Constantine (TV series)
by DC Comics
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||13 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||42–43 minutes|
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television Distribution|
|Original release||October 24, 2014 – February 13, 2015|
Constantine is an American television series developed by Daniel Cerone and David S. Goyer for NBC, featuring the DC Comics character John Constantine. Matt Ryan stars as Constantine, a British exorcist and occult detective who actively hunts supernatural entities. The series aired from October 24, 2014 to February 13, 2015, over 13 episodes. On May 8, 2015, NBC canceled Constantine after only one season due to poor ratings. Ryan reprised the role in a guest appearance in the fourth season of The CW series Arrow.
John Constantine, a demon hunter and dabbling master of the occult, must struggle with his past sins while protecting the innocent from the converging supernatural threats that constantly break through to our world due to the "Rising Darkness". Balancing his actions upon the line of good and evil, Constantine uses his skills and a supernatural scry map to journey across the nation to send these terrors back to their own world, all for the hope of redeeming his soul from eternal torment.
Cast and characters
- Matt Ryan as John Constantine: Enigmatic and irreverent, formerly a con man, now a reluctant supernatural detective.
- Angélica Celaya as Zed Martin: A psychic artist who finds Constantine intriguing enough to follow him on his exorcisms.
- Charles Halford as Francis "Chas" Chandler: Constantine's oldest friend and staunch companion, who possesses powerful survival skills.
- Harold Perrineau as Manny: An authoritative angel assigned to watch over Constantine.
Recurring and guest
- Michael James Shaw as Papa Midnite
- Jeremy Davies as Ritchie Simpson
- Bailey Tippen as Astra Logue
- Elyse DuFour as Nora
- Jonjo O'Neill as Gary "Gaz" Lester
- Charles Parnell as Nommo
- Emmett J. Scanlan as Jim Corrigan
- Mark Margolis as Felix Faust
- Lucy Griffiths as Liv Aberdine: Griffiths was cast as a series regular for the pilot, but was written out of the series when production on further episodes began.
- Skyler Day as Miranda
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Prod.|
|1||"Non Est Asylum"||Neil Marshall||Story by : Daniel Cerone & David S. Goyer |
Teleplay by : Daniel Cerone
|October 24, 2014||296849||4.28|
|John Constantine, an unscrupulous exorcist and master of the dark arts, recovers in a mental institution following a failed exorcism, which resulted in his soul being damned. He receives a supernatural warning about Liv Aberdine, who is threatened by mysterious forces. Constantine gives her a pendant that belonged to her father, allowing her to see trapped souls. He introduces her to scrying, a mystic art that predicts where demonic activity will occur. Constantine finds out that Aberdine is being stalked by the demon Furcifer. Constantine coerces help from Ritchie Simpson, a hacker who assisted in the failed exorcism. Together they trap Furcifer and send him back to Hell. Simpson convinces Aberdine to stay away from Constantine. She leaves him the pendant and a map used in the art. He accepts an offer to work for an angel named Manny in exchange for his redemption. Elsewhere, a female artist draws paintings of Constantine.|
|2||"The Darkness Beneath"||Steve Shill||Rockne S. O'Bannon||October 31, 2014||3J5553||3.06|
|John learns from scrying about a threat in a small town in Pennsylvania, where the workers in a mine experience scary sounds and vibrations when digging. John arrives and encounters Zed, the woman who draws the paintings due to having visions of him. He initially ignores her, but eventually enlists her help. He deduces that the Coblynau, the normally benign spirits of deceased workers, are forced by a person to kill others. They become suspicious of a former priest who lost his son in the mine, but find out that he is innocent. John decides to prevent anyone from entering the mine, setting explosives inside and giving the trigger to the former priest, who detonates it. John finds out that the person forcing the Coblynau is a Romani, the wife of a mine foreman who was recently killed. The woman summons the Coblynau to kill John, who summons her husband, another Coblynau who kills her and frees John. He and Zed decide to continue working together.|
