When the CW announced that it would be rebooting the 1987 romantic drama ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ not much was known except that it would be a procedural series with a modern day twist. Now thanks to Movie Hole, we have more information about what this series will be like. If you were planning to watch the pilot without any bias, then don’t read any further.
If you’re not familiar with the original series that starred Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman, here’s the synopsis:
“Wealthy socialite Catherine Chandler works for her father’s firm as a corporate attorney in NYC. Leaving a party unescorted, she is mistaken for someone else. She is shoved into a van where her face is slashed as a warning to keep her mouth shut. Dumped in Central Park she is found by Vincent, a man-beast, who takes her to his home in the forgotten tunnels beneath the city streets. During her 10 days of recovery, Vincent discovers that he has developed an empathic bond with her. He returns her to the world above where Catherine immediately changes her life. She repairs the damage to her face, takes self-defense classes and quits her father’s firm to work as an investigator at the DA’s office. Eight months later she is looking into her own assault. Nearing the end of the investigation, she is again threatened and attacked. Vincent, feeling her fear through the bond, arrives just in time to save her. They realize that they are now a part of each other but each must return to their own worlds.” – Classic Alliance
Fast forward to the 21st century and the show sounds like it has a more contemporary feel, but still maintains the romantic tension that made the original series work so well. Here are some of the highlights:
*Catherine and Vincent meet when she was a child. When her mother was killed in what looks like a carjacking, Vincent swooped in and saved her from also being killed. Catherine tells people that “the beast” saved her but no one believes her. Years later, Catherine has become a “feisty, slightly troubled” New York City cop. While investigating the crime of a poisoned young woman, she comes across Vincent while at an old abandoned chemical warehouse. She is surprised to find that Vincent is “the beast” that saved her and when he comes out of the shadows, she is taken aback by his features. She agrees not to let anyone know of his whereabouts and that he exists.
*We find out that Vincent’s beastly looks is from a DNA changing drug that was injected into him. Vincent used to be a New York University hospital doctor and was working when the Twin Towers came down on 9/11. He becomes injured and ends up in a medical clinic where they inject him with a DNA changing drug. The drug turns him into a super soldier (a la Captain America) and he is sent to Afghanistan to fight. Unfortunately, the drug has a side effect that causes Vincent’s features to change and hair to grow everywhere. Upon returning to the States, Vincent decides to hide from society with the help of his friend T.J. When he’s not helping innocent people, he is working in his make shift lab at home trying to find a cure for his illness (like Bruce Banner).
* Supporting Characters: Vincent has a roommate named T.J. and there’s a medical examiner named Evan who crushes on Catherine and helps her solve her cases. Catherine has a sister, Heather, who also has issues and their father who is engaged to remarry.
It sounds like this ‘Beauty and the Beast’ is borrowing from genres other than fairy tale as it has quite a bit of superhero elements to it. Jennifer Levin (‘Brothers and Sisters’, ‘Without a Trace’) and Sherri Cooper (‘Unforgettable’, ‘Brothers and Sisters’) wrote the script pilot.
Movie Hole (who apparently got to see a preview of the pilot) is calling the show the next big hit comparable to ‘Buffy’ or ‘Smallville’:
“If it doesn’t get too bogged down in that “villain of the week” template that the pilot hints at, and concentrates more on the relationships between the key characters, then this could be one of the year’s highlights. If the actors cast as are solid as the writing team, The CW might have its new “Buffy” or “Smallville”.”
What are your thoughts of the pilot details? Is it something you would watch?