Justin Hartley, Lou Diamond Phillips, Ving Rhames, Denise Quinones, Rick Peters, Adrianne Palicki, Amber McDonald, Graham Bentz, A lot of water, A whale, Some teen angst music usually heard in Smallville
Written by: Alfred Gough & Miles Millar Directed by: Greg Beeman
Nadia – “Maybe someday the fish will get their revenge.”
WHAT IS IT? It’s the pilot episode of an Aquaman television series from the creators of Smallville which wasn’t picked up by the network.
GOOD IDEA/BAD IDEA: Smallville was a hit and an appearance by Aquaman in that series gave the impression audiences wanted to see more heroes on TV.Unfortunately despite having Justin Hartley in a pair of shorts, the fact remains the nautical adventures of Aquaman are about as exciting as watching SeaQuest DSV with a guest appearance from Captain Birdseye.
WHAT’S THE STORY?
A young Arthur Curry (Bentz) and his mother are flying over the ocean in a plane when disaster strikes and they crash into the sea.Like anyone else with long hair, AC’s mother worries that the amount of salt in the sea will ruin her highlights and she leaves her son, telling him to live a better life without her.He listens to her advice and ten years later he has grown into the attractive and athletic, ‘AC’ (Hartley).
By day AC struts around in skimpy clothing and by night he hangs out with dolphins, but for some reason he isn’t quite content with the direction his life has taken.Sure he has girls dripping off him, he lives on a beach and he has an unexplainable ability to move through water faster than an Olympic swimmer, but this is 2006 and he wants more.
His dad Lou Diamond Phillips tells him he loves him and to stop whining, but AC is a headstrong young man and so decides to take advice from MaCaffery (Rhames), the creepy man who lives in the lighthouse instead.MaCaffery tells AC that as he’s been watching him whilst sitting alone in his lighthouse; he knows AC has a special bond with the ocean and that he’s an important seaman.Strangely AC doesn’t have a problem with any of this even when the conversation turns to one about AC’s mom smelling a little fishy.
With the two finding they share a bond over the AC’s mother, other things happen around them, including a plane crash, a mysterious man from Atlantis and a secret cover-up involving the Bermuda Triangle, but none of it is very interesting.In order to inject some excitement into the story a deadly Siren turns up and tries to kill AC, but MaCaffery shoots her with his mighty hunting weapon and she goes off to kill the mysterious man from Atlantis instead.
With her work done she checks her watch and realising there’s not much running time left in this pilot she returns to attempt to kill AC and MaCaffery.Unlucky for her AC gets stronger in water and so he bumps her off after dousing himself in Evian and then him and MaCaffery go off to consider what has happened to them.
MaCaffery comes to the conclusion that a lot of talent and money has been wasted trying to get a boring hero off the ground and that it’s all a bit too much like Smallville.AC agrees and tells him the biggest difference is that Superman’s back story is epic and imaginative, but Aquaman’s story is that his parents are just fish.
SOMETHING FISHY: *The pilot for Aquaman is a result of the AC character appearing in Smallville where he was portrayed by the actor Alan Ritchson.When casting for the new series the role was recast and given to Justin Hartley, but when the pilot never took off Hartley was given the role of Green Arrow in Smallville where he leads the Justice League and gets to boss around Aquaman.
*The associate producer on Aquaman is called Brain Wankum.I’m not making this up.
*Aquaman is not a bad pilot, in fact far worse pilots have made it to at least a series, but despite the Earth being covered by two thirds water, undersea adventures just aren't that appealing. Maybe if he'd met Flipper or Willy the series would have taken off.