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1998

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Vampires On Television

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The Series

Six one-hour episodes; this miniseries was made in the UK for the BBC. A pilot was later made in the US, but, so far as I know, never screened.

Amidst the growing threat of viral epidemic and the possibility of worldwide environmental catastrophe, humanity has an unprecedented ability to destroy itself. In order to prevent further contamination or loss of their food supply, the vampires have organized and are pouring funds into all manner of human scientific research. Through they profess to be persecuted and misunderstood minority, eager to achieve a symbiotic relationship with mankind, many of their experiments are motivated by darker desires.

Jack Davenport stars as former police detective-sergeant Michael Colefield who's recruited into CIB - an elite government force that has been formed to combat the treat. Joined by a squad of covert government investigators led by ex-soldier Vaughan Rice (Idris Elba), former priest Pearse Harman (Philip Quast) and scientist Dr. Angela March (Susanna Harker), their mission is to seek out the enemy. But when eternal life is offered, no one is beyond temptation.

Synopsis

From the Back Cover of the region 1 DVD

  1. Habeas Corpus - Michael and Jack are best friends and colleagues in a homicide squad. But when Jack disappears on the ever of his wedding, and two new cops start asking questions, Michael is drawn into the realization that Jack is not what he seems.

  2. In Nomine Patris - Michael is now a member of CIB, but is struggling to accept the truths around him and his new role as an executioner. But when a financial trail leads to a vampire laboratory with human guinea pigs, the lines between good and evil become clearer.

  3. Sub Judice - The victim of an attempted rape is saved by a vampire. But why was she being protected? And by whom?

  4. Mea Culpa - A twelve year-old boy is involved in a violent attack on a teacher. But the peculiarities of the case could mean that vampires are involved...Michael is convinced that it is just schoolboy violence. But the truth is stranger and more terrifying than anyone suspects.

  5. Terra Incognita - A plane from Brazil brings a bleeding refugee and a number of vampire caskets. How are they connected? And why is John Doe (Corin Redgrave) risking the journey?

  6. Persona Non Grata - Michael is compromised by a threat to Kirstie, and his actions unwittingly jeopardize humankind. As the last pieces of the puzzle fall into place, CIB is caught in a race against time - and total evil.
  • Directed by Joe Ahearne
  • Writing credits Joe Ahearne

Credited cast:

Clarence Allen as Aguinaldo ("Terra Incognita")
John Ashton as DS Paul Ferman
Charlotte Attenborough as Moorecroft Clinic manager
Dennis Banks as Orderly ("Mea Culpa")
Sam Bardens as Photophobic Boy ("Mea Culpa")
Eamon Boland as Father Downey ("Mea Culpa")
Marc Bolton as Carter
T.R. Bowen as Gideon Hammond
Colette Brown as Kirsty Maine
George Cook as Altar Boy ("Mea Culpa")
Martha Cope as Pregnancy counselor
Ian Crowe as Pathologist
Jack Davenport as Detective Sergeant Michael Colefield
Fiona Dolman as Frances Pembroke
Anni Domingo as Mrs. Jacqueline Seabrook ("Sub Judice")
Simon Donald as Anthony Wainwright
Elizabeth Earl as Rose March ("Sub Judice", "Mea Culpa")
Idris Elba as Vaughan Rice
Stephanie Fayerman as General Practioner ("Sub Judice")
Jimmy Gallagher as Mugger #2 ("Sub Judice")
Emer Gillespie as Marion Wainwright
Jeremy Gilley as Oliver ("Mea Culpa")
Michael Hadley as DI Leigh
Susannah Harker as Dr. Angela 'Angie' March
Abigail Hayes as Nurse ("Terra Incognita")
Mark Barton Hill as Cell Guard ("Terra Incognita", "Persona Non Grata")
Rob Jarvis as Maria's Contact ("Terra Incognita")
Tom Knight as Customs Official ("Terra Incognita")
Ronnie Letham as Pollard
Thomas Lockyer as Journalist Jacob Keanault
Jonathan Magnanti as Sports Teacher ("Mea Culpa")
Neil Maskell as Neil
Stephen Moyer as Jack Beresford
Daniel Moynihan as Street Artist ("Habeas Corpus")
David John Pope as Pilot ("Terra Incognita")
Michael Price as Mugger #3
Rupert Procter as Colin ("Mea Culpa")
Philip Quast as Father Pearse J. Harman
Corin Redgrave as Dr. Paul Hoyle aka 'John Doe' ("Terra Incognita", "Persona Non Grata")
Richard Rees as Embryologist
Dee Sadler as Stewardess ("Terra Incognita")
David Shelley as Marion's junior
Jane Slavin as Danni Ashford
Julie Smith as Sal ("In Nomine Patris")
Robert Stuart as Gary ("Mea Culpa")
Ellen Thomas as Maria ("Terra Incognita")
Christopher Villiers as Lester Hammond / Waldemar 'Waldo' Hammerfetz ("In Nomine Patris")
Jane Wheldon as Gary's Mother "Mea Culpa")
Andrew Wilkes as Vampire Boy ("Mea Culpa")
Angela Wyndham Lewis as Margaret Ashford

