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Old June 21 2010, 02:01 PM   #41
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Re: The Phantom Is Back!

I found the miniseries much better than I expected. It had some goofy aspects, and that costume was just plain hideous and needs to change, but the writing was mostly entertaining, the characters well-drawn, and the actors appealing (particularly the love interest Renny). I thought it did a good job staying faithful to the Phantom's backstory and mythos while still updating it, something that's uniquely easy to do with The Phantom. Although I don't understand why they retconned Bengalla from an African country to an Indonesian island. They did a good job crafting a diverse, international feel to it, but it bugged me a little that the only black characters were villains.

And I keep coming back to the costume. Ugh. The concept isn't too bad aside from the hideous cowl and neck-brace thing, but it's too heavy for someone who's supposed to be a parkour runner. And its bullet resistance is too magical. They need to go for something lighter, something that lets the stuntman be more acrobatic and makes the hero less invulnerable. And they need to reintroduce some of the classic look of the Phantom costume. The Phantom legend supposedly goes back four centuries, so he should use it to inspire the good and frighten the wicked, or at least to let the cops know he's not the one they should be shooting at.

So I'm hoping this does go to series with the same cast and creative team, but I hope they reconsider the costume.

You know, it would be good to have a series like this on Syfy -- an alternative to the gritty space stuff like Caprica and SGU on the one hand and the comedic Earth-based fantasy stuff like Eureka and Warehouse 13. A fairly grounded superhero show, not frivolous in tone but not overly dark, would add some variety to their lineup.

Oh, and for future reference, someone should tell their caption writers that the Pentagon is in Arlington, VA, not Washington, DC. Okay, it's just across the river from DC, but still.
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage
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