|3||"The Devil's Vinyl"||Romeo Tirone||Mark Verheiden & David S. Goyer||November 7, 2014||3J5554||3.14|
|In Chicago, Jasmine Fell gives a Gramophone record to her friend for examining. He plays it and is killed by an unknown force. John and Zed travel there to investigate it. They learn that the record, known as the Acetate, freezes anyone who touches it and possesses the weak-minded; and anyone who listens to the recording dies. John and Zed confront Jasmine, who reveals that she made a deal with a sorcerer 20 years ago to save her husband, who was dying of cancer, selling her soul. The sorcerer later contacted her and offered to return her soul in exchange for the Acetate. John learns that the sorcerer's boss is Papa Midnite, a voodoo priest, who also wants to obtain the record, believing he can use it to bargain for his own soul. Midnite's mercenaries take the Acetate from Jasmine and attempt mass murder by broadcasting the recording. Constantine defeats them at a radio station before it airs, and sends the Acetate to Hell. Papa Midnite swears vengeance. John forces the sorcerer to break his original deal with Jasmine, saving her soul but returning her husband's cancer.|
|4||"Feast of Friends"||John F. Showalter||Cameron Welsh||November 14, 2014||3J5555||3.47|
|Gary Lester, an old friend of John, finds a boy in Sudan whose skin is scarified with mystical symbols to contain a demon. Gary exorcises the demon and seals it in a mystical container. Intending to bring it to John, he is stopped by the United States Customs Service and the demon is accidentally released. John identifies it as a hunger demon named Mnemoth. Zed sketches symbols from her latest vision that John can use against Mnemoth. Gary tells Zed about John's failed exorcism in Newcastle. John and Nommo use psychotropics to learn that it was a shaman in Sudan who trapped the demon inside the boy, who would have died and destroyed the demon had he not been saved by Gary. John tells Gary that he intends to use the latter to contain the demon. He agrees, seeing it as an opportunity to atone for past sins and give his life meaning. After the ritual succeeds, John takes Gary to the millhouse and holds Gary's hand while Mnemoth tortures him. Manny stands ready to guide Gary's soul to the afterlife.|
|5||"Danse Vaudou"||John Badham||Christine Boylan||November 21, 2014||3J5556||3.54|
|In New Orleans, a police detective named Jim Corrigan fails to prevent a masked woman from killing another woman. John, Chas and Zed arrive and question Jim, who says that the bullets passed through the woman and that she is a ghost. Another ghost, belonging to a teenage boy, appears in the city and kills a driver. John deduces that the ghosts are summoned by Papa Midnite, who gets paid to establish connection with the dead. John confronts Papa when he revives a third ghost. John agrees to help Papa return the ghosts to afterlife in exchange for finding information about the "rising darkness". Their first attempt to return the ghosts by burning the bodies does not work. John realizes that the people who wronged those ghost when they were alive have not forgiven themselves yet, which they finally do, returning the ghosts to afterlife. Jim tells Zed about his knowledge that she escaped her family and that Zed is not her real name. By her powers, she witnesses him in covered in blood. Papa contacts her sister, who is in Hell, and tells John and the "rising darkness" will involve the betrayal of someone close to him.|
|6||"The Rage of Caliban"||Neil Marshall||Daniel Cerone||November 28, 2014||3J5552||3.34|
|John and Chas arrive in Birmingham to investigate of a series of murders in which both parents are violently killed with their only child left unharmed. John determines that he is chasing the spirit of a boy who murdered his abusive parents, which has been repeating its pattern of violence through other children for decades. John tracks the spirit to its current host; but struggles to convince the boy's parents that he can help their son. Manny arrives to discuss John's own childhood abuse, and suggests that John can help the possessed boy and the spirit only if he truly understands their suffering. John learns that his efforts have been unsuccessful because the spirit is that of a person still alive. With help from the possessed boy's mother, John succeeds in exorcising the spirit. He forces it back into its original body, an adult catatonic mental patient.|
