Daddy Issues: Batwoman’s Lackluster Debut in the UK on E4

 

 

 

The CW’s latest entry into the Arrowverse, Batwoman, has now been acquired by E4 to air in the UK and the launch was abysmal at best. Here’s what the critics had to say

 

 

 

 

 

It is a rare thing, in these high-quality, high-stakes, immaculately professionalized TV times, to see someone on screen who can only 80% act. Two such performers have come along at once in Batwoman, Dougray Scott and Ruby Rose. Everyone involved, of course, might fare better if they had a decent script, proper lighting, well-choreographed fight scenes and sets that didn’t look as if they had been nailed together from whatever was left after Michael Keaton left the building in 1989.”

The Guardian UK

 

Wow. Rose clearly has the right to play Kate (aka Batwoman). Kate is gay and vegan (so is Rose); Kate suffers from childhood trauma (ditto, Rose), but rather than being a tough girl who refuses to be defined by her sexuality or the cisgender men in her life, she’s a gay stereotype: an emotionally dizzy rebel who fails to gain the acceptance of her father, and eventually falls in love with someone who is too handcuffed to the patriarchy to be openly gay. So let’s set aside the lass Ruby Rose, since she’s been lambasted enough for her work on the latest superhero drama and focus a bit on Dougray Scott, the male lead playing Batwoman’s father opposite Ruby Rose in the CW’s drama

 

Dougray Scott, who was in the running for the role of Wolverine – and who, to be fair, was a fun villain in MI:2 (2000), strong in Ripley’s Game (2002) and made a decent fist of the role of the Prince in Ever After (1998) now appears to be Ewan McGregor’s crapped-on doppelganger in terms of roles since then. 

 

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To be honest, you can almost see the career disappointment written in his face, if you take some artistic lisence:

 

 

Ewan gets Harley Quinn (yes, it’s a piece of crap, but it’s a movie), Dougray gets bloody Batwoman. Ewan plays the bad guy in Haywire (2011), poor old Dougray is lumbered with the rotter’s role in Taken 3 (2014). McGregor – Doctor Sleep; Scott – The Vatican Tapes. McGregor – Our Kind of Traitor; Scott – Hitman. You get the idea.

 

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Like Stuart Townsend, who was cast as Aragorn in LOTR, but booted for Viggo, a case of a possibly stellar career stymied by one piece of shitty luck? The fact remains that in Batwoman, we’ve seen this story in practically every teen drama in the past three decades, and showrunner Caroline Dries has failed the audience by recycling it the way Disney recycles its own IP. The series isn’t doing any of its stars any favors.

 

 

Arnell Esq

Arnell Esq

Broadcast consultant - former Director/Creator of ITV3, ITV4 in the UK, producer/writer (most recently Bob Fosse for Sky Arts in May 2019), commentator/rent-a-gob for trades, broadsheets and magazines. Also occasional lecturer (University of Westminster, London). Content provider. Accept no substitute (terms & conditions apply) 'Nullum bonum amico, nullum peius hostes'

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