' Brandon Routh getting a second shot at superherodom as Ray Palmer aka The Atom, a man who wants to be a superhero so builds himself a shrinking, armoured exo-suit.

Meanwhile, over on The Flash, we got first Wentworth Miller as Flash nemesis Captain Cold (he has a gun that makes things cold) before, in a nifty bit of casting, his Prison Break brother Dominic Purcell turned up to play Captain Cold's partner in crime Heat Wave (he has a gun that makes things hot). And on the superhero front, we got Victor Garber (Alias, Legally Blonde, Justice, Eli Stone, Charlie's Angels, Deception) as one half of the nuclear-powered Firestorm, with Robbie Amell (The Tomorrow People) as his other half.

All of that worked pretty well. Then towards the end of the third season of Arrow and the first season of The Flash, suddenly someone had the cracking idea of assembling these popular supporting characters and a whole bunch of others into a spin-off TV show in which they'd fight a super-super-nemesis. And both Arrow and The Flash would be used to introduce - in just a few quick months - those extra characters and set the existing ones up to leave their current shows in favour of the new show.

That would naturally take some work and more than a bit of plot gymnastics. So on Arrow, we've seen the very dead and buried Black Canary dunked in Ra's Al Ghul's Lazarus Pit and brought back to life, then try to redeem herself (again) as White Canary. The Atom finds he's only small fry so decides to go off to do something more worthwhile with his life than be, erm, a charming scientific genius philanthropist billionaire restoring a city to its former greatness.

Over on The Flash, Captain Cold and Heat Wave have been getting a bit fluffier and better motivated - sufficent to wanting, or at least not being averse, to saving the world. And with Robbie Amell not wanting to go long-term for another fantasy series, he gets sucked into a wormhole and replaced by BBC1/BBC3's Franz Drameh.

That's not been quite enough for a proper superhero team-up, so we've also had an Arrow/The Flash crossover to introduce Hawkgirl (Ciara Renée) and Hawkman (Germany's own Falk Hentschel), a pair of repeatedly reincarnating lovers from Ancient Egypt who are repeatedly murdered throughout time by Vandal Savage, one of the DC Comic Universe's Big Bads, who sucks them of their life energy so he can be immortal. 

Why do they all get together? Well, in the future, that Vandal Savage, who's been organising wars throughout the centuries to distract attention away from himself as he slowly amasses power, finally gets what he wants and brutally takes over the world. A 'Time Master' from the East End of London, Rip Hunter, implores his fellow Time Masters to interfere and stop Savage's reign of terror from ever happening. They refuse, because they don't want to intervene in the timelines, so Hunter steals a time ship (amusingly, Arthur Darvil who played Rory on Doctor Who plays Hunter. How has there not been a copyright suit against this?) and goes back in time to the early 21st century to assemble our heroes (and villains) into a team who can take on Savage throughout the ages.

The big questions are:

  1. Will they succeed?
  2. What isn't Hunter telling the alleged 'legends of tomorrow'?
  3. Has all this effort actually been worth it?

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News: Jessica Jones, Kimmy Schmidt, Empire, Scream Queens renewed; Prison Break, 24 to return; Watch is now W; + more

Posted on January 18, 2016 | comments | Bookmark and Share

Film casting

Internet TV

International TV

  • Trailer for Shaw Media/ITV/Fox's Houdini & Doyle

UK TV

US TV

US TV show casting

New US TV shows

New US TV show casting

  • Tracy Morgan to star in FX's post-prison rehabilitation comedy
  • Tim Curry joins Fox's The Rocky Horror Picture Show

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Preview: Colony 1x1 (US: USA Network)

Posted on January 11, 2016 | comments | Bookmark and Share

Colony

In the US: Thursdays, 10/9c, USA Network
In the UK: Not yet acquired

They say the secret of comedy is timing. I think the same is true of TV. A bit over a year ago, I was asked on Radio 5 why I thought zombie shows were so popular. I went for the glib Zoolander quote "they're so hot right now", but also mentioned that there was an obvious subtext - just in case you weren't listening, I was talking about rich versus poor, fear of diseases and the other, with an enemy that can't be understood and negotiated with, only fought, and yet which keeps on coming, no matter what you do.

That, of course, was two years ago and was at the back end of the zombie/disease/Occupy Wall Street trend. Now the big fear is that immigrants are going to come in, swamp us, and take over our countries. They're going to invade us.

TV, of course, can take a long time to get made, with years sometimes passing between genesis, gestation and eventual realisation of a show. Had Colony come out a year or so ago, back when I was doing that radio show, it would have looked prophetic and pioneering. Had it come out say two or even three months ago, it would have been riding a wave. Coming out now? It's missed the boat.

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