Third-episode verdict: The Cape

The CarusometerA Carusometer rating of 4

In the US: Mondays, 9/8c, NBC

So we’re three episodes into The Cape now, and while things are starting to get a little better, we still have a few fundamental problems that are unlikely to be overcome.

The first two episodes were a confused mess that didn’t know whether they were supposed to be cheesy self-parody or daring adventure, effectively offering nothing beyond homages to comics – in particular, Batman – that are a whole lot better. The third episode, however, was a little better, with the previous owner of The Cape coming back to collect his property and just a little bit of information about Summer Glau’s character, Orwell, emerging (it’s very comic book what we do get though).

All the same, we have the same fundamental problems. The Cape is actually a pretty rubbish superhero, with no special powers or even decent special skills beyond his possibly magical Cape. This is most obviously brought home in the fight scene at the end of episode three between the two masters of the Cape in which there’s actually bugger all fighting and what there is involves the Cape being used to grab things. Whoopdy doo.

Neither of the two leads are especially interesting and neither are their characters and an attempt to compensate by making all the carnival characters "characters" only ends up with them being ridiculous. Worse still, James Frain is an interesting actor, but his supervillain Chess is ineffectual and never really does anything.

Without anything new to offer and nothing compelling about cast, characters or storyline, this is television largely for people who are desperate for any comic book content on TV. For everyone else, it’s extremely avoidable.

Rating: 4
Rob’s prediction: Will be lucky to last to the end of the season, after which it will be cancelled (or not renewed) by whomever replaces Angela Bromstad in yet another NBC Night of the Long Knives.


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; 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. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.

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