Television Reviews

Ill Behaviour 2017

Part of why it succeeds is because of the strength of the performance of its leads. Tom Riley and Chris Geere have a strong chemistry together, imbuing their interactions with a real sense of shared history, even as their friendship grows ever more fraught... Yahoo

Ill Behaviour sees three best friends from school, Joel, Charlie and Tess, confront their own opinions on the matter as Charlie, played with subtly and understanding by Tom Riley, admits he going to take the holistic approach to dealing with his own battle against his renegade body... Liverpool Sound & Vision

The Collection 2016

The complex role also reveals Riley as an actor to watch. He channels Claude's low moments with an intense gravity, just as he's able to unveil the character's more vulnerable side. Elle

And no one aces “tortured poet” like Tom Riley, cast here as Paul’s brother Claude. The true creative genius behind the House of Sabine, he is an emotional trainwreck in a leather jacket, filling the void with drink, sex and tender regret. Guardian

Tom Riley plays Claude Sabine with a mix of vulnerability, charm, and bravado. Even thought the role is a departure for Riley, there is a common thread between Claude and Riley’s work playing a gallivanting version of Leonard Da Vinci on Starz’s Da Vinci’s Demons. Decider

...While up-and-coming star Tom Riley is perfect as the more sensitive Claude. Grazia

Da Vinci's Demons season 3 2015

Through three seasons, Tom Riley was charismatic, yet tortured and captivating as Leonardo Da Vinci, making Da Vinci’s Demons one of Starz’s most successful series to date. Den of Geek

Lusty, atmospheric and frequently weird, the narrative was anchored throughout by Tom Riley as the wild-eyed Da Vinci and Blake Ritson as the enigmatic Girolamo Riario... Variety

The acting, camera work, and sets reach new heights this season. The characters are well-written, and the finale gives some closure to their story arcs. And Leo (Tom Riley) and the gang are a ton of fun to watch! It’s a shame that Starz cancelled this Emmy-winning series after only three seasons. Entertainment Fuse

It’s always a treat to watch these specific episodes where Riley really excels in this role. The more vulnerable the character gets, the more at home Riley seems in Da Vinci’s shoes...Agents of Geek

This is also reflected wonderfully within the interaction between Leonardo and his closest friends, with Tom Riley, Gregg Chillin (Zoroaster) and Eros Vlahos (Niccolò Machiavelli) all given amazing performances...Snap Pow

It’s very much in the revisionist history category, but that doesn’t make its story any less exciting, starring the charismatic Tom Riley in his first leading TV role. Cheat Sheet

As expected, the actors compliment what they’re given to work with perfectly, as the whole cast delivers their best performances for their last go around as these characters. Once you’ve watched the whole season, Tom Riley’s last words in character will bring the series to an end with one of the artist’s famous quotes; the one that will get Da Vinci out of the door but, above all else, just like he was and always will be. Pop Wrapped

I haven’t even mentioned Tom Riley yet! While his Leonardo da Vinci may have not been the most dynamic character presented, I thought he did a fine job inhabiting some very big shoes. TV Equals

Gregg Chillin and Tom Riley have excellent comedic timing, and they work well together. Entertainment Fuse

Hey, it wasn't as easy as it looks being one of the greatest geniuses in history who invented just about everything and painted "Mona Lisa" too. He had demons, after all. But Tom Riley as "D" still manages to make it all look fun. Newsday

The Starz stab at historical ficiton continues to be one of the most fascinating dramas on TV, with a powerhouse lead performance by Tom Riley leading the way. Da Vinci works his way up through society, applying his genius to war machines and political machinations alike, getting tangled up in the Crusades as he juggles his love life with his monetary responsibilities and conflicting allegiances. The series is superb, but the extras in this set are a letdown, lacking a digital copy or compelling featurettes. KIVITV

As soon as I started watching the first episode, I knew I had finally found a series worthy of my attention. Maybe it was the beautiful enigmatic soundtrack, the flowing clothes, Tom Riley’s masterful portrayal of Da Vinci, or Blake Ritson’s honeyed voice – perfect for an antagonist – I was hooked. Da Vinci is a dreamer, a genius, an artist – someone whose thought processes are so fast and complex that soon, not just Florence, but the whole of Italy would know his name. Tom Riley plays the part perfectly, amalgamating the vision of the eccentric with an all-too human passion and zest for the mysteries of life. Eve.com

DA VINCI’S DEMONS Created by superhero specialist David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight), this historical series reinvents the legendary painter/inventor as a dashing Renaissance rogue who’s as adept with a sword as he is at devising war machines and flying contraptions. Handsome Brit Tom Riley gives this young Leonardo substantial sex appeal, too, and his adventures across three seasons range from the search for an arcane book to foiling the invasion by the Ottoman Empire. It’s The Borgias meets Game of Thrones. Stack.net

