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Misfits
MisfitsIntertitle.png
Genre Drama, Dark comedy, Superhero, Teen drama
Created by Howard Overman
Starring Iwan Rheon
Robert Sheehan
Lauren Socha
Nathan Stewart-Jarrett
Antonia Thomas

Opening theme "Echoes" by The Rapture
Composer(s) Vince Pope
Country of origin  United Kingdom
Language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 6 (as of 17 December 2009)
Production
Executive producer(s) Petra Fried
Murray Ferguson
Producer(s) Kate Crowe
Location(s) London
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time approx. 45 minutes
Production company(s) Clerkenwell Films
Broadcast
Original channel E4
Picture format HDTV 720p
Audio format Surround
Original run 12 November 2009 (2009-11-12) – present
External links
Official website
Production website

Misfits is a British live-action superhero comedy-drama about a group of young offenders forced to work in a community service programme, where they become imbued with supernatural powers after a strange electrical storm. The first series started broadcasting on 12 November 2009 on E4, and was produced by Clerkenwell Films.

The programme can be classed as a teen drama, because its main characters share at least superficial commonality with those seen in Skins and several of John Hughes' films, notably The Breakfast Club.[1][2]

It features the use of viral marketing and transmedia storytelling, most notably with microblogging service, Twitter. The programme's characters tweet during the original broadcast of episodes, adding soliloquy, significant to the televised narrative.[3]

Contents

Synopsis

Misfits follows five teenagers on community service who get struck by lightning and are given special powers. Kelly (Lauren Socha) becomes telepathic, Curtis (Nathan Stewart Jarrett) can rewind time, Alisha (Antonia Thomas) can send people into a sexual frenzy when they touch her skin, and Simon (Iwan Rheon) can make himself invisible. Seemingly left unaffected is smart alec Nathan (Robert Sheehan), although he is revealed to possess the power of immortality in the sixth episode.

Characters

Actor/Actress Character Power Crime
Robert Sheehan Nathan Young Immortality Stealing Pick 'n' mix
Iwan Rheon Simon Bellamy Invisibility Arson
Lauren Socha Kelly Telepathy Fighting in public
Nathan Stewart-Jarrett Curtis Donovan Time manipulation In possession of Drugs
Antonia Thomas Alisha Bailey Sex pheromone manipulation Drunk driving

Episodes

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Series One (2009)

