Marvel's The Defenders
Internet TV

Review: Marvel’s The Defenders (season 1) (Netflix)

Marvel’s The Avengers was one of the highest grossing movies of all times. Small surprise therefore that Marvel should attempt to reproduce its unique superhero formula on the small (laptop) screen with its Netflix series, giving us four individual superheroes in their own shows before finally bringing them together in a fifth show – The Defenders.

And here we are at last. Two seasons of Daredevil (one excellent, one poor), one season of Jessica Jones (excellent), one season of Luke Cage (weak) and a season of Iron Fist (I’ve watched it three times now, so screw you, haters) has allowed some of the supporting cast to move around a bit, but here we finally are, getting all four superheroes interacting with each other, teaming up and even sometimes twatting each other with sticks.

The show picks up a few months after the other shows. Daredevil (Charlie Cox) is ostracised from his former legal partner Foggy (Elden Henson) and would-be girlfriend Karen (Deborah Ann Woll), and a bit mopey after his ex-lover Elektra (Elodie Yung) was killed by some immortal ninja called The Hand. He’s hung up his costume and is now trying to lead a normal life as a lawyer, mostly doing legal work pro bono for the downtrodden. But Foggy is looking out for his former friend and his new boss Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss) might have some legal work for him, too – looking after a certain private investigator friend of hers called Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), who’s bound to get into trouble sometime soon…

Not yet, though, since she’s still buried in a bottle, following her murder of mind-controlling rapist David Tennant. Thankfully, she’s managed to brush off both the legal charges and infamy that came with that, but she’s not ready to take on any new clients yet. That is, until a woman comes to her door asking her to track down her missing architect husband and she starts to get threatening phone calls.

Meanwhile, Jones’ former boyfriend Luke Cage (Mike Colter) is just getting out of prison, thanks to some nimble legal work by Foggy, and has to work out what he can do to look after the people of Harlem, particularly the young black men who are succumbing to the allure of crime in his neighbourhood – particularly that instituted by a white clad man known only as ‘the African’ (Babs Olusanmokun).

Could it all have something to do with the errant billionaire Danny Rand (Finn Jones), currently off hunting down the Hand in the Far East with girlfriend and former Hand-member Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick), following the Hand’s apparent destruction of the seventh city of Heaven, K’un-Lun, which Rand was charged to protect, being the immortal weapon known as The Iron Fist?

You betcha. And you can bet that somehow it’s all going to involve their various storylines intersecting at some point to fight a common enemy – Sigourney Weaver, as well as some ‘Big Bads’ from previous seasons.

Of course, the Marvel Cinematic Universe isn’t the only time that a whole bunch of superheroes with independent lives ended up uniting to defeat a baddie: the once much-adored Heroes did the same thing on the small screen. I say once because as soon as everyone got together, the whole show went to pants.

So the question is: is Marvel’s The Defenders more Avengers or more Heroes? Answer coming up after the jump. Spoilers ahoy and liable to smack you in the face.

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Midnight, Texas
US TV

Review: Midnight, Texas (US: NBC; UK: Syfy)

In the US: Mondays, 10/9c, NBC
In the UK: Thursdays, 9pm, Syfy. Starts tonight!

Every so often, someone has the bright idea of taking all manner of previously separated supernatural beasties and sticking them together. Universal is trying it right now at the movies with Dracula, The Mummy, et al, with almost no success, but cast your mind back just a little bit and you’ll remember Sky/Showtime’s Penny Dreadful, which brought together the likes of Frankenstein, his monster, Dr Jekyll and Dorian Grey.

Cast your mind ever further back and you’ll hit HBO’s True Blood, which gave us a world populated by vampires and subsequently fairies, et al, as the series progressed, and when you hit 2010, you’ll come across The Gates, an almost forgotten ABC show about a gated community in which vampires, werewolves and the like all tried to co-exist peacefully, but usually failing miserably in the attempt.

Now NBC is giving it a whirl, this time by following the True Blood route of adapting a series of Southern-set Charlaine Harris books. Here, the eponymous Midnight, Texas is merely an informal point where over the years, all manner of “different” people have decided to settle down. As well as having its own Hellmouth™, there’s

  • An energy- and blood-sucking, blue-eyed vampire Peter Mensah (Spartacus)
  • Local vicar Yul Vazquez (Seinfeld) is a werewolf
  • Tattooist Jason Lewis (Sex and the City) is a fallen angel, albeit one who hasn’t gone to Hell
  • Parisa Fitz-Henley (Jessica Jones, Luke Cage) is a witch with a talking cat, albeit not a teenage one
  • Arielle Kebbel (90210) is a freelance assassin with no apparent special power other than to run around in a bikini with a bow and arrow
  • Potentially all manner of other, equally odd individuals

All seems quiet, even when the Sons of Lucifer are around. But then along into town comes psychic François Arnaud (The Borgias), persuaded by his fraudulent fortune-telling dead grandmother that he’s better off hiding out in Midnight, Texas, from whomever’s after him.

Unfortunately, just as Arnaud turns up, someone is murdered and before you know it, the police are investigating, sometimes with the help of Arnaud and his ability to speak to and raise the dead. Will they discover the town’s great big secret? And if they do, what will the denizens do to ensure their secret is kept safe?

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Thor: Ragnarok
Film

All the best trailers from SDCC – Justice League, Marvel’s The Defenders, Star Trek: Discovery, Stranger Things, Thor: Ragnarok and Westworld

SDCC – aka San Diego Comic-Con – had turned into one of the most important events of the year, not just for comics but for movies and TV shows. At least of the nerdier and more US variety, since it’s not like there’s a great Poldark presence there every year.

But it’s where all the latest news is revealed and you get to see the new trailers, and this year, we’ve had a bevy. I’m not going to go through the whole lot, as that way madness lies, but you can find most of them in today’s news.

On top of that, unfortunately, a few of the best trailers that got shown haven’t yet been fed into YouTube (eg Netflix’s Marvel’s The Punisher and Black Panther). But at the very least, after the jump, you’ll be able to feast your eyes on trailers for the likes of Justice League, Thor: RagnarokReady Player One, Netflix’s Marvel’s The Defenders, CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Discovery, HBO’s Westworld, and Netflix’s  Stranger Things (season 2). Oh yes, and The CW’s DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.

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Amazon's The Tick
News

News: The Tick trailer; Claws renewed; Shane Meadows’ The Virtue; Empire/Star crossover; + more

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New US TV show casting

Netflix’s Marvel’s The Defenders are in action at last

We’ve been teased to death so far, but finally we have an actual, proper trailer for Netflix’s Marvel’s The Defenders, the show that unites Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist at last. Not quite as exciting as seeing all of The Avengers together, but this is actually pretty exciting and funny stuff. And not just because Sigourney Weaver is the Big Bad of the piece. How’s about that hallway fight scene?