Involving the great Tom Riley, Da Vinci's Demons was a show about the great man in Italian history, Leonardo Da Vinci. Broiled in the struggles of Naples and it's sister cities, Da Vinci muddles through an exploration of self and science, saving the city from Turks and fake Popes alike. The show has brought to life many of the wondrous inventions to life and has even gone so far as to show Dracula. There is an element of mysticism with the sons of Mithras lurking in the corners. There is also politics, sex and invention about, making it a very interesting series, and also Da Vinci's eternal quest for the book of leaves, a book to change and reshape the future. The show was cancelled after season 3 but producer David Goyer has been open to a mini series. Make it happen. Movie Pilot

Inside No 9 'The 12 Days of Christine' 2015

The central performances by Smith and Riley are incredibly well played and very finely tuned to the vision of the writers. The Edge

She was also ably supported by Tom Riley (as her boyfriend Adam) Dan's Media Digest

The cast is rounded out by Michele Dotrice and Tom Riley, both excellent as two of the most important people in Christine’s life. Cult Box

Hunky Tom Riley is Adam and Sheridan Smith gives another multi-faceted, stunning performance as the troubled Christine. Radio Times

The 12 Days of Christine is as much about relationships as it is about death, with Sheridan Smith and Tom Riley excellent as the once happy couple whose relationship is pushed to breaking point before snapping. Independent

Tom Riley is good as handsome, seemingly perfect hubby Adam... Beyond the Joke

Doctor Who Robot of Sherwood 2014 (television)

What makes the medieval material work at all is the supporting cast, which is basically just two men: Da Vinci’s Demons star Tom Riley as Robin Hood and comedian Ben Miller as the Sheriff of Nottingham... ...Riley is similarly good as Robin Hood, taking the initial caricature of a uncomplicated heroism and gradually deepening his performance, adding in pathos and childishness in equal measure. Robin Hood turns into a real person just as the story requires, and it’s Riley who carries that fantastic final scene with Robin and the Doctor. Besides, Riley and Miller both have enormous fun with the climactic swordfight, going fearlessly over the top in a way that might well have served the rest of the episode well. AV Club

Somewhat inevitably, Gatiss' attention is more on Robin - with Tom Riley superbly joining in the fun - than the other characters. Den of Geek

As I said before, this episode is just a delight. I loved everything about it. Even some of the sillier moments like the archery tournament worked for me because the overall tone of the episode made it work. The constant rivalry between the Doctor and Robin, not to mention the Doctor’s constant irritation at the very idea of the Merry Men, made for a lot of laughs. He’s grumpy and older-looking but decidedly childlike and petulant about things. Both Tom Riley and Ben Miller were brilliant and gave very funny but not mawkish performances as their respective characters. Robin Hood’s incessant laughter was constantly hilarious to me. Nerdist

Robin, played by Tom Riley, was more Errol Flynn than Russell Crowe. He’s handsome and hot, but he is also the type you might end up wanting to slap as soon as he has rescued you. The Guardian

Da Vinci's Demons lead Tom Riley completely delivers as Robin too, nailing not only the character's more cartoonish traits, but also the moments of emotional truth - the sad soul he conceals from all but a few - when the script demands it. Digital Spy

Clara wanted to meet the Robin Hood from a child's storybook, and that's exactly what she got—with Tom Riley (Da Vinci's Demons) giving his outlaw a full-on charm offensive in her company. Riley was a lot of fun... Dan's Media Digest

A final nod should be given to Tom Riley, of DA VINCI’S DEMONS fame, for an outstanding performance as Robin Hood. While a lot of Riley’s work comes off as mere Errol Flynn impression, it is the touching conversation Robin Hood has with The Doctor at the end of the episode that truly sells every moment of Riley’s over-the-top adventurer antics. The pain in believing he may never see Marian, yet knowing that he must keep on laughing for the sake of others perfectly encapsulates a complex character that mirrors The Doctor. Starlog.com

Gatiss presents a familiar band of renegades setting up camp in Sherwood Forest, with Robin himself (Tom Riley) heavily influenced by Errol Flynn's dashing swash-buckler take on the character. Riley delights as the Prince of Thieves, playing an over-the-top, unashamedly heroic rebel. He feels much more like the Robin viewers expected, and probably ended up wanting, after the overly-serious, anachronistic 2006 series. Here, the presentation is much more romantic, idealised even. Gatiss clearly knows his Hood lore too, touching on the Robert of Locksley origins and the fabled archery contest with a golden arrow as prize. Wired

Riley should also be noted for embracing the campness and joie de vivre that the role entails while still maintaining a solid chemistry with the show’s two leads, particularly Capaldi. The Write Club

Robin Hood might not have existed; the romantic in us all would obviously like to believe that he did roam through arrow’s passage but the way he was portrayed by Tom Riley in Mark Gatiss’ script for Robot of Sherwood was as cool and as disarmingly, passionately, eager to impress Clara as the normally unruffled Doctor. Liverpool Sound and Echo

What I did not expect, or even anticipate, was the truly effervescently giddy Tom Riley. The preview looked kinda cheesy - hokey as we say in Indiana, but I was determined to give 11's plea to stay with the Doctor my best effort. As promised, there was no flirting, no posturing, nothing but plot and solid authentic characterization present in a beautifully filmed and quality episode. It felt, looked and sounded fresh. Riley was a large part of that and seemed to bring out Gatiss' words and reignite Capaldi's youthful Who obsession... ...Peter Capaldi's talent shone throughout the episode, yet never more than in the scenes with Tom Riley. Steven Moffat needs to give this guest star and writer their due. Warped Factor

