Darna (2009 TV series)

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Mars Ravelo's Darna
Created by Mars Ravelo
Developed by Jun Lana
Written by
  • Denoy Navarro Punio
  • RJ Nuevas
  • Renato Custodio
Directed by
Creative director(s) Jun Lana
Starring Marian Rivera
Opening theme "Narda" by Kamikazee
Composer(s) Jay Contreras
Country of origin Philippines
Original language(s) Tagalog, English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 140
Executive producer(s) Edlyn Tallada-Abuel
Location(s) Manila, Philippines
  • Roman Theodossis
  • Rhino Vidanes
Camera setup Multiple-camera setup
Running time 30-45 minutes
Production company(s) GMA Entertainment TV
Original network GMA Network
Picture format 480i NTSC
Original release August 10, 2009 (2009-08-10) – February 19, 2010 (2010-02-19)
Related shows Darna (2005)

Darna is a Philippine drama fantasy television series adapted from Mars Ravelo's fictional superheroine of the same name; directed by Dominic Zapata and Don Michael Perez and developed by Jun Lana.[1] It is the third television series based on the Darna graphic novels by Mars Ravelo. It stars Marian Rivera as the title role and her alter-ego Narda, with Iwa Moto as her main nemesis Valentina, and Mark Anthony Fernandez as Eduardo.[2]

The series had premiered on August 10, 2009 on GMA Network and ended on February 19, 2010, and also featured the return of the other four villains originally created by Ravelo himself.[3] The first season consists of 70 episodes, as well as the second season, with 140 episodes all in all.



Filipino comics legend Mars Ravelo created the Asia's first superheroine in 1947 named Varga. She first appeared in Bulaklak Magazine on July 23, 1947 and quickly became popular amongst its readers. Ravelo wrote and illustrated the stories. As a human, Varga was known as the little girl named "Narda" which Ravelo based on the name of his boy playmate. In her superhuman form, she fought against common criminals, as well as greater forces of evil. And just like any other superhero, Varga stood up for those who could not fend for themselves.

Having differences with the editors of Bulaklak Magazine in 1949, Ravelo decided to take his creation elsewhere. Unfortunately, the superheroine's name, "Varga" belonged to Bulaklak Magazine. His creation's name was changed to "Darna".

Mars Ravelo re-launched his creation in Pilipino Komiks on May 13, 1950 as Darna - the mighty warrior from the planet Marte. Both Varga and Darna are, in essence, the same character except for their superheroine names. To revamp his creation, Ravelo assigned newcomer then, Nestor Redondo to illustrate the new comic. Darna's fame quickly grew starting with Filipino comics readers, but she did not become a household name until the following year.

On May 31, 1951 Filipinos witnessed the first movie adaptation of the superheroine, in Fernando Poe Senior's Royal Films Production -- "DARNA" starring Manila's golden age movie queen Rosa del Rosario as Darna and Cristina Aragon as Valentina, while Mila Nimfa portrayed Narda. The movie was a huge box office success.

From then on, numerous hit movies and TV shows were made and only portrayed by the Philippines' biggest stars. Endless versions of Darna were also serialized in different comic books.

TV Adaptations[edit]

In the late 80's, actress Lorna Tolentino wore the coveted red and gold suit for a TV series in RPN 9

In 2005, GMA Network brings back the superheroine with Angel Locsin as the lead role which made her a big star (See Darna 2005 series). The network confirms that the rights of Darna is still theirs along with Captain Barbell and Dyesebel.

January 2008, it was announced that GMA Network decided to make another version of the show but this time, it will be along with Captain Barbell. But due to schedule conflicts of Richard Gutierrez, everything was shelved. Angel Locsin, the first TV Darna, has transferred to ABS-CBN, the rival station of GMA Network in 2007.

Late 2008, GMA Network, along with the Ravelo's copyright holders of the character, has unanimously chosen Primetime Queen Marian Rivera as Darna/Narda. It was said by Wilma Galvante, the SVP for Entertainment TV, in an interview that the new Darna should be a real star because it is a prime role. The Ravelo's said in an interview that Marian Rivera is the sexiest and most beautiful actress to play Darna.

