When E4’s Misfits premiered in 2009, it was an amazing show. The premise was cool: a lightning storm in England gave a bunch of people super powers. The cast was fantastic: Robert Sheehan, Iwan Rheon, Antonia Thomas, Lauren Socha, and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett. And the humor was on point — Sheehan and Socha were hilarious. Misfits was the perfect mix of hilarious teen high jinks with people dying all over the place. (There was even a running joke about how often the gang had to bury bodies.)
However, now in its fifth season, Misfits has lost a lot of its magic, as well as the entirety of its original cast. Sheehan left after the second season, Rheon and Thomas after season three, and Socha and Stewart-Jarrett by the end of season four. As each original cast member left Misfits, the fans began to lose interest in the show, us included. New characters have been introduced — Rudy (Joseph Gilgun), Finn (Nathan McMullen), and Jess (Karla Crome) — but the show just isn’t the same.
Sure, Rudy’s vile jokes are similar to Nathan’s humor (though still not as funny) and Finn is arguably as weird and awkward as Simon once was (remember when Simon only had Internet friends?) But, unfortunately, the new cast doesn’t hold a candle to the original gang.
After the departure of Stewart-Jarrett, the last remaining original cast member, we don’t see the point of sticking it out. If everyone else has jumped ship, why shouldn’t we?
It must be your unbirthday because Hollywood.com has a very special gift for you. In anticipation of the fall's most magical new series, we’ve gathered up everything you need to know about the new Once Upon a Time spin-off centered in the mystical and thrilling realm of Wonderland. A very merry unbirthday to you, indeed!
We sat down with the creative masterminds behind this exciting new series, Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, to gather up all the details about the new ABC series, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. “Wonderland touches Once Upon a Time, but is intended to exist as its own thing,” Horowitz explains. “We touched on the world of Wonderland a few times in [Once] and were really excited about the possibilities of it, but we don’t want to overwhelm this show and shoehorn in Alice.”
Sophie Lowe stars as Alice, a girl who finds herself in a strange and wondrous land after falling through a rabbit hole. However, after losing her one true love — a genie named Cyrus (Peter Gadiot) — Alice returns to Victorian England with a broken heart and new set of problems. No one believes Alice’s tales of invisible cats, hookah-smoking caterpillars, or a murderous Red Queen, and she is then locked away in a spirit-crushing insane asylum.
Just when it looks like Alice’s fate has been sealed, the Knave of Hearts (Michael Socha) and the White Rabbit (John Lithgow) arrive just in time to save our heroine. After discovering that the love of her life is actually alive, Alice and her friends travel back through the rabbit hole to face the dark and captivating evils of Wonderland.
Originally set to air during the winter hiatus, Wonderland will now run concurrently with Once this fall. The creators want to assure viewers that even though Wonderland will have ties to Once Upon a Time, that does not mean that you will need to follow both series in order to know what is going on in each plot. (That said, you definitely should!)
“There’s been weird things written here and there, but I can tell you the truth: Wonderland takes place post-curse [of Once Upon a Time],” Kitsis says. “So the pilot of Wonderland actually starts when magic comes and the wraith happens, and then it runs concurrent.” Further clarifying the timeline Kistis explains, “So we are in Wonderland, post-Queen of Hearts. And like we saw in the Enchanted Forest, there were pockets that were saved. And then we will flashback during the show to… how did Alice get there.”
As for Sebastian Stan, the Mad Hatter that fans have already come to know and love in Once, Kitsis says that infamous role in Wonderland all depends on the actor’s busy schedule. “If Sebastian has a week, we’ll take it,” Kitsis says, adding, “[But] he could be free when Wonderland wraps. We’d love to have him back.” There is one other Once character that the creators are definitely hoping to bring in to the spinoff: The Queen of Hearts — also known as Cora. “Assuming that the show goes forward, and assuming she says yes, yes [Cora will appear],” Horowitz notes.
Now before you scream, “Off with their heads!” for bringing this evil queen back to life, keep in mind that just Barbara Hershey’s wicked character met her demise in Storybrooke doesn’t mean that she can’t appear in the flashbacks of Wonderland. “I still feel there are more Cora stories to be told, both young and old,” Kitsis says. “I don’t think that’s the last time Rumple saw young Cora, and I definitely think there are some other adventures to be had. Even though she’s dead, she’s very much alive in our hearts.”
Ready for even more spell-binding details? Take a look at the trailer, which debuted at the ABC upfronts on Tuesday, below to enjoy your first sneak peek into the world of Wonderland and meet all the enchanting new characters.
Don’t be late for a very important date: Once Upon a Time in Wonderland will air this fall on Thursdays at 8 PM on ABC!
