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Mark Kermode uncovers the cinematic and storytelling secrets of the superhero movie.

From flying saviour figures in primary-coloured costumes to brooding nocturnal vigilantes, the superhero movie has spawned many record-breaking global hits. It has also provoked a backlash from some leading film-makers, yet superheroes have had a relationship with cinema that stretches back to the first half of the 20th century, and the genre taps deeply into timeless themes and storytelling traditions.

Drawing on a range of films, past and present, Mark Kermode explores the key elements of superhero movies, including origins, superpowers, costumes, secret identities, villains and sacrifice, to show why they resonate with audiences across the world. Mark also addresses criticisms of the genre, and offers his own thoughts on how superhero movies must adapt for the future.

10 months left to watch

59 minutes

Audio described

Last on

Fri 20 Mar 2020 02:00

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:01

    John Ottman

    X-Men: Apocalypse

  • 00:09

    Danny Elfman

    Attack of The Batwing

  • 00:10

    Hans Zimmer, Michael Hobe

    I'm Not A Hero

  • 00:15

    Spider-Man (Motion Picture), Pete Anthony

    City Montage

  • 00:16

    Alan Silvestri

    Captain America "We Did It"

  • 00:18

    Tim Simonec, Orchestra

    A Whole Family of Supers

  • 00:18


    Don't Stop Me Now

  • 00:21

    Jim Croce

    Time In A Bottle

  • 00:23

    Pete Anthony, Spider-Man (Motion Picture)

    Costume Montage

  • 00:27

    Pete Anthony, Spider-Man (Motion Picture)


  • 00:30

    Hans Zimmer, Michael Hobe

    Aggressive Expansion

  • 00:30

    Harry James and His Orchestra

    It's Been A Long, Long Time / Harry James & His Orchestra

  • 00:31

    Tim Simonec, Orchestra

    Glory Days

  • 00:32

    Hans Zimmer

    Batman V Superman Dawn of Justice

  • 00:35

    Alan Silvestri


  • 00:38

    Alan Silvestri


  • 00:41

    Henry Jackman

    Civil War

  • 00:49

    Hans Zimmer


  • 00:50

    Patrick Doyle

    Forgive Me

  • 00:52

    Christophe Beck

    Small Sacrifice

  • 00:54

    John Ottman

    X-Men: Apocalypse

  • 00:54

    Patrick Doyle

    Brothers Fight


Role Contributor
Presenter Mark Kermode
Writer Mark Kermode
Writer Kim Newman
Writer John Das
Executive Producer John Das
Series Producer Nick Freand Jones


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