I think it’s definitely arguable that last week’s Constantine heralded the beginning of what the show should have been from the very start. The biggest shame of all is that it has come so late in its first season. Had it been doing this sort of thing from the very beginning, the axe would definitely not be floating over its head.
And believe me, there is an axe. It has yet to fall, and there is still the chance that it may not, but on balance I think that Constantine is for the chop.
Which, as I say, is a shame. But that’s where we are.
My comments on the premiere episode of the new Constantine series basically boiled down to: a great start, but a long way to go. It also needs to calm down a little if I’m going to be able to keep up for several — hopefully — seasons.
The bizarre thing is that, having set up so much in the first episode, they’ve taken an editorial change of tack and dumped a lot of the establishing material that it featured. Specifically, the female lead, Liv. Entirely. You have to feel for the actress, Lucy Griffiths, but my understanding is that they wanted to pursue a different direction, cleaving closer to the comics.
Quite why they couldn’t have made a new pilot episode, rather than tacking on a scene to the end which negated a lot of the set up, I have no idea.
So for those familiar with the source material, it might well be wise to simply treat this second episode as the real pilot.
Declaring an interest here: I am a big fan of the Hellblazer comics, the source material for this new TV adaptation which is going by the name of Constantine.
The dark themes, and unflinchingly bleak look at a magician from Liverpool (Yay!) are hynotically well-written, with characters that leap of the page. I even like the 2005 Keanu Reeves film, also titled Constantine, which wasn’t much of an adaptation at all.
But this, this I have been looking forward to since it was announced. It promises to stick closer to the source material than did the film, and from the look of Matt Ryan in costume as the eponymous main character, it is off to a good start. The question, though, is how much of the comic they can get away with bringing to the screen.