Top 10 Vampire Hunters

Stories about Vampire hunters have in many ways always interested me more than stories that centre on the Vampires themselves. I generally tend to prefer my Vampires to be evil, bloodthirsty, vicious monsters and so naturally something that’s about people who kill them is going to portray them that way, rather than as misunderstood, sympathetic victims.

In this article I am going to run through my 10 favourite Vampire hunters. I will not be including Vampire hunters who are actually Vampires or monsters themselves such as Angel, Blade or Spike. I feel they deserve their own category and so instead I will simply be looking at human characters who kill Vampires.

So without any further delay then lets look at the 10 most kick ass killers of the undead.

10/ Peter Vincent (Fright Night)

Played by the late great Roddy McDowell (in what was one of his favourite roles.) This character was named after the horror actors Peter Cushing and Vincent Price, though he was really more based on Peter Cushing who was best known for playing Van Helsing.

Vincent is as a washed up horror star who hosts a late night tv series about horror movies called Fright Night. He is soon forced to deal with a real Vampire named Jerry Daindridge however when a fan of his called Charley Brewster, who is Jerry’s neighbour, comes to Peter for help.

It was a fairly original idea at the time of someone who was only a horror actor being forced to deal with a real monster, and one that we would later see replicated in other cult films such as My Name is Bruce and Galaxy Quest.

Though Peter starts out as a complete coward. Eventually he overcomes his fear and helps Charlie slay Jerry and save his girlfriend. I always liked Vincent not just because he was funny but because he was a very human character. He certainly wasn’t a classical, dashing hero. At times he was selfish, greedy, and cowardly, yet at the end of the day he does do the right thing and helps to slay the evil demon.

I felt he was a more believable hero in some ways who always remained likable even in spite of his faults. Roddy McDowell managed to find the right balance of adding plenty of humour, yet some pathos to the character who in some ways was quite a sad lonely person longing for the days when he was relevant.

McDowell would go on to reprise his role in one sequel to the original which saw Vincent go up against Jerry’s Vampiric sister Regina. Sadly the sequel was not quite as strong as the original, but it was still a fairly enjoyable horror flick overall. My only problem with it really was that it was essentially just the same story as the first film again, but with a Vampire going after Charley rather than his girlfriend.

The character of Vincent would return in a 2011 remake where he was played by former Doctor Who David Tennant. This version of Peter was actually shown to know about Vampires and had an extensive knowledge of them. He still didn’t hunt them however as he was a miserable coward, though by the end of the film much like the original he faces his fear and helps Charlie slay Jerry. Its quite a nice twist to have a character know about Vampires and be interested in studying them, yet not actively hunt them, and David Tennant puts in a good performance. Still the definitive Peter Vincent will always be Roddy McDowell to me.

9/ Gordon Walker (Supernatural)

The Vampire hunter isn’t always the good guy as seen with Gordon Walker who is in Dean Winchesters words “a sadistic bastard”.

Gordon began hunting Vampires when his beloved sister was abducted and turned into one of the undead. Gordon apparently later tracked her down and killed her and in his own words didn’t blink once as he knew it wasn’t his sister anymore.

Gordon later earned a fearsome reputation among both Vampires and hunters with Ellen Harville describing him as a good hunter the same way that Hannibal Lecter is a good psychiatrist.

Despite this when he first meets Dean, Dean ends up taking a shine to him after they kill a Vampire together. He soon sees him for what he truly is however when Gordon captures a friendly, reformed Vampire named Lenore and begins to brutally torture her.

Later Gordon after finding out from a Demon that Sam is destined to be the vessel for Lucifer himself tries to kill him, leading to more confrontations with the Winchesters.

He is later captured after another showdown with Sam and Dean by a Vampire named Dixon who turns him into one of his own kind as a punishment.

After becoming the very thing he hates the most. Gordon still tries to kill Sam and Dean for the greater good of humanity but is ultimately killed by Sam in a final showdown when Sam takes his head off with a piece of barbed wire.

Gordon to me was an excellent character. He was undoubtedly a villain, but at the same time you could understand where he was coming from. Ultimately he was right about Sam being the Anti Christ. Sam later frees the Devil himself! Unintentionally of course, but still he did kind of kick of armaggeddon and whilst they managed to stop the Devil, pretty much all of the shit that’s happened since, Eve being free, Leviathans being free, civil war in Heavan etc, has been fallout from the Devil getting free.

At the end of the day if Gordon had killed Sam just think of how many people would still be alive today.

However the best thing about Gordon is his ultimate fate of being turned into a Vampire. Its horrible the way that Gordon is completely aware of how evil he has become, yet is unable to control his Vampiric urges and ends up turning a young girl into a Vampire and tearing his best friends heart out with his bare hands!

Worse than that however is the way that as a Vampire his soul will be condemned to purgatory forever. In Supernatural supernatural creatures souls do not go to either heaven or hell. Instead they go to purgatory, which is an endless forest, where they are forced to hunt each other forever.

Thus Gordon will now be forced to roam those endless woods as the very thing that he hates the most, hunting, killing other monsters and being killed by other monsters only to be reborn again and again for all eternity.

He’ll also no doubt have to face the Vampires he killed as well as his sister again. I always loved this aspect of Supernatural lore as it was just so viciously cruel that the people who became monsters were truly damned for all eternity. In other works of fiction when someone who is a monster is killed their soul is normally released but here they are condemned to live in a place worse than hell regardless of whether they were a good person or not.

Thus Gordon is condemned to the worst fate possible. As bad as he is you can’t help but feel bad for him as he is definitely the most tragic character in the entire series.

8/ Rupert Giles (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Okay I know what you are thinking Giles is really more of a book guy than a Vampire hunter, but still he has killed more than his fair share of Vampires over the course of the series. He’s chopped their heads off, burned them, he even killed a Vampire with a twig!

Giles was always I’d say my fourth favourite character in the Buffyverse after Spike (1), Faith (2) and Angel (3).

I always liked Giles because he was like a modern day version of Peter Cushing as Van Helsing or Jon Pertwee’s version of the Doctor. Like them at first glance he didn’t seem that dangerous. He was much older, stuffy, posh, refined, wore tweed jackets, but underneath the fuddy duddy exterior he was someone that actually you really did not want to mess with.

Giles was responsible for killing and foiling some of the most dangerous villains of the series.

His most notable accomplishments include the following.

He broke the spell of a powerful witch who had given Buffy a magical terminal illness.

He fought off an old one with an axe.

He set fire to the warehouse of Angelus, one of the most dangerous Vampires of all time and savagely beat the Vampire to a bloody pulp with a flaming baseball bat.

He withstood torture from Angelus the most sadistic Vampire and didn’t break after hours. Angelus was eventually forced to use illusions of Jenny to trick him.

In an episode called The Wish, Cordelia unknowingly makes a wish to a Vengeance Demon called Anyanka that Buffy had never come to Sunnydale. As a result of this the Master rose and took over Sunnydale. Most of the population of Sunnydale are either turned into Vampires (including Xander and Willow), horribly killed, kept in cages and tortured, Angel is kept in a cage and tortured every day by Willow who calls him her puppy,  Cordelia is also horribly killed and when Buffy shows up she too is later killed by the Master who snaps her neck like a twig. Giles however figures out what has happened, summons Anyanka, steals her necklace which is her power source and smashes it returning everything back to how it was, and ridding the world of a powerful demon Anyanka too. Had it not been for Giles all of the main cast would be dead.

He blew up the Mayor a 100 foot long snake.

He came up with the spell and the plan that killed Adam the main villain of the 4th series.

He broke one of Glory’s most loyal Demon minions in seconds by whispering something in his ear so horrible that he would rather betray Glory a Hell Goddess, than not tell Giles what he wanted!

He technically killed Glory a god with his bare hands when she morphed back into Ben, a human by smothering him to death.

He faced Willow the most powerful witch in the series, granted he was given power by other witches but still.

Giles may not have been the most powerful character in Buffy but he was still a serious badass nonetheless and so I feel he deserves a place on any best Vampire hunters list.

7/ Jack Crow (Vampires)

The star of John Carpenters somewhat underrated gore fest of a Vampire film. Jack Crow was played by James Woods and is really, really nasty guy. He isn’t an out and out villain, but he isn’t exactly a knight in shining armour either.

The character fits the violent, bleak tone of the film. Jack is someone who lives a hellish existence on the road, fighting with the most vicious and brutal Vampires.

Woods really holds nothing back in his performance and makes Crow every bit as vicious as the Vampires he kills. There is nothing he isn’t prepared to do from torturing priests to beating up women. Even his own team mates aren’t so keen on him. He is a true anti hero in every sense of the word.

6/ Faith Lehane (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Someone who would be too wild even for Jack Crow’s team of Vampire hunters, Faith is an all around excellent character who goes from an unstable wild card, to an outright villain, to a tragic mess, to a reformed hero.

The role made a star out of Eliza Dushku who would go on to star in two more genre series Dollhouse and Tru Calling, though she will always probably be the most remembered for Faith.

Eliza was absolutely sensational as Faith. She was sexy, badass, frightening, tragic and cool all at the same time. The great thing about Faith was even at her worst she was never evil. Just someone who couldn’t own up to her mistakes. When she killed someone rather than admit what she did she just ended up digging herself into a bigger hole to the point where there is seemingly no way for her to return. Of course ultimately it was Angel that ended up helping her to reform which later led to her saving him when he became Angelus in a nice twist.

Though Faith was a fully fledged hero who helped save the day by the end of her time in Buffy, sadly Eliza Dushku turned down the chance to star in her own series. Joss Whedon had intended for there to be a spin off about Spike and Faith travelling the world together but Eliza was busy with Tru Calling so Spike crossed over into Angel. I would have LOVED a Spike and Faith spin off as they were by far my two favourite characters and I really wished they had gone back to it after Angel finished, but sadly it was not meant to be.

Still Faith’s time on both shows is enough to establish her as one of the most badass Vampire killers of all time.

5/ Captain Kronos (Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter)

From Hammer’s underrated classic, Kronos is a swashbuckling hero whose family were killed by Vampires and who travels the world avenging them.

It is established that there are many different breeds of Vampire in Kronos and often when hunting them he will have to try all the different options of killing them before he finds the one that works. One scene sees him hang a Vampire, stake him and even try and burn him before he discovers how to kill him.

Whilst Kronos had more of a straight forward personality than some of the others on this list, the idea of a swashbuckling hero fighting various different types of Vampire around the world was an inspired idea and its a shame that it wasn’t expanded on.

4/ Rachel Van Helsing (Tomb of Dracula)

In much the same way as Cushing’s Van Helsing set the template for the later more cerebral, posh English Vampire hunter like Rupert Giles then Rachel was really the one set the template for the feisty, female ass kicking Vampire hunters like Buffy.

Rachel was the descendant of the original Van Helsing who battled Dracula in the 1970’s in Marvels Tomb of Dracula, which Joss Whedon himself has cited as one of his biggest influences on both Buffy and Angel.

Though not quite as interesting a character as the later Buffy and Faith, Rachel nevertheless was a fairly original idea back in the 70’s of a more physical, female Vampire hunter.

Sadly Rachel remains relatively obscure even to this day, though the character of Abigail Whistler in Blade Trinity was based off of her.

3/ Mr Vampire/ Master Kau (Mr Vampire Film Series)

Played by the late Lam Ching Ying, Master Kau or Mr Vampire as he was nicknamed was a taoist priest who used magical spells and enchantments to ward off demons, ghosts and Vampires.

He appeared in his own film series as well as a crossover film series which saw him team up with Sammo Hung’s demon fighter from Close Encounters of the Spooky Kind who is simply nicknamed the fat man.

The Mr Vampire film series naturally incorporated Chinese mythology and thus its Vampires were somewhat different to those we see in Western movies. They were as single minded as animals, couldn’t speak, could only roar, could only really be killed by magic (though they don’t like the sun), were hideously ugly as well, and had virtually limitless strength, though one film in the series Vampire vs Vampire sees Mr Vampire take on a more European Vampire.

The Mr Vampire films are criminally underrated here in the west. Lam Ching Ying was one of the best action stars there has ever been. The fight scenes are very creative, often a great mix of stunning visuals and dark humour.

If you haven’t seen any of these films then you should check them out. There are 5 Mr Vampire films, 2 Crossover films, Spooky Encounters and The Dead and the Deadly,  Vampire vs Vampire and Magic Cop. There is also a remake trilogy called New Mr Vampire and a Mr Vampire tv series too though sadly I have not yet had a chance to view this. I’d say my favourites are the first two Mr Vampire films and Vampire vs Vampire, though they are all entertaining in their own way.

Buffy Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

One of the most iconic fictional characters of all time, Buffy Summers is Joss Whedon’s most enduring creation and was really in many ways the perfect superhero in that she always felt like a real believable character regardless of how larger than life the situations she was in where.

Buffy is the chosen one, the one girl in all the world gifted with the strength and skill to hunt the Vampires, the Demons and the forces of darkness. Over the course of her own series she saves the world about 10 times, the entire multiverse once, and kills literally hundreds of Vampires, Demons, Zombies, and even hellgods!

Sarah Michelle Gellar who played the role for 7 years was excellent as the character. The character of Buffy I think was a very hard part to get right as she was someone who needed to seem quite sensitive and vulnerable at certain points, more so than even your average hero, as that was part of her appeal that she made mistakes and didn’t always have the answers, yet obviously she still had to seem strong enough to be believable as a hero too.

I think Sarah always excelled as the character and to this day Buffy remains a genre icon, with there having been more essays written about the Buffy series than any other.

Buffy is the most famous Vampire hunter of all time after only Van Helsing himself.

1/ Van Helsing, Peter Cushing Version (Hammer Dracula Series)

Van Helsing is the most famous Vampire hunter and by far away the greatest and most enduring version of Van Helsing is Peter Cushing’s in the Hammer Dracula series.

It was in many ways Cushing’s Van Helsing that made the character into the ultimate Vampire killer.

In the novel Van Helsing is an eccentric professor who has studied Vampires, but he does not actively hunt them. He has a normal life and does not devote his entire existence to destroying them, in fact he doesn’t even kill Dracula.

Cushing’s Van Helsing reimagined the character as someone who devotes his entire life to exterminating Vampires. He tracks them from town to town, he fights with them, he knows more about them than anyone else, he has no normal life.

This would go on to influence nearly all future interpretations of the character as well as other Vampire hunter characters such as Captain Kronos, the Winchesters and even Giles.

To this day Cushing remains more associated with the character than any other actor, so much so that in many ways his name has become associated with Vampire hunters too.

Whilst Cushing brought many iconic characters to life from Winston Smith to Victor Frankenstein, I think its safe to say that Van Helsing was really his most iconic part and for me his Van Helsing is still the greatest of all Vampire hunters.

 

 

 

Being Human Review

Being Human was a British cult series created by Doctor Who writer Toby Whitehouse. It ran for 5 series from 2009 to 2013 and was part of a wave of British cult series that followed in the wake of the revival Doctor Who..

