Stan Lee’s Lucky Man is a rarity – a recent UK-made telefantasy show that’s been given a second season. The show has been a massive success for Sky 1; its most watched original drama ever.
It’s a decent show. Buzz reckons it could be a great one, with very few changes. Sky 1 might be thinking, “Hell, it’s not broke, why fix it,” but we’re not suggesting fixes. We’re suggesting improvements. Because there’s so much potential in the concept (and, indeed, in its superb cast) it’d be a shame for the show to rest on its laurels.
So here are 10 suggestions for taking the show forward:
1 Explore The Rules Of How Harry’s Luck Works
One of the main niggles about season one was that it was never clear exactly how the luck bracelet worked. At times it seemed like “luck” happened independent of Harry’s intentions; at other times Harry seemed to consciously control it. It’s quite possible both are true but if as the audience is asking questions about how the thing operate, then you’d think Harry would be as well. Instead he seems as mystified by the bracelet at the end of the season as he was the beginning. If we were Harry we’d be experimenting all the time to work out the rules and the limitation of its powers.
2 Quantify The Consequences
Related to that, we need to know the consequences to Harry using his powers so much. Right at the start of the first season Eve introduced that extremely vague Yin and Yang concept; for good things to happen bad things will happen too But this was never properly explored and no direct tit-for-tat causality was ever established.
3 Use Those Rules & Limitations To Generate Plots
The things about setting rules is that you can then have fun with them dramatically. The writers may shy away from such limitations but at the moment thinking they may get bogged down in nitty grotty, but with no rules in place, when Harry rushes into danger the viewers just think, “Something lucky’ll happen and he’ll be alright.” There’s no tension. Whereas if he – and we – know there are things he can’t do, or consequences to things that he does, then that bring back an element of tension. It also makes Harry look cleverer if he can’t just rely on luck, but has to rely on his wits as well. And what if the villains know about these rules too? They can use them to their advantage making them more formidable too.
4 Have Harry Use His Powers More
Simple one this: Harry should be more comfortable with his powers by season two; let’s see him use them loads more…
5 Have at least one ridiculous set piece an episode
In addition to that there should be at least one great big example of ludicrous luck per episode to remind you what show you’re watching. In season one the scene where Harry dodged traffic on a motorway or the one where he dodged bullets were decent enough but the show could do with some proper jawdroppers.
6 Use Writers Comfortable With Fantasy
On this note, it’s interesting that the episode from season one that most successfully balanced the crime elements with the fantasy elements – and had Harry using his powers loads – was episode seven, “The Charm Offensive”, written by Stephen Gallagher. Now the key thing here is that Gallagher has a track record in telefantasy (Doctor Who, Bugs, Chimera, Eleventh Hour) whereas the other writers all came from comedy, crime, soap and medical drama backgrounds. They did a fine job, but Gallagher clearly had more confidence when it came to combining the “silly” with the “serious” without there being a disconnect; to embrace the fantasy and not be embarrassed by it. So let’s have not only Gallagher back for season two but other writers with an empathy for fantasy. How about Sarah Dollard or Debbie Moon?
7 More For The Women To Do
This goes for most UK crime drama. But it was very disappointing to see both Eve and Anna spending most of the final episode tied up, while Suri – although portrayed as clever at times – having to constantly play sidekick to various male police officers. And Lily-Anne just kinda… vanished.
8 More Background
There were hints about the origins of the bracelet but it’d be good to learn a bit more about its past and former wearers throughout history. Oh, and Eve’s ancestors too.
9 More Standalone Stories
It was becoming silly how every crime Harry investigated ended up having some bearing on the bracelet plot. This sometimes left individual episodes with a lack of conclusion. The show can have arc elements weaving through all episodes but still have some satisfying crimes of the week.
10 Make Orwell An Ubervillain.
Sack him from the force and turn him into the a revengey supervillain-type. Not with superpowers, necessarily (please don’t let the show ever introduced the “bad-luck” bracelet) just someone who can be a real Moriarty to Harry.
There’s out wish list. But even if none if gets implemented, we’ll be back for season two next year.