|7||"Blessed Are the Damned"||Nick Gomez||Sneha Koorse||December 5, 2014||3J5557||3.17|
|In Kentucky, a preacher named Zachary is bitten by a snake and dies; but is shortly revived mystically and gains the power to heal people. John realizes it is evil after seeing it in the scrying map. He goes there with Zed, learning that the people Zachary has healed have become evil, attacking and killing others. John finds a wounded angel named Imogen, who states that when she was taking Zachary to Heaven, he stole one of her feathers, giving him his powers and causing her fall to Earth. John and Zed confront Zachary and take the feather from him. John tasks her to return the feather to Imogen. Zachary reveals to John that he killed a man in the past and he was actually being taken to Hell. Zed returns the feather to Imogen, who regains her powers, revealing herself as a fallen angel. John arrives and she reveals that she actually gave the feather to Zachary in order to escape Hell and return to Earth. Manny kills her and takes out her heart, which John puts in his collection. Manny states that the barrier between Hell and Earth has become thinner due to the rising darkness.|
|8||"The Saint of Last Resorts: Part One"||TJ Scott||Carly Wray||December 12, 2014||3J5558||3.30|
|Anne Marie, a nun who was previously John's girlfriend and a contributor to the failed Newcastle exorcism, convinces him to come to Mexico City to stop an entity that has kidnapped a baby. After the entity kidnaps another baby from the same family, John uses magic to flush out the culprit, revealing another nun to be Lamashtu, one of Eve's sisters. John and Anne pursue Lamashtu into the sewer beneath the convent. They discover the missing babies are alive and rescue them. Lamashtu reveals that an organization known as La Brujería are responsible for the rising darkness. John uses an amulet of Pazuzu to banish Lamashtu, but he and Annie are confronted by an invunche. Anne sacrifices John, shooting him and leaving him behind so that she and the infant can escape. Meanwhile, Zed meets Eddie, a man from her career. She gets suspicious of him after touching him. They go to John's safehouse, where she locks him up. Eddie reveals he is working for her father, revealing her real name to be Mary. Eddie's collaborators arrive and kill him, before she kills one and the other captures her.|
|9||"The Saint of Last Resorts: Part Two"||Romeo Tirone||Mark Verheiden||January 16, 2015||3J5559||3.06|
|John invites Pazuzu to possess him. It drives away the invunche, and heals his wound. Zed has a vision of Anne, overpowers her captor and escapes. John tells Chas to exorcise Pazuzu before it takes over permanently, but Pazuzu seizes control and escapes. John wakes up surrounded by corpses and is arrested. Chas and Zed enlist Anne's help to find John. Chas causes a diversion while Zed enters as a conjugal visitor, and Anne enters pretending to minister to the prisoners' needs. They locate John and start an exorcism, but the demon is too deeply rooted. The demon Trickster arrives to kill John's friends to ensure the return of Pazuzu, an ally. Anne manages to kill Trickster. They return to the millhouse where they have a better chance for success. After a hard fight, Anne finds the faith to finish the exorcism, saving John's life and his soul. Before leaving, Anne advises Zed to tell John about her past.|
|10||"Quid Pro Quo"||Mary Harron||Brian Anthony||January 23, 2015||3J5560||3.47|
|In flashbacks, John casts a spell on Chas to make him sober after drinking. The latter survives a combustion; and the former deduces that the spell caused Chas to absorbs the souls of the other victims and that he can be revived forty-seven more times until all the souls are used. In the present Brooklyn, some people go under mysterious comas, one being Chas's daughter, Geraldine. Zed tells John about her father's group called the Resurrection Crusade, who intended to use her powers. They notice the scrying, join Chas in Brooklyn and find the culprit to be Felix Faust, who agrees to free all the souls if John banishes a demon lurking in town. John agrees and heads to the location with Zed. He only manages to knock it unconscious, which Felix does not accept. Chas knocks John unconscious and offers Felix all of his souls in exchange for Geraldine's freedom. Felix accepts and shakes hands with him, who locks him with a magical object and detonates a grenade, killing both of them. Chas is revived and reunites with his family. Zed tells John that she contacted his mother, who believes her death was not his fault.|
