LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Witchblade - The Series
By James Whittington, Tuesday 14th April 2009 Very few comic book creations transfer to the big or small screen successfully. One only has to recall such duds as The Phantom, Daredevil and The Fat Slags (!) to hammer this point home. But every now and again someone absolutely nails the idea the printed page was trying to bring to life and Witchblade: The Series is such a title. Based on the hit comic book series of the same name, which was co-created by Marc Silvestri, David Wohl, Brian Haberlin, Christina Z and Michael Turner in 1995 the show had to impress a very loyal fan base as well as make the elaborate premise accessible to a mainstream television audience. Of the original team of creators only Marc Silvestri would help bring the show to life alongside new talent Michael Turner. Witchblade: The Series is the story of a New York detective, Sara "Pez" Pezzini. Her search for justice brings her into contact with the Witchblade, an ancient, intelligent, living weapon so powerful it can battle Earth's darkest evil forces. As Sara tries to keep the secret of the Witchblade, do her job and have a personal life, she finds that her most formidable adversary may be the Witchblade itself. Part cop show part fantasy drama, Witchblade was like nothing else on TV when it was first shown in 2001. Casting for the series must have had a tough battle for the producers as they had to find someone who could carry off the main role of Pez with no just on screen charm but someone who could bring strong characterisation to such a complex creation. They found exactly what they were looking for in Yancy Butler; an incredibly versatile actress who had begun her acting career aged seven in the forgettable slasher Savage Weekend. Joining her was Will Lun Lee as Detective Danny Woo, just before he gained international stardom as Colonel Moon in the James Bond blockbuster Die Another Day. Lookout for The Who front man Roger Daltry popping up in the supporting role of Father Dennis Del Toro in a couple of episodes. When the series hit TV screens it created a huge wave of critical approval not only from viewers but critics who enjoyed the cinematic set-ups, intriguing plot strands and state-of-the-art special effects. It was also unpredictable as with most superpowers, wearing the Witchblade comes with great responsibility. It also tackled social issues as well placing itself firmly into fantasy territory building an enviable reputation of being constantly inventive. Though the series ran for only 24 episodes (including a feature length pilot) its impact can still be felt across schedules today. It directly influenced most of the fantasy shows running at the moment, the most obvious being Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. As good ideas never die, Witchblade continues in a Manga style anime cartoon series that has a new owner of the Witchblade armour in each episode and a new movie from Lionsgate simply entitled Witchblade is due out in 2010. Trivia note – Joel Goldsmith, son of Oscar winning composer Jerry Goldsmith created the score for the series. Witchblade: The Series can be seen weekdays on Zone Horror at 18:00 from April 20th.
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