As often happens with me, I watched a half an episode on TV and got distracted and never got back to it.
Then I bought series one, but that languished on my shelves for a year or so as well. I did watch the first episode and wound up thinking that the show didn’t know what it was quite yet, and therefore neither did I.
Third time lucky. I sat down with real intent this time and gobbled the first three series. In doing so, like thousands before me, I developed an unhealthy crush on the troubled character of John Mitchell. I also enjoyed the bickering, loving, impatient and loyal family dynamic amongst the three main characters, and their deep committment to their friendship. I still think Mitchell’s was the most interesting story arc, though Annie’s storyline had its moments (especially when she finds out the truth behind her own death). However, Mitchell’s struggle to stay clean, his sense of responsibility to his people when Herrick is murdered, despite knowing their evil, and the constant war between his survival instinct and his need to feel connected and loved and still human, made for some compelling scenes.
Aidan Turner did a superb job of switching off the charm and switching on the terrifying blood sucker. As Mandy said to me … so beautiful and so broken. I really thoroughly enjoyed the first three series right up until the final episode.
Turner and Tovey acted their hearts out in the dramatic finale scene, but I felt the choreographing of it (and here I’m looking at the writers and the director) strayed into melodrama. Annie’s final lines to Mitchell, and his to her, came as a kind of a rushed afterthought and the intervention of the “Old One” vampire detracted from the inevitable, and affected the pacing. In the end, the scene played out without quite the emotional weight I was looking for (translated: I sniffled but I didn’t howl!).
Today, before I wrote this, I came across some old photos of Michael Hutchence back when he was a lad about town. It gave me a complete John Mitchell flashback. Mitchell was the complete vampire rockstar, and wasn’t he good at it! I’ve elected not to watch series 4 and 5 for the moment. I’m still too connected to the orginal cast to give it a fair viewing. Neither have I heard anything about the US series but I would welcome some comments on the comparison.