Mark Herras was considered for the lead male role of Eduardo, but Mark Anthony Fernandez won the part.

Dennis Trillo, who previously played Efren in 2005 TV series, portrayed Pancho, Narda's childhood friend from orphanage and love interest.


Darla tells the story of Narda (Mariana Rivera Dantes), a young woman who grew up in the orphanage at the town of San Martin. She lives a happy, quiet and simple life as a volunteer teacher until she learns from the "Spirit of the Keeper of the Stone" (Angel Aquino) that she is the chosen one to inherit a white pebble from the fallen planet of Marte that gives super powers.

Narda eventually meets again her childhood sweetheart Eduardo (Mark Anthony Fernandez) at the same orphanage. They were "special friends" when they were kids but was separated when Eduardo was adopted, leaving Narda behind in the orphangae. She hopes of rekindling their relationship after so many years but Narda's hopes were shattered when she discovered that her best friend since childhood, Valentina (Iwa Moto), fell for Eduardo.

Narda declined the responsibility of being Darna, since she just saw herself as a simple girl and cannot take on such huge responsibility, but her mind changed when she saw the massive carnage brought about by the resurrection of the four super villains that were set free from their ice prisons from under the sea, after an earthquake triggered a tsunami and surfaced and destroyed the ice prisons.

Through old news clippings, Narda discovered how the former Darna during the 1940s managed to defeat the four super villains but was dismayed when the Spirit of the Stone told her that she made a bargain with the villains and the four villains took some of the powers of the white rock. Narda now as Darna must beat the four super villains to get back all her powers. She faced one by one the four super villains namely: Roma (Nadine Samonte)- the Demon Woman who has a parasitic conjoined demon twin on her back that makes her feed on the hearts and blood of innocent victims; Armida (Ehra Madrigal)- the cybernetic Hawk Woman, the perfect flying war machine; Lucifera (Francine Prieto)- the plant witch that can use all flora as her weapons; and Lutgarda (Maggie Wilson)- the Leech Woman who can copy and absorb the strength and powers of anyone.

Narda also learned that being Darna takes a toll on her own life. She has to keep secrets from the people she loves to protect them, but her greatest challenge is when she finds out that the biggest evil to come into this world will be brought about by her own childhood best friend, Valentina who harbors a lifelong secret, she is a Gorgon and is the chosen Queen of All Serpents and Mistress of All Black Magic that will bring on the earth a new world order. Narda as Darna will face Valentina as her arch-enemy and must save all that she loves before it is too late.

Cast and characters[edit]

Marian Rivera portrays one of the protagonists, as Darna.
Iwa Moto portrays one of the antagonists, as Valentina.
Maggie Wilson portrays one of the antagonists, as Babaeng Linta.
Katrina Halili portrays one of the antagonists, as Babaeng Anakonda.
Jackie Rice portrays one of the antagonists, as Babaeng Demonyita.

Main cast[edit]

Minor cast[edit]

Special participation[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Darna opened with rave reviews, writer Nestor Torre of Philippine Daily Inquirer described the pilot episode as "loud and livid". Torre continues to mention "...two performances stand out because they’re 'different'. The first is Janice de Belen’s portrayal of Consuelo, the mother of Valentina. De Belen’s characterization is outstanding, because it’s deeply felt, while not being over-the-top..." and "the other interesting performance thus far is turned in by Iwa Moto as Valentina. With some help from creative scripting, her character is more tragic and conflicted than past versions of the story had it".[5]

Jun Lana's script was also praised by Torre for creating "Valentina’s terrible secret initially pains her rather than turns her into a vengeful monster, and the ostracism she suffers adds enormously to her loneliness and grief, which are alleviated only by her only friend, Narda. Of course, the ironic twist to all this is that Narda will eventually morph into superheroine Darna, with whom Valentina must fight to the death." Lana told Manila Bulletin that this version of Darna will be "totally different" especially with the characters, he mentions "what if Narda doesn't want to become Darna?" - a subject never touched upon in other versions of the graphic novel.[6]


External links[edit]