Being Human was perhaps somewhat overlooked compared to other cult series from this generation, like Sherlock and Merlin. Still despite this Being Human has developed a very strong and devoted worldwide following and even inspired an American remake.

I have not yet had a chance to watch the American remake, so this review will only be covering the British version. I will be giving an overview of the series its characters, its lore, its influences and comparisons to other series and ultimately why I feel this supernatural drama was actually the best British fantasy series of the past 20 years.

Overview

Being Human was created by former Doctor Who writer Toby Whitehouse. Originally it was pitched as a comedy, revolving around three twenty somethings, one of whom was a sex addict, another an agorophobe, and another with chronic rage problems, sharing a flat.

Part way through development however, Whitehouse added the supernatural elements, and the sex addict became a Vampire, the agorobobe became a Ghost and the person with chronic rage problems became a Werewolf.

Traces of the original premise can still be found in Being Human, with many stories in season 1 revolving around Annie being too scared to leave the house, Mitchell not being able to control his bloodlust during sex, whilst in season 2 George’s attempts to control his Wolf side result in him developing chronic rage problems (to the point where he almost beats his boss to death.)

Originally Being Human starred Aidan Turner as the Vampire, John Mitchell, Russell Tovery as the Werewolf, George Sands, and Lenora Crichlow as the Ghost, Annie Sawyer.

Its first series revolved around the three paranormal creatures attempts to build a normal life for themselves, as well as Herrick (played by Jason Watkins) attempts to build a Vampire army to sweep the world and conquer humanity. There is also a subplot of Annie discovering that her own fiance Owen killed her.

The series ends with George managing to kill Herrick, and Annie getting her revenge on Owen by driving him mad.

The seconds series sees an anti paranormal organisation target the trio. Its leader Lucy Jaggat is able to seduce Mitchell, who takes over the Vampire community in Herrick’s death and tries to convince them to swear off blood.

George meanwhile also ends up infecting a nurse named Nina that he was in a relationship with, which strains their relationship.

Eventually Jaggat, under the guidance of the psychotic, fanatic Kemp, plants a bomb in the Vampires headquarters which kills them all, save Mitchell and Daisy who go on a massive killing spree in response.

Though Mitchell is able to save George and Nina from Kemp, sadly Annie’s ghost is exorcised to the other side by Kemp.

The second season ends with Daisy and another Vampire minion of Herrick bringing him back through a blood ritual, whilst Mitchell, George and Nina move to Wales, where Kemp (who kills Jaggat along the way) follows them, only to be pulled into hell by a vengeful Annie, who Mitchell vows to rescue.

In season 3, Mitchell is able to cross over to the other side and rescue Annie. On the other side however he is told by the ghost of one of his victims Lia, that he will be killed by a Werewolf soon.

Mitchell and Annie later begin a relationship too, but things get worse for the group when Herrick returns. Lacking any memories of who he really is, the group take him in and try to help him, but unfortunately the police soon discover Mitchell’s role in the box tunnel massacre and he is arrested.

Herrick meanwhile later regains his memories and nearly kills Nina, before going on another rampage, before he is finally killed by Mitchell.

Mitchell, unable to live with what he has done, and terrified that he will lose control of his thirst again, is able to convince a reluctant George to finally stake him.

The third series ends with a member of the Old Ones, a group of elite Vampires promising that very soon their kind will rule the earth.

In between series 3 and 4, Nina gives birth to a child, but the Vampires kill her soon after. The Old Ones are soon preparing to launch an all out attack against the rest of humanity, but they soon discover a prophecy that states that the child of two Werewolves, (George and Nina) will bring about the end of the Vampires.

George is later killed whilst defending his daughter Eve. Annie meanwhile gains a new roommate in the form of Tom McNair, a Werewolf who hunts Vampires, after his adopted father (also a Werewolf) was killed by Herrick.

Later another reformed Vampire named Hal moves into Tom and Annie’s flat, after his best friend a Werewolf named Leo, and his Ghostly lover Pearl move onto the afterlife.

Hal is over 500 years old, and much like Mitchell was once one of the most notorious and cruel Vampires.

Hal, Annie and Tom do their best to protect Eve from the Vampires, but another threat emerges, in the form of a Ghost lady from the future who also wants to kill the child.

The Ghost lady later reveals to Annie that she is in fact Eve herself! At some point in the future, the Vampires, led by their king, Mr Snow will reveal themselves to the world, and wage war on humanity.

The Vampires after 20 years of fighting will gain the upper hand, and conquer not only humanity, but other supernatural races, including Werewolves.

By the 2030s the Vampires rule the world, and both humanity and Werewolves are round up into concentration camps. Tom dies in these concentration camps, whilst Hal returns to being an evil monster, and becomes literally the poster boy for the Vampires. Annie meanwhile after losing all of her friends finally fades away into nothing.

Eve in the future later discovers the final part of the prophecy that states that the Vampire race will only end when she dies. With it being too late by that point, Eve in the future still kills herself, and performs a ritual that allows her spirit to travel to the past to avert this terrible future.

Eve begs Annie to let her younger self die, but she can’t bring herself to do it, until the Old Ones, led by Mr Snow arrive. Realising how dangerous they are, Annie reluctantly blows both Eve and the Old Ones up after a final showdown, which erases the terrible future, after which her soul is able to finally move on.

The final series of Being Human revolves around Hal, Tom, and a new Ghost named Alex who was initially a love interest of Hal in life, before being killed by a former Vampire associate of Hal named Nick Cutler.

The new trinity has to deal with the Devil himself, Captain Hatch who plans to bring about armageddon (with it also being revealed that the Devil created Vampires, Werewolves and Ghosts.)

At the end of the series, Hal, Alex and Tom are able to seemingly kill the Devil, by uniting his three curses against him. After the Devils death, all three are rendered human, but sadly it is later revealed that this is just a dream orchestrated by the Devil who is still ravaging the real world.

A bonus scene on the DVD shows Hal, Alex and Tom realise that they have been placed in a dream and go to fight the Devil. Whether they succeed or not is left open ended.

Best Seasons

Being Human can really be divided into two distinct era’s. The George and Mitchell years and the Hal and Tom years. If you wanted too I suppose you could divide it into three different era’s. The Mitchell, Annie and George years, the Hal, Annie and Tom years and the Hal, Tom and Alex years.

Most people I talk to tend to prefer the original series starring the original supernatural trinity of Mitchell, Annie and George. Personally however if I had to pick my favourite series, I’d say it was 4.

I like series 4 the best for a number of reasons. First of all I prefer Hal as a character to Mitchell.

I loved Mitchell. Aidan Turner is a truly charismatic and engaging performer, however Mitchell is a bit more of a straight forward good guy Vampire character. The dark, brooding, sexy bad boy that we have seen a dozen times. Though I did feel the end to Mitchell’s story was quite a good twist on the reformed Vampire story, as Mitchell ultimately fails to be a control his bloodlust. Sadly as he himself says, he always was the bad guy and has to be put down by his best friend.

Still Hal to me offered up a new take on the classic good guy Vampire. He was almost a comical deconstruction of that type of character, being presented as more neurotic in his attempts to control his bloodlust, than dark and brooding.

I think the potential for comedy overall was better with Hal than Mitchell, though at the same time I felt Hal when he was evil was far more menacing than Mitchell.

Mitchell was more like an animal giving into temptation, where as Hal had a certain calmness about him. The scene where he murders Larry in cold blood is far more disturbing than the Box Tunnel massacre.

Hal slowly choking him to death whilst saying calmly “this is the real me Larry” is as frightening a moment as any involving any of the main villains in the series. What’s even more disturbing is the way that Hal does it just for fun. At the very least whenever Mitchell killed it was to satisfy his thirst for blood.

I think it was good that they were able to make Hal and Mitchell such drastically different characters. On the surface they seemed very similar. Both once the most powerful and dangerous Vampires who become good guys, both were turned in the middle of a battle, and both have to deal with Vampires from their past who try to lure them back to their old habits, but really underneath they are polar opposites to one another.

Mitchell is the fun, easy going guy that everybody loves. He can befriend anyone and is the cool guy of the first trinity.

Hal on the other hand is the neurotic, uptight, awkward one who doesn’t know how to interact properly in any type of social situation. When someone is bothering him at work he goes off into some big ridiculous monologue about the old days when he had a horse, and peasants would be tortured for defying him!

As both villainous and sympathetic characters Hal and Mitchell offered a very different dynamic from one another, and whilst both were great characters; ultimately I much prefer Hal and Damian Molony, who is one of my favourite actors overall.

Another reason I liked series 4 the best is because of how it portrayed the Vampires. I love Vampire fiction. Its one of my biggest interests, however I do prefer my Vampires to be evil. I don’t mind one off good guy Vampires, but I feel that most of them should be monsters. I don’t like stories that portray Vampires overall as misunderstood creatures.

My ideal Vampires are arrogant, bloodthirsty monsters. In the first 3 series whilst we were introduced to plenty of evil Vampires like Herrick, we also see more sympathetic Vampires like Lauren, Adam, and even Ivan and Daisy to some extent, whilst in series 2 Mitchell also manages to convince an entire group of Vampires to stop drinking blood.

In series 4 however Vampires with the exception of Hal, who even then has his moments are all irredeemable monsters. We see them take pleasure in not just killing but torturing their victims too. Even the Vampires who do turn on their kind like Cutler and The Vampire Recorder only do so for their own selfish reasons. I also think they felt like more of a force to be reckoned with in series 4 too, and it was cool the way we actually saw what an earth under the Vampires would be like too.

The Vampires are literally like the Nazi’s persecuting other supernatural races, (Werewolves in particular) and herding people in their millions into death camps. I love the opening scene in series 4 where we see the ravaged ruins of a Vampire ruled earth. Its kind of like the Dalek Invasion of Earth or War of the Worlds, but with Vampires!

Finally I also found the story arc in series 4 to be the strongest too. I felt it was quite an unusual idea for a Vampire series. Its not often that you see time travel in a Vampire story.

I also liked Annie sacrificing Eve. Its a very controversial story among fans and I can understand why. Its bit much to have your main character actually kill their best friends baby! Still I felt it was quite an interesting and dark twist on the usual story that we often see, where there is a relative of one of the main characters who is destined to do something bad, and the hero has to decide on whether or not to kill them, or save the world. Other examples of this type of story include in season 5 of Buffy, where Buffy has to choose between sacrificing Dawn to stop Glory, and in Supernatural where Sam Winchester is prophecised to be the vessel for Lucifer, and Dean has to deal with hunters, like Gordon Walker wanting to kill his brother.

In Sam and Dean and Buffy’s case however it all works out. Okay granted Sam goes to hell and Buffy dies, but still ultimately both get brought back and Sam loses all of his memories of hell. Neither Buffy or Dean had to actually sacrifice their loved ones. In Being Human however, there’s not some big magic deux  machina where Annie avoids the horrible future and saves Eve. You think its going that way, when Hal and Tom talk about eliminating the Old Ones, and its really shocking when Annie blows them all up instead. It was heartbreaking, but a very bold ending to the story.

I think series 4 also tends to focus on the fantasy elements more. It expands the mythos, featuring other supernatural creatures like Demons and even explaining where the Vampires came from. The first three series tend to focus more on the soap opera elements.

They tend to more revolve around the main characters attempts to fit in with humanity and their romantic misadventures. Even in series 1, which sees the Vampires try and take over the world, our the main characters more just react to it at the end of the series.

In series 4 however we have characters like Tom who actively goes and hunts Vampires and episodes like Eve of War, that are pure action and fantasy from start to finish.

I think series 4 is more comparable to series like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Supernatural in that like them its a series about people hunting supernatural creatures and saving the world from them. Series 1-3 however is more comparable to series like True Blood, in that its a series that shows us how supernatural creatures exist in our society, albeit obviously in a different way to True Blood.

I think a large part of this is due to the character of Tom. Michael Socha really brought a physical edge to the series through his performance that allowed the shows writers to do these types of stories with big massive Vampire fights such as in the finale. Its hard to imagine George bursting into a room and killing hundreds of Vampires like Tom.

The only time we ever see George take on lots of Vampires at once is when he has changed partially into a Werewolf in series 4. Tom however can do scenes like that all of the time. Compare Mitchell and George’s fight in the last episode of series 3 slapping each other, to Hal and Tom’s big brawl in the last episode of series 5 and you will see how Socha really brought more of a physical edge to the show.

Having said that whilst series 4 is my favourite and I do prefer Hal to Mitchell, I think series 1 and 3 are better than series 5.

Series 5 is not a bad series. I loved Phil Davis as Captain Hatch. Being Human always benefited from having consistently strong villains. Not only where all the villains great characters, very well written, with great motivations, but they were all played by brilliant actors like Jason Watkins, Mark Gatiss, Donald Sumpter and Phil Davis. Also series 5 has the single best episode of all time too, the finale. Still a lot of series 5 does feel like its reusing old ideas.

Crumb is a similar character to Lauren. Both Vampires who were turned by the main character and both end up killing lots of people before trying to control their blood lust, and ultimately end up just killing themselves.

Larry is also pretty much the same character as Tully from series 1. Both Werewolves who are losers and perverts who manage to somehow serve as role models to the main werewolf character and end up leading them astray, before clashing with the Vampire. There is even a scene in both episodes where Hal and Mitchell threaten Tully and Larry to leave instantly and they refuse.

Hal and Alex’s romance is also comparable to Mitchell and Annie’s too in that its another Vampire/Ghost love story.

Again this is not to say series 5 is bad, but it doesn’t feel quite as fresh as the earlier series and with this in mind perhaps its best that it was the last series.

Series 3 I’d say is probably the best of the Mitchell, George and Annie years. Again its story arc is very strong. Its not a big grand storyline like series 4 or 1. The only threat is to the main characters, but that works in its favor as its a really tight story that pushes our characters to the very limits.

Series 3 is really Aidan’s series. They all have their moments but he really gets to show us so many different sides to Mitchell. He shows us how romantic and sweet he is with Annie one minute, but then gets to show us a really devious side of the character, such as when he tries to feed Nancy to Herrick. Mitchell’s death is also brilliantly handled too. I will say whilst I preferred Hal, I think Mitchell’s relationship with George was much better written.

Series 1 meanwhile is a strong opening series. Jason Watkinns is an effective villain and the series does quite a good job of slowly introducing us to the lore such as the Vampire’s secret society, their feud with the werewolves, the men with the sticks and ropes.

The only problem with this series however is its weak finale. The Vampire takeover is halted far too easily. Compare what they have to do to stop Herrick to what they have to do stop the Old Ones. Granted the Old Ones are a bigger deal than Herrick, but still you’d think it would require more than that to stop all the hundreds of Vampires he had gathered as an army?

