In the buoyant new historical fantasy series “Da Vinci’s Demons,” Leonardo da Vinci might as well be the guy who invented the latest greatest social media app. He’s a technological geek with strong people skills and an ability to market his concepts, and he’s probably not much like the real da Vinci, the 15th-century Italian Renaissance man.
But he is a dynamic hero in this fact-fiction-mash-up, which premieres on Friday night at 10. In his 20s (played by Tom Riley), he is a visionary, a brilliant swordsman, and a savvy romantic whose sketches of potential lovers can lure them into his bed. He has a sizable ego, as he bends the world to his will, but he also has a healthy sense of humor about himself. His weakness is that he becomes so overwhelmed by his newfangled ideas about how to build weapons or flying machines, as well as by deep memories of his troubled childhood, that he has to smoke opium for respite and clarity.