Season 1

available on DVD

Witchblade imagery

Season Overview
  1. Pilot Movie
  2. Parallax
  3. Conundrum
  4. Diplopia
  5. Sacrifice
  6. Legion
  7. Maelstrom
  8. Periculum
  9. Thanatopis
  10. Apprehension
  11. Convergence
  12. Transcendence

Sara Pezzini -
Yancy Butler

Jake McCartey -
David Chokachi

Kenneth Irons -
Anthony Cistaro

Danny Woo -
Will Yun Lee

Gabriel Bowman -
John Hensley

Ian Nottingham -
Eric Etebari

Season 2

Birds Of Prey
Blade The Series

The Champions
Now And Again
Bionic Woman


Sara Pezzini is a tough New York detective whose friend has been murdered before she took the time to answer her phone call. Thus she is wracked with guilt. She is also after the biggest scumbag in the city, but doesn't seem to be able to get anywhere near. Then she chases a bad guy into a museum and in the middle of a gun battle an ancient artefact known as the Witchblade attaches iself to her arm, giving her the power to deflect bullets, superhuman speed and strength and a bunch of strange dreams about knights and women throughout time who have wielded the Witchblade before her.

Based on the comic book series of the same name, WITCHBLADE is a pile of cliche stacked on top of cliche. Maverick New York cop who likes to do things her way and not always inside the rules? Check. Big city mobster boss to be brought down? Check. Superior officer taking the place of missing father? Check. Partner who seems to have everything together and who is unlikely to get to the last reel? Check.

With a set up as familiar as that one it would take something very special to break out and become memorable. Unfortunately, WITCHBLADE's pilot movie is not that something special.

Which is not to say that it is bad, which it isn't. Yancy Butler makes for a strong anchor to the story, dealing with the cop cliches as if they were new stuff and the fantasy elements as if they were quite normal.

Ah yes, the fantasy elements. Well there's more of the familiar here as well. Apart from the ancient artefact handing out magical powers there is a mysterious guru who can help her tame and control her new powers and also a mysterious man in the shadows who seems to have at least some of the same powers himself. All textbook cliches of the superhero genre.

The Witchblade itself is a clunky device. Masquerading as a bracelet when not in use, it looks awkward to wear and operate and that undermines its effectiveness as a giver of powers. Thor's hammer it's not. At least some of the surreal, confused dreams that it brings make the effort to break out of the norm and be something new.

The plot plays out exactly as you might think it would from start to finish, although the big finale is somewhat rushed into as though someone realised that they were running out of time and cut out a few pages of script to get things moving a bit. It is also marred by the fact that the villain has several clear shots at Pezzini's back and misses every one.

Perfectly fine, but uninspired, this pilot will have to be built upon if WITCHBLADE is to rise above the mediocre.



Whilst under review for events that killed her previous partner and trying to come to terms with the Witchblade, Pezzini and new partner, ex surfing dude Jake McCartey, investigate a defunct military experiment in creating superpowered assassins, one of whom might still be active.

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An investigation into a skeleton found in the park leads to a missing model and a photograph of a woman who could be closely related to Sara.

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The latest takes Sara and Jake into the heart of the New york art community, mst of which appears to be gay, and a suspect who couldn't have done it.

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Sara is getting images of a celtic queen who fought using the Witchblade in times gone past. Someone else is acting ought human sacrifices aimed at bringing that queen back. It may, or may not, have something to do with a celtic singer who just happens to be composing a song on the very same subject.

This would be pure police procedural but for the visions and the trips to Irons who provides an awful lot of the clues in amongst all the background stuff. The Witchblade apparently gives Sara the power to read ancient languages.

It's all investigative and the payoff is weakened by the fact that the would-be druid sacrificer is taken out by a mysterious other who will no doubt become important later.



A Catholic priest is murdered and one of his more disturbed cases is immediately fingered for the crime. Sara doesn't believe that he did it and the Witchblade is acting up as well. The fear is that someone has been possessed by Satan himself and is planning more killing.

Considering that Roger Daltrey guest stars in this episode as a high-ranking priest with knowledge of the Witchblade it's not hard to guess who the real culprit for the killing is. What is much harder is actually caring. It's hard enough connecting with the main characters in this series let alone the bit players in each episode.

The action also goes a bit haywire at the end as Sara faces off against the enemy and suddenly finds herself battling toe to toe whilst in mid-air against a background of raging fire all for apparently no other reason than it might look cool. The effects work is such that it doesn't.



Sara's musician boyfriend is kidnapped by a group of fellow irishmen out for revenge on his brother who is suspected of carrying out a bombing that killed their loved ones. Sara finds that getting him back is going to cost $2million and the witchblade itself.