Series 2 meanwhile I think is the weakest series. I don’t like its story arc. Again I’m not keen on the Vampires all trying to kick their blood habit, and I also don’t like the idea of an organisation designed to track down the supernatural that goes evil. Its one of these ideas that sounds quite neat on paper, but for some reason it just never seems to work out. Another example of this would be The Initiative in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Kemp is quite a good villain however, but overall I think this was when the series was at its most soap operaish.

If I were to rank the series then it would be like this.

1/ Series 4

2/ Series 3

3/ Series 1

4/ Series 5

5/ Series 2

Top 10 Episodes

10/ Eve of War

A great opening episode for series 4. This story to me really shakes things up brilliantly with the deaths of two main cast members. Its sad that Nina dies off screen. She is consigned to the same fate as Tully and Daisy this way. Still George’s death is very moving and its a fitting end for him to die saving his daughter, even if it is pointless. I also love Griffin, the main villain in this episode. He is one of the most ruthless and vicious Vampires in the series, even casually saying that he is going to skin George alive at one point!

9/ The Pack

This episode introduces McNair and Tom properly. Robson Green is brilliant as  McNair. He really captures the characters fanaticism and rage brilliantly. McNair’s scenes with Mitchell are the best. Its interesting watching them slowly develop certain level of trust in each other by the end of the story, when they have to work together to save their loved ones. Sadly it doesn’t last however, as McNair is back trying to kill Mitchell again in his next appearance.

8/ All God’s Children

Though I don’t like series 2 that much, it does have an amazing finale. Its great seeing how Kemp is every bit as bad as the monsters he hunts. He is prepared to brutally kill innocent people in his crusade against the supernatural. Also seeing Annie get sent through the door was really quite shocking the first time, though I don’t think anyone was upset when Jaggat died. Mitchell’s rampage is also great too as is his big confrontation with Kemp. I love George’s line of don’t you tear the world apart in her name when Mitchell tries to kill Kemp for what he did to Annie. Its quite ironic considering Annie later kills Kemp in that very episode.

7/ Floatsam and Jetsam

The first episode of the entire series, this episode sets up the characters relationships with each other nicely. Even here you can see that Annie and Mitchell have a special kind of chemistry with one another. It is also gives you some quite nice insights into the Vampires world with Herrick. I love the moment at the end where he quietly threatens Mitchell and assures him, and the viewers that something big is happening.

6/ Where the Wild Things Are

The penultimate episode of series 1. Where the Wild Things Are is one of my favorites because we finally see Annie get Owen. Owen I found to be one the most hateful villain in the entire series. Ironic in a way as he only killed one person, but I think its because he just seemed like a nasty bully, compared to say Herrick or Hatch who at least seemed like dark charismatic villains.  He is a classic example of the banality of evil.

5/ Being Human 1955

This episode introduces Hal into Annie and Tom’s life effectively. From the very beginning Hal and Tom’s chemistry with each other is dynamite. Their final fight in the shop is thrilling and I love the way Annie talks them out of it, pointing out how above all else they will simply be letting both McNair and Leo who were both so proud of them at the end of their lives down. Louis Mahoney as Leo gives a wonderfully thoughtful, nuanced and moving performance, and he and Damian’s chemistry is perfect. As young as Damian may look, you do buy that he and Leo have known each other for decades.

4/ Though the Heavens Fall

This episode is a real game changer. We have the death of McNair, Nancy, Herrick regaining his memories, Mitchell being arrested, and Annie and Mitchell’s relationship finally breaking down. I must admit I loved watching Herrick killing Nancy. Its funny even though we should be on Nancy’s side as Mitchell was behind the Box Tunnel massacre, I still found her too annoying. I

ts sad to see McNair die though, but still you have to give Herrick major credit, for not only killing so many characters, but McNair in full wolf form.

Added to that he also slaughters dozens of police men all by himself, and then to finish it off, stabs Nina in the kidney with a butchers knife! Its definitely Herricks crowning moment of evil when he stabs a pregnant, defencless woman in the kidney! Its even worse when you consider the fact that she saved his life when he had no memories from Mitchell, and looked after him for months, but he just does it to show how he isn’t going soft.

3/ The Wolf Shaped Bullet

The third season finale this episode makes the top ten for Mitchells moving death scene alone. Though all of the main cast would eventually depart the series in tragic ways, this marked the first time we saw main character die and it was a very powerful moment. It was a great twist on the whole good guy Vampire story that for once, there actually is no redemption for our hero Vampire. Unlike Angel or Spike, Mitchell sadly will die a monster. Though perhaps the fact that he willingly gave his life rather than risk anyone else just by his sheer existence, can be seen as a form of redemption. I also love the fact that the thing that is really able to give George the courage to stake his dearest friend is the idea of him being used as a servant of the Old Ones to kill more people.

2/ The War Child

A controversial episode but still one of my faves. Mark Gatiss’s helps elevate this episode alone with his performance as the Vampire king, Mr Snow. He is just mesmerizing on the screen and utterly hideous at the same time. One of my favorite moments is when in the future he says to a rebellious human “I don’t intend to kill you all. You’re far too delicious!” and then smiles to reveal his hideous rotten, green teeth. It makes me shiver every time. I also loves the way he humiliates Nick Cutler. Poor Cutler, Nick Cutler as Mr Snow loves to call him. He always felt he was destined to be a history maker, and then his dreams are completely crushed in a minute by Mr Snow who compares his idea to a child holding its own excrement!

1/ The Last Broadcast

The finale is unquestionably the best episode for me. There are so many classic moments Hal and Tom’s fight in the pub, Leo’s moments with Hal, the final show down with the Devil and best of all Hatch’s speech which has got to be the best supervillain monologue of all time. Phil Davis as Hatch is as good as Mark Gatiss was as Mr Snow. He plays the Devil with absolute evil relish and really captures the characters dark humour wonderfully. Most importantly the episode finishes the series perfectly. Some fans may not have liked the unhappy ending, but it made sense to me.

Each series had had a unhappy ending. In series 1 George infects Nina, in series 2 Annie is lost and Mitchell has given into his Vampiric cravings like never before, in series 3 Mitchell dies, in series 4 Annie is lost again and Eve dies. With this in mind a dark, bleak ending was the only way the show could have finished. Perhaps it would have been better had they kept the extra scene in, and left it open ended as to whether or not they did stop Hatch. Still I like it as it is. Its so creepy, yet I love how understated it is. They don’t come right out and say “they’re still trapped in the dream” its just one little clue, though it is a pretty definite clue that lets you know they ultimately didn’t succeed and the Devil won. Its a horrifying idea that they are just left there lying on the floor dreaming, whilst the Devil is inflicting god knows what horrors upon humanity.

Characters

John Mitchell

John Mitchell was the shows main Vampire from series 1-3. He was definitely the shows most charismatic leading character. In many ways he could be seen as the central character in series 1-3. After all the main villains from all of those seasons are linked to him in some way. Herrick, Jaggat and Lia and its also really his attempts to control his bloodlust that drives the main story arcs of those seasons forward more than anything else.

It doesn’t surprise me that Mitchell is one of the shows most popular characters. He is a Vampire, everybody loves Vampires, he is played by Aidan Turner, everybody loves Aidan Turner and he is just that type of character people love anyway the dark, brooding, sexy loner character.

I think Mitchell offered up a more tragic take on the whole good guy vampire character. Ultimately Mitchell is forced to kill himself in order to stop feeding again. We have seen dozens of characters like Mitchell, but usually there is a happy ending of some sort like they become human, or at least champion for justice.

Even if there isn’t a happy ending at the very least they die as heroes. With Mitchell however, he is ultimately a lost cause and knows that even if he manages to control his desire to kill for now, then in a few years time, or even a few decades after George dies, he will revert back to being a monster.

Often I think its presented as being too easy to stop drinking blood if you’re a Vampire in certain works of fiction. It makes it look like being a Vampire is a cool, fun thing. You just stop drinking blood for a while, and then there are no problems, and you get to stay young forever with cool super powers.

With Mitchell however they show you what a horrible curse being a Vampire is, as not only is Mitchell forced to kill himself for the greater good, but he also doesn’t actually manage to stay completely clean throughout the entire time that we know him anyway.

George Sands

The first Werewolf of the series played by Russell Tovey. George I think is really where most of the comedy comes from in the original three series.

Tovey I think was more of a natural comedic performer than the other two main cast members. There are so many funny moments with George from his disastrous attempts to flirt with Nina on Tully’s advice, to his getting frustrated with Annie making tea, to his correcting the grammar on graffiti even when it’s insulting him “that should be Mr Sand sucks cocks, not suck cocks”.

Tovey and Turner in particular also had a wonderful chemistry with one another. Their’s was more of a straight forward Bromance than the later Odd couple vibe they went for with Hal and Tom

Annie Sawyer

Possibly my fave character. Its a toss up between her and Hal. Annie is arguably the most well developed across the series, though this isn’t surprising considering she is there the longest.

When we first meet Annie its hard to imagine a more helpless, vulnerable character. Even with her supernatural powers at first she is unable to get back at Owen.

As time goes on however we see her take on a much stronger role and get back at Owen, as well as fight off Demons who try and drag her spirit to hell. By series 4 she has become someone who can fight her way through dozens of Vampires whilst screaming “GIVE ME BACK MY FUCKING BABY!”

I’d say that Annie is really the main character in series 4. It feels like her show at that point and as a result of that I’d say that is probably her best series.

Hal Yorke

Hal was both much funnier and scarier than Mitchell. As I already mentioned, in contrast to Mitchell, Hal was a more awkward character who could barely interact with anyone. One of my fave moments is when he and Tom have to pretend to be boyfriends in order to look after Eve, and whilst Tom is okay with it. Hal is clearly embarrassed by the whole thing terribly.

However at the same time evil Hal was much more terrifying than Mitchell. The difference between Hal’s evil side and good side was much greater than that between Mitchell’s evil and good side.

With Mitchell he was just portrayed as losing control, whilst with Hal it was shown to perhaps be a split personality. His good side referred to his evil side in third person and his evil side would even refer to his good side as a different man, and later dead.

Damian Molony really excelled at playing the two different sides of the character.

Tom McNair

The second Werewolf played Michael Socha. Tom was more of an action hero. Socha really brought a physical edge to the show, which suited the direction the series was going in at that point.

Tom’s relationship with Hal had more conflict in it than George and Mitchell’s. They were presented as two people you’d never think of as becoming friends. Not only was one a Vampire who had had a long history of persecuting Werewolves. (Hal had even helped kick off a global conflict with Werewolves and had used many of them in Dog fights.) Whilst the other was a Werewolf who hated Vampires with a passion and collected the teeth from every Vampire he killed!

Even without those rather huge differences however, the two still could not be more different. Tom is a more simple minded person, whilst Hal is more of a pompous intellectual with a taste for the finer things.

As a result there are about 6 huge fights between the two in the series. In their first episode together, they end up pointing a shotgun and a stake at each other.

Yet despite this the two do still manage to become good friends and there are a number of rather touching moments between them where we see the depth of their friendship, such as at the end of series 4 where Tom refuses to give up on Hal, because is his best friend.

Alex Millar

Sadly as she only got one full series Alex is the least well developed of all the main characters. She appeared in a few episodes of series 4 and all of series 5, and is the second Ghost character replacing Annie. She is played by Kate Bracken.

Alex was more of a Tomboy in contrast to Annie who was more of a stereotypical damsel in distress when we first saw her. Alex’s more laddette persona made her a brilliant foil for the sensitive, prissy and uptight Hal.

I think its a shame that the second trinity wasn’t given as much time to develop as the first. Even though series 5 does reuse a lot of the same ideas as the earlier series, it does still manage to reinvent the show superbly, with a great new dynamic and its a shame that we didn’t get to see more of their relationship with one another.

Nina Pickering

Nina was played by Sinead Keenan. She is definitely my least favorite of the main characters in the series. Its not that I dislike her, I just felt that she detracted from the main three at times and didn’t really have as well developed a persona as the other 6 main characters.

Having said that though I did enjoy her relationship with George. If nothing else Keenan and Tovey had marvellous chemistry with one another.

It was also a shame that Nina’s death happened off screen. Whilst I wasn’t the biggest fan of the character, she deserved better than that.

William Herrick

The main villain of the first series. Herrick played by Jason Watkins, is probably the shows most famous villain. He is a Vampire leader who plans a massive Vampire takeover of the world. He not only enjoys killing innocent people, but torturing and demeaning other supernatural creatures, though he seems to hate Werewolves in particular. Still in series 3 he mentions his desire to exterminate all Werewolves and Ghosts too in his new world order.

I actually think I preferred Herrick in series 3. Even though he spends most of the series unsure of who he is, in the last two episodes he manages to kill McNair, Nancy, an entire platoon of police men and a police station and very nearly Nina too. I also love the scenes where he torments Mitchell and George in the cage. Its great watching him actually manage to turn the two friends against each other.

I liked Herrick in series 1, but I felt he wasn’t given quite as much to do ironically in almost the full series he appeared in as himself. Though he did get to almost kill Mitchell I still found him more impressive in series 3.

Kemp

Kemp played by Donald Sumpter is main antagonist of the second series. He was in many the ways the opposite of Herrick, yet actually quite a similar character. Herrick believed in the supremacy of the Vampire race and sought to exterminate and subjugate other races like humanity and Werewolves. Kemp meanwhile believes that human beings have more right to exist than supernatural creatures, and so he seeks to exterminate all of them regardless of whether or not they are benevolent. Its a shame we never got to see him face off against Herrick they would have been a good match for each other.

The character of Kemp is primarily motivated by the death of his family who were killed by Vampires. He even keeps the same blood soaked bible he used to fight off the monsters with him to this day. It becomes obvious that Kemp was driven completely insane, as he is later shown to be willing to murder innocent human beings in his crusade against the Vampires.

Definitely his most effective moment as a villain is when he banishes Annie’s spirit to the other side. This also in a nice irony later proves to be his undoing.

Lucy Jaggat

My least favorite villain in the series. Jaggat I think was intended to be a more sympathetic villain. Unlike Herrick or Kemp, she is constantly unsure if what she is doing is right and later feels extreme remorse for the crimes she commits. However I just never really bought her as a love interest for Mitchell. Their love story just happened too fast and its quite funny the way Mitchell doesn’t even mention her after she is killed by Kemp.

Whilst not a bad villain, she ultimately lacked the impact that the other rogues had.

Nick Cutler

A Vampire and villain of series 4 played by Andrew Gower. Cutler served a similar role to Herrick, in that he was a Vampire leader who tried to temp the main Vampire character back to his old ways, however whilst Herrick had turned Mitchell, Cutler had actually been turned by Hal. Despite being a brutal and sadistic monster Cutler is actually one of the shows more sympathetic villains. He was someone who just simply wanted to make his mark on history.

That’s practically his catchphrase “be a history maker”.  At the end of the series however when he confronts Mr Snow, a man who not only is a genuine history maker but has also met other people who have left their mark on history too, including even Jesus, Cutler finally realises how insignificant he really is.

