Back in 2006, not long after an appearance by Aquaman (played by a different actor) in an episode of Smallville entitled “Aqua” proved to be popular, the creators of Smallville, Alfred Gough and Miles Millar developed this show, which sadly didn’t make it past the pilot episode. It starred Justin Hartley as Arthur Curry, and the main cast included Ving Rhames as McCaffery and Lou Diamond Phillips as Tom Curry.
Here’s the trailer:
I originally watched this because it was on the comic book movie list I’m currently watching. I decided to watch it despite it being a TV pilot rather than a movie, seeing as it was on the list.
The pilot starts with a young Arthur Curry losing his mother to a siren, played by Adrianne Palicki. We then fast-forward ten years and Arthur is a surf shack owner getting arrested for breaking dolphins out of captivity because they were “calling” to him. Arthur then meets a guy who introduces himself as McCaffery, and not long after that another unidentified Atlantean turns up, just before the siren that took Arthur’s mother shows up again. from there it builds to a showdown on a boat in the ocean with the siren, and then afterwards it ends with Arthur accepting his destiny and starting his training.
It’s a pretty good pilot episode, Hartley is good as A.C., and the acting is generally good all around. The style of the episode is reminiscent of season one of Smallville with its ‘freak of the week’. There is just enough explained to let viewers know the basics and make them intrigued to know more, as you would expect.
It’s very effects-heavy, which is probably why it never made it past the pilot, although different reasons were cited. If you want to know more about the show, or Aquaman in general, then here’s the Aquaman wiki.
I thought overall this was a good episode, and wouldn’t have minded seeing if the series went in a good direction. It’s worth watching if you’re ever stuck for something to watch, and Hartley actually went on to play Oliver Queen in Smallville, so I enjoyed watching it just to see how he performed in a different comic book role.