Sunday, 12 October 2014

Bring Back The Tick!


Hello everyone, something amazing has happened, or is about to happen! One of my favourite ever short-lived TV shows "The Tick" is close to being resurrected. To say this is a most unexpected development or in the words of the show "A fortuitous happenstance" is an understatement.  "What is this TV show of which you speak?" I hear you ask.  Well I'll be pleased to fill you in:

The Tick!

Created by Ben Edlund, The Tick started life as a comic book  back in 1988.  Evolving into the excellent cartoon series I know and love in 1994, it enjoyed popular success. For my flat-mate & I at the time, it's absurdist, twisted humor was the perfect antidote to a crap day at work.

Animated TV Series

The cartoon show was a surreal parody of the world of the superhero.  The Tick, defender of the citizens of a city known only as "The City" was a super strong, nearly invulnerable dunder-headed madman.  He existed in a world where most superheroes had no powers & were either sadly deluded or cowardly.  Despite his great power, The Tick did however feel pain. His enormous stupidity and significant sanity deficit often led to some absurdly uncomfortable situations.  Fortunately he was assisted by his side-kick Arthur or "The Moth" an ex accountant recently turned superhero.  Arthur had no super powers, but had a better grasp of reality than the Tick and most other heroes & villains in "The City". As the show progressed, it became increasingly obvious how much the two of them really needed each other.  The Tick provided the all important muscle, while Arthur supplied wisdom, intelligence & sanity.  Arthur also acted as a kind of mentor to The Tick, guiding him in the ways of the world.

The Tick's child-like view of things, and his enormous power seemed to suggest he was not of this world, a kind of souped-up "Mork" with his origins completely unknown to all including himself.  Unlike other super heroes, he had no alias, and existed as the Tick at all times.  The sight of the big blue-costumed crazy at Arthur's apartment, wresting with everyday tasks like watching TV & flushing the loo were hilarious.

One of the greatest things about the show was The Tick's absurd heroic sounding dialogue, for example:

Tick: "Destiny's powerful hand has made the bed of my future, and it's up to me to lie in it. I am destined to be a superhero. To right wrongs, and to pound two-fisted justice into the hearts of evildoers everywhere. And you don't fight destiny. No sir. And, you don't eat crackers in the bed of your future, or you get all... scratchy."


Tick: "Like a great blue salmon of Justice, the mighty Tick courses upstream to the very spawning ground of evil."

Another great thing about the show was the ridiculous cast of idiotic superheroes & villains. Our two heroes would periodically team up with these inept costumed do-gooders.  Heroes such as Die Fledermaus (The Bat) an obvious parody of Batman. Garbed in a stupid bat costume, DF is a cowardly, womanising ego-maniac. Or Sewer Urchin - the sworn defender of "The City" sewers, stinky, slimy, shunned by most.  The villains were even more insane, such as Chair Face Chippendale, a mafia don type, with the head of an antique chair. The Breadmaster, a disenchanted baker wreaking revenge on a society that has accepted sub-standard bread.

Comic or TV Who Knows?

After a successful run and three series, the cartoon show ceased airing some time in the 90s.  I never forgot this show however, it had lodged itself in my psyche.

Years later, when the internet & laptops had been invented, I decided to try to recapture that old Tick magic.  It was during one of these catch up sessions that I was shocked & over-joyed to find that a live-action TV show had been created!  This show starred Patrick Warburton (The voice of Family Guy disabled cop - Joe Swanson) dressed in virtually the same insane suit from the cartoon joined by Arthur "The Moth" & other characters from the animated series.

I was excited to see that they had really capured the spirit of the animated series & in many ways had improved on it.  Characters such as Die Fledermaus had been tweaked.  DF had now become Batmanuel, a Kind of latino Batman, with the same egotism & obsession with women, but perhaps a little more human than his animated counterpart.

Patrick Warburton was superb as The Tick, as was David Burke as Arthur.  I greatly enjoyed these live-action episodes and looked forward to each one.  I was  hugely disappointed then, to realise that the 9 episodes I'd watched, was all there was!  Despite critical acclaim, the network decided to pull the plug!

Roughly 10 years later, I have discovered that there is a real chance to bring the programme back!

I don't know if you've heard of it, but Amazon run a competition where the public get to vote on green-lighting pilot TV shows.  Its called Amazon originals.  You watch pilots of shows on their website & vote on the one you'd like to be made into a series.  Very soon The Tick will get this chance.

So I'm asking you to help me bring it back!

I know the show will not be to everyone's taste & that's why it needs your support.  Too often, creative formula smashing shows or movies are not given the chance they deserve.  When they are, something wonderful is born. Back in the 80s George Harrison lent his financial support to films that would otherwise never have been made.  He financed "Monty Python - The Life of Brian" and through his company "Handmade Films" unique & eccentric craziness  like "Time Bandits" were made.

There are certainly some great shows around, usually from HBO.  But we don't just need great, we need more leftfield, creative, funny stuff.

I don't know when it's coming to Amazon originals, but I'll keep you posted & hope that you can vote for an original, creative, funny formula-smashing show!

Live-Action TV Series

Next time; what would "The Archers" be like if it was about online game players?


  1. johann strauss the second13 October 2014 at 14:27

    i enjoyed this post immensely. i will definitely vote for the tick if i find out when to do it. i think your next post should be, does anyone know what the archers is about? i dont and im a big fan of countryfile

  2. Thanks for that, nice name! Yes no one really know what the Archers are about. Some theories suggest that The Archers is a sighing contest, while others believe its a whining wonderland. I tend to believe it's a tea-making forum. Why John Craven left Newsround & dyed his hair white I'll never know.

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