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The award-winning Misfits star punched cabbie Sakandar Iqbal and called him a "P**i" and a "dirty b**stard" during an eight-minute rant after a booze binge in Derby, England last year (11).
She pleaded guilty to racially aggravated assault at a court in the city on Wednesday (02May12) and was given a four-month jail sentence, suspended for a year, and ordered to carry out 80 hours of community service. She was also told to pay her victim $720 (£450) compensation and court costs of $1,200 (£750).
Socha won a British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award for best supporting actress in 2011.
The Bafta-winning Misfits star changed her plea at the beginning of her trial this week (beg30Apr12) after originally denying the charge.
The 21-year-old, who won the best supporting actress award at the Baftas in 2011, attacked taxi driver Sakandar Iqbal in Derby, England last October (11).
She is due to be sentenced later this year (12).
It’s not enough for a show to include all of the best aspects from a vast array of genres; it’s important that they all be balanced appropriately to best complement one another. This is Misfits’ true victory: on the surface, it’s a science-fiction superhero series, using comedy to humanize its characters and situations. But beneath all that, the foundation of the show is its strong layer of character-driven drama. This is what hooked me in the first place.
Misfits opened its first series by setting its five main characters, a collection of ne’er-do-well young adults in a London borough, in community service together. The pilot saw them struck by lightning during a bizarre storm. Over the course of the first series, we’d come to understand that each of them had developed a power - but not before learning about each of them as human beings.
Over the course of the second series, the show began to evolve. With the introduction of the “masked avenger” figure, the science-fiction aspect began to take a stronger role. The idea of the group’s destiny to become heroes earned a larger presence. Where the show was once examining these people on an individual, introspective basis, it was now examining much larger things, like the world around them and how they might find their places in it.
This was a healthy progression for the show. But I’ll admit, I missed the personal stuff. I loved meeting these characters, learning about what makes them tick and the psychological rationale behind the development of their powers. And this analytical and dramatic look at these five aimless, narcissistic young criminals—people who, despite their overwhelmingly flawed personas, we have come to really, really care for—is what made the show so addictive. And the return to that with a new main character, Rudy, is what reinvests my attachment to the series.
Now, don’t get me wrong—I was nervous about the arrival of a new character. First, I was afraid that the third series’ replacement of Nathan with Rudy would prove an unsuccessful attempt to keep us engrossed. After all, replacing the group’s token goofball with a carbon copy would just seem hack. But Rudy is nothing of the sort. From the minute we meet the character in the opening scene of the third series’ premiere, we understand that he’s not genuinely the crass, loudmouthed fool he illustrates himself to be. As demonstrated by his “power” (the ability—rather, the compulsion—to split into two identical bodies), Rudy is a disjointed, deeply troubled individual. And a truly fascinating one.
That said, the third series kicks off in a fairly risky way, focusing on the new rather than the old. The majority of the episode is dedicated to the introduction Rudy, who is played by Joseph Gilgun of the long-running British drama Emmerdale (formerly Emmerdale Farm). Unlike the way in which the rest of the main cast was introduced, we learn about Rudy and his power almost simultaneously—which actually helps a great deal in identifying his character. Rudy opens the episode at the door of the mysterious businessman we met in the Christmas special who can give and take powers to and from the inflicted peoples. Apparently, Rudy is on a quest to rid himself of his troubling ability—the problem is, his ability won't be removed. Rudy can (and does, involuntarily) split into two identical bodies: from within Rudy springs a second Rudy that embodies the painfully insecure and chronically depressed interior that has plagued him since childhood.
Rudy's delivery might not be done with the same tact and artistic flow that was attached to that of the rest of the main cast, but this is understandable. We’re already invested in the rest of the group. The premiere has the responsibility of getting us to accept that we like and want to learn more about Rudy, while still paying ample attention to the returning players. The premiere even infuses Rudy into the group through a shared backstory between he and Alisha—not an entirely necessary move, but an economical one. This helps us to understand further why this new character is relevant, all the while developing Alicia's ever-growing character.
And for the sake of both fun and urgency, we do get a self-contained villain: a fellow community service worker who feels duped by Rudy when his unhappy interior expresses affection for her moments before she catches the other Rudy locking lips with a different girl. Like many of the villains on the show, this one is not entirely unsympathetic, just emotionally damaged and graced with a particularly harmful outlet for her pain. There’s another great thing about the show: what separates the heroes and villains is such a thin, human line. The villains aren’t really worse people (one might recall all the horrible things Alisha did with her power). We just meet them at very inopportune times—and mostly, these wraths are provoked by one of the “heroes.”
