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TV Review: Da Vinci’s Demons 1.1: The Hanged Man
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Da Vinci’s Demons

Da Vinci’s Demons
Season 1, Episode 1 – “The Hanged Man”
Directed and written by David S. Goyer
Starring: Tom Riley, Laura Haddock, Blake Ritson, Elliot Cowan, Lara Pulver, Gregg Chillin, Hera Hilmar, Eros Vlahos, James Faulkner, David Schofield, Alexander Siddig Al-Rahim, Tom Bateman, Allan Corduner, Michael Elwyn, Michael Culkin, Nick Dunning and Elliot Levey
Starz
Air date: Friday, April 12, 2013

Outside of episodes of Party Down, I’ve not not watched a lot of Starz shows. However, I do feel that the network is working towards building a larger theme with each of its respective programs. It’ll be interested to see how Da Vinci’s Demons, the network’s newest series, falls into that overall identity.

Da Vinci’s Demons reminds me a lot of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys or Xena: Warrior Princess. Depending on how excited or apathetic you just got after reading that statement will serve as a good indicator of your interest in the show, which is an eight-part series. Created, written, and directed by Dark Knight trilogy co-writer David S. Goyer, Da Vinci’s Demons sees the infamous artist rebranded as a young action hero.

The show doesn’t quite sell me on the rest of the plots unrelated to the 25-year-old Da Vinci, played by Tom Riley. There’s a fair amount of political drama that’s simply just not as engaging as seeing what Riley brings to the character. Again, everything unrelated to him falls apart for me.

My opinion of the pilot waxed and wained throughout, but I came back to it in the end. Sure, it’s quite silly and takes itself a little too seriously at times, but I was entertained for most of what I saw. It’s certainly fun to see Da Vinci’s works come to life in way that hasn’t been explored before. I want to know how the show will hold and explore those concepts in the weeks to come.

Again, I find myself in an interesting position with this series. It’s not something that I probably would have gone out of my way to track down (I didn’t even know it existed until a few days ago), but now that I’ve seen it, I have a strange desire to at least check back in with the show from time to time and see if there’s anything that jumps out and grabs me.

Quick Thoughts:

– If you do watch Da Vinci’s Demons and you’re a Downton Abbey fan, after seeing the show, you’ll never think of a certain actor the same way again.

– Part of my interest to revisit the show does come from a revelation in the premiere episode’s final minutes. So, kudos on that Goyer.

– Be sure to check out our preview coverage, Doom Deliveries: ‘Da Vinci’s Demons’ Unlock The Genius Kit, where GoD’s Empress Eve talks about some of the viral material she received for the series. According to her, the presence of Alexander Siddig, who played Dr. Bashir on TV’s Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, at the beginning of this first episode was enough to grab her. (She tells me that she loved this first episode and watched her review copy three times already, though she agrees with me that while the story of a young Da Vinci is compelling, the political intrigue surrounding the young artist wasn’t as enlightening).

I don’t know if I’ll have the time to add another weekly review to my current rotation, but I might consider it, depending on how you all feel. Sound off in the comments and let me know. If you’re all really interested in hearing my thoughts, I’ll do my best to make time for the show; if not, I’ll probably check back in time for the finale and possibly do a round-up of the series; we’ll see by then if I’ve fallen to one side or another.

What did you think? Sound off in our comments with your thoughts.

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