10 Things To Know About The Netflix 'Daredevil' TV Series

We've seen the first five episodes of Marvel's new Netflix television series Daredevil and very much enjoyed it. Instead of giving you a review (heck, you're going to binge watch it over the weekend, right?) I thought we'd list ten things we were surprised to learn about the Netflix Daredevil TV series.

I have tried to keep spoiler details to a minimum, but the following article contains some minor plot details from the first four episode of Daredevil.

Daredevil Batman Begins

The Show Seems Very Inspired By Batman Begins

These days, Batman Begins is considered the gold standard for superhero origin stories. Well, expect to be talking about it a lot during Daredevil. The show's first big action sequence takes place on a dock between shipping contaniers, much like the first reveal of Batman in Begins.

In a later episode, Daredevil is on top of a thug and screams "Give me a name!" in almost a dead on Christian Bale imitation.  Plus, we get a flashback to Matt Murdock's father giving his son advice which shares the same themes as those in Batman Begins, such as getting up after you fall.

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You will see the red Daredevil costume earlier than you expect.

As you know, Daredevil started his vigilante days with a much simpler black outfit and the television series also begins with this stripped down concept. Many fans have speculated that we won't see the signature red daredevil outfit until at very least the final episode of the first season. Well, I can tell you you'll get a glimpse of it a whole lot earlier than that — in the first minutes of the first episode. In a later episode, Claire Temple (played by Rosario Dawson) tells Matt that his "outfit kind've sucks by the way" to which Matt responds: "It's a work in progress."

The credit sequence recreates New York City landmarks in a red dripping liquid, a recreation of how daredevil almost sees the world. The title logo ends with a reveal of the Daredevil red costume. (Which was shown in more detail by a Netflix promo.) Will we see Charlie Cox in the red tights this season? Showrunner Steven DeKnight told us:

I can neither confirm nor deny the existence of a red suit. But I will say, one of the things that really drew me to this project was the fact that they didn't leap right into the red suit.

Daredevil motion poster

The Show Looks Very Different Than  Other Superhero TV Seres

The show has a very different look than other superhero television series. Its darker, and the backgrounds are often lit with bright neon colorful lights. Showrunner Steven DeKnight explained:

We wanted to take more of the color palette of the classic movies of the '70s, the Dog Day Afternoon and French Connection and Taxi Driver. And we wanted to be able to do a show that was literally darker than what you would see on a network. Which is very, usually very bright, very evenly lit. So that's really what we were going for. And also, you know, taking a cue from the Brian Michael Bendis-Alex Maleev run on Daredevil, which we felt really was the aesthetic we were looking for. And we were very fortunate to get Matt Lloyd, our D.P., who was coming off of Fargo, for which he was nominated for an Emmy. To get that kind of feel... and listen, there were times when we pushed the darkness so far when we were in color correction, we were like all right, we gotta bring this up just a little bit because now we can't see anything. But I would rather go too far and pull back than not go far enough.

The show sometimes uses its dark cinematography in the story. For instance, Episode four features a fight sequence which is cleverly done in darkness with Daredevil having the advantage over his adversaries.

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Karen Daredevil Character Poster

The First Episode Is More Karen Page's Origin Story Than Daredevil's

We barely get a glimpse of the accident that results in Matt Murdock getting super-sensory powers. The series throws us into the action with Matt Murdock's first day as a lawyer, and what seems like one of his first days as a vigilante. Showrunner Steven DeKnight told us:

[Screenwriter/creator] Drew [Goddard] constructed this great pilot script that I really, really love. And again, one of the things I loved about it was it's not an origin story. You get a little taste of that and, you know, I think it's important with that opening scene just to set what makes him different for the people who don't know the comics. But beyond that, no real need to spend 58 minutes on how he got to this point. You know, we can revisit that from time to time and bring people up to speed and just let it play out a little bit more naturally. Which I personally just loved, and is interesting.

Instead the first episode almost centers on Karen Page, played in the series by Deborah Ann Woll. Murdock's first case is Karen Page, a young woman found covered in blood, on top of her dead coworker, holding the murder weapon. Page claims she didn't do it and Matt confirms this using his super hearing to hear her heartbeats, sensing that she is not lying. She is a secretary who accidentally stumbled upon a file that has huge implications, and as a result she has been put in huge danger. By the end of the first episode, Page gets a job as Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson's secretary. In a sense, it is Karen Page's origin story.