I love the way Snow tells him”I have already forgotten your name”. It’s rubbish as he loved saying “Cutler Nick Cutler” too much to forget his name. He was clearly just saying that to rub it in!

Cutler will do anything to have an impact on history, as seen in his final appearance, when he is literally crawling along the floor in agony in an attempt to wipe out his own species by killing Eve. Ultimately however he is destined to be forgotten. Even as a Vampire he is just a complete nobody.

You can’t help but feel bad for the guy, particularly as it is all Hal’s fault he ends up like this. Not only did Hal make him a Vampire, but it was also Hal who filled his head full of ideas that he was special and destined for great things when he never was.

Mr Snow

The main villain of series 4. Mr Snow is the leader of the Old Ones and thus the entire Vampire race. He is played by Mark Gatiss in what I feel is the performance of Gatiss’s long and varied career.

Snow is one of my favorite ever Vampires. He is repulsive to look at, with his hideous green rotted death and veiny skin and dirty hair. Yet at the same time there is something alluring about the character. He has a certain dark charisma and appeal.

I think Gatiss is able to embody so many different Vampire traits in his performance to really make Snow seem like the ultimate Vampire. On the one hand, he does embody the repulsive, demonic aspect from many Vampire stories. On the other he has a certain otherworldly eerie charm to him that’s like Lugosi as Dracula. Finally he also has a tremendous physical presence like Christopher Lee as Dracula as seen when he casually disembowels a man with his hand.

Dominic Rook

Dominic Rook played by Steven Robertson is the first villain to become a main cast member. He works for the mysterious Men in Grey, an organisation designed to contain supernatural threats. Rook is not like Kemp, in that he is not a fanatic. He is even willing to make deals with Vampires and Werewolves and other supernaturals. He is not entirely evil and is more portrayed as misguided. He believes his organisation is working for the greater good and that any sacrifice is necessary to keep it going. He is also shown to feel guilt for his actions and in the end he ultimately sacrifices himself to stop the devil, (though this is later revealed to merely be part of the Devil’s fantasy.)

Rook was a great villain. A misguided character that you hoped would see the error of his ways, but ultimately crossed the point of no return and like so many others in his quest for the greater good, ended causing far more pain .

Captain Hatch/The Devil

The main antagonist for season 5. Hatch played by Phil Davis was a brilliant villain for the show to finish on. Davis is superb in the role. He is nasty, loathsome, yet charming and strangely likable all at the same time.

The thing I like the most about the Devil is how easily he beats the main heroes. He literally just points his finger at them and that’s that. Its over. It appears that they best him a little too easily at first, but then we see at the end how they have just been trapped in another dream.

Ultimately our main characters had no chance against Hatch. He was the shows ultimate villain and finally managed to bring about the end of the world.

If they were going have our main heroes ultimately fail then they needed to have a villain you would believe would be able to defeat them, and Hatch certainly seemed dangerous enough to fulfill that role.

Lore

Vampires

The Vampires in Being Human represent among my favourite take on the undead. Being a Vampire in Being Human is portrayed as a miserable, violent existence as it should be. Its not a teenage fantasy.

I also felt this series handled the Vampires take on their hatred of Werewolves too. Vampires versus Werewolves is an old trope, but I like the way the Vampires hatred of Werewolves stemmed from fear, and we saw how they demeaned Werewolves by locking them in cages and forcing them to kill innocent people.

On the one hand it felt like they were trying to drag them down to their level, by forcing Werewolves to have innocent blood on their hands, and on the other it felt like a lot of them enjoyed caging these powerful creatures and treating them like they were inferiors.

The show also gave us a wide range of interesting and very different Vampire characters too from the prissy uptight Hal, to the romantic and tortured Mitchell, to the Vampire supremacist Herrick.

Werewolves

Werewolves I felt were the least developed of the three principal supernatural creatures in the series. We never really find out much about them and the Werewolf rules are fairly generic and bog standard. The most interesting aspect of the Werewolves in the Being Human universe was really their relationship with Vampires. Other than that however I felt that Werewolves were the least developed supernatural creatures in the series.

Ghosts

The Ghosts in Being Human have a slightly more well developed background than the Werewolves. Whitehouse really took us deep into the lore and came up with quite a few interesting ideas. In the Being Human universe, Ghosts remain behind because of unfinished business which isn’t always something nice. The other side isn’t always presented as being something nice either. Indeed throughout the series there are a number of moments that suggest something horrible is waiting for even nice people on the other side such as in series 2. Whitehouse keeps his options open. He doesn’t tie the afterlife down to one particular religion, or idea even with the presence of the Devil in series 5 which allows a lot of flexibility when writing his Ghost characters.

Demons

Demons only make a few appearances throughout the Being Human series. Not much is revealed about them, but whenever they do appear they prove to very effective antagonists. The Men with Sticks and Ropes are Demons from the other side whose job is to track down spirits, that refuse the door to the other world.

The Men with the Sticks and Ropes however are not benevolent creatures. They manage to drive one man named Saul insane and force him to kill himself, so that they can use his spirit to help drag Annie to the other side. It appears that they wished to take Annie to hell, as the corridor they try and drag her to is red, and they mention not rewarding her and showing no mercy to her. Later when the men with Sticks and Ropes appear in our dimension they mention taking Alex to hell.

It is possible that when a ghost turns down its door then it becomes vulnerable to being taken to hell by the men with the sticks and the ropes. Prior to this, a Ghost will go to whichever afterlife it deserves, but when it turns down its door then its fair game for Demons to capture it.

They are not the only Demon species that exist in the Being Human universe. There are many different types of Demons. In series 4 we see a Succubus, a hybrid of Demon and human. Succubuses are the children of Demons and people. Yvonne’s father was a Demon who is described as beautiful, but cruel, whilst her mother was a woman. The type of Demon that gave rise to Yvonne must be powerful, as even its child is shown to be capable to taking over Vampires and Werewolves. Despite this however, the Vampires ultimately overran the Demons in the alternate future, as they overran the entire world!

In series 5 we see many Demons serve Satan. Sadly however again we aren’t taken deep into Demons in the Being Human universe. I think had the series gone on we probably would have found out more about, them which would have been a great way to expand the mythos of the show, but sadly we never saw much of them.

Still the fact that they were a more mysterious race made them very effective and scary.

Zombies

Zombies appear in only one episode Type 4. Still Being Human I think gave us quite a nice take on Zombies. In the Being Human universe Zombies are not the usual Walking Dead flesh eating brainless monsters. They retain exactly the same intelligence and personalities they had in life, but their bodies are rotting.

Zombies are rare they are only created when there is an imbalance in the cycle between life and death. They are spirits trapped in a body that has died.

Being Human’s take on Zombies allowed us for once to have a sympathetic Zombie that wasn’t just a salivating monster.

Influences and Comparisons to other Series

Being Human creator Toby Whitehouse

Many have drawn comparisons between Being Human and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. However despite this Toby Whitehouse the creator of the series claimed that he has never seen a single episode of either Buffy or Angel. Any comparisons between both series therefore is purely coincidental.

There are many common tropes and characters that pop up across many different pieces of Vampire fiction. Obviously the good guy Vampire trope we see with Mitchell, Angel, Spike and Benny from Supernatural, and the evil Vampire Hunter that we see with Gordon Walker in Supernatural, Daniel Holtz in Angel and Kemp in Being Human. However again this does not mean that Being Human owes anything in particular to these series

Whitehouse has instead cited the old Hammer movies as a big inspiration. You can see quite a few nods to these classic films in Being Human. In the first episode series 3, George is trapped in a prison cell whilst he is changing, which is an homage to the Hammer movie “The Curse of the Werewolf” where Leon played by Oliver Reed is trapped in prison whilst he changes.

Herrick’s method of resurrection by having blood spilled on his remains is also an homage to the Hammer movies, where Dracula, played by Christopher Lee, is brought back from the grave by having blood spilled on his remains.

Whitehouse has also cited Let the Right One In as another big influence on Being Human.

Being Human’s largest influence however was the series Ultraviolet. Toby Whitehouse said of Ultraviolet a Vampire tv series from the 90’s “Ultraviolet was a brilliant piece of television and a massive influence on Being Human” “I would have loved to have written for that show. it was terrific and one of the most underrated shows of the last 20 years”. He also said that whilst he felt it could have ran for years if it did it probably would have “put paid to Being Human”.

Being Human could also be compared with the Blade film series. Both involve Vampires living in a secret society alongside ours, which they are able to manipulate for their own means. In both cases there are Vampires who wish to come out and overrun humanity too. However I have never read that Being Human was inspired by Blade, so again it may just be a case of similar tropes being used by both works.

Why I Prefer Being Human to Other Recent British Cult Series

To me Being Human is the best British fantasy or cult series of the past 20 years. I think its much better than Sherlock or Merlin, or even the revived Doctor Who.

To me Being Human was the best as it remained the most consistent. Unlike Merlin which I feel lost its way to the end, or Doctor Who which I feel took until its third series to really find its groove, and lost its way completely at the end of series 8. Being Human’s writing apart from series 2, remained meanwhile strong for me throughout.

I also feel that Being Human was able to mesh the ordinary and the fantastical better than a lot of other genre series.

Again looking at Doctor Who at times I think it could be quiet clumsy at this. A recent episode called The Caretaker for instance, is just a soap story with a badly thought out robot tossed in. Being Human however I think was actually able to bring the Vampires and Werewolves into everyday environment and show us how they can function in normal situations, whilst still making it seem like a fantasy series.

I also think the villains in Being Human were all very strong too. Merlin and the New Doctor Who obviously had great villains, but a lot of them were villains created years ago like the Daleks or Morgana. Even then I don’t think they have always handled them right. The Cybermen and the Master in New Who for instance, have been badly treated, undermined, miscast, or written completely out of character (don’t even get me started on the SJW pandering female Master!)

Morgana in Merlin meanwhile, though played by an excellent actress,, was turned into a Wile Coyote, Stop that Pigeon type of a character. For ages every plan of hers was “Kill Arthur” a plan which was obviously going to fail, or there would have been no show.

The villains of Being Human however had more wide ranging schemes and they also perhaps most importantly didn’t suffer from overuse. Herrick was the only villain who came back and even then he was only a villain after he returned for two episodes.

Also finally I think Being Human had the best finale of any recent cult series. The ending of Merlin was terrible. It actually threatened to ruin the whole show for me where as Being Human’s ending was fitting and dark, but very understated too.

Overall for me Being Human was the most consistent British cult series of the past 20 years, and I only hope its fandom continues to grow.

Top 10 Vampires

Okay now just to be clear in this article I am not going to be looking at 10 individual Vampire characters. Instead I will be looking at ten different takes on Vampires, in ten different works of fiction such as Buffy, Blade, Discworld etc.

Like many people, I fucking love Vampires. Sadly however despite their recent surge in popularity, I have not enjoyed many of the more recent interpretations of Vampires such as Twilight and The Vampire Diaries. I think Vampires in recent years have become more of a teenage fantasy rather than a true monster. Its a shame as I feel that when Vampires are used properly they can be the most effective supernatural creatures, as more can be done with them than many others.

Hopefully you will see that in this list as I look at my ten favourite interpretations of Vampires.

As always all opinions are mine and tell me what are  your favourite Vampires in the comments below.

10/ Doctor Who Vampires

Lesser Vampires

The Great Vampires

Haemovores

Venice Vampires

Also Known As: The Great Vampires, Haemovores, Satuynarians.

Powers and Abilities: The Great Vampires are indestructable and can only be killed by having their hearts completely destroyed. They can drain the blood of billions of worlds at once. Their servants meanwhile possess many of the standard Vampire powers, super strength, immortality, hypnotic powers, control over animals etc. Haemovores have super strength and durability, being capable of withstanding a round of heavy machine gun fire to the chest with no ill effect.

Weaknesses: Great Vampires can be killed by having their hearts completely destroyed, their minions are vulnerable to sunlight, and can be killed by a stake to the heart. Haemovores can be hurt by human belief in something. It creates a psychic barrier that prevents them from coming near.

How Do They Reproduce: The Great Vampires can turn people into creatures similar to them through their mind alone, regular Vampires have to mix their blood with other life forms to make them their own kind.

Unique Attributes: The Great Vampires can drain the blood from all of the life forms in an entire solar system at once.

Monster Relatives: None

Other Supernatural Creatures: Aliens obviously exist in the Doctor Who universe, and though they are not supernatural per se, many of them have given rise to myths about certain supernatural creatures. For instance many myths about Witches stem from extraterrestrials known as the Carrionites and Magic in Doctor Who is explained away as being a form of advanced science that uses words rather than numbers for equations.

Despite this however a few other genuinely supernatural creatures do still exist seemingly in the Whoniverse.

Demons appear to exist. There is an ancient Demon known as the Beast who claims to have come from before the Universe’s existence, and to be the source of all horned creatures in all mythologies across the universe including Satan. He also claims that there are many more giant Demons like him, buried and imprisoned all across the universe waiting to be released.

We later see one of these Demons called Abaddon in the spin off series Torchwood. A similar Demon named “The Destroyer” appears in the 7th Doctor story “Battlefield”. Finally there is also another Demonic entity named the Mara which has the power to possess people that appears in the 5th Doctors era.

Werewolves also exist in the Doctor Who universe, though one alien posing as a Werewolf appears in the 10th Doctor story “Tooth and Claw. A real Werewolf appears in the 7th Doctor story “The Greatest Show in the Galaxy”. Apparently they are quite common across the entire universe. Dragons also exist too. In fact the moon is revealed to be a Dragons egg!

There are also several god like aliens including the Black Guardian who is shown to be served by several Demonic creatures. Finally the Grim Reaper who is referred to as Durac also appears in the spin off show Torchwood.

Enemies: Time Lords are the arch enemies of the Great Vampires, having driven their race to virtual extinction.

Alignment: The Great Vampires and their minions are evil destructive creatures who are happy to sacrifice entire solar systems to satisfy their hunger. Similarly the Haemovores are for the most part depicted as bloodthirsty animals regardless of who they were in life.

Appearances: State of Decay, The Curse of Fenric, The Vampires of Fenice.

Vampires have appeared in Doctor Who on a number of occasions. Doctor Who always had a more surrealist, Brothers Grimm aspect to it than other Science Fiction series. So Vampires were perhaps more a natural fit for it than other sci fi classics like say Star Trek.

Having said that however Doctor Who, whilst more surrealist in nature is still predominantly a science fiction series. Thus most of the supernatural creatures who have appeared throughout both Classic and New Who have been given a rational explanation.

Nevertheless there have been a few occasions where it has at the very least been hinted that the paranormal threat is the real deal, such as the Beast, Durac, The Mara and the Great Vampires.

The Great Vampires appear in the Fourth Doctor story “State of Decay”. This story was written by Terrence Dicks. Dicks had previously been the script editor for Doctor Who during the second and third Doctors era’s. He would also go on to write the novelisations of many Classic Who stories.