Review

Ridiculous vampire silliness from writer of cult classic 'This life'. A hopelessly miscast Jack Davenport treats the existence of vampires with the same insouciance of a man finding a parking ticket. And he is drafted into that elite team, the screen mumblers. I had to rewind the scene where he discusses the counterfeit operation he is investigating three times at full volume to get what he was saying.

The premise and dialogue of this series is hilarious. The vampire squad is funded by the tax payer. It's a public health issue, says the priest.

Why vampires should be worried about three people after them in a crowd of billions is anyone's guess. Apparently they're afraid we're about to blow ourselves up and possibly singe their coffin handles or something. People pleading for a second series have not wondered how you can top a James Bond plot involving a scientist and a nuclear winter destroying all life on earth. It could only get sillier.

Mike Colefield has a problem different to your run-of-the-mill best man. How can he tell the bride that he killed her husband to be and that he's a vampire? When she does find out she gives him a petulant little slap. Well, at least he didn't run off with another woman. Meanwhile, Vaughan's having a bad hair day at the office. He's already suffered from teeth-in-your-neck syndrome, now he's stuck in a warehouse with a bunch of coffins on timers. Of course, he could break the clocks with his gun or turn the coffins over, piling one on top of the other for instance but that's too easy.

In trying to make his story credible Ahearne has ironically drained the blood from the story. It's so matter of fact, it's like an anemic version of Prime Suspect. In fact, it has a trendy scene with a pedophile which is almost cliched in that respect. Vampires reduced of menace are pointless and you may as well just do the usual cops and robbers. I'm sure a vampire squad would make all the jokes you'd expect, but Ahearne doesn't mention the V word the entire series. Is he embarrassed about something? I will of course not be renting the video of this for another guilty slice of hokum, no sir. It's beneath me. Six feet under in fact. Love those guns though.

[Edited version of a review by Gary]

Top quote: "Our free range days are over!"

Nice Touch: The word 'vampire' is never used in the series. Instead, the characters refer to them officially as Code 5's (5 in Roman numerals is 'V'), or unofficially as 'leeches'.

The DVD

  • Runtime: 320 min (6 x 50 min episodes)
  • Language: English
  • Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
  • 2 discs
  • Previews
  • Episode Summaries
  • Personal Files
  • UV Dictionary
  • Audio Interview With Creator Joe Ahearne
  • Number of discs: 2

Special Features

  • Cast And Crew Biographies
  • Trailers
  • Ultraviolet Screensaver
  • Gallery Of Anti Vampire Weaponry
  • Extended Version Of Ultraviolet Theme Music
  • UK version has "Hidden Code V Data File", whilst the Australian release of the dvd may not.

How To Buy This DVD

Ultraviolet
Full details and
price in GB £

The Vampyreverse 10 January 2016 Copyright Andrew Heenan Privacy