Demons [Season 1, Episode 1]
Shown 3rd January 2009 [Saturday]
In January 1999, BBC2 started showing Season One of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (even though Season Three was already being broadcast in the USA). And now, a full decade later, there's a British version of Buffy. Well, it's not a direct copy, but there are so many parallels that it's the most obvious and instant comparison.
Luke Van Helsing is a teenager who lives alone with his mother (like Buffy). He is visited by a stranger, Rupert Giles - err, Rupert Galvin (Philip Glenister - Life on Mars ) who tells him it is his destiny to fight freaks (demons and Vampires). Mina Harker ( Zoe Tapper - the Cordelia character in Hex ), a blind babe with psychic powers, also lends a hand.
Luke and his GF Ruby (a mundane type) are in denial about the Freaks. However, they must eventually face up to the demonic leader (Mackenzie Crook - Pirates of the Caribbean, City of Ember ).
A young girl disappears from a church graveyard. Her little sister claims that an Angel took her.
Our heroes are out of ideas. They consult Richard Wilson, who looks exactly like he does when he plays Gaius in Merlin (2008) ... only now he's a darker, edgier character who doesn't like Rupert. Some day we'll have to choose between the two!
Rupert Galvin discovers that his arch-enemy, Tobias Tibbs (Kevin McNally), is in town. Galvin manages to rescue Tibbs' newest victim, Grace ( Laura Pyper ), but the villain is smarter than he looks ...
Ruby has to make a tough decision. Will she continue to risk her life to help Van Helsing fight monsters, or will she get a life of her own?
This was written by Lucy Watkins, the brains behind Hex . This explains why the underused Pyper is back on the Fantasy scene.
A gang of Vamps are in town. Their leader, Quincy, has history with Mina.
Two backstory episodes in a row? This shows a certain lack of imagination, and the writers aren't leaving themselves with much to fill the Season out with.
A fire-breathing Harpy is in town.
Van Helsing gets a new love interest, a gorgeous blonde. What are the chances she'll end up entangled in the Harpy plot somehow?