And also, presumably, in the name of fun: each of our heroes now has a new superpower, thanks to the aforementioned businessman. They’re interesting powers—Alisha’s especially (I believe she is going to be the breakout star of the third series) reflects a growth in the character and what the show plans to do with her. As her old power represented her manipulative behavior and her investment in her own sexuality, her new power—the ability to see through other people’s eyes—shows that she is growing more empathetic and considerate. There are some interesting connotations attached to Curtis’ gender-swapping ability and Kelly’s new genius-level intelligence. And of course, Simon is still on a mission to become his masked avenger self of the future.
The episode is not entirely without flaw. Curtis seems to have recovered far too quickly from the death of his beloved girlfriend that we witnessed in the Christmas special. Kelly is, so far, attached to no discernible story arc (hopefully they have something meaty in store for her, as she has proven to be one of the most fascinating characters). But all in all, Misfits retains its addictive, multifaceted charm in the face of new cast members, new powers, and new storylines. Things may change and evolve, but the show clearly still understands where its real victory comes from: the dedicated exploration of its characters.
Click here to watch Misfits' Series Three premiere on Hulu now!
The United Kingdom has given America a lot of fantastic things: language, cornmeal-dusted muffins, and Misfits. Let's focus on the latter.
For those unfamiliar with the series, it surrounds a group of five "at risk" young adults doing community service for committing various crimes. On their first day of cleaning up graffiti and picking up litter, the five become victims of a strange storm which gives them each superhuman abilities. American audiences have been graced with the British sci-fi dramedy series thanks to the good graces of Hulu. The first two seasons, each containing six episodes (plus a Christmas special attached to the second season) have been available for free streaming and October saw the beginning of the third season on television over in England. Come December, viewers in the states will be able to enjoy Misfits Season 3 episodes via Hulu.
Season 3 episodes will begin streaming on Hulu on Monday, Dec. 19 and the site will release one episode every Monday until the season concludes.
Now, here's a small bit of bad news for those of us here in America who might not have heard yet: Season 3 sees the absence of star Robert Sheehan, who plays the fan-favorite and loudmouth Nathan Young. Rumor has it that Sheehan's de facto replacement, Joseph Gilgun, fills the void adequately. However, Nathan's quintessentially charming obnoxiousness will definitely be missed.
The series also stars (this description contains spoilers) Alicia (Antonia Thomas), a promiscuous party girl arrested for drunk driving who develops the power to completely consume anyone who touches her with an uncontrollable physical desire for her; Curtis (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett), an up-and-coming Olympian runner caught purchasing cocaine who develops the ability to travel back in time (but only when he has a panic attack); Kelly (Lauren Socha), a hot-tempered "punk" arrested for a fistfight with another girl who develops the ability to read people's minds; and Simon (Iwan Rheon), a socially inept recluse who attempted to burn down a neighbor's house who develops the ability to turn invisible at will.
Misfits is at once exciting, sincerely emotional and laugh-out-loud hilarious. Even with the absence of Sheehan, I am looking forward eagerly to Hulu's streaming of Season 3, and highly recommend the series to fans of science fiction, young adult drama, or black comedy.
Bonham Carter's turn as beloved author Enid Blyton in Enid earned her the honour, while Walters received a double nod in the category - she has been nominated for her role in Mo, which saw her play British Labour Party politician Mo Mowlam, and drama A Short Stay In Switzerland.
The actresses, who both appear in the Harry Potter movie franchise, will compete with Hotel Rwanda star Sophie Okonedo for her portrayal of Winnie Mandela in Mrs Mandela.
The male acting category is also a battle of the Harry Potter stars - Kenneth Branagh (Wallander), John Hurt (An Englishman in New York) and Brendan Gleeson (Into The Storm) will go up against David Oyelowo (Small Island) for the Best Actor trophy.
Okonedo also received a nomination in the Best Supporting Actress category for drama Criminal Justice - she's up against Rebecca Hall (Red Riding 1974), Lauren Socha (The Unloved) and Imelda Staunton (Cranford).
Featured in the Best Supporting Actor category are Benedict Cumberbatch (Small Island), Tom Hollander (Gracie!), Gary Lewis (Mo) and Matthew Macfadyen (Criminal Justice).
Simon Cowell's hit TV contest Britain's Got Talent will compete with The Graham Norton Show, Harry Hill's TV Burp and Newswipe with Charlie Brooker for Best Entertainment Programme, while True Blood, Family Guy, Mad Men and Nurse Jackie are nominated for Best International Show.
The winners will be announced at a star-studded ceremony in London on 6 June (10).