Recently we've run pilot script reviews of Fear The Walking Dead and Scream. Getting them was hard, no one had them. But Lucifer by Californication's Tom Kapino is different, three separate people offered to send me a copy. It's been green lit, it's gone out for casting and it's available for those who want to find it..
More on that casting later.
Lucifer is based on the comic by Mike Carey and Peter Gross, itself based on the character as portrayed in Sandman by Neil Gaiman. In that comic, ten billion years after falling from Heaven, Lucifer has abandoned his hellish domain and lived on Earth running a Los Angeles club, Lux with the demon and occasional lover Mazikeen working bar. He found himself getting into all sorts of scrapes in the city, and being rather devilish at it, fighting for free will and against destiny. Classy, cool, stylish and cruel.
And the script keeps much of this, he is most definitely the Devil.
He has his club,
The demon barmaid and the length of time.
And the appearance of the Archangel Amenadiel, though in a less adversarial role.
But what this version of Lucifer gives us is… a buddy cop show. He is the devil incarnate residing in a Los Angeles bar, she is a single mother cop. And together they fight crime.
I am not kidding. Welcome to Chloe…
…and her nine year old daughter Trixie.
While the comic saw Lucifer interact with police, it wasn't the focus of the comic. And this is. It's another "police need an expert consultant" series, following everything from Sherlock Holmes to Numb3rs.
The twist to the Lucifer/Chloe relationship is that she appears to be the only woman who is not attracted to Lucifer in some way, indeed his very presence gives her the heebies. And he seems to see that as a fascinating challenge. We get the kind of Moonlighting relationship without the inevitable and show-destroying sex.
What Lucifer also gives us is a lot of talk. This is, to some extent natural, Lucifer is portrayed as a lover not a fighter, and a man who uses words to get people to do what he wants. However, as a result amongst the monologues pretending to be dialogues, there's a lot of "tell" and not a lot of "show". To have a chance of succeeding they'll need to cast a loquacious non-violent alpha male. Basically they need Russell Brand.
And just that thought transformed the script for me and I was happy to ignore the trite plot twists if I could have Russell Brand in a light suit, saying things like…
Rolling Stones quotations aside (and there are a lot of those), it would need that kind of literary confidence, quickfire delivery and sexuality. So, yes, being British probably would go a long way. They are recreating a Byronic hero, probably as literally as a show has ever tried before.
So Russell Brand. Who would probably rewrite it on the fly and mock the very nature of the show, and make it a little more bearable in the process.
And not Ricky Gervais.