Yancy Butler is called upon to do more than scowl in an unfriendly manner in this story as the man she loves is put in some very unlikely danger. Quite apart from the variable accents the fact that the kidnappers take the singer and don't seem to do much after that undermines the sense of the story quite dramatically.

That said, the detective's methods in finding out where the bad guys are turn out to be somewhat unorthodox, not to mention violent, and Kenneth's response to Sara's request for the money to save her lover is creepier than most of the bad guys have managed.

And the outcome of the episode, at least, shows some committment to the show rather than heading for some ridiculous happy outcome.



Following the traumatic events in her life, Sara is left grieving and scarred. She wakes up to find the Witchblade has taken her prisoner and is subjected to a series of meetings with other women who had wielded the blade as part of a test to decide whether she is worthy of the blade and whether she should live to wield it once more.

It's almost amusing that in order to breathe some life and originality into this action show it pins its lead actress to her bed and has her partner having a chat over a bar table. This literally is all that happens, but it is more interesting than the rest of the show to date put together.

Sara's trip into the heart of the meaning of the Witchblade reveals a lot about the blade, but critically even more about Sara herself. Why the blade picked her and what its intentions for her future are all made clear and Yancy Butler does a good job of playing against herself, the effects of putting two of her in the same frame being pretty flawlessly realised.

David Chokachi also gets a very talky episode in which there is no action to hide any acting limitations and despite the fact that the characters are doing nothing but talk, and talk about a plot that is as old as cop shows, it is to his credit that it doesn't feel padded or wasted.

This is an episode that confounds expectations in a good way and a few more like it would not go amiss.



An arms dealer is murdered in a world-class hit and Sara's number one suspect is Ian Nottingham. Whilst she tries to make sense of the conflicting motives and the truth behind an apparent suicide linked to Kenneth Irons, her partner agrees to join the White Bulls.

Following the impressive Thanatopis, this is an incoherent, rambling mess that starts off fairly straightforwardly with the arms dealer and the assassination, but then swims into murky waters with Nottingham giving himself up, but aiming to kill Sara's partner who he knows has joined the corrupt secret organisation within the police.

Kenneth Irons ages overnight, there's a comic book that might tell the real story behind Irons and Nottingham and then it just sort of ends.



Sara learns that the White Bulls killed her father and goes after them with a vengeance, but doesn't know who to trust. The things and people she loves are being wiped out and nobody seems able to help.

This episode starts the plot arc that will take us to the end of the season and so is setting up the big finale, but it also manages to come up with some interesting twists of its own, giving everyone motives that were previously unknown, shifting alliances all over the place and generally messing with everything that had been given as fact in Sara's life.

It's a clever set up for the last couple of episodes, though it does stumble when Sara demands the truth from her boss at gunpoint stating that she will leave either when he has talked or died and then leaves moments later without having learned a thing.



Sara is now on the run and her only hope appears to lie in Jake McCartey, but since he is in with the people who are trying to kill her how far can she trust him. The death of a Senator's daugther adds a complication that Sara is ill-equipped to investigate and Kenneth Irons finds his age catching up with him.

The Witchblade is reduced to acting as a portable lie detector in this episode that is pure police procedural. Sara is on the run from the rogue police and there is still no telling whether she can trust her partner or not. The new case in the shape of the serial killer who likes to dress virginal girls up as hookers to fuel his fantasies is something of a distraction and Kenneth Irons' situation seems to have come out of nowhere.

It's a patchy episode at best and the jury is out on whether there is enough good stuff to outweigh the bad.



Sara decides that it is time to fight back against the White Bulls who killed her father. This decision leads to the death of Ian Nottingham and the truth about whether or not she can trust Jake, exactly who ordered the death of her father, what Kenneth Irons really wants from her and why Nottingham called her 'flesh and blood'. The Witchblade also has one great power to reveal.

The final episode in the season and the secrets tumble out like sweets from a broken piņata. The take down of the White Bulls is satisfying enough, but the confrontation between Sara, a resurrected Nottingham and a dying Irons is somewhat underwhelming, not least when the Witchblade reveals a time reset button that comes with a 'can be used only once' caveat. This effectively undermines the brave decisions that have been made throughout the show in terms of who lived and who died. The power would be too easy to use over and over so the 'can be used only once' rule is brought into play to serve the plot and is a plot contrivance too far.

The big moments are messed up a bit by the show's need to use all kinds of flashy visual tricks (Jake's dying thoughts of Sara and surfing) to underscore these bits where simple faith in the content would have worked better.

The end of the season leaves an empty feeling of 'what was the point' and 'do we have to go through it all again in season 2'?








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