Stepping into the role of Robin Hood is Tom Riley, who currently also portrays the titular figure in Starz’s Da Vinci’s Demons. Despite his model good looks (of which The Doctor points out as being unrealistic), Riley really excels at endowing his Robin Hood with the proper amount of swagger, charm and even occasional comedic bumbling. In other words, he displays familiar elements of the 10th and 11th Doctor. As such, one of the true great pleasures of this installment is seeing him interact with the crankier, more cynical Doctor, especially in one sequence where they’re both locked in a dungeon and the Time Lord orders Robin to fake a sickness. Paste Magazine

Tom Riley is a wonderful Robin Hood, and comedian Ben Miller gets the villainy of the Sheriff absolutely spot-on. First-time Doctor Who director Paul Murphy balances the humour and the action to a tee, and the episode looks simply stunning. The show has looked great since its 2005 return, but this season seems to have stepped it up in a big way. Look at the shot when the Doctor, Clara and Robin are chained up in the dungeon. That could be a painting. Junkee 

Tom Riley captured this Robin’s slap-worthy and caddish persona rather well – “are there any more in there?” he asks as he catches sight of Clara emerging. Kasterborous

And, of course, there stands Robin Hood, portrayed fantastically by Tom Riley (DaVinci’s Demons), ready to slap his thigh, laugh manically and take on the Time Lord with more wit and bravado than many supporting cast members have for years. From start to finish, Robot of Sherwood was a rip-roaring comedy romp which channeled the classic portrayals of Douglas Fairbanks and Errol Flynn. If Riley had slapped his thigh, we would have been transported to early days of cinema – and I guarantee we would’ve enjoyed it! Expert Comics

But mostly it worked because of the crackling chemistry between the Doctor, Clara, and Robin Hood (Tom Riley). The squabbling between Robin and the Doctor was laugh-out-loud funny. Rochester City Newspaper

Tom Riley was a very classic Robin Hood so that was fun to see, but was even funnier was the outstanding banter that he had with Capaldi’s Doctor. I can’t recall from the past seasons of the rebooted version where the Doctor has have a hilarious interaction with someone like Robin.  TV Overmind.

Tom Riley as Robin Hood - Tom Riley is one awesome actor and his portrayal of Robin Hood all episode was great. There were moments where it seemed too over the top, but it was still fantastic!! Screen Invasion

Of course, the TARDIS materializes mere feet away from Hood (Tom Riley, practically unrecognizable from his other role as an historical celebrity, the title character in the series Da Vinci’s Demons). He’s a classic, uncomplicated Errol Flynn type of Hood, an actor whom the Doctor name drops before engaging in a whimsical duel of sword versus spoon. Vulture

Hood himself is played by Tom Riley (of Da Vinci's Demons). His costuming feels a little too much like somebody dressing up as Robin Hood, but Riley plays the part charismatically and has an entertaining dynamic with Capaldi. Twitch Film

Riley is charming as the affable Hood and plays him with an almost pantomime like exuberance which works as a nice counterpoint to the Doctor’s stern pragmatism. This almost caricature-like presentation of the character borders on the irritating at several points but this is undercut by the brief moments of vulnerability and sadness that he tries to keep hidden. Riley expertly manages to switch between these two modes and serves up a complex and likeable Robin Hood. So So Gay

It crosses that line to silly many times, but Tom Riley and Ben Miller seem to embrace their roles and there's plenty taken from Robin Hood folklore to enjoy. Examiner.com

Firing an arrow at the TARDIS and winking, literally, at the viewer, Tom Riley’s Robin enters the narrative with all clichés ticked: hands on hips, knees-a-swaggering, campness barely disguised by braggartly masculinity. It’s little wonder the Doctor asks him, ‘And do people ever punch you in the face when you do that?’ Cult Box

When it comes to the Robin Hood characters both Tom Riley as Robin and Ben Miller as the Sheriff play their parts larger than life and seem to be having a lot of fun with their roles. Nerdly

Tom Riley is charming and charismatic as Robin Hood. What Culture

Robin is everything the story books tell us; handsome, charming, extremely good with a bow and arrow and of course, merry. Robin is played perfectly brilliantly by Tom Riley and gets the lever of swashbuckling just about right (even if he had the worst wig since Paul McGann). Robin’s got his gang as well so the picture looks pretty perfect. Perhaps that’s what the Doctor is unhappy about. He doesn’t like how Robin laughs (and he laughs a lot), he doesn’t like how green the land is, and he doesn’t like the fact that Robin is real. Geeks Unleashed

There's a certain level of theatrical goofiness in the earnest portrayal that Tom Riley and the rest play Robin and his Merry Men, but it works and it plays into the Doctor's suspicion that they aren't real people, helping the viewer question that as well. 411 Mania