His contributions to the show are vast, but still despite this he actually only wrote a few stories by himself.

His stories I think tended to touch on horror themes. “The Brain of Morbius” is essentially Frankenstein in Space, whilst “The Horror of Fang Rock” is very much a haunted house story and “Robot” another story of his draws on yet another classic horror movie, “King Kong” for inspiration.

Its not surprising given his track record that Dicks would be the man to bring Vampires into the Whoniverse.

“State of Decay” see’s the Doctor, Romana and annoying stowaway Adric, all of whom are at this point trapped in another universe, arrive on a primitive planet that is ruled by three tyrannical Vampires. It is revealed that even the Doctor was unaware that Vampires existed, though he had heard stories of them when he was younger.

Thousands of years ago there were gigantic green skinned demonic monstrosities called The Great Vampires who destroyed entire galaxies in order to satisfy their heinous thirst for blood. Though the Doctors people the Time Lords normally had a policy of non interference. The Great Vampires represented too large a threat to the rest of the universe. The resulting war between the Vampires and the Time Lords was long and bloody, but the Time Lords eventually eradicated the Vampires. The Time Lords using Bow Ships to strike at their hearts. All of the Vampires were destroyed except for one, their leader, who escaped into another universe. E-Space.

There he crashed landed on a primitive planet. Unable to leave, he turned three wayward travellers into Vampires, and used them to enslave the population. Not only did his three Vampire servants turn the populace of the planet into their food supply, but they also used them as slave labour to build a space ship that could allow their master to escape and terrorise the cosmos once again.

Fortunately the Doctor is able to destroy the King of the Great Vampires. He uses the very rocket that the Vampire intended to escape with, which he launches into the beasts heart. After he dies, his minions crumble into nothing but dust.

“State of Decay” overall is a brilliant story. The Vampires origins are left deliberately vague enough so that its really up to the viewer to decide whether or not they are the genuine article or just very powerful aliens. The Vampires are also menacing too, though at times I feel that Emrys Jame,s who plays the leader of the three Vampires, Aukon is a little bit over the top.

The Great Vampire itself is an interesting concept and fortunately we only get a fleeting glimpse of it. Normally that was Doctor Who’s mistake. It would get too ambitious and try to depict monsters that its budget simply could not portray realistically.

Sometimes this would negatively affect otherwise excellent stories like “The Caves of Androzani”, or the “Terror of the Zygons”.

Fortunately they learn their lesson here and we only see the monsters face on a computer screen for a few seconds, and later its hand reaching out, which gives the idea of a truly immense creature.

The Vampires would go on to serve as an interesting addition to the Whoniverse mythology. They would not go on to appear in future television episodes, but they have gone on to appear in spin off material which has gone into greater detail with their history with the Time Lords.

Apparently the Great Vampires lived during a period known as the Dark Times, when magic was the dominant force and vastly powerful destructive creatures such as the Nestene Consciousness and the ravenous Racnoss roamed the universe.

It was the Time Lords themselves who brought about the end of the dark times by destroying the Vampires and the Racnoss. This made the way for science to become the dominant force instead of magic, which in turn created a more rational universe.

It is also revealed in spin off material that whilst the vast majority of lesser Vampires perished when their great Vampire masters died. A few managed to survive on the earth and other worlds giving rise to Vampire myths on many different planets.

The Great Vampires would not be the only explanation for Vampires that Doctor Who would give us. In “The Curse of Fenric” we discover that certain Vampire myths originate from the Haemovores.

Now whilst “State of Decay” was a great horror story. “The Curse of Fenric” is probably one of the greatest Doctor Who stories ever made.

The premise of Curse of Fenric see’s an ancient Demon named Fenric bring about the extinction of humanity, by unleashing a lethal chemical in the future, which mutates most of humanity into hideous vampiric creatures called Haemovores. Eventually however even the Haemovores themselves die out, as the earth becomes too poisonous.

Fenric then brings the last of these creatures backwards in time and unknowingly uses it to unleash the very chemical that will destroy its own world. Fortunately the Doctor is able to warn it, and the creature instead uses the chemical to kill itself and Fenric.

Much like “State of Decay” Fenric mixes fantasy and science fiction to great effect. The Vampires this time are given a completely scientific explanation. Whilst “State of Decay” drew more on old Hammer movies for inspiration, I feel that Fenric to some extent draws on Richard Mathieson’s novel “I Am Legend”.

The world of the Haemovores, being a post appocalyptic wasteland populated by mutant Vampires is not to dissimilar to the world in Matheson’s novel. There are also obvious influences from John Carpenters “The Fog” as well, even in just how the Haemovores look.

Fenric still However has a fantastical element through Fenric himself, who is for all intents and purposes a Demon. The story also incorporates Norse mythology as well as  with Fenric’s apocalypse being the source for Ragnorak.

The best twist this story offers on the Vampire myth is the explanation it has for why crosses affect Vampires. Now normally this is a weakness that most stories about scientific Vampires such as the Blade film series leave it out.

With sunlight and garlic you have it that they are allergic to them, but the cross by its very nature has to have a more fantastical reason for hurting Vampires.

Here however they explain it as being because human belief in something. It can be anything from a person to an ideology. Their faith will create a psychic barrier that prevents the Vampires from attacking. It’s not the cross itself therefore that fends the Vampire off, but a human’s belief in God, which is symbolised by the cross.

This explains why Vampires in other non Christian cultures were warded off by the holy symbols of other religions too.

During the time of the setting of the story World War 2, however the character of Reverend Wainwright’s faith in god has become shaken by the horrors of both World Wars.

Thus when he tries to use the cross to ward off the Vampires it doesn’t work and they rip him to shreds.

At the same time however a communist soldier named Captain Sorin is able to ward them off with his belief in communism. Even when he is without his symbol the Red Star his faith alone is strong enough to allow him to walk through the Vampires unscathed.

This is such a clever twist on the old idea of the cross and faith being able to repel Vampires. Having it that a communist is able to use the red star to ward off Vampires whilst a priest can’t with the bible, is one of the most daring things Who has ever done.

It serves as a nice comment on how in dark times one persons beliefs can shatter whilst another’s can grow stronger. The Reverend cannot possibly believe in an all benevolent creator that is watching over us in a time of global conflict, when innocent people are being slaughtered in ghetto’s and concentration camps. Even the allies are killing children in the bombing of cities like Dresden.

The Communist on the other hand’s beliefs are getting stronger as he believes not only will Russia win the war, but that afterwards there will be a time of great change and things can’t go on the way they are with two world wars in less than 50 years. He believes that people will turn to communism as he does genuinely believe that it is the way forward for mankind.

This story uses Vampires as a powerful comment on human belief as well as religion and man’s inhumanity to man, which is why it is not only one of the best Doctor Who stories ever made, but one of the best Vampire stories ever made as well.

Sadly the last of Doctor Who’s three Vampire stories “Vampires of Venice” is the weakest of the three. Don’t get me wrong its still a brilliant story, but compared to the other two it falls rather flat.

Its more of a lightweight run around type of story. Its not as creepy and atmospheric as “State of Decay” or as powerful and deep as “The Curse of Fenric”. Also I feel it is more of a standard “myths were caused by aliens” type of story. The Vampires in this story are just aliens who have arrived on earth to colonise it, after their own planet was destroyed. There’s no mix of fantasy and science fiction like the previous two Vampire stories.

Its still a good story though and the leader of the Vampires; Rosanna Calvierri, is a very well rounded and even sympathetic character, played superbly by Helen McRory. Unlike the Great Vampires demise; her death is actually very moving.

This story was written by Toby Whitehouse who would had earlier created the Vampire series “Being Human”. Personally I would say that this is his best Doctor Who story to date.

Overall Doctor Who gave us three very interesting takes on Vampires. Its quite interesting the way that not all Vampire myths come from the same source in the Whoniverse.

Most of them come from The Great Vampires, however the cross myths come from the Haemovores and the no reflection myth comes from the Vampires of Venice.

All 3 stories touched on different aspects of Vampire mythology and lore. “State of Decay” showed us powerful, evil, destructive Vampires, whilst Fenric showed us Vampires who were created through solely scientific means, yet at the same time gave us one of the best twists on one of the classic supernatural elements from Vampire mythology. Finally “Vampires of Venice” gave us a more sympathetic Vampire story.

Its just a shame really that Doctor Who which has only touched on Vampires briefly in 50 years has still managed to give us a much more interesting take on the idea than many series that are devoted to them have done.

9/ Supernatural Vampires

Also Known As: Children of Eve

Origin: Vampires were created by Eve, an ancient primordial entity that created the majority of other supernatural races including, Werewolves, Ghouls, Rugarru’s, Djinn’s, Crocotta’s, Wendigo’s, Shapeshifter’s, Vetala’s and Skinwalkers. The first Vampire claims to have been “the thing in the dark” when man kind “huddled around the fire”.

Powers and Abilities: Supernatural strength, greater than that of many other supernatural creatures including Ghouls, Wendigo’s, Skinwalkers, Rugarru’s and Shifters, as well as black eyed Demons as demonstrated by the fact that Gordon, despite only being a Vampire for a few hours was able to take on Sam and Dean single handed, whilst his Vampire bride who again had only been a Vampire for a few moments, was able to overpower Dean too. Ruby meanwhile a high ranking Black Eyed Demon was unable to overpower Dean in a one on one fight.

The older a Vampire gets the stronger it gets, with the Alpha Vampire being so strong that even after enduring hours of torture at the hands of one of the most skilled hunters who would know exactly how to hurt him the most, and being injected with enough dead man’s blood to down a nest of regular Vampires, it still took the combined might of three Demons to restrain him. Even then that was only after a further two shots of dead man’s blood to the neck!. Vampires also possess super speed, agility, healing and immortality and invulnerability with the only thing that can kill them being beheading.

Weaknesses: Dead man’s blood can paralyse, incapacitate and hurt them. Though it is not fatal, it has allowed hunters and Demons who were normally weaker to over power them.

Bullets, arrows and blades coated in dead man’s blood are very useful weapons against Vampires but cutting their heads off kills them. Sunlight hurts their eyes and hurts like a nasty sun burn. They can also be killed by the colt a magical gun that can kill anything, and Angels who can destroy them in a similar manner how they smite Demons.

How Do They Reproduce: In order to become a Vampire you have to consume their blood first. If you drink the blood of the vampire who turned you before you have drank human blood, then you will change back into a human. 

Unique Attributes: Supernatural Vampires have souls and when they die their souls go to neither heaven nor hell, but to purgatory alongside other supernatural creatures souls.

Monster Relatives: Vampires are the children of Eve and thus are related to all other monster races she created, which include Werewolves, Ghouls, Shapeshifters, Wendigo’s, Khan Worm, Wraith’s, Skin Walkers, Djinns, Vetala’s and Crocotta’s. Many of these monster races share similar traits to Vampires, though their closest relatives are apparently the Vetala’s. Vampires are also distantly related to the Leviathans, ancient monsters capable of devouring Demons, Angels and just about anything else. It is believed Eve the creator of the Vampires came from the Leviathan’s or was related to them.

Other Supernatural Creatures: Aside from the other monster races, Demons, Ghosts, Leviathans, Angels, Gods and the Judeo Christian god all exist.

Enemies: Hunters are the primary enemies of Vampires, with hunters by the time of the first season having almost wiped them out. Demons were briefly enemies of Vampires in season 6 when Crowley the king of Hell wanted to know where Purgatory was, he began capturing Monster races and torturing them for information on Purgatory. One of those he captured was the Alpha Vampire. The Alpha however proved to be too tough and later escaped. He would remain Crowley’s enemy with Crowley even keeping tabs on him afterwards. Other than this though Vampires and Demons don’t seem to care about each other. Vampires were also briefly the enemies of Leviathans who wanted to exterminate all monster races to avoid competition.

Alignment: Most Vampires in Supernatural do not seem to mind killing innocent people, but still Supernatural Vampires are somewhat more sympathetic than other depictions. Many of them including Benny Lafette, Lenore and an entire clan of Vampires have shown restraint enough to stop feeding on human beings. Lenore continued not to feed even after one of her pack was killed and she herself was captured and tortured. They also can love and even mate for life and generally care for one another’s well being. One Vampire even killed himself after his clan was wiped out.

Supernatural is one of my all time favourite television series. I have been a fan since pretty much the start of its run.

Still having said that I have always had mixed feelings towards its depiction of Vampires. As Vampires are my favourite monsters I must admit I am always very particular in how I want to see them portrayed.

Vampires for me should always be evil. In fact I feel they should always be the most evil monsters. In Being Human, Werewolves and Ghosts are happy to live in peace with mankind, but its the Vampires who are the ones who want to tear human society down and also at the same time persecute other supernatural races.

In Buffy meanwhile there are good guy Demons of all kinds and good guy Werewolves and Witches, but no good guy Vampires, apart from Spike and Angel who are special occurrences. In the Buffyverse Vampires are the only monsters seemingly incapable of redemption on their own.

In Supernatural however its the very opposite. Vampires are the softest, most emo monsters.

All Ghosts end up as angry spirits in Supernatural. All Demons are evil, sadistic assholes, a good portion of Angels are complete bastards, and all other monster species are also shown to be total dicks too like Wendigo’s, Wraiths and Ghouls. There are no good guy Leviathans either. There are only really good guy Vampires and quite a lot of them too!

Added to that the bad guy Vampires in Supernatural are also very unimpressive. Luther a Vampire leader from season 1 spends more time shagging his girlfriend, and whining about how hunters hunt him than killing people. He is also too afraid to kill a hunter in case other hunters come after him and chastises his girlfriend for doing that.

Honestly what kind of a Vampire is that? Vampires should be bloodthirsty monsters who don’t give a fuck about hunters. If anything they should get angry at the idea that a hunter would dare to challenge them.

Then there is Dixon in season 3 who also spends more time whining about how hunters hunt him than actually doing any Vampire stuff too.

The only Vampires I have liked in Supernatural are Gordon Walker who seemed genuinely dangerous to everyone and everything around him, Benny who was likable and the Alpha Vampire.

The Alpha Vampire seemed genuinely formidable. Even when he was being tortured by Samuel Campbell, one of the worlds greatest hunters and also the king of hell himself.

He didn’t even scream or flinch for a second during the torture. My favourite scene is when he is in his cage and one of Samuel Campbell’s hunters is alone with him and he says calmly “are you afraid of me boy I would be afraid of me if I were you”.

How frightening do you have to be if your torturer is scared of you! Rick Worthy who played the Alpha was also perfect.

I love his confrontation with Sam and Dean, where rather than feel scared of these two notorious hunters who have taken down the Devil himself, he feels angry at the idea that they think they can frighten him. Even though he is the one who is seemingly completely powerless and locked in a cage.

Other than the Alpha Vampire who was brilliant and a few others however. Most of the Vampires in Supernatural were whiny bitches which was even worse as Supernatural ran right through the middle of the public’s obsession with romantic Vampires.

