TV - The Tick

The Amazon Prime Pilot season is back again which means Susan Omand watches random episodes of things that will probably never be seen again. This time she sees if a new superhero can Tick all the boxes (sorry) ...

In a world where superheroes have been real for decades, an accountant with mental health issues and zero powers comes to realise his city is owned by a global super villain long-thought dead. As he struggles to uncover this conspiracy, he falls in league with a strange blue superhero, who may or may not be a figment of his own imagination…

This. Is. Genius.

No, seriously, this is what you want every superhero TV series to be like so this series HAS to be green lit please Amazon. Arthur (Griffin Newman) is a troubled soul, diagnosed as mentally unstable after watching his father being killed when he was a child, and now he is out for revenge against the evil Terror, who has the city in his clutches although most believe him to be dead. However, Arthur has some help in the form of The Tick (Peter Serafinowicz) a suitably surreal blue superhero, who looks like Bananaman in deely-boppers, and believes implicitly that The Terror is still out there and that Arthur is destined to be his sidekick, even though they have only just met.

As a half-hour pilot episode, even though there is a LOT of character building, including flambĂ©ed reindeer and Whoopi Goldberg (don’t ask) this still had me hooked from the start. The casting of The Tick himself is brilliant with Serafinowicz parodying up the character for all he is worth. I must admit, when I saw the trailer, the idea of a Tick superhero did ring some bells from way back. It turns out that, yes indeed, he was a comic character from New England Comics back in the 80’s (I had a friend who lived in Norwood, near Boston at the time) and it’s the original character creator, Ben Edlund, who penned the script for this pilot which really helped to bring the characters to life and give The Tick his trademark monologues, delivered with excellent comic timing by Serafinowicz. It was also directed by Wally Pfister, who made his name as director of photography on things like The Dark Knight, Inception and Memento so it is beautifully framed.

This is not just a comedy though as, in the same way as the comic, Arthur’s darker character traits are well explored. There is a real depth to his character and the main crux of his backstory was explained in the pilot but I can see that his psychoses, and his sister’s (Valorie Curry) tolerance of them, will become just as much a part of the story as his crime-fighting with The Tick. It says in the synopsis of the pilot that The Tick “may or may not be a figment of his own imagination” and this is beautifully alluded to, both by the obvious internet search and by Arthur’s own facial tic when he becomes stressed but I really want to believe that he’s real and, together, they will bring down The Terror... IF they can find him.

After all “Evil wears every possible mitten.”

Image - IMDb

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