And as quick as an arrow, Robin Hood (Tom Riley of Da Vinci's Demons) reveals himself to be real, complete with the pretty boy close-up shot, a wink of the eye, and teeth-shining grin. It's almost a surprise that his hair isn't being blown back by the breeze, too. TV Recap

The chemistry between Peter Capaldi and Tom Riley (who plays Robin) is just spot on, and the rivalry between the two men is completely wonderful. Starting with the sword-spoon fight, and carrying on until through the archery challenge where the Doctor upstages Robin. It's great to see the Doctor actually faced with a rival, who has in some ways an equal claim to legendary status, and Riley plays a laughing, merry adventurer (with a wellspring of hidden sadness) perfectly. IO9

This episode had plenty of that to offer, with Robin and The Doctor competing to be the hero of the episode. Tom Riley more than held his own in the role of Hood in this delightfully mismatched pairing. Sutton Coldfield Observer

“Robots of Sherwood” was one of the most fun hours of “Who” we’ve had in years, and a lot of it was due to the simple yet effective story, the powerful performances by Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, and guest star Tom Riley, and — sorry, Doctor — the banter. Oh, the banter! MTV

The story features two notable guest stars, both of whom play their roles to the hilt. Da Vinci’s Demons’ Tom Riley is a cocksure, thigh-slapping Robin Hood with a knowing twinkle in his eye – his verbal sparring with the Doctor is the highlight of the episode – while Death in Paradise’s Ben Miller camps it up as a bearded Sheriff of Nottingham. The Metro

The thing about Robot of Sherwood is that, well, it’s funny. Laugh outloud funny. And all the main cast get that and play to it completely. Peter Capaldi’s acid sarcasm is tailor made for this type of episode, and he’s a wonderful foil for Tom Riley’s perfect Robin Hood. The banter (“Are we bantering? I hate banter!”) is witty, sarcastic and downright funny and add to that Clara’s one liners and you have a slapstick hit. Outpost Skaro

Guest star Tom Riley is a strong Robin Hood - it's a traditional heroic portrayal of the character, except played a little more for laughs. And Riley's never stronger than when he's pitted against Capaldi in several scenes - and unsurprisingly, each and every scene in which both characters feature is a joy to watch as the two bicker their way through half the episode. The Gallifrey Times

Tom Riley and Ben Miller lead the guest cast as Robin and the Sheriff of Nottingham, respectively. Riley brings a suitably twinkly-eyed charm to the role, while Miller is his usual brand of sarcastic, if a bit more subdued that usual (He does look a bit like Anthony Ainley’s Master though, which is a plus). As for Robin’s Merry Men, they are really just background. Doctor Who TV

If the story can be really compared to an earlier ‘celebrity historical’, then it’s closest in style to 2007’s The Shakespeare Code, with our resident celebrity being a little bit too full of himself - he is the Robin Hood, after all. Tom Riley shines in the part, and watching him spar with the Twelfth Doctor is fantastic. Doctor Who Online

Alongside some great recreations of the classic Errol Flynn type heroics, Mark Gatiss provides some good buddy-drama dialogue for Capaldi and Tom Riley as Robin, with Clara following up her slap to the Doctor last week with some verbal zingers. There are lots of elements that will feel really familiar (really, really familiar) in this, and while it obeys some of the rules of the “celebrity historical” that we saw in the Russell T Davies era, it breaks others with impunity. There are callbacks to both classic and new stories, and many opportunities for Capaldi to use his gift for sarcastic delivery. Riley and Ben Miller are both just the right side of camp – Miller playing the Sheriff of Nottingham straighter than you might expect – and Jenna Coleman grabs everything the script gives her, including another “Clara getting info from the bad guy” scene that’s very different from Deep Breath. Sci-Fi Bulletin

Capaldi is the caustic straight-man, the Blackadder to Tom Riley’s thigh-slappingly joyful, Rik Mayall-ish, Robin Hood... ...Both Gatiss and Riley succeed in balancing Robin Hood somewhere between caricature and character. CultBox

Da Vinci's Demons season 2 2014 (television)

I have to admit that Tom Riley is able to pull off a good Da Vinci, both the younger version and the older version. Seeing him in his old-age makeup is a pretty convincing version of a slightly older version of the Da Vinci pictured in “Portrait of a man in red chalk,” Da Vinci's most likely self portrait done when he was about age 60. He's also pretty good at talking to himself, all things considered. It's a clever moment for the actor to have a little fun with his character, both with the energy of youth and through the wisdom of age. Den of Geek UK

the premiere opens with the famed artist/inventor (played with gusto by Tom Riley) in the New World, a locale he certainly never visited in real life. Zap2It

ecause that is what we are given in this series, and specifically in this premiere: an abundance. A bounty. Every actor embodies his or her role with equal parts vigor, grace, and intensity, especially Tom Riley and Blake Ritson. SciFi Mafia