Age of Ultron post-credits

Early On, There Are Lot of References to the Avengers

Daredevil very much takes place in a post-Avengers 1 world. Minutes into the first episode, the characters talk about the alien invasion of New York City as "The Incident." Several of the villains in the show are profiting from reconstruction of the city after "The Incident." There's a reference to the fact every time a superhero smashes someone through a wall, company margins go up 3%. Ben Urich's office has a newspaper headline about the Battle of New York. A few episodes in, one of Wilson Fisk's men says he isn't worried about a man in a mask because he's doesn't have an iron suit or use a magic hammer.

Daredevil Empire 5

Not All of the Characters Appear in the Pilot Episode

We don't see Claire Temple (played by Rosario Dawson) until the second episode.

We don't see mob boss Wilson Fisk aka The Kingpin (played by Vincent D'Onofrio) in the first two episodes. We hear his voice in the first episode but his name isn't even mentioned until the climax of the third episode, right before we see his reveal. Showrunner Steven DeKnight told us:

Originally that first episode introduced Fisk at the very end of it, instead of at the end of Episode 3. Yes. You hear him [a little bit in the first episode], but you don't actually see him. So one of the things I said is, you know, it would be really cool if everybody's comfortable with pushing it, push it to the end of 3, so we hear his voice, we feel his presence, but you don't actually meet him for a few episodes. Which turned out everybody said, yeah, well that's great. Let's try that. Which is something if this were on network, it was like ah no, we gotta see him. It's Vincent D'Onofrio, you can't hold off until Episode 3 to see Vincent D'Onofrio. But the great thing about Netflix is, you know, they're fine with that kind of storytelling. And Marvel was excited about the prospect playing it out a little bit more slowly.

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daredevil bloody

The Show Is Somewhat Graphic and Almost R-Rated

The show is almost R-rated due to the amount of violence we see. Daredevil is not your typical good guy superhero. He is willing to get his hands dirty. In one sequence, Daredevil stabs someone in the eye and tells a mobster that he enjoyed hurting him before throwing him off a building. We see blood, a graphic impaling, bones pop out of an arm, another person get his head with a very very heavy object while another man's head is smashed into pulp with a car door. Showrunner Steven DeKnight told us:

One review said this is Marvel's first hard-R. And it's like, eh, listen I've done hard-R. And I think a show I love on television, I think it's brilliantly done, The Walking Dead. That I think is R-rated violence. You know, very graphic and at one point in my life I wanted to be a physical special effects makeup artists. And I just love that stuff. But this if you really look at it, there's a lot of suggestive violence. And a few broken bones that you get to see. ... but you know it's happening and it's, but you're absolutely right that it is a level of mature violence that goes beyond what we've seen in the Cinematic Universe. It is much more adult-oriented.

There is also some questionable content for young children, including in the first couple episodes a shot of side boob (Karen changes in front of Matt) and Matt's father Jack Murdock lets his young son try alcohol while sticking him up after a vicious loss.

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The Show Heavily Features Flashbacks

The show features flashbacks that allow us to see young Matt Murdock's relationship with his father. It's also through these flashbacks that we get a glimpse at Matt discovering his powers as a kid after the accident.

Wilson Daredevil Character Poster

Wilson Fisk Shows His Soft Side

Sure the Kingpin is ultimate bad guy on Daredevil, but the show also makes him into a character. After a few cryptic teases, we finally get to spend some significant time with the character...on a date? Yes, before he can truly become the grim mastermind behind the remaking of Hell's Kitchen, Kingpin asks out a girl he likes and takes her to a restaurant. The resulting scenes are incredibly awkward, but also very important to who he'll become later. And it doesn't take long before the "Kingpin on a date" situation is developed beyond that awkwardness, so don't worry too much the first time.

Daredevil screenshot

The Show Features Some Symbolic Use of Color 

I've noticed that the Daredevil television series likes to play symbolically with color, and most of the time it isn't done subtly. Here are a few examples:

  • Matt Murdock's father and boxer Battlin' Jack Murdock's ring attire was red, very red.
  • Kingpin has a weird love story with Vanessa, the owner of an art gallery. He dresses in a black suit and she wears a white dress, like I said — sometimes the symbolism in this show is very obvious.
  • In one sequence, Daredevil walks from a dark green lit hallway through a door into a red lit room to save someone.