LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS A Show With Bite - Blade: The Series
By James Whittington, Wednesday 7th April 2010
Very few comic book creations transfer to the small screen effectively with maybe only the 1970s versions of The Hulk and Spider-Man being worthy of a mention. But these were the usual super-human/fantasy style characters that we were used to, not really a break from the norm and ultimately very predictable. But one show based on a comic strip creation hit TV screens in 2006 did make a huge impact, not just because it was fantastic entertainment, but because it was fresh, raw and exciting. Its name was Blade: The Series.
Created by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan in 1973, Blade first appeared in the Marvel comic Tomb Of Dracula (issue #10) but had to wait until December 1974 for his first solo story. Blade is a hybrid, a half-human half-vampire who stalks blood-suckers with his athletic abilities and considerable agility. He has one mission: to rid the world of all vampires. Blade then appeared sporadically over the next few decades even popping up in the Spider-Man cartoon series (The Vampire Queen,1997). Then in 1998 Wesley Snipes was cast in the first ever Blade movie. A huge hit, critically and commercially it spawned two sequels Blade II (2002) and Blade: Trinity (2004).
Blade: The Series was a natural progression for a character who had enjoyed an incredibly successful run at the box-office. Rapper turned actor Kirk “Sticky Fingaz” Jones was hired to play Blade, an inspired piece of casting. Originally part of rap duo Onyx, his screen presence made such an impact fans immediately accepted him as the driven vampire slayer. Blade was given a full back story (in the comic version Blade’s real name and origins differ slightly) and a band of regularly recurring characters including Krista Starr played by Total Wipeout USA host Jill Wagner and Shen played by Nelson Lee. Each give considered and respectful performances, Jones is enigmatic and unpredictable as Blade whilst Wagner oozes sex appeal without ever reducing Starr to a predictable, two-dimensional side-kick.
Enough of the players though let’s talk about the series itself which is an inspired amalgam of the comic strip and movie franchise. First up this is true horror television, don’t think for a moment that this is a watered down version of the much loved vampire hunter. Blood, sex and violence (all used in context) are used to produce some stunning set-pieces. Secondly, the scripts are incredibly dark and brooding, filled with multi layered themes and involving story arcs. Last but by no means least the soundtrack from Ramin Djawadi, a man who would later score Prison Break and more recently Clash Of The Titans, builds up the tension with music that is bombastic one moment and incredibly delicate the next.
Blade: The Series is a triumph, one all horror fans won’t want to miss and which can be see each weekday night at 21:00.
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