|11||"A Whole World Out There"||Tom Wright||Davita Scarlett & Sneha Koorse||January 30, 2015||3J5561||3.29|
|Four of Ritchie's students cast a spell and their souls enter another dimension created by former wizard Jacob Shaw, who attacks them before they escape back to the real world. John notices the scrying and pays a visit to Ritchie. One of the students looks in a mirror and is dragged back to Jacob's world, where the latter kills him. Another student is also trapped; and the third student travels to save her; but Jacob kills both of them. John and Ritchie find the last student and bring her to the former's safe house, where all the mirrors are protected. However when she looks at her cell phone, its reflection drags her to Jacob's world. John and Ritchie cast the spell and enter the world, where the latter reveals to have the skill to reshape the reality. Jacob attacks them. John encourages Ritchie to use his skills to defeat Jacob, who is erased from the reality. They save the remaining student and return to the real world.|
|12||"Angels and Ministers of Grace"||Sam Hill||Christine Boylan||February 6, 2015||3J5562||2.96|
|Manny destroys the scrying map and tells John to pay a visit to the hospital where there is a body of a woman who seemingly died as a result of overdose, but was actually killed by a mystical entity. John, Zed and Chas head there, and Zed is diagnosed with a small brain tumor. The entity kills a staff member. John casts a spell on Manny to keep him in human form in order to be forced to help the former. They find the second body and John realizes that a Black Diamond is involved. He takes a Diamond fragment from the safe house and concludes with Manny that an angry patient is the culprit. However, the patient is killed; and they deduce that a physician is the true person swayed by the Diamond and confront him, who escapes to the basement, where he traps them. John frees Manny and begs the God to help them. In the angel form, Manny arrives and frees the physician from the control of the Diamond. Zed decides to keep the tumor, intending to tolerate the pain as the cost of using her powers.|
|13||"Waiting for the Man"||David Boyd||Cameron Welsh||February 13, 2015||3J5563||3.30|
|A mystical man tasks his three brides to find him a fourth. While they convince a girl named Vesta to join them, the man captures a policeman suspicious of him and brings him to his hideout. John and Zed join Jim Corrigan to investigate the murder of one of the latter's colleagues. John finds out that it was done by a satanist. The former also receives a message from Gary's soul, who warns him of a bounty set for his death by the Brujeria. The team links the murder to the four kidnapped girls. John finds a location and they go there. A voodoo zombie working for Papa attacks John before Jim kills the former. Zed finds another location and they head there, finding the policeman's body. John notices Papa coming and tells Zed and Jim to focus on finding the satanist. John overpowers Papa and knocks him unconscious before heading to the satanist's hideout, where they free Vesta and Jim kills the satanist. The police arrest Papa. Zed tells Jim about her vision of his death. John witnesses them getting romantically involved. Manny frees Papa, cancelling the bounty on John and revealing himself as the head of the Brujeria.|
The series was developed by Daniel Cerone and David S. Goyer, with the pilot episode directed by Neil Marshall. The show remains more faithful to the source material than the 2005 film, although on-screen depiction of Constantine's chain-smoking habit was said to be curtailed because of broadcast television restrictions (the network eventually becomes more lenient and John is shown smoking on screen in later episodes). Additionally, the character's bisexuality was not referenced on screen, with Cerone saying, "In those comic books, John Constantine aged in real time. Within this tome of three decades [of comics] there might have been one or two issues where he's seen getting out of bed with a man. So [maybe] 20 years from now? But there are no immediate plans." This was met with criticism from the LGBTQ community.
