Earlier this month, we reported that Amazon had picked up The Tick pilot, and that Wally Pfister (cinematographer for The Dark Knight) would direct. Additionally, we got story details like The Tick (played by Peter Serafinowicz) is recovering from memory loss and Arthur (Griffin Newman) had been labeled as a schizophrenic because of his statements that evil plans to rule the city, and no one believes him until he runs into the big blue crimefighter. So between an amnesiac and a schizophrenic, that doesn’t exactly sound like the lighthearted romp of the animated TV series or the live-action Fox series.
So perhaps it’s no surprise when showrunner Ben Edlund tells EW that this new version of The Tick will be “darker and more grounded.” The Tick creator continued, “And it’s going to have a real story, a real hero’s myth. We’re the ones that get to have fun with it and that’s kind of the situation where right now that’s an open field in this area of entertainment.”
Before you start panicking and thinking that The Tick has been absorbed by the whole grimdark thing, remember that the show works best as satire, and it holds up a mirror to what it sees in the superhero landscape. In the 90s and early 2000s, when The Tick was first on the air, superhero material was much lighter and the landscape was far more barren. That’s no longer the case, and it will be interesting to see how The Tick is repositioned in regards to superhero stories.
At the very least, Edlund and Amazon’s head of half-hour series Joe Lewis feel that they can really take advantage of the serialized, binge-watching format. Lewis says:
“Episodic superhero shows can’t necessarily go as deep in characters since you are rebooting the story often every hour,” he says. “Even though it’s a different tone, series like Transparent show that we’re making five-hour movies told in 10 chapters. And I think that’s something really unique to Amazon and how we are approaching this. This will [enable us] go deeper into character and story because our canvas is a lot larger.”
So fans should brace themselves for a Tick that will be different than what’s come before, but just because it’s different, that doesn’t mean it will be bad.