Num Episode Writer Director Original airdate
1 Episode One Howard Overman Tom Green 12 November 2009
Nathan, Kelly, Curtis, Alisha, Simon and Gary are a group of misfits. They have nothing in common except the 'Community Payback' scheme they’ve been lumbered with at their local community centre, following varying crimes and misdemeanors. When the group get caught in a freak storm on the first day, everyone but Nathan discovers they have super powers. Kelly is the first to find she has developed an ability, respectively followed by Simon, Curtis and Alisha. Nathan is shocked to realize that he is the only one who seemingly has not gained a power. The storm also affects their probation worker, Tony, mutating him so he has super strength and a powerful hatred towards the "ASBO scum" he supervises. He brutally murders Gary with an axe, and attempts to murder the other Misfits. However, Kelly knocks him to the floor with a paint can and as he tries to recover, she accidentally kills him. The group think the police will not believe their account and to conceal the act, they determine to bury Gary and Tony's corpses under a nearby flyover. The main focus this episode is the character of Kelly.
2 Episode Two Howard Overman Tom Green 19 November 2009
Nathan, Kelly, Curtis, Alisha and Simon are sent to help at an elderly home as a part of their probation. During a dance with the elderly, Nathan meets and falls for Ruth, a beautiful young volunteer. While the two are hanging out outside the community centre, Nathan spots Jeremy (his mother's boyfriend), who is naked and seems to be scrabbling in some nearby bins. Nathan attempts to confront him but is leapt upon and licked by the hyper Jeremy. He escapes the embrace, but manages to videotape the incident with Ruth's phone. Curtis and Alisha continue their flirting, while Simon meets a mysterious girl on the internet, "Shygirl18", who shows an interest in his videos (especially the video of the storm that gave the Misfits their powers). Kelly learns that Nathan is homeless and tries to reach out to him, only for Nathan to snap back at her. After Nathan and Ruth have sex, we discover that Ruth is in fact an 82-year-old woman who morphed into her 20-year-old self in the storm. Nathan shows his mother the video of Jeremy's attack and she reveals that he also was affected by the storm, in that he mentally turns into a dog every night. Meanwhile the whole group is threatened, as someone has started leaving messages on their lockers: that they know what happened to the probation officer. The main focus this episode is on the character of Nathan.
3 Episode Three Howard Overman Tom Harper 26 November 2009
Alisha is partying as usual, using her power to gain influence over boys. But the one man she really wants is Curtis, and her power will not make him want her. Meanwhile Simon’s online relationship with "Shygirl18" blossoms, but it is revealed to us this is actually Sally, the female probation worker and the deceased Tony's fiancee, who suspects that the Misfits are involved in his disappearance. As this is happening, Simon discovers builders digging a hole at the exact spot they buried Tony and Gary's bodies. The Misfits decide to move them that very night, before they are found, and put them in Sally's car boot. She discovers the corpses the next morning. However, Curtis turns back time and Nathan distracts Sally, preventing her discovery by throwing a brick at her car window. The episode ends with a scene of the builders filling the freshly-dug hole with concrete, after the Misfits have reburied the bodies at its bottom. Simon also reveals that he stole Tony's credit card and booked a one-way flight in his name, so it appears he has fled abroad. Alisha and Curtis decide to try for a relationship, although they accept that due to her ability it cannot become physical. The main focus in this episode is the character of Alisha.
4 Episode Four Howard Overman Tom Green 3 December 2009
After being confronted by his ex-girlfriend Samantha, who accuses him of having ruined her life, Curtis' superpower causes him to turn back time and change what happened the night they were caught with cocaine. While his first two attempts at changing the past have disastrous consequences, the third time he appears to achieve a favourable outcome, including reviving his Olympic hopes. However, after he returns to the present, he finds that the other Misfits -- excepting Nathan, who cannot explain his survival -- were murdered by Tony. Curtis realizes this occurred because he was not there to save them, forcing him to change history once again, sacrificing his career in order to prevent anyone dying. As a consequence he also prevents his then girlfriend Sam from being caught with cocaine, returning to a reality where she has not been imprisoned. When they meet, Curtis disconcertingly discovers they are still in a relationship. The episode ends with Sally searching the lockers of the Misfits, finding Tony's credit card in Simon's jeans pocket. We also see that Nathan was arrested for stealing Pic'n'Mix and causing a riot at a bowling alley. The main focus on this episode is the character of Curtis.
