The modern Kidlat rises up with Derek Ramsay every night on TV5

10:44 AM

Our last memory of a local superhero with lightning powers came out 59 years ago. Armando Guyena was Kapitan Kidlat in a movie shot for almost 3 years. This year, his counterpart transformed the mestizo looks of Kapitan Kidlat into the tanned hunk who has been the greatest symbol of Filipino machismo in recent years- Derek Ramsay. He is Kidlat and he is set to let the women and the women-at-heart swoon every night on TV5.

Not only was the physical looks of Kidlat redefined in the newest pet project of TV5, there was a total overhaul in the story, cast, costumes and the even the powers of Kidlat himself. Now, so amusingly, he can fly using lightning. But what I marvel the most during the special screening held at the New Broadway Centrum in Quezon City last January 6 is the powerhouse cast TV5 hired for the new series.

Derek Ramsay is joined by TV5’s fast-rising sweetheart Ritz Azul and lineup of popular actors as his antagonists include Baron Geisler, Wendell Ramos and Jay Manalo. Jay did not have an appearance in the made-for-TV movie yet that was shown last Sunday but Baron provided quite a convincing performance. When introduced before the screening, Baron quipped: “Mabait po ako dito. Mabait naman po talaga ako eh.” There might be unpleasant news on Baron’s behavior hovering around but as far as his performance in Kidlat is concerned, it was a wise decision for the network to make him a part of the cast.

Mabait po ako dito. Mabait naman po talaga ako eh.”- Baron Geisler 

Wendell Ramos as Taong Bato

 TV5's homegrown talent Ritz Azul is Derek Ramsay's love interest in Kidlat 

Christopher de Leon is also part of the star-studded ensemble which also includes Assunta de Rossi, Nadine Samonte, Nanet Inventor, Lou Veloso, Andrea del Rosario, Rainier Castillo, Juliene Mendoza and Chanda Romero. Soap opera fans might be excited to see familiar casting in primetime shows but I was pleasantly surprised with rookie Erika Padilla. Erika lighted up the screen with her sassy presence which made her perhaps, the only noticeable actor aside from Derek. She was the perfect “sidekick” to Ritz Azul, bringing in the feeling filled up by successful “sidekicks” from the past like Eugene Domingo (to Ai Ai delas Alas), Willie Revillame (to FPJ), and now Wally and Jose (to Vic Sotto).

Not only did TV5 ventured on beefing up the cast but making headlines recently is the costume of Kidlat. The 1953 Kapitan Kidlat sported a red cotton coverall with the yellow lighting accentuating at the chest. Now the crew opted for the opposite color with a concept created by an A-list of costume, graphic and comics designers and illustrators composed of Chester Ocampo, Dennis Crisostomo, and Greg Ligpit. Chris Donio, the masterful costume engineer of X-Men: First Class, joins the team as a consultant.

Ritz Azul, Andrea del Rosario, Erika Padilla, Nina Jose, Wendell Ramos, 
Baron Geisler and the returning Mike Magat

 Derek Ramsay is being interviewed on stage 

X-Men: X-Class's costume engineer Chris Donio joins the costume design team of "Kidlat"

Though from an amateur eye, the body pattern resembled Cyclops’ costume in X-Men and Batman’s mask also played influence, but Derek Ramsay appeared slick and extra sexy when he came out from the divided LED screens during the special screening.

One will not be able to judge fairly with the 90 minutes material showed during the special screening but comparing the series to existing drama shows on Philippine TV today, then Kidlat is showing promise. It’s visual elements was tasteful for drama series, cinematography and special effects included as well as sound engineering. The story, on the other hand, lacks cohesion though I’m sure it will pick up in the next few weeks.

Kidlat will lead TV5 primetime starting this week and is shown from Mondays to Fridays after Aksyon.

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