Swamp Thing Season 1 Episode 1 “Pilot”
Director: Len Wiseman
Starring: Crystal Reed, Andy Bean, Derek Mears, Will Patton, Virginia Madsen, Jennifer Beals, Kevin Durand, Maria Sten, Henderson Wade
Runtime: 59:43 Minutes
In case you haven’t been paying attention, the original shows on DC Universe have been killing it. Both Titans and Doom Patrol fantastic shows, and while not completely “original” Young Justice: Outsiders is another great show. Swamp Thing, the newest of the original shows, definitely looks like it’ll continue the trend of great original shows. I’ll preface everything by saying, I’ve never actually read any Swamp Thing comics. I thought about it, to familiarize myself with the character before watching this show. I didn’t actually read any, but I thought about it. So I’m going into this show pretty blind.
Abby Arcane is a CDC doctor, being brought back to her hometown in Louisiana when a mystery illness starts spreading around. While tending the infected patients, she runs into Alec Holland, a scientist looking into the mysterious illness on his own. Together the two investigate what in the swamp is making people sick. That’s the broad strokes of the episode, but I think overall it greatly succeeds as a pilot episode. I’m hooked and waiting for the next one.
Crystal Reed and Andy Bean both do a fantastic job as their respective characters. Reed as Abby Arcane plays the smart doctor, who’s weary returning to her hometown, and Bean as Alec Holland is charming as all heck. The two have great chemistry together on screen, and both characters clearly have some skeletons in their closets. The focus in this episode is on those two, but the other characters are all great. There’s Avery Sunderland (Will Patton) the big local businessman who’s got some dark secrets. His wife Maria (Virginia Madsen) is a charming southern lady that runs the town that you don’t want to cross. I will preface the next sentence by saying I’ve never been to Louisiana or the south. So I could be wrong, but some of the background townspeople didn’t sound “southern”.
The special effects throughout the show, some practical, some digital, are really cool. There’s a scene with a dude just planted (with actual plants) to a wall, dead. It’s not a pretty image. At various points, there’s accelerated growth of plants and roots and in a certain spot and it’s unsettling. Titans and Doom Patrol both have some bad special effects, and while there might be some in this show, there’s none in this episode. It all adds to the more serious, thriller/horror vibe that the show is going for. The atmosphere fits for the story being told, and it’s not really a surprise. James Wan is producing and is widely known for his directing on two Insidious, two The Conjuring, and the first Saw movie. Len Wiseman, the director of the episode also directed the first two Underworld movies.
There’s a lot of TV shows that are based on DC Comics characters. It’s definitely too early to say for sure, but Swamp Thing is making its debut near the top of the pile. The story is interesting, the characters have depth, and the special effects are great. This first episode of Swamp Thing does a great job of building up the characters and world around them, and definitely has me coming back for more.
Swamp Thing Season 1 Episode 1
The first episode of Swamp Thing does a fantastic job of setting up the story, the characters and the world, and has great special effects throughout.