Blade the Series

Blade: The Series contains language, violence and other content that may not be suitable for all audiences. No kidding! There is plenty of action and gore, starting right from the top. We see a heavily decorated officer in Moscow being pursued by a dark man on a motorcycle, heavily weaponed. Eventually, we get our first glimpse of the new Blade, played by Kirk "Sticky" Jones, as a black leather trenchcoat sweeps over black boots. Blade quickly overtakes the officer, lodging the own man's fire ax into his leg. I smile with glee as the exquisitely gory blood spurts upwards from the wound.

Now, I must warn you, this review is going to be descriptive of all aspects of the episode, so if you are not interested in being spoiled...this review is not for you.

Still interested? Okay. Blade gets the officer in Russia to tell him the whereabouts of Marcus Van Sciver, demanding to know where he's dumping the bodies. Huh? It's called a plot hook and now you want to know more.

We continue our story in Detroit, Michigan (though the show is filmed in Vancouver). I have to admit, although I knew I didn't recognize any of the architechture or streets, they did a good job of presenting this as Detroit (I live a few miles away from Detroit, so you can take my word for it). Sadly, I don't feel that Detroit was misrepresented. In fact, they speak elegantly of not forgetting the past of Detroit and make mentions to the Joe Louis Arena. The vampire who talks about it is very moving in his dialogue about the history of the buildings and the city that was built upon the auto industry. I was very pleased that they conveyed Detroit realistically, but didn't talk about the place in a derogative way. Just a little aside here: NONE of the prostitutes in Detroit look like those featured. High-class hookers simply don't walk the streets of Detroit.

Moving on...Blade the series stays true to the trilogy and the comics. Blade's car is the same as in the movies, tattoos appear identical, and Summerfield (blind scientist from Blade: Trinity) was even mentioned by Blade's new gadget-man, Shen. Sorry to disappoint audiences, but Whistler's daughter Abigail is not in the show, nor is the much-loved Hannibal King. He provided such good comic relief and I was really hoping they would use the character to work a little humor in here and there. Nope, sorry.

We meet Krista Starr, recently home from a tour. She finds out her little brother is dead (ala officers doling the news at her welcome home party) and that he was shot. The detective in charge of the case, Boone, doesn't seem to be pursuing it. Of course, Krista decides to pursue Zach's death herself. She is lured by an eerie voice in the dark, telling her he knows who killed her brother. She follows the voice and is attacked by three vampires. Blade swoops in and saves the day with his typical finesse while Krista futilely snaps off shots on her pistol.

Later, Krista finds Danny, someone who was arrested with her brother prior to his death. He drops a vial before escaping her. She noticed the tattoo on his neck and, get this, Googles the symbol. She comes across a listing for Professor Melvin Caylo and decides to check him out.

When we meet Caylo, we see a quiet, serious the form of Randy Quaid. I NEVER pictured Quaid like this, but he aptly pulls off his cameo (?), filling new viewers and Krista on what the symbol means -- its a glyph for vampire familiars, humans who do the bidding of vampires -- and fills her in on who Blade is, a "daywalker" (though Caylo doesn't use that term) who is a half-breed with all the strengths of vampires and none of their weaknesses, save for the thirst. He also explains the vial she found. It is vampiric ash, an expensive product for humans that give them vampiric abilities for about an hour or two. Neat.

We get little peeks at some sort of experiment being done by vampires on vampires. They talk of a vaccine, inject said vaccine, then inject garlic. It's pretty obvious they are trying to eliminate their weaknesses. We see plenty of plastic-wrapped vampire "test subjects" for this cause.

Krista tracks down Blade, in a way. She meets the new gadget-man, an assertive Asian in his mid-twenties who is constantly insisting that his inventions always work. She checks out Blade and Shen's "lair", looking over their toys, including a "shock gun" and asks: "Isn't this a little elaborate?" Hehe. Yeah. It is, but fans love it. She goes on to ask about crosses and holy water and Blade quickly dispels those myths.

Blade, Shen, and Krista hatch a plan to infilitrate the musuem gala that Marcus Van Sciver is hosting. Sciver is a prominent businessman who has revived this old building and is also, you guessed it, an elite vampire. The plan is to put a small transpoder (tracking device) on Sciver. Sciver lets Krista play her song and dance undercover operation for a minute or two, then reveals he knows exactly who she is. Angrily, she leaves the building.

