in Television

First Look At “Da Vinci’s Demons”

Leo head good

Some reasons why Max wants to watch the new Starz program

Twenty minutes before the writing of this article… “Hm, what is this banner ad featuring a shirtless, possible Abercrombie model posing with wooden wings behind his back?”

Ten minutes later… “Oh, so that shirtless Abercrombie model is playing Leonardo Da Vinci in Starz’ new show.”

Just now… “Okay, I’ve seen the trailers and read the show’s Wikipedia page and this actually doesn’t look half bad.”

End scene. (The critics will say the story was lacking, but Max’s acting was revolutionary.)

Rarely does a show stay so completely off my radar to the point where I had no idea it existed until the day before it premieres.

Usually, the level of attention I pay to everything remotely related to TV (even the things I don’t watch) would mean that I know everything there is to know about what’s coming to the airwaves.

Da Vinci’s Demon’s, which is to air tomorrow night on April 12, was one of the few shows that slipped through the cracks.

The show takes place during the Renaissance and features Tom Riley as the legendary inventor, who in this fantastical retelling will battle against a mysterious cult.

Let’s take a look at some of the things I discovered that are making me consider watching a show that I initially thought looked like a gimmicky mess.

David S. Goyer

When I read the name, I knew it sounded familiar, but I couldn’t quite place it. I googled him and realized that, of course, he’s one of the men behind the Dark Knight franchise. Not only did this man help map out the stories for all three of those movies, but he penned the script for the upcoming Man of Steel, which I’m pretty excited for.

Goyer is apparently applying those same “main character is a mysterious super-heroic icon” themes to his Da Vinci creation, which should be interesting, coupled with the fact that he’s not shying away from historical tidbits like Da Vinci’s ambiguous sexuality.

Starz

This show isn’t on one of the higher quality premium channels, but that fact that it’s landed on cable period is a good thing. The same network responsible for Spartacus is airing this new show, which can alternatively strike fear into readers’ hearts or make them want to watch Da Vinci more, depending on your opinion on Spartacus.

While I’m not a huge fan of that show, I am trying to view this as a glass-half-full scenario. Sure, the infamous television program about gladiators, gore, and full-frontals wasn’t the best thing ever story or acting-wise, but the home on cable did give it a healthy budget, creative freedom, and world-building capabilities network TV wasn’t able to offer.

Something like this, which probably spent tons of cash on set, costumes, and CGI, is really only going to work well on cable.

Something to also consider: In the article I linked above, Goyer basically says the network lets him do whatever the hell he wants creatively if he really believes in it. To me, that’s just the ultimate positive point for any show.

BBC

While Starz is going to be airing the show on this edge of the Atlantic Ocean, BBC Worldwide co-produced it.

That means this series is going to be wonderfully British. This could just be my pre-expatriate side talking, but I can’t get enough of British TV, so how could this even remotely be a downside?

And based on the trailers, this product reeks of Britishness. (Okay so this bit of my argument may be purely personal and almost completely nonsensical, but I still have yet to see a British production steer me wrong.)

The Aesthetic

Once again, I am going to refer to the trailer.

From what I can tell, the world that’s been built here looks like a cross between medieval fantasy and Renaissance steampunk. I’m not sure if Renaissance steampunk is actually a thing, but I’m making it one for the sake of this paragraph.

You’ve got Da Vinci running around building crazy flying machines and super cannons, then you’ve got bleeding angel statues and sorcerers, so… I think my my description is pretty appropriate – AND THAT IS SO AWESOME.

On that note, I think I’ve covered all the reasons why I want to see this thing, so I’m done now. If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to be sure to check this new show out tomorrow night at 10 P.M. on Starz.