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The Series
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The Series

"The uneasy peace between five tenuously connected clans of vampires in San Francisco is constantly under siege, maintained at cost of 'final death' by Julian Luna, a vampire prince who must mete out justice for infractions committed by the Kindred. A chilling, atmospheric, eight-episode series based on Mark Rein-Hagen's book, Vampire: The Masquerade."

Review

Only Aaron Spelling could type-cast a whole TV show! This overambitious production is an unfortunate marriage of Dynasty, Beverly Hills 90210, Godfather and Zoo Time, gaining only from the sumptuous sets and production values of Dynasty.

Attempting to show Vampires living the Masquerade in human society, the slogan 'we're all around you' is all too believable, as there are only two human characters, both totally unbelievable; one a cop who's dating the vampire prince's ex (how'd that happen - they have zero in common?), the other a cub reporter who dates the prince and so becomes city editor. As she's the only journo with ethics, yet she knows why she got the job, this is a little sad.

The prince is the only character with any charisma, which is fine, but his style veers from ruthless to soft touch a little too often. Other than his sire, there seem to be no other members of his clan. His current lover, Lillie, on the other hand, is related to a few villains, and leads her clan. Cash, who looks barely 17, is clan leader for the Gangrels, and a gofer for the prince

Daedalus, leader of the Nosferatu clan, is a gentle, sensitive soul, who rises to violent heights only to protect the prince, or others who have earned his loyalty. He's definitely the most honest, decent and consistent of all the leads; he has integrity. Which is a shame, as he fails utterly to reflect the savagery and cunning of his clan.

But, having drummed into us how the clans reflect different niches in society - 'it's in the blood' - none of the leads lives up to their stereotype!

I'm the first to condemn Fox for their gadfly-loyalty and hyper willingness to kill shows before they have a chance to grow, but there's not a Fox executive on the Planet who could get his head around this lot, so it's demise was a dead cert from Day 1. It's a shame, and there were some interesting ideas that were lost; this was a serious attempt to explore the need for a social structure and a set of laws; but while a virtually-all-vampire cast is understandable in a Role Playing game (the source of the story), it doesn't cut it when attempting to show how vampires and human society interact; multiple dead bodies and one human cop is silly; multiple 'monster' stories, all covered by the same reporter (who is also city editor?) is silly. Introducing five clans in episode one was not only silly, but entirely unnecessary; only three feature to any degree in the whole eight episodes, so why force the complication on us?

But having said all that, I had a great weekend watching 377 minutes of this, and if you enjoy vampires, I have no doubt you'll enjoy this. It has the pomposity of Dynasty, the pretensions of Godfather, the promiscuity of Beverly Hills 90210 and special effects based on Zoo Time (the only light relief in the whole thing!). Kudos to the team for commitment after the axe fell (only seven were ever aired). Buy it, enjoy it ... Great Stuff!

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The Vampyreverse 10 January 2016 Copyright Andrew Heenan Privacy