Griffiths was cast as the original female lead Liv Aberdine, the daughter of a late friend of John's called Jasper Winters, who comes to discover that she has the ability of seeing the supernatural world among us. She teams up with Constantine to fight the demons who have targeted her and learn more about her late father. Griffiths was dropped after Goyer and Cerone decided to take the series in a different creative direction. The comic character Zed was chosen as a replacement for the female lead. Angélica Celaya was later announced to fill the role. Some of Griffiths' final scenes from the pilot were reshot, explaining why she does not join Constantine in his adventures as originally intended. Both Goyer and Cerone have talked about a possible return for Liv.
In November 2014, NBC announced that they would not be ordering more episodes past the initial order of 13 for the first season, though a second season renewal was not ruled out. When questioned about the chances of the series return in January 2015, NBC president Jennifer Salke said, "We wish the show would’ve done better live. It has a big [delayed] viewership and a younger audience. We love the show and it’s safe to say we're still talking about it." NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt added, "We got on the comic books bandwagon. Maybe, there are too many of them." In February 2015, Cerone reconfirmed that the series had not been cancelled and that the producers would pitch their ideas for an additional season to NBC in May 2015. In mid-April 2015, Cerone stated it was "a long shot" that the series would be renewed, adding "While we marginally improved a tough time slot for NBC, we're a very expensive show to produce. A lot of NBC's decision making will not [sic] doubt hinge on their new pilots and how they feel those new shows would fare as a companion piece to Grimm, versus a second season of Constantine." On April 23, Cerone tweeted that the producers would pitch their ideas for a second season on April 27, which was earlier than he had previously announced in February, with NBC making their decision in early May. Following the meeting, Cerone tweeted that the "NBC exec said [to] tell the fans it went well" and that "If this show comes back for more, I can honestly say it was the fans."
On May 8, 2015, NBC declined to renew the series for a second season, prompting Warner Bros. Television to shop the series around in an attempt to get it picked up by another network. A month later, Cerone revealed that the cast and crew were released from their contracts after Warner Bros. Television had "tried to find a new home for the show... but those efforts didn’t pan out", and stated "that the show is over." On the many fans who voiced their support for the series in attempting to get it renewed, Cerone said, "we’re leaving behind wild and passionate fans who believe in and were moved by what we tried to do. To leave such a significant, dedicated and active fan base on the table—that’s the real sadness. You all deserve many years of the series we set out to make, and we’re disappointed that we couldn’t deliver that to you."
Constantine aired simultaneously on Global in Canada. In the United Kingdom, the series was acquired by Amazon Video. The series is available to stream in Australia on Stan. It is also available in Canada on Shomi starting September 24, 2015. On July 1, 2016, the series was made available to stream on CW Seed.
The complete series, along with bonus material, was released on Blu-ray, DVD and digitally on October 4, 2016 by the Warner Archive Collection.
