Tom Ellis is a million miles away from Miranda as the star of new US series Lucifer. Not that his new show has nothing in common with the BBC1 sitcom. Both could be described as silly. But while Miranda saw the show’s eponymous character disastrously date, fall off chairs and be socially awkward, Lucifer sees Ellis, once known as Miranda’s ‘nice guy’ love interest, play, erm, the devil himself.
Yep, Ellis is Lucifer Morningstar (and you’re not the first to wonder whether that’s an elaborate stage name). He’s skipped out on hell, much to the irritation of his fellow immortals, and is hanging around in Los Angeles running a bar, charming celebrities and making dad jokes about the big man upstairs.
In the opening moments you might mistake Lucifer is a standard LA-set glossy about the dark side of Hollywood, but within minutes the Lord of Hell is getting out of a speeding ticket by grinning at a police officer who immediately admits his “deep, dark, naughty little desires” – and his most illegal secrets. Officer bribed, Lucifer arrives at Lux, a dark bar full of women in short skirts. But then time slows down and someone else interrupts the devil’s night: Amenadiel, a being from the underworld. Lucifer is required back in Hell but isn’t keen to return. “Consider the position officially open,” he drawls.
He has the British drawl of a pantomine villain, though at times is as truly charming as the plotline suggests he is. Those charms come in especially helpful when a friend of his, singer Delilah (AnnaLynne McCord) is gunned down while they hug farewell outside his club.
Immediately offending Chloe, the police officer on the case who is intriguingly immune to his ‘powers’, Lucifer sets about his own investigation into the violent crime, driving the Californian coastline looking for suspects and clues. (And ruining the odd marriage in the process.)
Soon enough his path crosses Chloe’s and we might just witness the “start of a beautiful friendship” and a powerful crime-fighting team.
That remains to be seen though. Lucifer is the devil after all, and this pilot episode feels as though it is still finding its feet. There are moments where this glossy US drama is funny and feels like it has huge potential. And others were it all feels a little bit cringe.
But maybe that’s just because I keep expecting Ellis to gallop down Sunset Boulevard or bake a savoury muffin…
The first episode of Lucifer is available now on Amazon Prime