Tom Riley also continues to amaze. TV Equals

And as Da Vinci’s Demons returns for its second season, it delivers. This is no dry, musty costume drama. The young Leonardo, as played by British theatre actor Tom Riley, is cut more from the DiCaprio cloth than the Italian Renaissance painter-sculptor-mathematician-engineer of historical record, and Da Vinci’s Demons is more enjoyable for it. Canada.com

Played with infectious energy by show-stealing Brit Tom Riley, this Da Vinci is a devil-may-care swashbuckler, a lothario, an idealist, an inventor and, above all, the owner of a truly brilliant mind. Imagine if the Tenth Doctor turned up in The Tudors and you’re not far off the mark... SFX

Da Vinci’s genius and Tom Riley’s charismatic portrayal of the brilliant Renaissance man continue to carry the show...Crave Online

There are achingly few pleasures on Saturday night TV. So, Starz's fun and fantastic Da Vinci's Demons (9pm) would stand out even if it was just a so-so show. But it rises far above the ordinary with Tom Riley playing Leonardo Da Vinci as a sexy, charming, funny, daring and - tonight - sword wielding daredevil who just happens to be a genius. TV Firstlook

Performance wise, the cast is solid and we don’t find any flaws, with a fantastic Tom Riley in the lead and Elliot Cowan as Lorenzo Medici, who carries most of the weight of a story full of twists. Spotlight Report

As satisfying as it was to see da Vinci solve the riddle of the three items it was obvious he was going to do it before Zoroaster had to choose. What came after was largely unexpected; in particular, the discovery that Ima knew English (Well, Italian) and also had a previous encounter with da Vinci’s mother. Tom Riley was fantastic in this scene and did a great job of conveying da Vinci’s glee that every turmoil and death that led to this point wasn’t in vain... IGN

Da Vinci's Demons season 1 2013 (television)

The acting on Da Vinci’s Demons is quite phenomenal. Tom Riley does a charismatic turn as Leonardo Da Vinci. Equal parts cocky and haunted, Riley displays skill in knowing how far to push Da Vinci’s antics without going over the top. Red Carpet Crash

The cast in Da Vinci’s Demons is strong – including the standout Blake Ritson, who plays Riario, Count and Captain-general of the Holy Roman Church, and of course Riley. The Hollywood Reporter

"Da Vinci's Demons" can't help but get your blood pumping, too, if only for its creative depiction of the inventor's process and the enthusiasm star Tom Riley injects into his character as Leo achieves the high standards he sets for himself... ...Riley is as charismatic as those scenes are imaginative. Equal parts cocky and haunted, his Leo carelessly flouts authority and is prone to eccentric habits, but quickly falls into despair as he struggles with feelings of alienation brought on by his unhappy early years and an unhealthy obsession with destiny. Show Patrol

The dark, action-packed mystery is at times mesmerizing, and the handsome Riley is engaging enough to help you get past the outrageous premise. NY Post

Riley is enigmatic in the series, but he does have a great character to work with. There are a lot of shades of Sherlock Holmes in Starz’s drama, from the way Da Vinci puzzles out mysteries to his abrupt personality and his infuriating ability to come up with the right answer in most situations. Cinema Blend

The cast is outstanding, and the performances easily match the outrageously beautiful sights and sounds. Tom Riley as Leo inhabits the character as fully as Benedict Cumberbatch is Sherlock, and although so much of the success of the show revolves around him, the exceptional work of Elliot Cowan as commanding yet not immovable Lorenzo Medici, Laura Haddock as the exquisite and conflicted Lucrezia Donati, Blake Ritson as the absolutely focused and chilling Riario, Gregg Chillin as the charmer Zoroaster, Lara Pulver as the insightful and regal Clarice Orsini, Tom Bateman as the increasingly maturing and likeable Giuliano de Medici, Hera Hilmar as free-hearted and brave Vanessa, plus veteran actors David Schofield, James Faulkner, and Allan Corduner, make up one of the best, most talented and powerful ensembles I’ve seen in recent years. SciFiMafia

Another cool plus to point out about this series is Leo Da Vinci the character and his genius...  ...I also have to give major kudos to actor Tom Riley for bringing this character to life and he does it brilliantly too!  Alienbee.net

What becomes clear from the start of David S. Goyer's new historical fantasy series Da Vinci's Demons is that this show won't work if fans aren't completely drawn in by Tom Riley's performance as the legendary artist, inventor, painter and all around Renaissance Man. Fortunately for Da Vinci's Demons, and for Starz, the series succeeds in selling us on the character, presenting him as a man who manages to measure up to the hype of his legend, while also coming across as human, relatable, flawed and likable all at once. Da Vinci's Demons plays almost like a procedural at times, introducing new mysteries, many of which are tied to the overall plot, and giving the titular character riddles to solve, challenges to overcome, and plenty of opposing characters to outsmart. In the end, what Goyer has delivered is something exciting, mysterious, suspenseful and clever... ...However, the focus of the show is on Da Vinci and his mysteries, which is why it's so crucial that Riley be the primary draw for this series. And he really is. He's an attractive man, but not distractingly so. It's his cleverness that makes Da Vinci such a mesmerizing character, and Riley sells that well. Cinemablend

