Stan Lee's Lucky Man: 1.01
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British TV drama and Stan Lee - creator of all things Marvel, from Iron Man to The Fantastic Four - is not something you can imagine going together. Yet as we enter 2016 with superheroes starting to dominate TV as much as the big screen, Lee has created something altogether for Sky 1. Stan Lee's Lucky Man is an attempt to do something different - a London detective who finds him fused to a magical bracelet that grants him luck - but is it any good?
Well after episode one I am still not sure. I certainly liked it and James Nesbitt made for a great leading man in DI Harry Clayton. He is instantly likeable, something that Nesbitt can always be depended on, but he also has his foibles, particularly his gambling debts, that makes him instantly a more engaging character.
The rest of the cast are pretty great too. Eve Best made an instant impression as Harry's ex wife and barrister Anna; I loved her first scene closing the court case with finesse and there was great chemistry with Harry, even if it was obvious that his gambling addiction had driven them apart. Omid Djalili was brilliant as one of the show's villains and Torchwood's Burn Gorman was amusing in his one scene as the very odd pathologist. Nesbitt's Harry also had great rapport with DS Suri Chohan (played by Amara Karan, who Doctor Who fans will remember as the companion-that-never-was Rita from series six's The God Complex).
And there was a number of other instantly recognisable British actors rounding up a very classy cast. Even Stan Lee got the obligatory cameo, signing comics in a store as Harry walked past.
There was a very James-Bond feel to parts of the episode, in its very slick, British way. Sienna Guillory was pure Bond girl as Eve, dazzling in her entrance in the casino, seducing Harry to give him the bracelet and speeding around London all in black on her motorbike. And the final boat chase was a bit of a homage to The World Is Not Enough; thrilling and on a more of a budget but still possibly the highlight of the episode, ending on a cliffhanger with the arrival of Joseph Gatt's mysterious villain as he brandished a machete, prepared to hack of Harry's arm and get the bracelet as he struggled not to drown in the water.
Unfortunately there were some disappointments too; the mystery of who killed Lau, the man Harry owed a fortune to, didn't feel particularly engaging. It felt too obvious that the lead character would be considered a suspect. And the moments of luck didn't feel particularly exciting or inspired either. While I enjoyed the scene where Eve helped Harry win a fortune, the car swerving falling breaks to avoid the black cat was too on the nose and I didn't find anything else particularly noteworthy. I was waiting for big amusing moments where Harry narrowly avoided terrible situations with a dazzling away of extreme luck; perhaps more will come as the series continues because for now it hasn't shown that potential.
Episode one of Stan Lee's Lucky Man has great promise and James Nesbitt made for an engaging leading man. There was some thrilling Bond-style moments and a wonderful cast but I need a bit more of the luck in the weeks ahead to keep me going. Let's hope episode two starts to deliver.