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ULTRAVIOLET

Available on DVD

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  1. Habeus Corpus
  2. In Nomine Patris
  3. Sub Judice
  4. Mea Culpa
  5. Terra Incognita
  6. Persona Non Grata



Michael -
Jack Davenport

Angie-
Susannah Harker

Vaughn-
Idris Elba

Pearse-
Philip Quast

Kirsty -
Colette Brown

Frances -
Fiona Dolman




OTHER VAMPIRE SHOWS
Buffy The Vampire
Slayer

Angel
True Blood
Blood Ties
Being Human
Moonlight







Habeus Corpus

Michael and Jack have been friends for over a decade, even before they were cops, so when Jack doesn't show up for his wedding, Mike gets the investigation underway. His only lead is a recently dead informer. Mike starts to believe that Jack wasn't just on the take, but is a real vampire and he is apparently not alone in that belief. There is a whole bureau set up to deal with them and Mike's just been recruited.

Updating the vampire story has been done many a time, but this series is looking, from the first episode, intriguing. It's modern, stylish and full of atmosphere. This first episode's an origin story, so there's a lot of ground to cover, but it seems deceptively simple.

Jack Davenport makes for an appealing hero, though perhaps a little too fresh-faced to pull off the world-weary bit completely successfully.

It's a promising start.

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In Nomine Patris

Michael takes on his first case when a traffic incident ends up with the driver of a car spontaneously bursting into flames when exposed to sunlight. The car is traced to the son of a very rich man with a penchant for building properties with windowless areas; safe houses, but for what? Though the financial support is broken up, the enemy gets away, but not before showing Michael what revenge really is and forcing him to have he courage to break up with Jack's girlfriend.

The first real story now that the set-up has been taken care of is a straightforward cop show with the added edge of the nature of the villains.

The characters are starting the gain some depth and it is here that the show is more successful. They all have flaws and their reasons for being part of the team are not always the best. There are also still hints about the darker natrues of the organisation that Michael now works for.

Ultraviolet isn't fully successful yet, but it shows enough promise to keep us watching.

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Sub Judice

When a random mugging ends up with two attackers dead with all the hallmarks of a leech attack, the team swing into action, their investigation centring on the barrister who was being mugged. She turns out to be pregnant with the sperm of her dead husband. The leeches are sterile and unable to have children, but in these days of gene manipulation who knows what is possible?

Another excellent episode full of atmosphere. The woman's plight is more than just 2D with a believable backstory. She wanted a child desperately and her husband became a vampire (never called that, only leeches) in order to get access to the means to make it happen. She is therefore caught between the belief that she is having a baby, the evidence that the pregnancy is false and the shadowy organisation that wants her to have an abortion for reasons they will not explain.

This is all the Doctor's episode. She is the one who deals with the medical side and has all the information about IVF and even deals with the final confrontation with the husband. Despite her clinical calm, more about her character is revealed and the other characters are relegated to support players for this story.

The best episode yet, with plenty of style, a real sense of threat and utter believability.

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Mea Culpa

A child at a faith school takes a Stanley knife to one of the priests and runs away. He later turns up in hospital with dog bites. The team take on a case that might be more about child pornography than vampires. As Dr Angie chases down the symptoms that are affecting some of the kids, Michael and Vaughn chase the kiddie porn angle and find some very unsavoury answers.

ULTRAVIOLET is going to some very dark places indeed. The whole child pornography storyline brings in some very nasty reality and it shows that with no flinching and integrates it into a story made all the more fascinating by not deciding whether itís a vampire case at all until very late on. Jack Davenport isnít quite pulling off Michaelís unresolved qualms about the whole situation and his reaction to the way that his shooting of a non-vampire is handled smacks more of childish pique than anything deeper. More interesting future plot strands are being laid with the bossís blood cancer (making him a candidate for turning?) and the love of Michaelís life apparently now in league with one of the leeches.

This show is just getting better and better.

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Terra Incognita

A young Brazilian is picked up at passport control and is quickly identified as being affected by the leeches. His sister announces that she wishes to speak to Angie's dead husband. Meanwhile, Michael follows he cargo that was coming in with him and gets led a merry chase. Vaughn get bushwhacked and finds himself locked in a dark space with four coffins about to open.

This is a very confused episode. Exactly what the vampire plot is remains as much a mystery as it did at the beginning. Why was the young man brought into the country when it was sure he would be caught and even if he wasn't he would have showed up at Angie's doorstep anyway? Why was one coffin left specifically for the organisation to find? What were the other four vampire immigrants' purpose? Maybe it will all become clear next time.

Susannah Harker is excellent as the doctor coming to terms with the fact that her husband elected to join the vampires and to take his family with him. She is turning into the most fascinating character in the show.

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Persona Non Grata

Kirsty is being held by her reporter friend, now a Code 5 leech and he demands that Michael bring the dusty remains of Angie's husband to a meeting. Pearse, meanwhile, has a private meeting with the specimen in captivity and discusses the advantages of 'crossing over'. Vaughn and Angie work out exactly what the enemy plan is, why they want Angie's husband so badly and whether they really want peace, but with two other members of the team working with their own personal agendas, who can they trust?

The final episode and all of the plot strands come together to provide a fitting climax that actually ties everything up quite nicely, whilst also leaving the way open to a continuation of the show. Every character's loyalty is put to the test. Michael's is the most obvious with his direct blackmailing, but Angie's desire to see her husband again is obvious, although much more underplayed. Pearse has always been such a morally strong character that his 'crossing over' never seems in doubt and so that strand works less well than the others. Vaughn is left alone, wondering to whom his allegiance should be given.

The mini-series comes to a satisfying end, but this is a show with such potential that it ought to have received a second series, one that could delve more deeply into the war between the species. Sadly, that never came about and so we are left with this perfectly-formed little gem.

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