|No.||Title||Air date|| Rating/share|
|1||"Non Est Asylum"||October 24, 2014||1.4/5||4.28||0.7||2.1|
|2||"The Darkness Beneath"||October 31, 2014||0.9/3||3.06||0.8||1.7|
|3||"The Devil's Vinyl"||November 7, 2014||1.0/3||3.14||0.7||1.7|
|4||"A Feast of Friends"||November 14, 2014||0.8/3||3.47||0.9||1.7|
|5||"Danse Vaudou"||November 21, 2014||1.1/4||3.54||0.8||1.9|
|6||"The Rage of Caliban"||November 28, 2014||0.9/3||3.34||0.7||1.6|
|7||"Blessed are the Damned"||December 5, 2014||0.8/3||3.17||0.8||1.6|
|8||"The Saint of Last Resorts"||December 12, 2014||1.0/3||3.30||0.7||1.7|
|9||"The Saint of Last Resorts, Part 2"||January 16, 2015||0.8/3||3.06||0.6||1.4|
|10||"Quid Pro Quo"||January 23, 2015||0.9/3||3.47||0.6||1.5|
|11||"A Whole World Out There"||January 30, 2015||0.8/3||3.29||0.6||1.4|
|12||"Angels and Ministers of Grace"||February 6, 2015||0.8/3||2.96||0.6||1.4|
|13||"Waiting for the Man"||February 13, 2015||0.8/3||3.30||0.6||1.4|
The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 72% critic approval rating with an average rating of 6.2/10 based on 46 reviews. The website's consensus reads, "Constantine's creepy atmosphere, high-stakes action, and splendid special effects combine with a welcome touch of humor to overcome narrative flaws and present a version of the title character that's close to his comics counterpart." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 53 out of 100 based on 25 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
DC Entertainment has released a clay stop motion animation web series called John Con Noir. The web series is developed by Cool Town Creations to support the petition for the television series to be renewed for a second season. The first chapter was released on January 16, 2015 on the DC Comics official website and YouTube account, in addition to the mid-season premiere on NBC.
Ryan reprises the role of John Constantine as the character tries to find his own program's creators and showrunners, Goyer and Cerone, after they go missing. If Constantine does not succeed, then the NBC network will have no other choice but to cancel the program.
Crossover with Arrow
In May 2015, Stephen Amell, who portrays Oliver Queen / Green Arrow on The CW's Arrow, revealed he had discussions with DC Entertainment to portray the character on the show, saying, "The reason that I was going to guest star on Constantine, at least the idea that we were throwing around was [Constantine's] an expert when it comes to the Lazarus Pit, which is now something that is a part of and will continue to be a part of Arrow." Amell stated that, even though Constantine was not renewed for a second season, a crossover "was and is still on the table". Additionally, Arrow showrunner Marc Guggenheim revealed a desire to integrate Constantine into the universe that had been created with Arrow, saying, "A lot of the pieces are in place, except for that one final piece, which is what's the fate of Constantine? That's the tricky thing. But it comes up in the writers' room constantly—we have a number of ideas, one idea that’s particularly exciting to me. We're in a little bit of a wait-and-see mode." In July 2015, additional Arrow showrunner Wendy Mericle added, "We really want to [include Constantine]. It's something we've been talking to DC about and it's just a question of some political things, but also the actor's schedule. We're trying to work it out, but we don't know 100 percent if it's going to happen. But we're really optimistic and we would love to have him," presumably talking about Matt Ryan.
In August 2015, it was confirmed that Ryan would appear on Arrow in the fourth season episode "Haunted", per a "one-time-only-deal" that will involve his character being "brought in to deal with the fallout of the resurrection of Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) via Ra's al Ghul's Lazarus Pit" because "Unlike Thea [Queen], who wasn't fully dead [before being resurrected by the Lazarus Pit], the consequences of using the pit on someone as dead as Sara creates some unforeseen difficulties...and John Constantine is uniquely suited to help our team deal with those." Guggenheim said, "This is something the fans were clamoring for," praising DC for being so "magnanimous and generous in giving us this one-time dispensation." Due to Arrow and Constantine sharing the same studio, the producers of Arrow were also able to acquire Ryan's original outfits, with Guggenheim saying, "The trench coat, the tie, the shirt...the whole wardrobe is being taken out of storage and shipped up to Vancouver [where Arrow shoots]." John Badham, who directed the fifth episode of Constantine, "Danse Vaudou", directed the Arrow episode. In addition, Mericle revealed that the version of Constantine that Matt Ryan will portray on Arrow is the same version of the character that was portrayed on Constantine. On filming the episode, Guggenheim stated it felt like the production team was "doing a Constantine/Arrow crossover, and it’s so exciting… We’re just really glad we got the chance to extend Matt Ryan’s run as Constantine by at least one more hour of television. I think you’ll see he fits very neatly into our universe. It never feels forced, it feels right."
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