When Sciver, who looks like a more polished version of Doogie Howser) exits the gala, a man hands him Krista's earpiece, saying she left it for him. She's atop a building with a sniper rifle. They conversationally play caught and mouse, Krista assuring him of her skills, but not taking the silver bullet shot. Her attempt is again thwarted, this time by Chase, a beautiful platinum blonde vampire who looks eerily like a younger version of Hudson Leick (of Xena fame, playing Callisto). Chase knocks Krista out and takes her hostage. Blade arrives too late to save her.

Sciver, now looking sexy in a silk black rope and a strip of sleek flesh showing, taunts Krista as she struggles against her bonds holding her arms above her head, looking very much like a virgin sacrifice in a white dress. Explaining that vampires are more civilized than she realizes, he draws his blood with a syringe and injects it into our neck. Sciver (pronounced Sky-ver) takes her unconscious body and throws it off the top of the building.

Krista awakes frantically inside a body bag at the morgue. The security guard on duty hears her struggles and she almost bites him, then scurries out of the building, trying to quench her thirst with muddy water and rain. Sciver smiles invitingly at her, then takes her back to his building. When she awakens, her mind is cloudy, she feels more "alive" and sunlight burns her. Sciver, imparting his vampiric wisdom, tells her that the dream she had of him was ADE, After Death Experience, triggered by the genetic memories of her sponser (meaning him) and that they are sacred. He speaks of the society of vamires, how it is the only true living and that she is now this.

Sciver sees to it that sexy vamp vixen Chase shows a seemingly mind-addled Krista the ropes, including how to see the invisible vampiric glyphs. Chase also warns Krista from ever going near the House of Leichen. Clearly, vampires have different castes and Houses (Chase and Marcus belong to House of Chthon).

Blade coerces Danny to tell him who would know where to find someone who "disappeared", leading him to Boone, the vampire familiar who has been feeding prostitutes to the test subjects. Blade follows Boone to the facility (American Butchers--too funny) and comes upon the test subjects, who attack him and hold up his rescue mission. He is determined to find Krista before she feeds.

Sciver lets his second-in-command, Fritz, be injected with the new vaccine.

Blade comes upon Krista feeding on her first kill -- Boone. She hates him for brushing her brother's death under the rug and for being a part of his death. Before Blade can get to Krista, he is attacked and being shot at. Eventually, he manages to inject Krista with the synthetic serum to "clear her mind", as she's been behaving like she's in a dream and follows whatever she's told.

Blade is attacked by Fritz and is dismayed to find he is immune to silver. Weakened and knowing the fight is lost, Blade escapes the facility, leaving Krista behind. When he returns in daylight, everyone is gone, including the test subjects.

Krista tests out her vampiric abilities, jumping from one rooftop to one hundreds of feet away. She finds herself at her brothers grave, contemplative of her new identity, struggling with it. Blade comes upon her and tells her that he wants to work with her, that she is in deep with the elite society of vampires, and that her brother was his contact before her. She accepts.

In the final scene, we see the traitorous Boone awaken as a vampire. He's been begging Sciver to be "made", to wit Sciver would angrily explain that Boone was not worthy of being a vampire. He laughs happily...until he realizes he is a vampiric test subject. Oh, too bad!

Now that I've recapped the episode, I'd like to say that I think the writers did a good job with this pilot and of balancing the backstory of the Blade series, while still providing an interesting and fresh plot. All the characters on the canvas are interesting and well-written. You feel their history, even though you don't yet know it. Chase let one snippet about her go to Krista: "My husband made me...and has lived to regret it".

Although slow-going at first, you soon become deeply immersed in the story and hang on to every word. Spike TV brought in 2.5 Million viewers with The Blade pilot and I'm sure the ratings will continue to please the network. I certainly will continue to watch, particularly because of Chase, played by Jennifer Gower. Jill Wagner is believable and likeable as Krista, and although Jones feels a little stiffer than the Wesley Snipes' Blade, he still feels authentic. If you liked the movie trilogy and/or the comics, you're bound to enjoy Blade: The Series.

****NOTE**** For one week, iTunes users can now download a FREE copy of the two-hour premiere of SPIKE TV's first original scripted series: "Blade: The Series". New episodes will be available on iTunes the day after their premiere on-air.


Best regards from NY! » » »

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