TV vet Patrick Warburton is back in a new role as the narrator of Netflix’s ‘A Series Of Unfortunate Events’, but he has had so many iconic roles, from doofy David Puddy on ‘Seinfeld’ to Jeff Bingham on five seasons of ‘The Rules of Engagement’, not to mention voice roles as Joe the cop on ‘The Family Guy’ and Brock Samson on ‘The Venture Brothers’. But among genre fans, he has one particularly endearing role as the titular superhero on the short-lived sitcom ‘The Tick’.
The show was cancelled after only one low-rated season on FOX but Amazon Prime has recently revived it with a brand new take. Warburton, who serves as an executive producer on the new series, offers some insight into the new show and laments that he didn’t get an opportunity to reprise the role.
“I like it. Ben [Edlund] wanted to do a darker version. He wanted more creative control in this one. I’m a producer on it. He knows what he’s doing, and I think it’s great. It’s drier, straighter, more of an Adam West take. But, you know, it would’ve been fun to do it again. I actually would’ve liked to have done it, but Amazon had different ideas. They wanted to build it entirely new from the ground up, and so I’m 100 percent in support of that. Supermans get replaced. Batmans get replaced. Even the Tick.”
Instead, the role of the slow but indestructible hero has gone to Peter Serafinowicz an accomplished voice actor who has also done some live action work in the film ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, the sitcom ‘Parks and Recreation’ and many other projects in his native England.
Physically, Serafinowicz is a far cry from beefy Warburton and truthfully Warburton bears a closer resemblance to the classic comic book and animated renderings. And his booming voice is one of a kind.
But considering what a flop the original FOX sitcom was, it’s impossible to blame Amazon from wanting to distance their series from that one in any way possible.
As for the failure of the first show, which did develop a cult following from when it first aired and was later released on home video. Why did it do so poorly on FOX? Warburton reveals:
“Over at Fox, they didn’t get what we were doing. They were even asking questions like, do these people need to wear costumes? They let us shoot nine episodes, and then held us for a year, and buried us. We were initially supposed to be on Sunday night, we had a great time slot. They put us on Thursday nights against year two of Survivor. So, they really fed us to the dogs. They did not want to support the show. They didn’t care that every critic seemed to like this show. It was too expensive, and they didn’t know what it was.”
His statements, while not shocking, are somewhat odd considering FOX had already aired three seasons of ‘The Tick’ animated series. But that’s executives for you.
This story may also remind you of the oft-told tale of another one-season cult favorite ‘Firefly’ Joss Whedon’s beloved space western which was also heinously mishandled, resulting in a quick cancellation before all episodes had even aired.
So far, only one episode of the new ‘Tick’ is available on Amazon Prime, but the streaming service has ordered a full season which should be available sometime this year.
Have you seen both versions? How do they compare? Do you like the new take or would you have preferred something more like the original?