Supporting the strong production design is an incredibly solid cast, who makes the sometimes-overwrought dialogue and plots feel believable, even if it remains larger than life. Riley as Leonardo gets to run the gamut of emotions and in particular, his work in the season's fifth episode is particularly impressive, when we find Leonardo imprisoned on charges of sodomy, his mind seemingly slipping away from him as solitary confinement continues day after day. DVD Talk

Simply put, Da Vinci’s Demons is eight episodes jam-packed full of action, sex, violence and a whole lot of fun. Created by David S. Goyer, Da Vinci’s Demons is the type of show that sneaks up on you quickly. We’re introduced to a young and energetic Leonardo da Vinci (Tom Riley) whose enthusiasm for the beauty of nature is only equal to his love of getting himself into trouble. He’s exciting and his energy is infectious... ...Riley’s performance improves as the series progresses. In our initial review, his performance was likened to that of David Tennant’s Doctor from Doctor Who. As the series moves forward, Riley expands the character and reveals a tortured artist who is being manipulated by various forces that wish to use his unique abilities for their own agendas. IGN 2

David S. Goyer’s stab at recreating the history of da Vinci, Da Vinci’s Demons, is an exciting, sexy and enticing recreation of the socio-political struggle of Florence Italy... ...Tom Riley is strong in the role with room to grow as we discover more about da Vinci and those demons of his. IGN

Riley is entrancing in the role of Da Vinci and the narrative draws viewers in with each episode. Digital Journal

It stars the charismatic Tom Riley in the title role and he plays the part of Da Vinci as part tortured soul and part action hero, with a good dose of yummy TV hunk thrown in for good measure. DVD a Day

Tom Riley, you assume, has been asked to play Leonardo like Doctor Who in a leather blouson, which he does, with raffish enthusiasm, though possibly not much historical accuracy: within 20 minutes, he has built a working hang-glider and a flying robot dove. The artist kicks about with a grave-robber and an assistant from his studio, where he occasionally creates in that way that film-makers wish was true: by candlelight, off his nut. The Independent

...Da Vinci himself (played by a winningly game and energetic Tom Riley) comes off as an amalgamation of temperamental/irresponsible artist types. Huffington Post

The Leonardo Da Vinci that David Goyer has sculpted is truly fascinating, and my hunger for more knowledge on the man is reaching insatiable levels. The Loop on episode 4

In contrast the ‘good guy’, Leonardo Da Vinci can only be described as an arsehole. Genius & visionary, yes, but also an arrogant, promiscuous tosser, giving Tom Riley right job on his hands to make us love him. He’s fun, eccentric and entertaining which keeps us engaged with his genius, much like Hugh Laurie’s House, or Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock. 45-Magazine on the whole series

English actor Riley portrays the titular character energetically, mesmerizing with Leonardo’s dashing demeanor and enlightening outbursts, especially in the outstanding fifth episode, “The Tower.” In it, Leonardo addresses his sexuality, which is still being speculated on centuries later. The celebrated artist-inventor’s TV version certainly has its embellishments, but both real and fictional details blur into an amusing incarnation. Inquirer.net

By the end of the series premi®re, series creator David S. Goyer (co-writer of the Dark Knight trilogy) has created a narrative that is labyrinthian, preposterous and yet somehow oddly compelling. His whimsical re-imagining of da Vinci as an action hero (portrayed with likable panache by Riley) is patently silly but rather entertaining to watch, sort of a 15th-century version of James Bond who's probably as close as his pre-nuclear age could come to spawning a superhero. Simply put, it's good, dumb summer fun. Winnipeg Free Press. 

Tom Riley twinkles as young Leo, with Laura Haddock as Lucrezia Donati, the ‘forbidden fruit’ who ignites da Vinci’s passion. Metro

What this show does have going for it is a very charismatic lead in British actor, Tom Riley who looks like he’s having fun in the role of one of the most celebrated historical figures of all time. It certainly makes "Da Vinci’s Demons" enjoyable to watch for the time being, until this show really comes into its own. Crave Online 1

"Da Vinci’s Demons" is surely coming along and if there’s one reason to watch the show, it’s the incredibly charismatic Tom Riley as Leonardo da Vinci. Riley is especially good in this episode as well as his frequent verbal sparring partner, Blake Ritson as Count Riario. Crave Online 2

There might be mixed sentiments about Riley in the role, but he is sexy, compelling and entertaining. And the scenes in which his character is besieged by his thoughts and quest for perfection, confirm why he was chosen for this role. Independent Online.co.za

The acting is never over-the-top, even when the situations might call for it. Unfitting sincerity aside, Tom Riley’s charming take on the titular character often elevates the material, perhaps beyond what it deserves. Sound on Sight

...it can be very fun to engage with if you let it. The most immediate reasons for that come from some of the performances. Tom Riley’s da Vinci is, of course, at the heart of this... Sound on Sight 2

...But the way Tom Riley has played this eccentric version of da Vinci is convincing enough in its own right. Sound On Sight  3

