Categorized | Reviews, TV & Movies

Vampire Week: Forever Knight Series Review

Posted on June 21, 2010 by Eric Pollarine

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    Nick Knight doesn’t sparkle, he doesn’t exude sexuality (though many of his fans seem to think so), and he doesn’t fight other unabashedly good looking werewolves. No, Nick Knight fights for his soul the old fashioned way, through solving bizarre and often Vampire centric homicides. And if you don’t know who Nick Knight is, well then you probably have had a life outside of Canadian, cult status, vampire television since before the dawn of the internet.

    Forever Knight was a Canadian television series about an 800 year old vampire working as a homicide detective in the then ultra sleek and hip city of mid 90’s Toronto. His whole existence was one of self hatred and loathing, and his main goal in life seemed to be atoning for the sins he had committed throughout the centuries as he preyed on humans. It was a novel idea, originally coming to the small screen in 1989 as a made for TV movie called “Nick Knight” which starred 80’s pop icon, Rick Springfield. Yes, that Rick Springfield, “Jessie’s Girl” Rick Springfield- to which I say, OK-moving on.

    The Television series debuted on May 5th of 1992 and then saw its final season run through May 17th 1996. In its short, three season history it managed to stave off cancellation twice and collect a dedicated group of fans that to this day, wish to see the show return to the air. There is nothing all that special about the series, in fact it has been labeled as one of televisions top five most un-scary television series based on a supernatural plot, and the acting with the exception of the ever wonderful Nigel Bennet and the ever employed John Kapelos ( who also played the janitor “Carl” in the Breakfast Club) however the quality of the stories and the quirkiness of the cast of characters actually engrosses you, it pulls you in, and before you have realized it, before you can turn the DVD, or DVR off…you find yourself being drawn into the comically dark seedy underbelly of the vampire infested Toronto.

    The character of Nick knight is played by Welsh born actor Geraint Wyn Davies, who has also appeared in such wonderful shows as Airwolf and Fox’s 24, and is aided in his quest for redemption by his laughably stupid but ultimately good hearted partner Detective Don Schanke, who never figures out that Nick is a vampire even after he sees him do strange and supernatural things like, take a bullet or 12 and of course fly. (Played by the aforementioned John Kapelos) But the list of unintentionally inspired characters doesn’t end there folks, nope the hits, well-they just a keep on coming. Next we have the forensics/coroner/CSI something or other Natalie Lambert, who knows what Nick is and apparently a bit about his past and also covers for him by explaining his “extreme allergic” reaction to the sun as a rare disease. And finally the best of the supporting characters is the insidiously evil and inherently paternal figure of Nick’s Vampire mentor Lucien LaCroix, or rather the reason as to why Nick is a vampire.

    LaCroix serves up equal parts creepy mentor and dark comedy to Nick’s serious and brooding angst ridden self. I may have left out a few pieces of the puzzle, like the character of Jeanette, Nicks female vampire ex lover/counterpart/local Goth scene club owner, but really after I just explained all the other characters this last one is pretty irrelevant, other than to be an informant, and to serve for what I guess the Canadians call a “sexy” female character.

    I have no bone to pick with this series, if you have ever watched it or already own all three seasons on DVD, then you know both the appeal and the absurdity of this show. If you have not seen it or caught it on one of the all day marathons on Chiller, then I implore you to do so, you will not be let down with the shows silly and yet somehow original and well executed content.

    The DVD’s are handsomely packaged; however the first season is fairly lackluster, only comprised of the actual episodes and no special features. With those being added in the second and third season collections, you can also, if you are so inclined to, find the original “Nick Knight” CBS television movie starring the one hit wonder Springfield out there in the realm of the dark, dark internet, but I must implore you, don’t go into that good night dear friends, for it is unusually painful to watch. The real treat for those of you that have heard about the show or are or were even fans, but have as of yet been hesitant to shell out the cash for purchase is the fact that you will own the full and complete series to watch over and over again to your little batty hearts desires. So, if you happen to be a fan of poorly produced and badly handled television series, then these DVD’s my friends are for you.

    Review by Eric Pollarine

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