Bang up to date with a roster of caped crusaders
The golden age of screen superheroes was here. Mainstream critics carped that the bubble was bound to burst but hey, they’d been saying that since the first “Superhero Summer” in 2008. The Marvel Cinematic Universe was in full swing now, pumping out hit movie after hit movie. When your least successful film is Captain America: The First Avenger, you’ve got little to worry about, especially when your most successful movie, Avengers Assemble, is the third biggest box- office money spinner ever.
DC lagged behind on the big screen. Green Lantern was a misfire, Man Of Steel was too dour and gritty for its own good and the Nolan Bat trilogy – while brilliant – was too self- contained to build a universe around. But DC shone on the small screen. After a false start as Mercy Reef – an Aquaman spinoff from Smallville – sank unceremoniously, Arrow, Gotham and The Flash produced some outstanding and stylish episodes.
In the UK the Tennant/ Davies era of Doctor Who handed over to the Smith/ Moffat era, and the show embraced time paradoxes and dark fantasy like never before. The show’s 50th anniversary gave us a crowdpleasing romp that teamed up Tennant with Smith – and threw in a surprise birthday present in the auspicious form of John Hurt as the War Doctor. By the end of 2013 we had yet another new Doctor as Peter Capaldi and his attack eyebrows inherited the key to the TARDIS.
Lost finished with an episode pretty much universally loathed, not because answers failed to materialise but because the ones that did were rubbish. Soon after that, Ashes To Ashes showed how a beguilingly weird finale should be done.
Game Of Thrones and The Walking Dead were the kings of cable, taking full advantage of their freedom to be gross and pervy and – most shocking of all – talky to rack up viewing figures the major broadcasters would kill for ( bloodily, no doubt). In both cases, popularity came hand- in- hand with critical acclaim.
Another pleasant surprise was a new backto- basics series of Red Dwarf on Dave that was genuinely a return to peak form.
Hammer was back in action with The Woman In Black, the most successful UK horror film ever ( though no one seemed
This man is not a goodie.
Thor: still a fella on the silver screen.
The Walking Dead shows no sign of blisters yet.