Even though Supernatural mocked the likes of Twilight in the episode “Live Free and Twihard” it seemed to me like that was now Vampires place in the supernatural pantheon to be the romantic, sappy, misunderstood, sympathetic monster, which is a shame as back in the days of Buffy they were always the main villains.

However Supernatural’s take on Vampires still gets major points from me for originality.

I liked the way the creators of the show were so bold as to throw out a lot of the traditional Vampire lore like cross, stakes etc. I think they came up with quite a few new cool ideas and weaknesses of their own. I liked the idea of dead man’s blood being a weakness. It was quite a nice irony that blood, the thing they fed on, under some circumstances could hurt them.

I also loved the lore of Supernatural that all the supernatural creatures could be divided up into different groups, kind of like how in the animal kingdom, we have mammals, reptiles etc.

Finally my favourite aspect of the Supernatural Vampires is what happens to them after they die. I love the idea that Vampire souls end up in Purgatory. It makes the idea of becoming a Vampire much more frightening.

Think about it in other Vampire stories when a person becomes a Vampire its horrible, but after they are slain they are released, their soul is set free. In Buffy their souls aren’t even in their bodies when they become Vampires.

In Supernatural however after you become a Vampire and you are killed by a hunter, your soul will end up in purgatory as a Vampire soul, where you will be forced to hunt other monsters forever. Thus you are truly eternally damned.

If your loved one is made into a Vampire then you will never see them ever again, as if you die you will go to heaven, whilst your loved one will go to Purgatory or vice versa.

If you become a Vampire regardless of how good a person you were in life, after you become a Vampire you will never see your loved ones. You will be stuck in an eternal forest hunting other monsters forever.

It doesn’t even matter if you are a reformed Vampire like Benny or Lenore, the fact that you are a Vampire will still mean that you end up in Purgatory forever. In this respect Supernatural Vampires and Werewolves for that matter are the most frightening of any interpretation.

When Gordon Walker a Vampire hunter is made into one as a form of revenge by a Vampire, then it truly is the worst fate for him as now he will be one for all eternity. Even if he is slain.

The poor young girl who is unknowingly turned at the start of that episode (played by Mercedes McNab, Harmony on Buffy the Vampire Sayer), who had no idea what was happening to her, will now be in Purgatory separated from all of her loved ones forever.

Similarly the werewolf Madison will never be reunited with Sam as when he dies. He will go to heaven, whilst she is in purgatory with the other monsters.

Thus whilst I have some issues with their moping, overall for me Supernatural has provided a very interesting and in some ways more terrifying take on Vampires.

8/ Reapers/ Blade 2

Origin: Created by Damaskinos a Vampire leader in an effort to create the ultimate Vampire.

Powers and Abilities: Super strength, speed and agility greater than that of all regular Vampires. They also possess a leech like three way jaw that allows them to paralyse their victims whilst they feed.

Weaknesses: Can be killed by sunlight and UV lights.

How do They Reproduce: Through a bite

Unique Attributes: Horrible ugly three way jaw (above)

Monster Relatives: Ordinary Vampire race and Zombies

Other Supernatural Creatures: Werewolves

Enemies: Regular Vampires, particularly the Blood Pack and Blade himself of course.

Alignment: The Reapers are savage, animalistic monsters that are a threat to everything and everyone around them.

The Reapers are one of my favourite Vampire variants in anything. They are just such an inspired idea. The Vampires that prey on Vampires. This actually does have some basis in mythology. The Nelapsi were said to be Vampires, who were more powerful and ferocious than regular Vampires, and were feared even by them.

The Reapers are everything people who can’t stand Twilight style Vampires could wish for. Ugly, monstrous, bloodthirsty animals. No one is going to fantasise about being bitten by these guys.

Their loathsome three way jaw has become iconic, and has even been replicated in other monsters such as Professor Lazarus in Doctor Who. Someone needs to show Charlie Brooker who said that Vampires are the worst monsters because they are pussies the Reapers. I like Charlie Brooker, but his article about why all Vampires are crap just because of Twilight is ridiculous. By that logic then all Ghost movies are sappy because of that Patrick Swayze movie.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer would later attempt to do its own take on the idea of there being a second more powerful, feral race of Vampires who regular Vampires fear the Turok Han.

Personally I think the Reapers were a much more effective interpretation of this idea. The Turok Han were scary in their first episode where we saw one beat Buffy almost to death and slaughter dozens of potential slayers. However famously when we saw an army of them in the final episode of Buffy “Chosen” they got thrashed very easily with even the likes of Xander, Dawn Summers and Andrew beating them up.

The Reapers were consistently scary and their leader, the only member of their kind to retain his intelligence Nomak played by Luke Goss has to rank as one of the all time greatest screen Vampires.

7/ Discworld Vampire 

Now these Vampires are very different to the regular kind and I confess I don’t know everything about them yet which is why i am not going to do a bio on them unlike the others. I have only just got into Terry Pratchett recently (I know how could I avoid his work for so long).

Still these guys have to make the cut among my favourites, cause they are just so bat shit mental. Though they don’t always have the largest role, they are always immensely entertaining due to their more eccentric qualities, such as their need to give their prey a sporting chance.

Many have used Vampirism as a metaphor for addiction before but none to quite the same extent as Pratchett. His Vampires having support groups for their blood addiction and even go “Cold Bat”.

Whilst  I generally like my Vampires to be evil I don’t mind more comical takes on Vampires either.

6/ American Vampire, Vampires

The Vampires in this criminally underrated comic book series are among the most interesting take on the creatures I have seen. Rather than come up with one type of Vampire with a set of strict rules. They have instead come up with the idea that there are several different species of Vampires, who have given rise to the many different Vampire myths.

For this reason we wont be including a bio of these guys either are there are simply too many to list. If you haven’t looked at this series yet you definitely should. One story is even written by Stephen King writer of one of the greatest of all Vampire stories “Salem’s Lot”.

5/ Being Human Vampires

Origin: Two brothers who made a deal with the devil to live forever became the first Vampires.

Powers and Abilities: Super strength, speed, immortality and healing.

Weaknesses: Can be killed by a stake through the heart, fire, beheading and cannot enter a house without an invitation if they do they will burn. They are also vulnerable to holy items though only in small numbers.

How Do They Reproduce: It only takes a drop of their blood to turn a person into one of their kind.

Unique Attributes: Werewolves blood is like acid on their skin.

Monster Relatives: Werewolves and Ghosts, who were created by The Devil like Vampires were.

Other Supernatural Creatures: Werewolves, Ghosts, Demons, Succubi, Inccubi, Zombies, Psychics and Warlocks and Witches.

Enemies: Werewolves are the sworn enemies of Vampires, though this is more on the Vampires part.

Alignment: Most of them are racist, chaotic, psychotic, sadistic bastards who enjoy not only torturing and killing people, but Werewolves and Ghosts too. Many of them are shown to violently attack Werewolves in the streets beating them up for no reason other than sadistic cruelty. However they are capable of controlling their bloodlust and a few have done so including Mitchell and Hal. It is implied that they all feel guilt for their actions at some point in their lives, but cover it up as its the only way they can go on.

When I say Being Human I am referring to the British version only here. I haven’t seen the American version. Maybe its good, I don’t know, but I am only talking about the British version.

I loved the Vampires in this series. I felt Toby Whitehouse really fleshed out their characters well, showing us how they integrate themselves into our society, and how they view other supernaturals, particularly Werewolves.

I loved the idea of Vampires hating Werewolves because Werewolves in wolf form were stronger, and also because Vampires were jealous to an extent that Werewolves had “time off”. They could remain human most of the time and live otherwise normal lives whilst Vampires were monsters all of the time.

Whilst the idea of Vampires vs Werewolves is certainly not original, I think Being Human did it best. The Dog fights they subject Werewolves to are truly disturbing. When the Vampires lock Werewolves in cages on the night of the full moon with innocent people, so that the Werewolves will rip them apart, it feels like the Vampires are trying to drag the Werewolves down to their level.

The Vampires know that they can never control their bloodlust and will be destined to be killers, so forcing Werewolves to be as well in some ways makes them feel better about themselves.

I also like the way that the Vampires are the most evil and dangerous supernatural creatures in the Being Human universe. Ghost’s, Werewolves, Demons, Succubi’s are all willing to live in peace with humanity (until the last series at least), but Vampires are constantly trying to create a world where they will rule over all other races. A world they actually do manage to create in an alternate timeline in series 4.

In this timeline we see the Vampires run a Nazi like regime, rounding up human beings and Werewolves into concentration camps, where they kill them for fun, torture them, burn L for Lycan and H for human into their skins, and force them to fight each other on the night of the full moon. They also presumably do the same to other supernatural races Ghosts, Demons etc, as they are shown to rule the entire world. That’s more what I like to see Vampires as the most evil of all the supernatural creatures that exist, rather than as the most sensitive, and caring, and wimpy like in Supernatural.

Also their leader Mr Snow played by Mark Gatiss is awesome too. Personally I think that’s Gatiss’s best performance in anything either comedic or serious. The leader of the Vampires in seasons 1-3 Herrick, played by Jason Watkins is also a brilliant villain as well. He’s a really nasty piece of work.

I mean we are talking about a guy who once stabbed a pregnant woman in the kidney, with a butchers knife, just to prove he hadn’t gone soft. Its even worse when you consider that said pregnant woman, was in fact the only person who was nice to him when he had amnesia, and even saved his life on a number of occasions too.

Other than a few exceptions Being Human Vampires are among the most evil and twisted of any interpretation and that’s why they are among my faves.

4/ I Am Legend Vampires

 

Origin: Strain of bacteria that can infect both living and dead hosts.

Powers and Abilities: None, they are slow moving and weak.

Weaknesses: Stake through heart and sunlight, they are also vulnerable to holy items due to a psychological belief that it can hurt them, but it ultimately has no real effect on them.

How Do They Reproduce: Through an airborne bacteria.

Unique Attributes: They are slow moving, weak and frail creatures, unlike the majority of other super strong Vampires we see in most works of fiction.

Monster Relatives: The infected who have managed to overcome their need for blood and aversion to sunlight.

Other Supernatural Creatures: none

Enemies: Robert Neville and the infected who recover and hunt them down.

Alignment: Not evil per se, they just want to feed. At the end of the book, some are able to overcome their infection and try and build a new society.

Richard Matheson was really the first author to have Vampires as being created by science, rather than magic, something which many other Vampire stories have since emulated.

I am Legend was also very influential on the Zombie genre too. Indeed it could be argued that it created the modern day Zombie genre, as George A Romero drew inspiration from this when creating “Night of the Living Dead” which did literally invent the modern day zombie genre.

The Vampires in this story are more like zombies, deformed, weak shuffling creatures who are scary when they travel in large numbers. Though the book has been filmed three times “The Last Man On Earth”, “The Omega Man” and “I Am Legend” only “The Last Man on Earth” retains the idea of it being Vampires.

Make no mistake however this is a Vampire story and I think it offers one of the most interesting takes on the Vampire myth as well as one of the most influential. When Charlie Brooker went on about Vampires being the worst monsters because they are wimps, whilst Zombies (the Romero flesh eating variety) are the best because they just kill people, someone better tell Mr Brooker that the modern Zombie genre he loves so much, practically comes from a single Vampire story.

The modern day Zombie is almost a variant of Vampire, and owes far more to this Vampire story, ironically than it does to the old Voodoo Zombie myths and legends.

3/Stokers Vampires

Powers and Abilities: Super strength said to be as great as twenty men, Immortality, shapeshifting, hypnotic powers.

Weaknesses: Wooden stake through the heart, cannot enter a house without an invitation, beheading, garlic, they are weaker during the day but, it does not destroy them, and they cannot cross running water at a low or high tide.

How Do They Reproduce: Through a bite, though it may take several.

Unique Attributes: None as everyone has copied the Vampires rules of this story in some way or another, though at the time it was very original.

Monster Relatives: None

Other Supernatural Creatures: Werewolves and Witches

Enemies: Vampire hunters

Alignment: Pure evil seek to overthrow humanity, though they do seem to be able to care for one another, as Dracula despite beating his wives claims to love them very much.

Whilst I would agree that Dracula is the best Vampire story ever written, there are other types of Vampires that I prefer. Still its no exaggeration to say that the majority of attributes of other Vampires come from this tale.

Stoker combines many different old legends together to create what are really the ultimate Vampires. Dracula himself contrary to popular belief, does not embody the seductive Vampire persona. He is a hideous old man, who gets younger the more blood he drinks, though his wives certainly do follow the seductive Vampire model.

The Vampires in this story are generally portrayed as evil monsters too, and it would be later versions of Dracula that would recast him as a more seductive, romantic and even sympathetic character.

Over the years Dracula has been portrayed on film more times than any other fictional character. Whilst there have some amazing films and performances, very few have actually remained completely faithful to Stokers original novel.

2/ Blade Vampires

Origin: Created by Drake though his origin is unknown.

Powers and Abilities: Super strength, speed, agility, healing to the extent where they can regrow limbs, immortality.

Weaknesses: Can be killed by a stake through the heart, or anything made of silver piercing the heart and brain, direct sunlight, UV lights and garlic.

How do they Reproduce: Through a bite only.

Unique Attributes: These Vampires can turn people into zombies as well.

Monster Relatives: Reapers, a mutant race of Vampires, and Zombies who are created when the process of turning someone into a Vampire does not work properly, and the person comes back as a living, rotting corpse with no higher brain functions, and a desire not just to feed on blood but to devour anything (including even other Vampires) that they come into contact with. Thus Zombies in Blade are merely an offshoot of Vampires.

Other Supernatural Creatures: Werewolves.

Enemies: Blade a human/Vampire hybrid who has the strength, speed, agility and healing of a Vampire (as well as their thirst which he keeps under control) but none of their weaknesses. Blade has been responsible for wiping out most of the Vampire race, as seen in Blade Trinity. Though he believed he had killed them all, he later discovered that a few had survived in Blade the Series. Blade is the Vampires main enemy, but there are many other Vampire hunters around such as Blade’s mentor Whistler and the Night stalkers.

Alignment: All irredemably evil except for Blade and that’s only because he is part human.

The regular Blade Vampires I feel deserve a seperate section from the Reapers, as they are a different race after all.

Now the Blade Vampires were effective villains in a number of ways. They were powerful, evil and brutal antagonists to the main hero with Frosts’ torture of Whistler alone demonstrating how vicious they are. However what really scores them so high on my list is the way they worked as a secret society.

I quite liked the idea of Vampires running things from behind the scenes, controlling our police force, covering up their crimes, framing those who hunted them, having human servants who use modern day weaponry.

It made the Vampires seem a little bit more menacing. In most Vampire fiction like Buffy and Supernatural the Vampires are just skulking around in old graveyards fighting anyone who comes near them with their hands. The Blade Vampires however were definitely a lot smarter, in that they would often be protected in their mansions, by hundreds of heavily armed guards, making Vampire hunters jobs a bit more difficult to say the least.

