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Blade: The Series

Produced by New Line Cinema
Last seen on Spike TV
Based on the character from Marvel Comics
Genre: Street Fantasy/Action

Reviewed by Jon Minners

Spike TV lived up to its name recently when it dusted Blade: The Series, leaving viewers who caught the season-ending cliffhanger with their blood thirst unquenched. 

Having been disappointed after both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel left the airwaves, viewers were pleasantly thrilled to discover a new vampire-based series hitting the airwaves for the male friendly, Spike Television. 

The series took place after the Blade Trilogy of films starring Wesley Snipes.  The first two films surprised movie-goers, as Blade was never considered a top-tier Marvel comic, a la Spiderman, Hulk, Punisher or the X-Men.

But millions of dollars and a loyal commitment from viewers was betrayed with a B-movie installment that sadly closed out the trilogy and left fans scratching their heads in disbelief. 

New Line decided to pay its fans back with a television series.  Taking over the role of Blade was Kirk Jones, better known as Sticky Fingaz from Onyx.  Jones had gone on to successful roles in television and movies and had recently made a name for himself in the FX Iraqi war drama, Over There

Jones started off slowly in the role, with many probably comparing him to Snipes, whose name had become synonymous with the Blade character.  But viewers eventually gave in to Jonesí portrayal of the dark half-human/half-vampire character that was also known as the day walker.  Jones, although very stiff and unemotional through much of the series, looked the part when it was needed. 

However, it was Jonesí co-stars that really made the show standout.  Jill Wagner, who was once a Punkíd character, surprised many with her role as Krista, a woman who was hunting down her brotherís killer after she returns home from a stint in Iraq. 

Wagner, who proved to be more than just eye candy, masterfully player her role, as an unwitting spy in a vampire clan who must struggle with her allegiances after being the dark gift from her arch nemesis, Marcus Von Sciver.

Sciver, played by Neil Jackson, was the reason to watch Blade.  At first glance, he would just appear to be a rich human looking to restore the historic buildings of Detroit, but it is a cover for the icy, blood thirsty vampire that controls his vampire clan and looks to take over the 11 other clans that share a testy and unstable alliance.

And while Bladeís origins are touched heavily upon as the series goes on, it is Sciverís character that is explorer the most and given much depth.  Viewers, like Krista herself, start to see a good in Sciver after witnessing how his soul has been tormented and how he became a vampire in the first place. 

The greatest series donít hide behind the black and white of good vs. evil; they blur the lines and make viewers judge for themselves.  While rooting for Blade, you never really want to see Sciver brought to justice or killed.  A part of you wants him to succeed just long enough to keep the chase going.  The strength of Blade: The Series was the cat-and-mouse game employed by the two lead characters with Krista caught in the middle. 

Other neat aspects of the show include the untraditional method of which Sciver employs to transform Krista; the way in which Sciver tests a cure for the curse that keeps vampires at bay; and probably the most compelling idea Ė the way in which the ashes of a vampire can give any human temporary powers through its ingestion.  The drug trade alone provides Blade with other enemies outside of vampires that provided room for the series to grow. 

Unfortunately, poor ratings dealt a blow to the series.  Good news comes with the rumor that New Line plans to release all 12 episodes as a DVD set that could be R-rated with harsher language and additional scenes. 

If thatís the case, and if you loved Blade: The Movie, Buffy, Angel, Forever Knight, Vampire Hunter D and the clan concept behind Vampire: The Masquerade, Blade: The Series is the perfect program to sink your teeth in. 

 

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