If it wasn’t clear by the time Season 1 of “Da Vinci’s Demons” ended, Saturday’s (March 22) Season 2 premiere of the Starz hit leaves no shadow of a doubt that this series has no interest in being historically accurate.
Instead, creator David Goyer seems quite intent on delivering a rather deliriously insane period piece that takes Leonardo da Vinci to places history buffs never imagined. Quite literally, in fact, as 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.
But therein lies the fun of the series. This is a show where the premiere hour hinges on da Vinci inventing the blood transfusion — something that, historically, wasn’t invented for a full 100 years after his death — on the spot to rescue a wounded Lorenzo de Medici (Elliot Cowan). It’s absolutely lunacy, but if you’re willing to go with it, it’s also sort of a blast.
After the glimpse of the New World, the premiere jumps back six months to a Florence in the midst of the full-scale war that erupted in the final moments of Season 1. With Lorenzo’s whereabout unknown, Clarice (the flinty Lara Pulver) is left to defend the city as Pope Sixtus’ (James Faulkner) forces close in.
As the war for Florence rages on, Count Riario (Blake Riston) embarks on his own journey to the New World, on the hunt for something called the Book of Leaves — the very thing that will send da Vinci overseas, as he’s haunted by talk of this mysterious book throughout the premiere.
There’s a lot happening all at once and not all of it even makes that much sense. It may never help you pass a history test or win accolades for Starz, but “Da Vinci’s Demons” is still a whole heck of a lot of fun — and for a premium cable period piece airing on a Saturday night, fun is all you can ask for.
“Da Vinci’s Demons” returns for Season 2 on Saturday, March 22 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Starz.