The Vampire society was also really fleshed out too in all three films. It was interesting to see how they had their own language and also how there were divisions in Vampire society, with the pure blood (those who were born Vampires) looking down on those who were merely turned.

1/ Buffy Vampires

Origin: Created when Maloker a powerful old one fed off of a human being infecting him and turning him into a Demon human hybrid who went on to infect others.

Powers and Abilities: Super strength which gets greater when they get older. Older Vampires possess strength far greater than that of most demons as demonstrated by the fact that Angel a vampire over 200 years old (which isn’t even that old for a Vampire) is able to overpower most of the Demons he comes across in his own series. He regularly slaughters entire packs of Demons at a time. Buffy Vampires are stronger than Werewolves too as Angel managed to kill one with spectacular ease using only a pen. They also possess super speed, agility, healing and the ability to morph between human and vampire form.

Weaknesses: The usual weaknesses, a stake through the heart, beheading, direct sunlight, fire, cannot enter a home unless invited, crosses and holy water are also effective.

Unique Attributes: Though they are immortal the passing of centuries does affect them. Their vampire face becomes more deformed and they eventually lose the ability to look human.

Monster Relatives: The Old Ones who created them and other Demon races as Vampires are classed as Demons therefore they are their relatives. There are also the Turok Han another more powerful second race of Vampires who are described by Giles “As Neanderthals are to humans the Turok Han are to Vampires an old an entirely seperate race”.

Other Supernatural Creatures: Many, Demons, Werewolves, Witches, robots and even aliens.

Enemies: The Slayer, one girl in all the world gifted with the strength, and skill to hunt them.

Alignment: Very, very, very evil.

My favourite Vampires, not too surprising, considering how much I love Buffy.

Buffy Vampires, in my opinion manage to combine all the great qualities of other Vampires. We have the tragic tortured Vampire in the form of Angel, the fun, sexy cool Vampire in the form of Spike, and the hideous deformed, bloodthirsty Vampire in the form of the Master.

The Buffy Vampires are also genuinely evil and demonic. Unlike other Vampires they don’t just kill people. They enjoy torturing them too.

Indeed Buffy and its spin off Angel has been responsible for some of the sickest and most nightmarish Vampires seen in any medium.

There is The Master, an ancient Vampire who seeks to exterminate the human race, by unleashing an ancient army of Demons onto the earth, and punishes any Vampire who fails him severely. What does it say when one cuts of his own hand to avoid being punished by the Master! The Master also in one episode that depicts an alternate timeline, is able to overrun Sunnydale, turning it into a place where Vampires rule and humans are kept in cages and tortured for fun. He later builds a machine that slowly and painfully drains the blood from still living human beings turning them literally into cattle!

Angelus meanwhile is a Vampire who thrives on killing and torturing people in all kinds of ways. One of the worst examples of his cruelty is when he snaps several young infants necks and places their corpses in their beds, so that when their father comes to wish them good night he only realises that they are dead, when he leans in to kiss them good night and feels how cold they are. Angelus also does this to Giles, after he kills his lover Jenny Calendar and places her corpse in his bed, and sets things up to make it look like Jenny is waiting for him upstairs.

Then there is Drusilla an insane Vampire who enjoys plucking people’s eyes out including her own servants.

Her lover Spike also earned his nickname by slowly torturing his victims to death with railroad spikes, whilst Marcus is a Vampire who created several of the worst torture methods and enjoys torturing anything, humans, Demons even other Vampires. He also most disturbingly of all enjoys torturing, molesting and devouring children!

The scene where he acquires the Gem of Amarra, a ring that will enable any Vampire who wears it, to become unkillable and selects a group of young children as his first intended victims in the daylight, is one of the most genuinely chilling moments in any Vampire story. When he says calmly “Hello Boys and Girls” with a perverse smile it never fails to send shivers up my spine.

In Buffy, no Vampire is shown to be capable of overcoming its bloodlust and evil nature. Angel only is because his human soul is returned to him, which allows him to feel remorse something which no Vampire is capable of otherwise.

Spike meanwhile only is because initially he has a chip in his head, that prevents him from hurting anyone as it causes him tremendous pain if he tries to. Even with this chip in his head Spike still doesn’t become a good guy.

He does plenty of evil things with a chip. He works alongside Adam, an evil cyborg killer to try and bring about the end of the world. He also later attempts to force a doctor to remove the chip, so he can kill Buffy, and later even when he is involved with Buffy, keeps Demon eggs that are capable of wiping out all of Sunnydale locked in his cellar, which he intends to sell on the black market.

Most telling however is a scene in season 6, when Spike believes his chip has stopped working and rather than tell Buffy that it has, and that he could be a danger to people. He lies to her, and then quietly tries to murder a helpless young woman. He  even toys with her first, with it ultimately only being the chip that stops him from savagely ripping her throat out.

Then finally there is also the notorious scene where he actually attempts to rape an injured and seemingly defenceless Buffy.

It is only when he acquires his human soul something, which no other Vampire except for Angel has, that he finally becomes a good person.

Other than these two exceptions however, no Vampire in Buffy can find redemption and indeed no Vampire in Buffy is ever shown to want too either.

Unlike in Being Human where it is implied that all the Vampires do secretly want to overcome their evil nature but just don’t have the strength to do so, in Buffy they all relish in being as evil as they possibly can.

Its also made worse by the fact that they do not need to feed on human blood. They can get by just as easily on animal blood and thus could live in peace with mankind, but choose instead to prey on us.

Though Buffyverse Vampires can love only a very few of them have been shown too. Most only care for themselves as demonstrated by Darla hitting Angelus over the head with a shovel, and betraying him when they were cornered. Darla also became afraid that after she gave birth to her child, she would kill it as she was only capable of loving it when it was inside of her and its soul was affecting her.

The few Vampires who have been shown to be capable of love always do so in very twisted ways such anyway such as Spike. Though Spike did genuinely love Buffy, it was in a very selfish and perverse way as demonstrated by his attempt to rape Buffy.

The only occasion of a Vampire genuinely trying to better itself without a soul was when Spike won his soul for Buffy in the Demon trials. However even here it can be argued that soulless Spike’s motives were simply as Angel put it “to get into a girls pants”.

Like I said before the Vampires in Buffy are among the most evil creatures in the shows universe, as there are examples of many other types of Demon who are benevolent on their own, such as Clem and Whistler, but all Vampires are pure evil.

Whilst I liked the fact that Buffy’s Vampires were so evil at the same time, I also much preferred Buffy’s take on good guy Vampires too.

Often in other series like Being Human, as much as I like it I think it does look a little bit too easy for Vampires like Hal to suddenly stop drinking blood. I know they portray it like an addiction, but really Vampirism should be more than just an addiction its a curse after all.

The fact that Angel and Spike were only able to reform because of outside interference, such as a soul or a chip, makes the Buffy Vampires seem much more frightening. When you become one of them, you become a monster in every sense of the word.

Nothing of you remains. Its not as though, at one point you can regain your conscience like Hal or Mitchell did because you wont even want to!

Finally another area where Buffy Vampires where my favourites, was I feel their backstory was more fleshed out. Prior to Buffy I don’t think a lot of Vampire fiction had ever bothered to tell us where Vampires had come from.

Buffy however gave us a clear story, that they had been created by the old ones and gave us a full supernatural world for them to fit into. One where ironically, despite their power and evil nature, they were still looked down on by other Demons due to being Demon/human hybrids.

Other series have since followed Buffy’s lead and given us explanations for the monsters, such as Supernatural which has its own unique mythology, but I think Buffy was among the first to really tell us where do Vampires and Demons actually come from?

To me Buffy Vampires will always be the most effective. They are along with the Demons from Supernatural my favourite take on any Paranormal creature.

Top 10 horrible things that have happened to Mark Gatiss

Related image

Mark Gatiss is a tv cult legend. Whether its for his roles in “Doctor Who”, “Sherlock”, “Being Human” or “The League of Gentleman”. Gatiss has amassed a truly impressive body of work over his long career as a writer, director and actor.

However I’ve noticed recently that Gatiss frequently has something horrible happen to him in just about everything he is in. I suppose he could be called the John Hurt of comedy, as John Hurt similarly often played the victims such as Mr Olivander, Winston Smith, Kane, The Elephant Man and Quentin Crisp. (Ironically they even mention this about John Hurt in The League of Gentleman itself.) Gatiss similarly I feel often plays the victim and even when he doesn’t something bad will still happen to him.

To date Mycroft Holmes is the only prominent role of Gatiss’s I can think off the top of my head where he is not either, tortured, killed, humiliated or had all of his dreams crushed before him.

Here are what I feel are the worst fates that have befallen Gatiss’s characters throughout his long career.

 

10/ Mr Snow/ Blown up

A light one compared to some of the stuff that is to follow. Mr Snow is the leader of all the Vampires and seeks to overthrow the world. In an alternate timeline he actually succeeds and murders the Prime Minister on television. (Imagine watching Mark Gatiss rip David Cameron’s throat out on television. That doesn’t seem that bad a future after all.) Snow then establishes a nazi like regime where Vampires rule over Werewolves and human beings. However this is foiled by the ghost Annie Sawyer who detonates a bomb that destroys Mr Snow and all of the Vampires in one swoop.

9/ David/ Turned into a Monster then burned to death

David is the son of Tubbs and Edward and at first is portrayed as a nice, charming well mannered individual. Its hard to believe he could have come from Tubbs and Edward! Unfortunately however when he returns to try and take his mother away from his abusive father, Edward corners David alone and the next time we see him, David has become like his parents, a deranged “local” pig nosed freak.

One shudders to think what Edward did to him. By the time we next see him, David has degenerated further into a hairy, bestial monster that frequently eats people. Even Tubbs and Edward are scared of him. Ultimately however David is burned to death by the angry villagers of Royston Vasey on the night of his wedding to Barbara.

8/ Jason Griffen/ Strangled to Death

Gatiss appeared briefly in Pemberton and Shearsmith’s series Pscychoville as a bumbling actor who ends up stumbling into David and Maureen Sowerbutts flat. David and Maureen are essentially a mother and son version of Tubbs and Edward, with Shearsmith once again playing the more evil, sadistic of the two. At first the two believe Jason to be a detective, but when they discover he is an actor, at first they don’t want to kill him, but finally when he discovers the body of another of their intended victims they are forced to strangle him to death. Though David is still reluctant, Maureen is absolutely loving it which just makes it even more disturbing.

7/ Scarecrow Man/ Strung up in a field

Andrew has an affair with Farmer Tinsel’s wife and in retaliation Tinsel strings him up in a field and tortures him for months on end. Later when two young girls stumble upon him they decide to leave him there as they think he is their friend, where as if they released him he wouldn’t be their friend any more. It is not known what became of him, but it can be assumed he either died or is still strung up in that field being tortured daily.

6/ Mr Chinnery/ Cursed for eternity

Poor Mr Chinnery means well but after his ancestor, (also a vet) was cursed every animal he has treated has been killed in the most horrible of ways. Chinnery has put the wrong dog to sleep, pulled a cows guts out through its arsehole, and electrocuted fish, birds and even their owners on many occasions.  Though it is implied that the curse is broken in the Christmas special, I can’t imagine that the writers of the show would have let him get off that easy.

5/ Gantok/ Eaten alive by flying skulls.

Gantok is a minor character who appears in the “The Wedding of River Song”. He is devoured by several flying skulls after he tries to kill the Doctor for beating him at chess. Despite this the Doctor does still try and save him, but he ends up getting torn apart anyway. This is probably Gatiss’s most OTT death, though not his most horrible.

4/ Hang Man Chan/ Eaten by crabs

An overlooked series in my opinion, Dr Terrible’s House of Horrible was a parody of all the old classic British Horror movies like the Hammer and Amicus movies and also of other old classic British series such as Doctor Who and Jason King. By far and away my favorite entry in the series was the second episode which featured Gatiss as the hilariously camp villain Hang Man Chan, known as the “Sinister bony fingered menace from the east”.

The character and the episode in general parodied some of the racism from these old British series, though not in a sneering way as after all its to be expected that television series from the 1960’s might not be quite as progressive as those of today. Anyway Chang meets a very grisly end at the hands of Steve Coogan’s Nathan Blaze who is a send up of heroes like Jason King. First Blaze throws Chan several thousand feet onto jaggy rocks, but Chan survives thanks to his servants (the crabs) who give him a new crab arm. Blaze however then dips Chan’s clawed hand into boiling water and rips the skin off of it. Chan still survives and is then finally finished off when Blaze feeds him to his own crabs who pull him under water and rip him to pieces.

3/ Haig/ Eaten by David

Gatiss seems to get eaten quite a lot. Anyway Haig is some poor bastard who stumbles upon the local shop for a can of coke. After a disagreement over a “can of cant” Haig awakens David, and Tubbs and Edward decide to make him David’s new “friend”. They capture Haig, take him upstairs and throw him in the same room as David who has now become a monster. Edward assures Tubbs that David will “like him to pieces” and Haig is last shown attempting to crawl out of Davids room before being pulled back in. As he is never seen again it can be assumed David devoured Haig though as Tubbs and Edward meant “friend” as in wife, it is possible that David may have done other nasty things to him first.

2/ Les McQueen/ Ruined by his former bandmates

Les is arguably the most sympathetic character in the League of Gentlemen. He was once in a band called “Cremebule” who were on the verge of making it big ,but were then blown away by the Sex Pistols and faded into obscurity. “Then punk rock came along and that were the end of us”. He constantly tries to relive his glory days with disasterous results. In the last episode he appears Les finally meets up with his old bandmates, who it is revealed don’t care about him and actually manage to con him out of all his life savings a few days before his retirement. The look on his face before he is conned out of all of his cash is heartbreaking. In the live show which is of debatable canon he does manage to land a recording contract, but is electrocuted on stage at his first gig.

1/ Builder/ Tortured to death by Tubbs and Edward

Gatiss played many of Tubbs and Edwards victims including the young boy they burn alive and the police man who comes looking for him in the first episode as well as obviously Haig. However by far and away their most memorable victims are the two builders of new road one of whom Gatiss plays. These two unfortunate souls are subject to excruciating and prolonged torture. Edward strips them forces them to watch Tubbs breast feed a pig, smears seering hot tar over their naked bodies and performs insane rituals where Tubbs molests them before Edward cuts them free and shoots them down like animals with a crossbow bolt.

Top 10 most Horrific Deaths on Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Image result for buffy

I am a huge fan of Joss Whedon’s classic series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Its hard however to think of something new to cover as more essays have been written about Buffy than any other television series!

So I have decided to come up with this gruesome little list (though even this has probably been covered a lot of times too.) I am going to look at the nastiest deaths in the entire history of the show.

