Thursday, 11 March 2010


[6.50 - French Time] SyFy will air its two-part miniseries based on classic comic strip character The Phantom in June.

This "re-imagined" version of the comic book is produced by Muse Entertainment and distributed by RHI Entertainment. The three-hour miniseries stars Ryan Carnes as the son of the original Phantom. Shot in Montreal, New York and Costa Rica, it is written by Daniel Knauf and Charles H. Knauf and directed by Paolo Barzman.

Created by Lee Falk (father of Mandrake The Magician) for a daily newspaper strip in 1936, The Phantom is the heir of a line of crimefighters that originated in 1536, when the father of British sailor Christopher Walker was murdered during a pirate attack. Washed ashore on a beach of the fictional African country of Bengalla, Christopher swore to dedicate his life to the destruction of piracy, greed, cruelty and injustice, with his sons and their sons set to follow him.

He became The Phantom, "The Ghost who walks", believed to be immortal thanks to his successors. The latest Phantom, who rides a great white horse named Hero, lives in the "Skull Cave" (like his ancestors) and he's helped by the loyal Bandar and a faithful savage wolf called Devil. Diana Palmer is his fiancée.

The Phantom is one of these comic book characters historically less favoured by cinema and TV than the properties of giants DC and Marvel, and which find a new commercial interest with the box office triumphs of Batman and Iron Man. But unfortunately, from what is shown in the trailer of the new miniseries, this Phantom seems to get the treatment given by RHI and SyFi (then Sci-Fi) to poor Flash Gordon in the 2007 television series.

And the new costume is, how to put it, a sacrilege. Your humble servant's favourite adaptation remains the 1996 movie starring Billy Zane.

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