Lucifer: Review: Series 1

lucifer series 1Lucifer Morningstar, the Fallen Angel, the Lord of Hell, the… nightclub owner in Los Angeles?

Based – quite loosely – on the Vertigo comic by Mike Carey (taking the version of the character created by Neil Gaiman for the Sandman comics), this fun offering from Fox started off looking as if it was going to be a riff on the Castle idea – unorthodox partnership between cop and member of the public who’s got certain talents (in this case, drawing out people’s deepest desires) – before heading down a far more genre route. By the end, the cop element had become decidedly secondary to the battle of wits between Lucifer and his brother angel, and the various entities caught between them, both human and otherwise.

Tom Ellis impresses from the start as Lucifer, able to turn on the charm when required, but credible as the punishment-doler, while Lauren German, as his police partner Chloe Decker, has managed to avoid the pitfalls of the “Scully” character, constantly faced with evidence of the supernatural but refusing to accept it. Whether she really believes Lucifer is who he says he is is still open to question, but she comes to treat him as a friend and is clearly feeling betrayed when she feels he doesn’t have her back. The supporting characters – Lesley-Ann Brandt’s Mazikeen; Kevin Alejandro’s Detective Douche; and Rachel Harris’ Dr Martin – have each had enough attention paid to them to make them intriguing, and I hope that we get more time spent with each next time around. The only element that hasn’t really worked for me is Kevin Rankin’s Malcolm Graham, who has felt as if he’s the only character in a comicbook world, over the top too often not to be noticeable by those around him. His comeuppance (or rather godownance) is hopefully final.

The season arc has seen Lucifer become more human (or mortal) – at least when he’s in the presence of Chloe – while his brother angel, Amenadiel, (DB Woodside) has become progressively less angelic (and thus human) as he’s spent more time in the mortal world. The show’s not hidden from its religious imagery – Lucifer talks to “Dad” on more than one occasion, and gets at least one reply; his wings are a key plot point throughout the season – and we even get a trip to Hell in the closing episode, all of which has served to set Lucifer apart from other fare out there.

Verdict: Never less than entertaining, this has been an unexpected pleasure, and I’m delighted it’s back next year. 8/10

Paul Simpson

 

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