The pilot episode of Birds of Prey aired tonight. Keep in mind that my thoughts below are not influenced by the comic, as I haven’t read it.

Cast

Dina Meyer as
Oracle/Barbara Gordon.
Ashley Scott
as Huntress/Helena Kyle.
Rachel
Skarsten
as Dinah Lance
Shemar Moore as
Detective Reese
Ian
Abercrombie
as Alfred Pennyworth
Mia Sara as Harley
Quinn

Written by Laeta
Kalogridis
, who also developed the concept for television.
Directed by Brian
Robbins
, who also executive produces.

Original Airdate


Pilot

originally aired on Wednesday,
October 9, 2002.

Synopsis

Batman and Catwoman had a meta-human daughter. (Think “mutant.”) Now
she and a crippled Batwoman fight crime as Huntress and Oracle
respectively. A psychic comes to town in time to help them deal with
a villain who reminds me of the traditional Scarecrow, although he
never uses that name.

High Point

The “meteor shower” crack was amusing, given that this is produced by
the same executive producers that brought us Smallville.

Low Point

Many of the character interactions and the back stories revealed were
predictable. Still, it’s a pilot episode, so that’s really
unavoidable.

The Review

How original can a comic adaptation get? Well, I’ve never
read this comic, but it felt a lot like the X-Men. There’s a crippled
team leader communicating over large distances, some more-than-human
heroes, and a villain who is much like Jason Wynegarde/Mastermind. I
give it 3 out of 6.

The effects were decent. The lip-syncing on the Joker was
excellent. The city skyline looked too clean and perfect to be real,
though. The battle sequences and meta-human effects were well done,
although I’m still not sure what’s going on with Huntress’ eye. (I
guess she needs to turn her powers on or something.) I give it 4 out
of 6.

The story wasn’t too complicated, but they really couldn’t do
much more in a pilot episode without sacrificing character work. They
did do a nice job of introducing the first probable long-term villain,
though. I give it 4 out of 6.

The acting was actually very good. Dina Meyer, Ian
Abercrombie, and Mia Sara all had their parts nailed. Rachel Skarsten
and Ashley Scott were very good, especially considering this is a
pilot, so the characters aren’t particularly well developed yet.
Shemar Moore was neither spectacular nor terrible. He needs more
screen time before I come to a final decision on him. I give the
acting 5 out of 6.

The emotional response this generated was moderate. I
laughed, but I wasn’t really drawn in to the characters well enough to
really worry about them. They need time to grow on me, first. I give
it 3 out of 6.

The production was very good for a TV series that has to
create an almost entirely new environment. They really had a great
feel to New Gotham that came across very clearly. The direction was
competant, but not earth-shattering. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, this is a solid start to a new series. I’ll gladly
keep coming back each week. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Pilot receives 28 out of 42.