Earth is in peril. With Marvel and DC rebooting the bejeesus out of each other on both the large and small screen, never has the temptation to say ‘meh’ to the once thrilling superhero genre been greater. But wait! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, coming to you on Amazon is a barmy accountant who’s able to summon up a hero of the truest blue. Ladies and gentlemen, The Tick is back!

The world’s wonkiest crime-fighting duo started life in the 1990’s as a slapstick Nickelodeon kids’ cartoon that morphed into a live action version with a cult following.

Now British actor Peter Serafinowicz is donning the electric-blue spandex as the smartly dumb Tick while Griffin Newman pours his comedy heart into the hapless Arthur Everest.

“The Tick is sort of like if you grab a five-year-old child and put him into a superhero costume, ” says Newman, in London with co-stars Serafinowicz and Valorie Curry to promote the show, which kicks off on Aug 25.

A different kind of superhero...

“Yeah, The Tick represents the pure essence of what it is to be a superhero, which has kind of gone out of fashion", adds Serafinowicz. “Thinking back when I was a kid, watching Superman with Christopher Reeves. He saves people, he saves the world. He’s got some straightforward rules.

He’s not without a sense of humour of course, but people are kind of bored with that.

“I guess, to be fair to everybody on earth, there’s only so much of that you can take. We kind of lost sight of what it is that makes a superhero.”

And what is that quality?

“First of all, he’s...”

“He’s blue,” laughs Newman.

“Yes, he’s blue! There are no other blue superheroes.”


Especially on the X-Men.”

All of them start laughing.

“I laughed at that,” says Serafinowicz, “but I really don’t know who’s on the X-Men.”

“Lot of blue people. 40% blue people.” Game to Newman.

Behind the banter, the pilot show polled a mighty 89% approval on Rotten Tomatoes score, many viewers citing the way Peter Serafinowicz nailed this goofy superhero perfectly.

Serafinowicz laughs. “One of the things in the pilot script, I thought it was so sweet that this guy that is this super powerful, someone who people look up to, he’s cool, he’s the big guy who punches bad guys and he always got these funny things he says yet he’s very lonely and all he wants to do a part from being a superhero is for Arthur to like him. And I thought about me as a kid, and my two children.”

“There’s a lot of his children in The Tick,” Griffin admits. “A lot of times Peter would do something and at the end of the take I would tell him ‘Man, the way you played that bit was amazing” and he got “Yeah, that’s the face my son makes when he’s tired’ or ‘I was thinking the way my daughter talks when she knows she’s done something wrong’.

Only Newman was a big fan of the show before getting the part of Arthur. He looked to the previous live-action to get ready for his role but wanted to give him something different.

“My brother and I were super-obsessed with the live-action of the show. So when I got the audition I was like ‘This is cool that I have to do this’. But also as a fan, I just had this trepidation of ‘There are a lot of reboots that are unnecessary, sometimes they just bring it back just because they can, for nostalgia’s sake. What’s the chance of doing it, again, and to get it right, again?’ But I read the script and I immediately thought that this is exactly the way to bring The Tick back Ben [Edlund, creator of The Tick] wrote a wholly new show, so we get to play wholly new scenes, new characters.

We don’t have to worry too much about who these characters have been in the past.”

... and the love for Ben Edlund.

The quality of the script was also the clincher for Valorie Curry, who plays Dot, Arthur’s paramedic sister.

“I was aware that there was a show, but never watched the cartoon nor the live action”, she admits. “But then I got the script and met with Ben. I think I fell for Ben. The script was really fun, very clever. I was also excited by the prospect of playing something a little different than what I’ve been doing for the past few years, something lighter.

“Then I met Ben, he’s utterly unique. And he is so full of love for these characters and he has this whole universe in his mind.

He looks at everything that happens with such a specificity and deliberation and caring. Every character exists within the world with real care and I just found it really exciting and refreshing.”

Peter chips in. “You know, I recently said to him: ‘Ben, when you die I will be sad, I will mourn your death. I will be devastated. But part of me will be, I wouldn’t say happy, but at least I’ll have the pleasure of knowing that we will be able to take your brain out of your skull and have science examine it to see what they can learn from studying it'. Because I’ve never met anyone with a brain like this guy.”

“His brain is in a whole different world than we are and he’s just trying his best to explain it to us,” says Griffin.

“He’s a human communication device.”

So who will save the world of superhero fantasy? X-Men? Avengers? Suicide Squad? Justice League? Not on their most recent outings, matey. Put your trust in Arthur, Dot and their true blue chum. And the mighty brain of Ben Edlund.

The Tick is on Amazon from Aug 25.