The Syfy Phantom
We’ve talked about this before. About how I did not want to like Syfy’s new version of the Phantom, and why tradition and source material is important. When the four-hour mini-series aired a few weeks back I was fully prepared to hate it, but I couldn’t do it. I didn’t love it, and it wasn’t really the Phantom I wanted to see, but it really wasn’t bad either.
This was not a reboot, or a re-imagining, it was the real thing, and a modern continuation of the Phantom we all know and loved. The only drawback is that it’s a new Phantom, and one for the 21st century. Everything is still there, the Phantom legacy, the Singh Brotherhood, all that. The history is intact, it’s the present and the future that diverge from tradition.
There are changes however, unnecessary changes in my opinion. Bengalla is now an Indonesian island nation of much lighter skinned folk than those of the comic strips. And of course there is the hideous Paladin rip-off costume and the over-reliance on technology – but let’s keep in mind these are the trappings of the new Phantom.
And I can’t even bust on the quality. Even though it’s on Syfy, it’s done well and nothing at all like that tripe they usually show on Saturday nights. The lead, the twenty-second Kit Walker, is played by Justin Hartley look-a-like Ryan Carnes. He’s charming and convincing and I found myself rooting for him.
So, yeah, I liked it quite a bit. Granted, I would rather have seen a more Billy Zane or Tom Tyler, or especially a Lee Falk version of the classic hero, this was a fun diversion.