Sunday, September 30, 2007

Vampires on TV

CBS has a new show about a vampire detective. How original. This has almost become a genre. Here are some previous shows with a similar premise:

Forever Knight
Nick Knight has been a vampire for 800 years and regretted it for most of that time. In the 20th century he decided to help people by becoming a policeman. The show started as a 1989 movie called Nick Knight staring Rick Springfield. In 1992 it was picked up as a series under the new name and with a new cast.

The show swiped a lot of its format from the better Highlander. As Nick investigated crimes in the present he would remember something from his past that had some bearing on the current case.

As a vampire, Nick could fly (usually implied by a shaky camera), had supernatural strength and could hypnotize people. He was immortal but had to avoid the sun. He got his blood supply from a pretty coroner who was trying to cure him.

Despite the main character, the show was primarily a detective show, not a vampire show.

A spin-off from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel was a vampire who, after more than a century of depravity, had been cursed by having his soul returned. Feeling regret for all of his past sins, he sought redemption by helping people. He ended up founding a detective agency with some friends.

The show ran for five seasons on WB. It changed focus a few times. A principal character was killed off half-way through the first season and replaced with another Buffy alumni. Other characters came and went.

Unlike Forever Knight, Angel's premise was saving the world from the supernatural and an evil law firm.

As a vampire, Angel was immortal and had supernatural strength. He had to keep out of the sun or burst into flames. He drank animal blood.

Blood Ties
This series is still running on Lifetime TV with the first season starting last March. It is based on a series of books by Tanya Huff featuring a private detective, Vicki Nelson who keeps running into supernatural cases and enlists the vampire Henry Fitzroy to help her.

Henry was strong and fast and fell asleep during the day. The sun could kill him. He got his blood supply from willing donors. In the book he was bi-sexual but in the TV series he is hetro and little is said about his source of blood. Henry is the illegitimate son of Henry VIII.

The focus of the series is solving supernatural crimes. Henry's main motivation for getting involved is his relationship with Vicki.

That brings us to Nightlife.
The vampire is a private detective. We don't learn why in the pilot. He is 90 years old and immortal. He get blood from a contact in the coroner's office. The sun makes him feel ill. He can move quickly and can identify people by scent.

The focus seems to be a detective show featuring a vampire. This brings up full circle back to Forever Knight which also started on CBS.

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