10/ Celia, Buffy’s Cousin/ Killed by Death

Sadly Buffy’s sweet cousin Celia gets one of the most frightening deaths in the entire history of the show. Celia is a victim of the demon called Der Kindestod. Der Kindestod can only be seen by those who are ill and targets children.

When the monster attacked Celia, Buffy was standing right there but couldn’t see it and assumed that Celia was simply succumbing to her illness. Its only years later when Buffy has an encounter with the demon herself whilst she is ill, that she realizes what really happened.

The flashback we are later shown where Celia screams and panics as the invisible monster kills her is definitely one of the shows most terrifying moments. This is what Der Kindestod looks like by the way.

Imagine that thing bearing down on you whilst you are a child, ill and no one else, not even your family who are standing next to you can see it!

9/ Sunnydale Swim Team/ Go Fish

The Sunnydale Swim team are infected with a chemical that causes them to mutate into heinous monsters. Its bad enough becoming a horrible fish man, who has to go and live in the ocean for the rest of your life, but the way they change is even more horrific. The monster they become literally bursts its way from under their skin.

8/ The Monk/ No Place Like Home

Not quite as creatively horrible as some of the other deaths on this list. It earns a place for how brutal it is. This unnamed monk is the last survivor of the order of dagon all of whom one by one are tracked down and killed by Glory, who is searching for the Key. The last of the Monks is tortured throughout the entire episode by Glory. Though Buffy does manage to get him out of there, he ultimately succumbs to his wounds.  Glory would torture a few other people including Spike for the location of the Key throughout series 5, but none of them died so evidently this poor monk got it the worst.

7/ Catherine Madison/ Witch

Unlike the previous victims on this list Catherine completely brings this on herself (literally Buffy deflects her own spell back at her). Catherine ends up trapped in her own statue seemingly forever unable to move or speak. I don’t know whether to class this as a death, as technically Catherine’s mind survives in the statue. Still she’s dead technically as her body was destroyed. The statue is presumably later destroyed either when the school or Sunnydale are later blow up, so Catherine did later die anyway, but had to spend years trapped in a statue.

6/ Spike/ Chosen

Spike’s death whilst noble and poignant is also pretty fucking horrific when you think about it. The amulet he wears which ultimately destroys the Uber Vampires also slowly burns him to death from the inside out causing his skin to slowly burn off, his eye balls to melt in their sockets, his organs to explode and his bones to crumble to dust and he’s conscious right until the end of it. Though to be fair Spike does relish in the mayhem he causes and we all know this death didn’t take anyway, as Spike later returned in season 5 of Angel.

5/ Rickie/Anne

Poor Rickie is a victim of the demon Ken. Ken captures runaway’s and forces them to work in a hell dimension for the rest of their lives, where they are brutalized and tortured to the point where they don’t even remember their own name. As time runs differently in hell dimensions, 100 years in hell is only 1 day on earth. Rickie is gone for only a few hours on earth before being spat out as an insane, aged old man who dies from the life of abuse he has endured.

Anne 180

4/ Student/ Hush

A legendarily horrible scene from possibly the greatest of all Buffy episodes. The Gentlemen steal everyone in Sunnydale’s voices so that they can attack their victims in their sleep and cut their hearts out without being heard. (They need 7 for some nefarious scheme that is never revealed). One unlucky student is cornered by the monsters and has his heart cut out slowly by the grinning monsters, as hopelessly tries to scream for help.

“You’re gonna die screaming but you wont be heard” 

3/ Caleb/ Chosen

Caleb played by Nathan Fillion is the recipient of one of the most gruesome and emasculating deaths in the entire history of the series. Fortunately he is the one person who you not only don’t mind it happening to, but you are actually happy for it to happen too!

Caleb is one of the shows nastiest villains. Aside from blinding Xander in one eye, Caleb is also shown to enjoy brutally torturing and murdering young women for fun. This makes his gruesome death at the hands of an iconic female hero like Buffy (who kills him by stabbing him in the balls with an axe and then slicing him up the middle) probably the least subtle death in the entire history of the show. Still its nevertheless one of Buffy’s defining moments as both a hero and a feminist icon.

 

2/ Warren Mears/ Villains

I know what you’re thinking shouldn’t this be number 1? Well as nasty as this is I actually think there is one worse. (Which is really saying something!)

Much like Caleb, Warren is not exactly that sympathetic a character. Having already murdered his girlfriend in cold blood (after having attempted to turn her into his sex slave) and also having murdered fan favourite Tara Maclay, he was probably the best person to give this horrible fate to.

Warren is tortured by a vengeful Willow who strings him up, stitches his mouth together so that he cannot scream and slowly sticks the bullet into his chest. Later when Warren pathetically begs for his life, Willow grows bored of him and strips the skin from his body before burning him alive. It is later revealed however in the season 8 comic that Amy, an old witch rival of Willows teleported him to safety after Willow flayed him. However he did still die as the first was able to take his form, so in his later appearances he is technically undead.  Later when magic is banished from our reality Amy’s magic that is keeping him alive after losing his skin vanishes and he finally dies from the flaying.

Sometimes a pic isn’t enough.

1/ Skinned Teen/ Same Time Same Place

Buffy’s most gruesome death is another flaying, but this is even worse than Warrens. The perpetrator is a Gnarl demon that paralyses its victims with poison in its claws, leaving them unable to move or speak. The Demon then uses its claws to slowly peel the skin from its prey’s bodies piece by piece.

This seems to be a common theme throughout Buffy of being attacked, but being unable to call for help. Buffy’s cousin is attacked by Der Kindestod and no one but her can see it, The Gentleman take away your voices so no one can hear you scream when they tear your heart out, Willow stitches Warren’s mouth up so he can’t scream as she slowly sticks the bullet into his chest, and the Gnarl paralyses its victims to the point where they can’t scream for help.

This is definitely more horrible than the others for me. Warren’s flaying whilst vile is at least over in a second, similarly the Gentleman’s victim and Celia’s deaths would have been over much more quickly. This however goes on for hours and added to that the Gnarl looks a lot uglier and nastier than even the Gentlemen or Der Kindestod. Willow ironically very nearly becomes a victim of the Gnarl, but Buffy manages to save her and gives the Gnarl itself a pretty horrible death by putting her fingers through its eyes.

Unfortunately at the start of this episode she is unable to save a young teen from the same fate which is our number 1 most gruesome death in Buffy, (if not anything.)

703 STSP2

 

 

Top 10 Christopher Lee Peformances

Related image

Christopher Lee has had a truly remarkable career spanning several decades. He has appeared in over 300 films and is still working at the age of 92. As you can imagine its quite hard to pick out just 10 memorable performances, but these nevertheless are still my favourites and I hope you agree with at least some of my choices.

10/ Mr Midnight/ The Return of Captain Invincible 

I do not like this move. By and large I found it to be somewhat dull, but I would still consider this to be one of Lee’s best performances nevertheless. Lee’s character serves as the main villain of the piece and the archnemesis to the titular hero Captain Invincible. He is a gloriously OTT, camp character who is assisted by a ridiculous looking Goblin and has a very unusual habit of bursting into song, well I suppose maybe its not so unusual in a musical.

By far and away the most memorable moment in the film is when Lee’s character is cornered by Invincible and with seemingly no other way of escape bursts into a song about how wonderful it is to get drunk. Invincible is a recovering alcoholic, and so booze is his Kryptonite. Mr Midnight not only sings about the wonders of getting smashed, but actually has a bar appear out of nowhere as well as several young women dancing around, all of which turns Invincible into a wreck. The song is named “Choose Your Poison” and is definitely one of Lee’s finest moments.

Here it is

 

9/ Franklyn Marsh/ Dr Terror’s House of Horrors

A very overlooked performance from Lee, Franklyn Marsh is a snooty art critic who is humiliated by artist Eric Landor (played by Michael Gough) and eventually runs him down, causing Landor to lose his hand. Landor later commits suicide, but his severed hand returns and later blinds Marsh in revenge. The thing I like the most about this performance is that unlike a lot of Lee’s other villainous roles, there is nothing even remotely charismatic or likable about this character.

He is just a snooty, pompous know it all who actually has no idea what he is talking about, hence why he is taken in by Landor’s prank where Landor shows him several splashes of paint on a canvas that Marsh believes is a modern art masterpiece, but which were actually made by a monkey instead.

The movie goes out its way to make Marsh seem hateful, even just in little ways like when we see how he never buys a round for his friends despite being loaded. Still despite this one can not help but feel sorry for him at the end when he loses his sight. Lee’s blood curdling scream when he is told he will be blind for the rest of his life is truly chilling. This performance for me always showed how Lee was not limited even in terms of the villains he played.

8/Saruman/ The Lord of the Rings Franchise

 

 

One of Lee’s most recent big roles. Saruman much like Grand Moff Tarkin did for Peter Cushing, brought Lee a whole new generation of fans at a later point in his career. However much like Tarkin, Saruman I feel somewhat suffers from a lack of character development. Saruman is simply evil and that’s that. There is nothing more to his character, and on top of that Saruman much like Tarkin isn’t really given that much to do in all 3 movies (his scenes were cut from the final film altogether.)

Nevertheless Lee makes the most of what little time he is given and is able to make Saruman a very memorable character. He has tremendous screen presence and menace particularly in the scenes where he brutally tortures Gandalf for information. Lee was very unhappy that his scene was cut from the third movie, but fortunately he is slated to appear in the upcoming “The Battle of the Five Armies” in 2014.

 

7/ The Creature/ The Curse of Frankenstein 

The role that helped launch Lee’s career. Lee ironically almost did not get the part for being too small (he was an inch shorter than Carry on Star Bernard Bresslaw, their first choice.)

Throughout his career up until that point, Lee had been continually rejected for being too tall.

Imagine how bad Lee would have felt if having not got anywhere for years for being too tall, he lost his chance at the big time for being 1 inch too short. Fortunately as we all know Bresslaw dropped out and Lee’s career would take off after the success of “The Curse of Frankenstein.”  The role of the creature in this film really wasn’t that much. Just a brainless monster as the focus was on Professor Frankenstein. However despite this I still think that Lee made the most of the role. There are just little moments in Lee’s performance where he is able to inject a real personality into the creature. Particularly when he confronts Professor Victor Frankenstein. The Creatures brain comes from a man Victor killed in cold blood and whilst its brain was damaged to the point where it has lost all memory of who it once was, when it see’s Victor, there is a real look of rage on its face that suggests it still remembers him in spite of everything else.

6/ Francisco Scaramanga/ The Man With The Golden Gun

Sadly “The Man with The Golden Gun” is not one of the most celebrated Bond movies. I myself enjoyed it, but its generally seen as a poor entry in the series when it was still trying to find its feet with new 007 Roger Moore. Fortunately Christopher Lee’s Scaramanga is generally seen as one of the better Bond villains. The antithesis to Franklyn Marsh, Scaramanga just oozes charisma and charm and is the perfect match for 007. Whilst I don’t think “The Man With The Golden Gun” is as bad as everyone makes out I do think that Lee manages to elevate it greatly and Scaramanga certainly has to go down as one of Bond’s most memorable villains.

5/ Nicholas Duc De Richleau/ The Devil Rides Out

One of the few heroic roles Lee has played throughout his long career. De Richleau is very much a Van Helsing type of character, the expert on the occult with a will made of iron. De Richleau has to stand among Lee’s best performances not only because “The Devil Rides Out” is an excellent film overall, but because it is so rare to see Lee playing a completely heroic role. Even his non villainous roles still often tend to lean towards the unsympathetic, but here Lee is given a chance to play a truly virtuous character. It almost makes you feel sad when you think just how well Lee could play the hero, yet he has been given so few opportunities to do so, then again at the same time its not as though he has ever been out of work either.

4/ Dr Charles Marlowe/Edward Blake/ I Monster

A lot of people forget Christopher Lee played Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, probably because his versions of the characters had completely different names. Still Lee for me gave along with Frederick March the best versions of the iconic characters outside of the novel itself. His “Jekyll” did seem like a genuinely sympathetic character whilst his “Hyde” was a genuinely terrifying monster. Most people I feel don’t know how to balance Jekyll and Hyde correctly. Often Jekyll is either too boring or too unsympathetic. Take Hammer’s two attempts at filming the novel “The Two Faces of Dr Jekyll” and “Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde”.  Paul Masse’s Jekyll is bland whilst Ralph Bates Dr Jekyll is just as bad as “Sister Hyde”. Lee however I feel managed to get the balance just right an make Hyde seem like a frightening and chilling monster whilst at the same time not making Jekyll into a bland or boring character.

3/ Kharris/ The Mummy

One of Lee’s most distinctive performances, much like the Creature in “The Curse of Frankenstein” the role of the Mummy in this film was not really that well developed a part. However once again Lee was able to elevate it into being something more which was even more difficult considering this time his face was completely covered by a mask. Lee was able to inject a great amount of sorrow into the Mummy’s eyes and make us feel genuine sympathy for the monster at times even more so than the hero of the film played by Peter Cushing.

2/ Dracula/ The Hammer Dracula Film Series

Christopher Lee’s most iconic performance was as the Transylvanian Vampire in a total of 7 films for Hammer studios (though he also went on to play the role in other films too). The image we have of Dracula in popular culture comes solely from both Lee and Bela Lugosi’s performances. The cape, penguin suit, widows peak and accent as well as Dracula’s persona as a charming otherworldly gentleman all come from Lugosi, whilst the image of Dracula possessing fangs, having bloodshot red eyes and being incredibly tall comes from Lee.

The idea of Dracula actively seducing his victims also comes from Lee as well, though Lee’s Dracula was not in any way a romantic character. Far from it. In fact he was a vicious, sadistic animal who was dangerous to everyone and everything around him. Lee’s Dracula enjoyed beating and torturing his enemies, his servants and even his own wives. Lee also brought a much more physical side not just to Dracula but to vampires in general.

Though there had been stories in literature that depicted Vampires with superhuman strength, before Lee on film they had always been portrayed as more hypnotic creatures. Lee’s Dracula however was a monster who could effortlessly overpower his victims and toss them aside as though they were children.

Ironically despite the enduring popularity of his performances as Dracula, Lee was often dismissive of the Dracula movies he appeared in, believing that they didn’t stick closely enough to Stokers original novel. Despite his own personal feelings about them  Lee will always be remembered as one of cinema’s greatest Dracula’s and really helped to define the character for all time along with Bela Lugosi

 

1/ Lord Summerisle/ The Wicker Man

 

 

Christopher Lee cited this as his favourite performance of his and its not hard to see why. He is perfect as the fanatical Lord Summerisle who is more misguided rather than an out and out villain like Dracula or Saruman. Lee apparently played this role for free, he was so impressed by the script. The Wicker Man remains one of Britain’s all time greatest horror movies and a large part of that is down to Lee’s stellar performance.

The way he plays off of Edward Woodwards character Sergent Neil Howe in particular is fascinating. Howe is a man with just as strong beliefs as Summerisle himself, and much of the film revolves around two deeply religious men remaining true to their beliefs, no matter what the odds.