Da Vinci’s Demons: The Complete First Season Blu-ray
Starz’s new drama, Da Vinci’s Demons, is a divisive program, following a young Leondardo Da Vinci (Tom Riley), who hops from project to project and goal to goal on a whim, all with his merry band of troublemakers there to help him. He’s playing with fire as he hooks up with women connected to the powerful Medici family and bluffs his way through warfare, but throughout Season 1, the man mostly still manages to land on his feet.
Riley is enigmatic in the series, but he does have a great character to work with. There are a lot of shades of Sherlock Holmes in Starz’s drama, from the way Da Vinci puzzles out mysteries to his abrupt personality and his infuriating ability to come up with the right answer in most situations. He’s not the only character in the series that is fascinating, though. The two Medici brothers, Lorenzo (Elliot Cowan) and Giulino (Tom Bateman), rely on each others’ strengths to help navigate Florence politically in a seemingly never-ending battle against Rome. Medici’s wife, Clarice (Lara Pulver) and his mistress, Lucrezia (Laura Haddock) are also multi-faceted and give us plenty of reasons to tune in.
Regardless, Da Vinci’s Demons is mostly a tale of revisionist history, and Starz’s new drama hasn’t quite figured this out yet. Some weeks, we get stories that seem to be straight out of the pages of dry history books, while other weeks we get tales of mythos and horror and are introduced to demons, mystics, and maybe even some magic. The show has the opportunity to go boldly where no show featuring Da Vinci has ever gone, but sometimes the series is too over-the-top and in other moments, the drama feels a little too grounded.
Throughout Season 1, Da Vinci’s Demons never finds the right balance in its plotlines, but I do appreciate that the drama likes to try new things, including a fluttering of illustrated drawings whenever Da Vinci has come up with a new idea or is trying to piece together an invention. Sometimes it takes a show several episodes to find the right balance, and since the series only got eight episodes to flesh out its first season, I’ll be happy to see what it attempts in Season 2.
You can order Da Vinci’s Demons: The Complete First Season over at Amazon.
Best Special Feature: When I first began watching the bonus features, I assumed the “Constructing Da Vinci” segment would be about creating the character. Instead, it was about the sets in the series. A closer look at each of them shows extraordinarily detailed rooms and backdrops. These sets look great in HD picture, but they also look as if they were expensive to produce. It’s no shock, then, that Starz might want to go ahead and sign on for a second season of the drama if the network already has a lot invested in the series.
Other Special Features:
“Mastering Da Vinci”
“Dressing Da Vinci”