5 Episode Five Howard Overman Tom Harper 10 December 2009
Determined to prove that the gang were involved in Tony's disappearance, Sally continues to focus her investigation on Simon, pursuing a faux relationship with him to try and find evidence that the Misfits are responsible for Tony's suspected death. At the same time, Nathan falls victim to the powers of a baby seeking to make him his new 'father' figure, but Kelly is able to determine what is happening thanks to her ability, and convinces Finn's mother to try and make contact with the baby's father. Kelly afterward invites Nathan to her flat for dinner. The episode also depicts Curtis struggling to terminate his unintentionally revived relationship with Sam, but he fails to do so, since seeing her in misery invokes in him feelings of regret, triggering another time reversal. After various erased attempts, Curtis finally manages to break up with Sam, subsequently explaining the situation to Alisha and further strengthening their relationship. At the conclusion of the episode, Sally discovers a video on Simon's phone, showing Nathan referencing the Misfit's role in Tony's death. Alone with Sally in the centre, Simon rejects her insistence that he grass the other Misfits, since he considers them to be 'his only friends'. Simon fights Sally for possession of the phone, only for her to be accidentally killed when he throws her against a door. The main focus in this episode is the character of Simon.
6 Episode Six Howard Overman Tom Harper 17 December 2009
The gang notice that there's something strange going on in the town; local teenagers have stopped getting drunk, taking drugs, or having sex! And it looks like it's all down to a cult-like organization called Virtue, run by a mysterious girl with some kind of suggestion power. As the group investigate they discover Virtue may not be quite as pure as made out, when they witness Alisha and Curtis go through drastic personality changes. Nathan, Kelly and Simon are prompted to take action, donning rubber gloves and iPods to protect them from Alisha's touch and the girl's suggestion ability. Kelly is unfortunately captured trying to convince Alisha that she has been brainwashed. Nathan and Simon are then cornered by Virtue members where Simon, frustrated by Nathan's ongoing lack of appreciation, leaves Nathan to contend alone as he makes himself invisible. Nathan is saved by an enigmatic figure on a bike in an orange hoodie, creating a distraction and peddling both from danger. Subsequently confronting Kelly in her flat, Nathan is shaken to find she that has been affected by Virtue, informing her he preferred her old attitude. Stirred to act, apologizing for leaving, he departs after giving her a kiss on the cheek. Then, disguising himself in a suit to appear "virtueized", he infiltrates the community centre -- the new headquarters of the Virtue organization -- and confronts Virtue Girl. Armed with a gun (later shown to be a water pistol) and an iPod booming in his ears, he unsuccessfully attempts to force her to change the others back. Soon surrounded and threatened by her followers, he takes her hostage and retreats to the roof. There he makes an impassioned speech to the entire Virtue organization, declaring the benefits of individuality. But when Virtue Girl sees he is only carrying a water-pistol, they struggle and she falls from the building. Her death lifts her influence over everyone. As Nathan stumbles at the edge of the roof, Simon reappears and manages to catch his hand, but loses his grip when he calls him 'Barry'. Nathan falls and is killed, impaled on the iron fence below. After his funeral the other Misfits visit the club for a toast in his honor, but Kelly and Simon leave early. Simon gives Kelly a DVD of Nathan's exploits he recorded on his phone, which she tearfully watches in her apartment. The episode ends with Nathan regaining consciousness in his coffin, his joy at discovering his power is immortality fading as he realizes that he is buried alive with only an iPod Kelly placed in his hand before burial. The main focus in this episode is all five main characters of Misfits.

