STREAMING SATURDAY: The Pentaverate

Mike Myers is one of those “love-or-hate” actors. While he certainly gained a lot of followers in the 1990s and early 2000s with movies like Wayne’s World, the Austin Powers franchise, and the Shrek films, he has spent the majority of the past two decades rarely appearing in public. When he does, it’s often to reprise a much loved role. He’s never made the crossover to serious films like many comedians have.

That changes, at least temporarily, on May 5. Myers is set to debut the new series called The Pentaverate on Netflix. It’s a 6-episode comedy starring the flexible Myers in eight different roles. Entertainment Weekly reports that he’ll play:

  • Ken Scarborough: An old-school Canadian news journalist who sets out to expose the Pentaverate and win his job back.
  • Anthony Lansdowne: A New England conspiracy theorist determined to expose the Pentaverate.
  • Rex Smith: A far-right radio host and highly prominent conspiracy theorist.
  • Lord Lordington: The Pentaverate’s oldest and highest-ranking member.
  • Bruce Baldwin: A former media mogul.
  • Mishu Ivanov: An ex-Russian oligarch. 
  • Shep Gordon: A former rock-and-roll manager.
  • Jason Eccleston: A tech genius who invented the Pentaverate’s super computer, MENTOR. 

Given past roles, it’s a fair bet that all these characters will be broadly drawn and played for laughs. And that’s a good thing.

What is a “pentaverate?”

I’m presuming that the word derives from the Latin penta– meaning five, and vir, meaning man. According to the teaser trailer,

In 1347, five learned men realized that the Black Plague was caused by fleas on rats. However, the Church believed the Plague to be God’s punishment, labeling these five men heretics. So, they formed a benevolent secret society to influence world events, known as The Pentaverate.

You can watch the entire teaser here.

I’m not sure if this is a real, bona fide conspiracy theory, but it’s certainly something near and dear to Myers’ heart. A quick internet search doesn’t bring up too much information, other than reminding me of my personal favorite Mike Myers movie.

“I personally believe Scottish food is based on a dare.”

In 1994, Mike Myers starred in the now-largely-forgotten So I Married an Axe Murderer. In the film, he links himself romantically with Helen, played by Nancy Travis (later of Last Man Standing.) Unfortunately he later comes to believe that Helen is a serial killer. As you can imagine, hilarity ensues.

In the film, Myers plays the main character of course, but also rather convincingly plays a character based on his own father. Both his parents are fascinated by conspiracy theories, and it is in this scene that we find the first pop culture mention of the Pentaverate (or Pentavirate, as it may be properly spelled.)

You may not have seen this film, but if you like Mike Myers and lampooning Scottish people, you really should. It’s available to stream on Starz and to rent through several apps. The father character really is the breakthrough comedy gold of the film, from his love of Rod Stewart to his disdain for his own child’s oversized head.

Stream The Pentaverate May 5

I’m not always the biggest fan of Netflix, and I think the app is horribly overpriced. But I do plan on watching this series, and it’s not just because KFC chicken made me do it.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.