Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Collector – the Vampire (TV Episode) – review


Directed by: Jonathon A Rosenbaum

First aired: 2006

Contains spoilers

The Collector was a series that ran for 3 seasons and concerned itself with Morgan Pym (Chris Kramer). In 1348 Morgan, then a monk, made a deal with the devil – selling his soul to save the woman he loved from the plague. Ten years later the deal – as all deals with the devil do in this – ended. 48 hours before it ended his love became ill once more – as the deal sours 48 hours before collection.

However, Morgan did not go to Hell – the Devil made him a collector, someone who works for the devil collecting the souls owed. In the modern day Morgan has been able to cut a further deal with the devil – he is allowed to try and redeem the person in that 48 hour period and save them from Hell. In the series all the deals are karma based. For them to get what they wish for, they take from the luck of another, if they redress the balance for that karmic debt then they can be redeemed.

a feedThis season 3 episode starts with a man walking down an alley. He is nervous and rightly so as a girl, Ashley (Daniella Evangelista) swoops upon him grabs him and then bites into his arm with fangs. She feeds, runs along the alley developing wings and flying off into the night. Ashley sold her soul to become a vampire. Having tried her mom’s house we then see Morgan searching the alleyways calling her name – she attacks.

burning in the sunMorgan has her and ties her up in his apartment. She seems almost feral, growling, but eventually we hear her say she is thirsty. He tells her she can feed from him but she will have to go slowly – he has little blood. Actually we see later that his wounds heal almost instantaneously with a little woosh of hell fire. He is trying to get her to talk when the dawn’s sunlight comes through the window and burns her face.

Richard Side as the DevilMorgan sticks her in the closet and the devil appears (Richard Side, in this episode – he is played by someone different each episode). The devil tells him that there are no such things as vampires. Later Morgan has aquired some blood packs and gets Ashley out of the closet but she can’t feed from blood packs – the blood has to be drawn from a living person and that is part of the cosmic joke.

Ashley found by MorganAshley sold her soul to be a vampire, believing she knew all about them. Actually the devil is correct, vampires do not exist and her vampirism was based on her own mistaken beliefs. Thus she has been alone since her deal. Morgan assumes that her redemption lies with her mother and then with a self styled vampire hunter (who became a hunter after surviving an attack by Ashley when he tried to rape her). Actually it all lies with another vampire and Ashley’s lore.

fang shotAshley invented lore to go with her beliefs. As well as sunlight burning, the ability to fly and the fact that living blood is necessary as food, she also believed that a vampire could only create another if the vampire totally drained a victim. Ashley knows that the hunter cannot kill her by a stake (except that, as the 48 hours progresses, she becomes human again) as anything will kill a vampire but only if wielded by the vampire who turned them. As it is Ashley had caused her best friend Danica (Kyla Hazelwood) to crash her car when she revealed her vampiric state. Danica was dying and Ashley drained her, digging her up a week after the funeral. Danica ran off into the night and has not spoken to her friend in the intervening years – it is with Danica that Ashley can find redemption. Incidentally, through Danica we discover that whilst the blood must be taken from a living creature that creature does not have to be human.

feeding on junkiesThere is a side story about Maya (Sonya Salomaa), a junky helped by Morgan who has fallen off the wagon. There is also some strange goings on with Taylor (Christine Chatelain), her ward and nephew Gabriel (Aidan Drummond) and the devil but these are mainly over-arcing story issues. However we realise that Maya was the junky Ashley was feeding on when the rapist attacked her.

This was interesting. In a way it was a dark and fiendish Touched by an Angel or even Quantum Leap – but whilst redemption is available it is only offered by the very person tasked to collect your soul for the devil. The entire vampire aspect was also interesting, a creature that doesn’t exist brought to life by belief and infernal influence. Worth catching – 5.5 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.


Zahir Blue said...

Wow. That sounds really, really interesting. Thanks the head's up.

J.R. said...

Haven't seen this, but it looks like an interesting series . . . the synopsis you gave at the beginning was very reminiscent of the now-defunct "Reaper", which is perhaps the comedic counterpart of this show

Taliesin_ttlg said...

No probs Zahir

JR, I didn't realise Reaper was defunct and that makes me sad as I loved the show.

There are some similarities but this wasn't comedic at all and Reaper didn't really have a redemption element.