Series Two (2010)

Channel 4's head of drama Camilla Campbell confirmed that a second series has been commissioned for May 2010 after the last episode was shown on 17 December 2009. It was also confirmed that filming takes place in May 2010 by the cast themselves on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross.

Production

Filming locations

The show is filmed in South East London, mostly filmed on location around the Southmere Lake in Thamesmead. Many interiors were filmed in sets built in the old Runnymede campus of Brunel University. Also, the parts under the flyover are in Boston Manor Park in Ealing, London. Same film locations as in 'A Clockwork Orange', by Stanley Kubrick.http://www.movie-locations.com/movies/c/clockwork.html and also filmed in lauras house

Title sequence

The title sequence's shadow theme seems to hint at the powers of the misfits. Kelly has radio signal style lines radiating from her head, and once extra eyes appear in her shadow. Simon's shadow disappears on several occasions. Curtis' shadow at one point runs backwards and later, by being at different angles to the rest of the group, looks like a sundial moving in reverse. Alisha, or her shadow, has lines radiating towards it. Nathan is followed by the shadow of a wolf. The bulk of the title sequence is solely in Shadow/Cutout style, apart from some footage of the main characters.

Marketing

The first series is accompanied by an online viral marketing campaign produced by Six to Start, on social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter. For example, in a British first the characters Simon and Kelly tweet during the initial transmission of each episode, with the content of the tweets provided by writers Sam Liefer and Ben Edwards, under the direction of lead writer Howard Overman and Executive Producer Petra Fried. These tweets and other website postings provide additional narrative material, and amongst other things will not ultimately reveal the identity of a key character who appears only in episode six.[3][4] Additional strategic components include direct-to-YouTube video clips and an online game based on the show.[3]

Reception

Critical reception

British reviews of the first episode have been very positive. The Times gave it four out of five stars, calling it "a new union — salty British street humour with whizz-bang special effects" which should "keep E4's core audience happy".[5] An online review by The Guardian said that it was "confident enough to operate in its own universe and set up something new" and that it was aimed at showing us "real people" rather than the stereotype of the "ASBO teenager".[1] The Guardian's print reviewer was also enthusiastic, saying: "Misfits is indeed silly — sillier, even than it sounds — but it's also brilliant: sharp, funny, dark and, in places, quite chilling. Both the writing and the performances ensure that everything but the preposterous central premise remains entirely believable."[2] The Daily Telegraph drew special attention to Howard Overman's script which, it said, "sparkled from the off, introducing his posse of social outcasts as a bunch of total losers, but each one distinctively and memorably so."[6]

The Irish media have also been impressed with the show. The Evening Herald flatly called the debut episode "dark, hilarious, exciting and beautifully produced". It went on to say that "the spark comes from Overman's razor-sharp script, yet a lot of the credit also has to go to the well-chosen young cast, who are uniformly superb."[7]

In Australia, the Boxcutters podcast[1] was more equivocal. "Misfits... is filled with unattractive and very annoying characters and is essentially Skins meets Heroes. So why do we find it so strangely compelling?". [8]

Awards

The series' writer, Howard Overman, was nominated for an RTS Award in March 2010.[9]

Television ratings

Episode Air Date Viewers Rank
E4 E4+1 Total E4 E4+1
Episode One 12 November 2009 574,000 213,000 787,000 4 9
Episode Two 19 November 2009 562,000 169,000 738,000 2 11
Episode Three 26 November 2009 592,000 88,000 680,000 1 11
Episode Four 3 December 2009 632,000 78,000 710,000 5 11
Episode Five 10 December 2009 598,000 72,000 670,000 8 21
Episode Six 17 December 2009 592,000 68,000 660,000 6 21

References

  1. ^ a b Vine, Richard (13 November 2009). "Misfits: Series one, episode one". TV & Radio Blog. guardian.co.uk. http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2009/nov/13/misfits-c4-episode-one. Retrieved 14 November 2009. 
  2. ^ a b Dowling, Tim (13 November 2009). "Misfits and Wonderland: Seven Pups for Seven People". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/2009/nov/13/misfits-review-asbo-superheroes. Retrieved 14 November 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c Dowell, Ben (28 October 2009). "E4's Misfits characters to post on Twitter". The Guardian. guardian.co.uk. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/oct/28/misfits-e4-twitter. Retrieved 14 November 2009. 
  4. ^ Emmerson, Keith (5 November 2009). "TV Preview: Misfits, E4". hecklerspray.com. http://www.hecklerspray.com/tv-preview-misfits-e4/200941210.php. Retrieved 14 November 2009. 
  5. ^ Teeman, Tim (13 November 2009). "The Restaurant; Wonderland; Misfits; Octomum: Me and My 14 Kids". TimesOnline. entertainment.timesonline.co.uk. http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/tv_and_radio/article6914519.ece. Retrieved 14 November 2009. 
  6. ^ O'Donovan, Gerard (12 November 2009). "Misfits, E4, review". The Daily Telegraphy. telegraph.co.uk. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/6555277/Misfits-E4-review.html. Retrieved 14 November 2009. 
  7. ^ Stacey, Pat (13 November 2009). "Ideal superheroes for the 21st century". The Evening Herald. Dublin, Ireland: herald.ie. http://www.herald.ie/entertainment/tv-radio/ideal-superheroes-for-the-21st-century-1941985.html. Retrieved 14 November 2009. 
  8. ^ Kinal, Josh (7 December 2009). "Ep 206: Misfits, The Prisoner, Lunch Disclosure". Boxcutters. http://boxcutters.net/blog/2009/12/07/ep-206-misfits-the-prisoner-lunch-disclosure/. 
  9. ^ http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/tv/news/a205952/inbetweeners-misfits-land-rts-nods.html

External links


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