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Da Vinci's Demons: Season 1 (2013)

Tom Riley , Laura Haddock , David Goyer , Paul Wilmhurst  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (179 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Tom Riley, Laura Haddock, Elliot Cowan, Lara Pulver, Tom Bateman
  • Directors: David Goyer, Paul Wilmhurst, Michael J. Bassett, Jamie Payne
  • Writers: David S. Goyer
  • Producers: Lee Morris
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: September 3, 2013
  • Run Time: 466 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (179 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00C7AO2J6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,002 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Da Vinci's Demons: Season 1" on IMDb

Special Features

Audio Commentaries, Mastering Da Vinci, Constructing Da Vinci, Dressing Da Vinci, Worldwide Fanfare, Deleted Scenes, Second Screen Promo

Editorial Reviews

In a world where thought and faith are controlled, one man fights to set knowledge free. Leonardo Da Vinci is tortured by a gift of superhuman genius. He finds himself in a conflict between truth and lies, religion and reason, past and future. His quest for knowledge nearly becomes his undoing, but Da Vinci's genius prevails and he emerges as an unstoppable force that lifts an entire era out of darkness and propels it into light. His story becomes a mirror into our own world, calling us all to join his fight to Free the Future.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent production. May 8, 2013
Witty, fast paced, riddled with riddles and very clever.
Not as grim as "Game of Thrones": it actually reminds me of "Shakespeare in love" sometimes, but in a good way.
Don't expect "History Channel's" accuracy - this is entertainment around Da Vinci's life and achievements. No more, no less.
Still, I just can't stress how deep and clever this series manages to be.
Expect nudity, erotic moments, gay relationships and violence - a formula Starz is very familiar with (at least) since Spartacus.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Written/directed by the guy who wrote Batman Begins April 23, 2013
If that's not enough to get you interested the mix of history and fiction is excellent. The use of da Vinci's drawings add to the visual representation.

Word of warning: I recommended this to a coworker who also likes GoT and TrueBlood and he (and his wife) were really turned off by the homosexual plot lines. For others it may be a selling point. For historians it simply happened.

Hopefully the set will include a making of 30 min that aired on British TV, it adds some background and perspective (two things da Vinci would have appreciated). One thing David Goyer noted was an intetional choice to cast British actors who American's may not be as familiar with.
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65 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For openers: History is a Lie April 14, 2013
And so another extended series based on historical data begins and oddly enough the other series set in the same time frame, THE BORGIAS, is similar to the decadent feeling established by the first episode of DA VINCI'S DEMONS. The writers and directors of this series of eight episodes vary from week to week and so we may have a different opinion with each passing episode. Is the series worth watching? It seems so, if the antics that occur in episode 1 are indicative of the direction.

After a rather hilarious opening with the fully nude Hugh Bonneville and his male consort preparing to face a new day worried about bowels and other matters - a brief setting as Bonnevile is instantly murdered - we move into Renaissance Florence where the 25 year old artist/engineer/wizard genius Leonardo Da Vinci (Tom Riley) is working on yet another amazing use of flight with his friends Nico (Eros Vlahos) and Zoroaster (Gregg Chillin) and the amiable Verrocchio (Alan Corduner). The young Da Vinci is a lover (with the Medici mistress Lucrezia played by Laura Haddock) because of his talents at portraiture and cunning, an idealist who believes anything is possible if you just think of it. He mixes with the court of the Medicis (Elliot Cowan is Lorenzo) and struggles with his sense of dark demons brought into focus by his visit with Al-Rahim (Alexander Siddig), and is always cognizant of the fact that he is tortured by `a gift of superhuman genius, a heretic intent on exposing the lies of religion, an insurgent seeking to subvert an elitist society, a bastard son who yearns for legitimacy with his father. He finds himself in the midst of a storm that has been brewing for centuries - a conflict between truth and lies, religion and reason, past and future.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
I'm quite conflicted about this show. I watched it all, and for the most part enjoyed it, but definitely not without reservations. Let's get to it!

The Good:
- Premise: Da Vinci is one of history's most interesting characters... and frankly it's a brave choice. The basic idea is that the Da Vinci we all know from history is indeed an artist/inventor/genius, but also deeply involved in the political intrigue of the day. Given how little is known about his early day-to-day life, it makes sense that they've expanded his role a bit to incorporate him into known political happenings of late 15-century Florence. It's an interesting period most people aren't very familiar with, so I'm all about it.

- Over-Arching Plot: Why not just say "plot"? Because sadly plot will be featured in "The Bad" section below. However, the overall plot, the story of what drives Leonardo, I find somewhat compelling. Leonardo is essentially looking for his long-lost mother, who he can't remember at all. This search leads him in some super-natural directions and his quest for his mother becomes intertwined with a quest for the "book of leaves"... which I assume will be explained later. This is all fantasy of course, but I like it. No problems at all here.

- Production: I'm kind of lumping a lot of smaller things in here. I think the acting was just fine and the casting was well done. I even like the opening music, which occasionally forces its way into the episode. When trying to illustrate moments of genius they basically start drawing things on the screen in the style of Leonardo's famous etchings. This is a little weird, but certainly unique and it grew on me.

The Bad:
- Plot: I'm referring more to the episode-by-episode plot.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
The Starz network original production "Da Vinci's Demons" is a show that is sure to engender a mixed reaction. As a slick and polished entertainment, the program is a fun mix of historical personages and rather fanciful plotlines. It is NOT meant to be taken as a literal representation of history or even as a realistic portrait of Leonardo Da Vinci. Instead, it is an over-the-top spectacle set as an adult adventure series. Da Vinci is seen as a savant that can lose touch with the social niceties when obsessed with a current invention or idea. He is selfish, single-minded, and many times quite comical. In an amusing bit of visual flourish, these mental images are often shot in an animated style so that you may get into the madness and genius of Da Vinci from a more visceral viewpoint. Created by David S. Goyer, the screenwriter of the Dark Knight trilogy, "Da Vinci's Demons" shares similar themes as the Batman saga (our hero is even imprisoned with bats in one sequence and uses them to help him escape) but with considerably more humor and outlandishness. I repeat, if you come to "Da Vinci's Demons" expecting to fact check its history and realism--you will be sorely disappointed. But despite its silliness (and it is quite silly at times), I enjoyed this tale of sex, genius, violence, and mysticism designed as an energetic and entertainingly dark romp for adult audiences.

Set in Renaissance era Florence, Da Vinci (the charismatic Tom Riley) is introduced as somewhat of a rogue and ne'er-do-well. Brash, confrontational, and wildly enthusiastic, this is Da Vinci's world and the eccentric genius expects everyone to cater to his needs. And, for the most part, they do! Oftentimes, this is represented in comical fashion and can be quite hilarious.
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