Friday, October 12, 2012

TV Review: Arrow - Pilot Episode

Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen Arrow in Arrow Pilot Episode
Stephen Amell as Arrow

Billionaire playboy has lost some near and dear ones in a tragic accident and is forever changed by it. He moonlights as vigilante to clean up his city and bring it back to its former days of glory. His girlfriend is an attorney with a strong sense of justice.

This is not a summary of Batman Begins, but of the pilot episode of Arrow, the latest CW series featuring a DC Comics character. Bruce Wayne/Batman is now Oliver Queen/Arrow. Rachel Dawes is Dinah “Laurel” Lance. Gotham is now Starling City.

Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen Arrow in Arrow Pilot Episode
Oliver Queen, the castaway

Ok, now let’s start with the plot… Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) loses his father, Robert Queen (Jamey Sheridan) on the high seas after a violent shipwreck.  His longtime girlfriend Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) also loses her sister, Sarah (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) in the same accident.

After being stranded in an island for 5 years, he returns to the city to find his mother Moira Queen (Susanna Thompson) together with Walter Steele (Colin Salmon). He finds himself emotionally detached from his mother. His sister, Thea Queen (Willa Holland) and buddy, Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell) are glad to have him back.

Christian Bale Batman Begins Stephen Amell Arrow
Arrow Begins, anyone?
In true Batman Begins style, Oliver starts gathering his weapons and starts a war on the criminals in Gotham, I mean Starling City. First on his list is Adam Hunt (Brian Markinson). Oliver manages to alternatively outwit/strong-arm his bodyguard John Diggle (David Ramsey) to carry on his vigilante work. Detective Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne), father of Laurel and the deceased Sarah, is on the trail of the new vigilante in his city.

Meanwhile, Moira is out to find out what happened on the day of the shipwreck and she is ready to go to any extent to achieve her goal.

Stephen Amell and Katie Cassidy as Oliver Queen and Laurel Lance Arrow Pilot Episode
Stephen Amell and Katie Cassidy as Oliver Queen and Laurel Lance

I was initially not sure about this show after seeing the previews. Despite the considerable similarities to a certain Caped Crusader, the pilot was very interesting and held my attention.

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All the roles have been nicely cast and the actors look comfortable. Special mention must be made of Willa Holland as Thea Queen. She does an excellent job and I cannot wait to see her assume the role of Speedy.

Stephen Amell and Willa Holland as Oliver Queen/Arrow and Thea Queen/Speedy in Arrow Pilot Episode
Stephen Amell and Willa Holland as Oliver Queen/Arrow and Thea Queen/Speedy

I liked the brief appearance of Deathstroke's mask. Equally good was the hilarious reference to Twilight.

Looks like CW has a winner on their hands, along the lines of Smallville.

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Image Source: CW


  1. I loved Smallville, but haven't tried this one out yet. It'll be hard for me to switch from one Ollie to another!

    1. I loved Smallville and Michael Rosenbaum as Luthor. As good as Tom was as Clark Kent, Rosenbaum nearly always stole the show. As DC fans know, he has also voiced a number of other characters including The Flash/Wally West, Kid Flash and Deadman in other DC comics based adaptations .

      I liked Justin Hartley in that show. Especially the way, they had him wear those sunglasses and changed his voice to protect his identity.


  2. I like your constant referral to another title character. It's hard not to though, isn't it? I did the something similar with one of my posts. Thanks for stopping by and liking my post about Arrow, I really appreciate the support. Loved the post!

  3. I liked the way you kept comparing it to another title character, also, but in the end I actually compared him to "The Cape" which was on NBC. Not in character, but the look and feel of the show. I did a cursory search on IMDB of crew and could find no link between the two shows. It may be the lighting and scenes that strike me as most alike. Great review!

    Oh, it never struck me til now, but has anyone else ever noticed the similarity between LAUREL and OLIVER as in Stan LAUREL and OLIVER Hardy? Maybe it's just me.

  4. Great review! I'm kind of intrested in this show, I'll have to check it out!

    1. Thanks Loveable Freak.

      Since you enjoy comic book based adaptations, I think you will enjoy this show!

  5. Yes, I realize there are a lot of comparisons to be made between Green Arrow and Batman, but those come from the comics. Much of the similarities between the two characters originate there.

    However, this show is giving a Dark Knight makeover to the character, I can't deny that. However I think it will work for this show.

    1. I agree that the similarities stem from the comics itself. Also agree with you that the influence of Chris Nolan's trilogy will do wonders for this show.


  6. Arrow has always been compared to Batman, and I think they realized it from the beginning.
    I don't like the dark side to the character yet, which may be explained as it moves along, and probably is in the comic books, but a little heavy for TV. The opening was great.
    Loved the Partridge Family connection.
    Thanks for the review.