The more I think about Ultron’s words in Avengers: Age Of Ultron, the more I reckon he’s right.
I’m not saying everyone on Earth should be wiped out or anything, because he’s mad. Or at least as mad as an artificial intelligence based on Tony Stark’s brainwave patterns could be. Yet we all tend to come with strings attached, especially these days now that things are just the push of a button away. We tend to dance to other people’s tunes, act in a predictable fashion as some unseen hand controls us.
I think he’s right because this week I had my emotional strings yanked, so to speak. And it felt good.
I witnessed something that I never thought I’d see, or at least not at this point in time. I’m not talking about Age Of Ultron, although it seems so temptingly close now that the next few weeks are both going to race by and crawl slowly simultaneously. Although what I saw, it did make every nerdy, geeky, fanboy part of DNA stand up on end and do a happy dance.
Warning: Spoilers ahead!
I saw heroes reborn.
When I saw Barry Allen break the time barrier in The Flash I thought I had seen the best thing on TV in a while. Then I saw Mark Hamill return as the Trickster, and they even showed photos from the old Flash TV show, and it was even better. Then Vito D’Ambrosio showed up as Mayor Bellows, opening up all sorts of speculation about whether the old show actually slots in with the new one. First Amanda Pays as Tina McGee, now this?
And it even turns out that Dr. Harrison Wells isn’t Eobard Thawne, even if Thawne is Wells! With the Atom, Firestorm and Grodd showing up too, this show is racing towards an impressive finish for the season. At times I’ve felt let down by this show, and frustratingly it still contradicts its own rules, but lately it’s been rejuvenated.
I thought that was cool, and then I saw Skye in Agents of SHIELD finally letting rip with her powers, while Agent Coulson and Hunter are on the run from… SHIELD?! Deathlok came back too, and the whole Inhumans storyline is being played out well. In fact, this show is racing along too and just in time for their Age Of Ultron crossover. At times this show has let many down, but it’s still paying dividends to the patient fans. Could things get any better?
Yes. Then Daredevil came along.
Not only was he reborn onto the screen, it was done with style. This is what the fans have wanted and what they’ve waited for, and it delivers on every level. It makes the Dark Knight films look weak, and makes Arrow look soft. It’s grim and dark, but smart and at times funny too. Every character is well-rounded, the story is impressive and the action is intense. Calling it a TV show almost seems like an insult, because it’s a far better-crafted piece of work than the movie ever was. The opening credit sequence alone puts that earlier version to shame.
I’ve waited years for this, and the waiting has paid off. But I waited even longer for some other heroes of mine to appear again, to be reborn. They also had to cast off the shadow of a weak film that threatened to ruin the franchise for the fans forever. Now they’ve returned too, and like Ultron they could say that there are no strings on them either. Although there used to be.
For those who never thrilled to the original Supermarionation TV show, you missed out. It was sci-fi action and adventure – performed with puppets on strings, and using miniature models of the highest quality. It may look cheesy by today’s standards, but fifty years ago it was cutting edge to the point where Stanley Kubrick actually poached the show’s effects team to work on the classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. But that was then and this is now, and CGI is at play.
Thunderbirds Are Go! is a new animated series that’s both a nostalgic nod to the originals – keeping the same look, music, style, characters, vehicles and even camera shots – while still being a fast-paced revamp that should hook new viewers too. Their short 22-minute episodes pack more punch than the live-action film that was made a few years ago. It’s proof that the adventures of a family of do-gooding heroes in their various rocket-powered vehicles still works. And like those other shows, it just had to be made the right way.
It may sound silly to some that this past week I’ve been so in awe of a couple of simple television shows, but to me they’ve been more than that. They’ve been proof that things get better. Seeing your heroes reborn, seeing them return to their former glory and maybe even surpass it, it’s a special feeling and one that everyone should have.