A little bit Game of Thrones, a little bit Elementary, a little The Borgias and a lot boy's own adventure, Da Vinci's Demons is a rollicking ride... ...Tom Riley is just sexy and charismatic enough to make da Vinci's arrogance palatable, Elliot Cowan is wonderfully urbane as Medici, and already a thick conspiracy is being woven to entrap us. The Age

I think actor Tom Riley gives an inspired performance. Showrenity

In other words, there’s a lot going on, with plenty of sex – most of the characters here, male and female, are quite lusty – and some gory violence. Riley as Da Vinci is suitably charming and the banter is engaging, particularly when Leonardo’s pal and sometimes employee Zoroaster (Gregg Chillin). Assignment X

Riley does the heaviest lifting of the bountiful ensemble cast and emerges as a likable enough leading man. zap2it

Tom Riley has just the right amount of fun with the character. The Age

Riley’s Da Vinci hits every note perfectly — he’s affable and charming, he’s believable in action sequences and scenes of high drama. He makes you feel the artist’s heartbreaking struggles yet he still can throw in some well-placed jokes to keep it light. He makes Da Vinci part genius, part mad man, part party boy, part swashbuckler. It’s a brilliant portrayal. Pop Break.com

Tom Riley plays Da Vinci in a manner that directly channels Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark in just about every way. Perhaps this is the preferred method of portraying a human dynamo onscreen these days? Riley shows off a decent amount of charisma with the rest of his cast, but his best moments are shared with the mysterious character known as “The Turk” played by Alexander Siddig whom you will all remember as Dr. Bashir from Deep Space Nine. Riley’s energy matches his arrogance, but it appears that director David S. Goyer has steered Riley’s performance to reserved calm and focus whenever Leonardo engages in painting or drawing portraits; specifically those of beautiful women. Cosmic Book News

This new drama series that explores the quintessential Renaissance man – Leonardo da Vinci — is rich, racy, and altogether mesmerizing. Tom Riley effectively captures the tortured and revolutionary spirit of the artist/inventor as a young man... My San Antonio

And Riley rises to the challenge of making him one. His Leo is full of antic energy, but also full of himself, plus he has Batman's keen sense of both justice and self-glorification. Newsday

Riley is instantly appealing as the show's charismatic title character, and he's supported by a strong cast. Especially notable is Blake Ritson, who plays a ruthless warrior out to take down Florence's powerful Medici family. Mercury News

Tom Riley takes a bit of getting used to as Da Vinci, but he grows on viewers (at least over the course of the first four episodes). He nicely captures that Sherlockian charismatic arrogance, which is quite entertaining when done right. LFM

Tom Riley makes Da Vinci spirited, energetic and more than a little mischievous, which keeps everything and everyone around him lively. NY Daily News

Tom Riley is charming and fun in the lead role. TV.com

Tom Riley cuts a dashing figure as the arrogant, lusty young Leonardo Da Vinci, an impatient and oversexed visionary who captures the attention of 15th-century Florence with his imaginative inventions. TV Guide

Marvelously cast as Leonardo Da Vinci is the enthusiastic Tom Riley (who Austenites may recognize as Mr. Wickum from the British mini-series “Lost in Austen”). TV Addict

Gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous. Fun, engaging, entertaining, intriguing. Definitely worth your time to check out... ...Tom Riley is masterful and captivating as Leonardo. SciFi Mafia

Tom Riley, the actor playing Leonardo, is not at the Jacobi or Connery level, but he’s perfectly credible as the headstrong polymath and adventurer. NYT

Riley takes the role of Leonardo for a real joyride, giving “Da Vinci’s Demons” a spark of invention it would otherwise lack. Washington Post

Tom Riley continues to dominate every scene he is in as Leonardo. His genius, impulsiveness and arrogance make for one of the more intriguing characters in series TV. So Far Da Vinci’s Demon has featured strong performances from all of its cast members but Riley and Elliot Cowan as Lorenzo Medici continue to be the standouts. Mania.com

Tom Riley has been phenomenal in the lead role of Leonardo Da Vinci from day one. In episode 103 titled, “The Prisoner,” Riley really got a chance to shine when he became one of the inflicted. This is why Riley has been picked to be this week’s Most Valuable Actor (MVA). Over the course of the hour Riley went from obsessing over the Book of Leaves to broken-hearted over his lover Lucrezia bedding another, then hallucinatory, and finally obsessive once again. While many actors are great at switching between emotions, Riley pulled it off seamlessly. From one moment to the next you never knew which Leo you were about to see. TV After Dark

...Now the lovely, kind, overly-generous small screen has given us Tom Riley as Leonardo da Vinci. The first Leonardo we've lusted over since Di Caprio, Riley's reimagining manages to out-Casanova Casanova. Women want him, and men want to be him. It's all very James Bond-meets-Bruce Wayne. And we're not complaining. Virgin

Monroe 2012 (television)

It’s effect on Riley’s nice guy Shepherd is also beginning to tell, the mixed emotions of which were nicely conveyed by the actor in question. Indeed, another of Monroe’s undoubted strengths is the sheer likeability of its ensemble cast. Indie London

Monroe 2011 (television)

