Usually when a TV series or TV movie is adapted from a motion picture, and successful one at that, it is most of the time a recipe for disaster, though well intentioned. “Blade: The Series,” from Spike TV is an exception. I have loved vampire films for as long as I can remember. I’ve seen the good, the bad, the ugly, and everything in between. I’ve collected vampire books, been a vamp for Halloween, well, you get the idea. I really loved the “Blade,” trilogy of films. Wesley Snipes was the perfect bad ass half vamp/ half human tortured soul.
He was intense, morose, and could kick the ‘bleep,’ out of anything living or undead. His martial arts technique was also something to marvel. He declined to take part in the TV series and there is a question i regards to him returning to the big screen as the ‘day walker.” Plus, the films were fun. They didn’t take themselves too seriously. And yes, the blood and gore abounded. I mean, after all, you can’t have a vampire movie without blood – if you did, there would be no point.
When I heard about Spike’s first ‘original’ show I was skeptical. After all, though it was a cable station, how far would they really go? Plenty. I have to admit, even I was surprised at the gore, adult themes and language. A+ for Spike and “Blade: The Series,” writers David S. Goyer, Geoff Johns, Barbara Nance, David Simkins, Adam, Targum, Daniel Truly, and Marv Wolfman. – Executive Producers: Ari Arad, David S. Goyer, Jon Kroll, Gordon Mark, Aaron Miller, and Jim Rosenthal. It takes a lot of people to put together a weekly TV Series. They put together a class act of a show. Sure, I missed Wesley, but there was a different dynamic to the series. Sticky Fingaz (Blade) stepped into Blade’s boots with a comfortable ease.
You may know him from TV episodes of “The Shield,” as well as big screen features “House Of The Dead 2: Dead Aim,” “Next Friday,” “In Too Deep,” and “Dead Presidents.” The pilot episode was a bit rough around the edges, writing and acting wise. But as all the components came together the show began to gel with a jello mold. Sure, the usual clichés of vampires were present: silver, sunlight, garlic, etc. but as with its contemporaries, Blade (the movie series) and “Interview With The Vampire,” the lead ghouls were charming, mysterious, sexy and dangerous.
Now to the cast of characters: Nelson Lee (“Law And Order” Criminal Intent,” “Oz,”) stars as ‘Shen,’ Blade’s right hand man (the series new Whistler). He’s got all the gadgets, weapons, computer savvy, but most importantly, the serum that keeps Blade’s hunger for blood at bay. Lee really does appear to be the brains of the operation whereas Fingaz is the brawn. Jill Wagner (“Shifted,” “Junebug,” “Dr. Vegas,”), as Krista Starr, becomes an unwilling participant into the vampire lair after her brother is killed under ‘mysterious circumstances.’ She finds herself not only involved with Blade but with one of the head vamps Marcus Van Sciver, coolly played perfectly by Neil Jackson (“Alexander,” “The Last Drop,”).
I really don’t want to write the ‘spoilers’ of the show. It’s too much fun to watch and see it all unravel for yourself. Now we come to the vixen with the brains, as well as sharp teeth, Chase, played by Jessica Gower (“Blurred,” “The Secret Life Of Us,”). She becomes the perfect nemesis for Krista (though there are some steamy and very provactive scenes between the two) throughout the season and makes her elegant chess game between herself, Marcus, Krista, Blade and the pure bloods (those born as vampires, not the ones once human and turned) fun to watch.
Season 1 of “Blade: The Series,” from all estimations did very well for Spike Television and really put them on the map for imaginative “original” programming. If you get a chance to catch the season in reruns it is definitely worth the time. As of this moment, there is no word from the network on a possible Season 2. Here’s to looking towards the future and the exact moment Marcus, Krista, Blade, Chase, and Shen left off. Until then, sit back, order a pizza, strap yourself down to the chair and enjoy the ride.
By Tina Mrazik