Saturday, September 08, 2007

First Thoughts – Blood Ties

logoOkay, we are now four episodes into the UK run of Blood Ties season 1, on Living TV, and I thought that it seemed about the right time to offer my first thoughts. The series is based on the books by Tanya Huff, which I enjoyed. However, whilst I refer briefly to the books in this, it will not be a directly comparative exercise as it has been some time since I read them.

Vicki and HenryThe basic premise is thus. Vicki Nelson (Christina Cox) was a homicide detective, and a good one, until she developed a degenerative eye condition. Fearing that she would be desk bound in the police force she left and became a private eye. During the course of an investigation, which forms the first two episodes of the TV series, she met Henry Fitzroy (Kyle Schmid). Ostensibly a graphic novel writer (although in the books he is a writer of bodice ripping romance novels, which was a much more amusing profession), Henry has a secret. He is the bastard son of Henry 8th and a vampire. Suddenly all of Vicki’s cases seem to involve the paranormal and Henry is on hand to help. Through this her ex-partner Mike Celluci (Dylan Neal) is suspicious of Henry and the influence he has and eventually discovers his secret.

the demonOkay that is the synopsis and, as I mentioned, the first two episodes – based on the first novel – cover the case, during which, Vicki meets Henry. In the first episode – Blood Price – Vicki stumbles across a murder and gets involved as the victim’s girlfriend, Coreen (Gina Holden), believes the murder to have been committed by a vampire. This is not the first such murder and the press are speculating the same, hence Henry getting involved as the last thing he needs is a vampire hunt in the city. The murders are actually being committed by a summoned demon and form a ritual to release a greater demon.

Dylan Neal as MikeBy the end of the episode both Vicki and Henry disturb an attack and Henry ends up running off with the body of the unconscious Vicki as the police arrive. I was greatly taken by the episode the timing and atmosphere seemed spot on.

Episode 2 – Blood Price Part 2 – was less of a hit, to me at least. Henry and Vicki go on to solve the case and save the city from impending doom by preventing the greater demon from appearing. However things seemed a little rushed in the episode and it didn’t quiet gel for me.

ZombieEpisode 3 – Bad JuJu – was a voodoo based episode which saw Vicki fighting a zombie in the prologue hence going to Henry for help. The story wasn’t too bad, with some nice twists and turns, but again it just didn’t gel. There seemed too many moments where things were just accepted, although Vicki was new to the supernatural world, and too many leaps of conclusion. I began, at this point, to worry about the series as that was the second episode in a row to leave me unconvinced.

Buttercup the 'invisible' friendThings changed in the fourth episode – Gifted – an episode about a gifted child whose imaginary friend, buttercup, seemed to be able to manifest with deadly results. The episode really began to gel properly for me and the character interaction seemed more natural. I also liked the structure of the episode and the way Vicki was brought into the case was interesting.

Kyle Schmid as HenryCharacter wise everyone seems to work, though Schmid, at this point, still comes across as a bit of a pretty boy and I’m hoping that, as the series progresses, he is given opportunity as an actor to lend a depth and a darkness to his character that has been hinted at so far. I’m truly hoping that the middle two of the four episodes prove to be teething issues with the production as it finds its feet and I shall continue to watch the series with interest. A full review will appear once the UK run is complete.

The imdb page is here. The series airs, in the UK, on Living TV, Thursday evenings.


Anonymous said...

I luv blood ties. And who cares if Kllyle Schmid is apretty boy! He's hot!!!!!

Taliesin_ttlg said...

To be honest, I care. Whether "he's hot" as you put it (and personally he's the wrong gender for my tastes) or, as I put it a pretty boy is absolutely irrelevant if he can't act.

However, if you look at the review of the whole series you'll see that I said that he proved his acting talents imho