Riley, too, proved a solid presence (call him the UK’s Robert Sean Leonard if you will), bickering playfully with Monroe while trying to understand his ever-changing ‘secret’ relationship with Parish. He was arguably the show’s most flesh and blood character… the kind-hearted everyman within the hospital full of egotists, and his presence often brought much light relief. Yet he could also be dramatic when required and his own turmoil was often convincingly portrayed. Indie London

Bouquet Of Barbed Wire 2010 (televison)

A fantastic star making performance from Tom Riley...BBC Radio 5 Live  with Boyd Hilton (7/9/10) click here to listen

Tom Riley in Bouquet Of Barbed Wire, plays the sexy, nasty bastard who's out to ruin the lives of an entire family, while getting his end away at the same time. And he's brilliant in it. Heat Magazine 18/09/10

Tom Riley's sociopathic Gavin was also a dramatic treat, flitting between reasonable and unstable from scene to scene in a way that keeps you guessing as to what was actually going on. Video Vista

But Peter isn’t all he seems, as son-in-law Gavin (Tom Riley) knows only too well. Riley brings a tangible menace to the role, his Gavin adeptly turning the tables so that our sympathies eventually lie not with Peter but with him. For, if we’re truly honest, who amongst us wouldn’t want to avenge a wrong done to a loved one, particularly if it had such devastating consequences. Indie London DVD review

This edge-of-seat psychological thriller might not quite be the shocking TV sensation it was when first seen in 1976, but it still packs a mighty punch. Trevor Eve plays Peter Manson, who has an obsessive love for his daughter Prue (Imogen Poots). So when she ends up pregnant by her teacher Gavin (Tom Riley) it doesn't go down very well. The plot is sometimes a little far-fetched, but the incredible acting will keep you hooked throughout. The Mirror

All credit to the terrific cast – Hermione Norris, Tom Riley, Imogen Poots and especially Trevor Eve as paterfamilias Peter – for making even the most outlandish moments of grief, tragedy and transgression seem credible. Telegraph

Manson’s beloved daughter Prue sleeps with her creepy teacher Gavin — the excellent Tom Riley really does make you shiver — and things take a sinister turn. Gavin knows a bit more about the Mansons than he should, Peter embarks upon an affair with a new employee and just who is Paula? Whatever the answer to that question is, she has her name tattooed on Gavin’s arm and he gets very angry at any mention of her. Burnley Citizen.

Riley is excellent in the part of the defiant, disturbed despoiler who gets his student pregnant, insists on marrying her and takes her to live in a Hackney tower block. The tension and hatred between the two male leads is palpable as Gavin hits his young wife, goads his father in law across the dinner table, and eventually pushes him into taking drastic action. In a two pronged attack on the family he also seduces his mother in law. Subba-Cultcha

...it's stylishly made, and from the very first shot, the tension, and the falling barometer of darkly gathering emotion just off screen were palpable. This is opera without the singing or anyone who's too fat. Eve brings his usual intense concentration to the part. He mantles each scene like a hawk over a rabbit. But he is by no means pulling the narrative alone: Tom Riley as the ghastly boyfriend, is so infuriatingly horrible, you really wish him ill... AA Gill Sunday Times

Tom Riley’s Gavin is suitably menacing and sickeningly smug (he obviously sees right through his father-in-law). But Gavin has a nasty secret up his sleeve – quite literally so – and will go to extreme lengths to hide it. No doubt the truth will eventually out. Indie London

...the equally watchable Norris plays his wife with a brittle, anguished restraint. When Prue introduces her parents to the repugnant Gavin (a convincingly horrible Tom Riley) she gamely tries to keep up appearances, trying to steel herself against each snarky quip as though she is taking a slap in the face.....Do tune in. The Arts Desk

Honourable mentions should also go to Tom Riley, bright and handsome enough as Gavin to make it plausible that Prue should have fallen for him, moody and chippy enough to see how he might be the worst possible catch. The Independent

Way back in the 70's, there was this amazing drama series which featured so much illicit sex it caused a minor scandal. Here's a very slick remake which luckily keeps the sick twisted tone of the original, even if it rather lacks gratuitous nudity. On the plus side, the story and performances are gripping, with top marks to hot Tom Riley as the young teacher who ruins everyone's lives. Heat Magazine

This superlative ITV drama is not to be missed - whether you remember the headline grabbing 1970's original or not. Centring on a father and daughter whose relationship is far from healthy - and whose lives are upended when the daughter becomes pregnant by her creepy teacher - it's weird, worrying and totally absorbing, with excellent performances from Trevor Eve, Tom Riley and newcomer Imogen Poots. Grazia Magazine

Lost In Austen 2008 (television)

In a film full of virtually flawless supporting turns, special mention has to be made of Hugh Bonneville's exceptionally funny Mr. Bennet, Alex Kingston's hysterical (literally and figuratively) Mrs. Bennet, and especially Christina Cole as the calculating Caroline Bingley and Tom Riley as Mr. Wickham, a character quite different from what longtime fans of Pride and Prejudice are going to expect. DVD Talk