How to smite the chances of a second series.
, 11 Mar 2009
Saturday Night TV has become an intriguing battleground since the return of the re-invigorated Dr Who. ITV responded first with the silly but entertaining Primeval and the BBC came back with Merlin( which is made by the same production company ) . Demons is the latest attempt to put some dramatic fizz back into weekend telly and it looked promising with its tally of half-life's, vampires and errr demons . Yet despite this exciting premise it has proved more underwhelming than an England second innings.
Young Luke Rutherford( Christian Cooke) is happily drifting through life looking all moody and pouty in vests and having a flirty friendship with the equally pouty Ruby (Holly Grainger) , alas not in a vest when suddenly into his life appears Galvin ( Philip Glenister) who knows something about the death of Luke's father when he was a yickle baby .Apparently he is the last descendant of the Van Helsing line and is destined to join the fight against the 'Half Life's' and sundry nasties which means he must be dedicated and train really hard so he can , as Galvin puts it 'smite' them .Luke's not happy but cheers up a bit when not only does he get to play with cool looking guns he gets to hang around in a wondrous underground lair where Mina Harker( Zoë Tapper) also hangs out. Mina-yes she is that Mina- is a beautiful vampire who has forsaken a life of bloodlust via some potion or other . Consequently as a human she is totally blind , though if she drinks blood and reverts to a vampire she can see again which is handy.
During the series the group tackle a human /rat hybrid, Minas vampire son with a bloody chip on his shoulder, an angel that kidnaps children and a demon posing as a voluptuous young women who Luke yawn...falls for .In truth the synopsis is more exciting than the eventuality as each episode starts promisingly than fritters away in a plethora of bad dialogue usually involving smiting , Luke's reluctance and gradual acquiescence of his role and a final confrontation that never fails to disappoint . There is the story arc of what actually happened to Luke's father which leads to the big finale with the shows best villain the wonderfully named Gladiolus Thrip (McKenzie Crook) which as usual is over before you can blink but leads to a promising set up should there be a second series.
Its almost worth watching Demons just to hear Philip Glenister,s appalling American accent ( revenge for Keanu Reeves? in Dracula) . The acting is variable with Glenister going low key in , i think , a deliberate move to distance himself from Gene Hunt .The star by some distance is Zoë Tapper as Mina and not just because she is playing the (mostly ) disabled role. She gives the vampire/human a dignity and gravitas that doesnt really belong in some lightweight pot-boiler. The fact she is quite a looker is a nice bonus as well. The series special effects are fine until we get to the CGI, which like Primeval , is distinctly underwhelming .
Id like to see Demons given a second series but the scripts need to improve and it needs to concentrate on what it should be about- horrible succubuss, inter dimensional monsters and creepy entities , not teenage navel gazing and paternal crisiss. The idea has potential and it deserves the chance to live up to it......but make it about real Demons not insular psychological ones.....the show isnt clever enough for that.
Demons has lovely cinematography ( if you can have that on the telly) and it makes our capitol city look ravishing at times. The best since episodes of the Apprentice in fact ,though regrettably there is nothing anywhere near as frightening as Katie Hopkins in Demons. Maybe next series?
P.S. I have heard the series has been cancelled so there you go.
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