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Being an avid watcher of both Doctor Who and the Buffy The Vampire
Slayer series I don't really see what everyone is complaining about. If
you think it kills a TV programme for you then don't watch it! I
thought that the programme was lovely! Considering that this is ITV,
not a billion pound production, it was something to look forward to on
a Saturday night. Albeit Philip Glenister needs to work on the monotone
American accent. I'll admit that the special effects were a bit rubbish
but you can't really base your whole opinion on the technical stuff. If
the series doesn't appeal to you than so be it but you have to
appreciate it for its charm! The characters are lovely and the plot
WONDERFUL TV series. Just sad that it ended!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The lead character of the show is a teenager who lives with their
mother. A mysterious figure enters this teenager's life, and awakens
them to their true destiny : they are to be the latest in a line of
demon fighters, and they have latent special abilities which will help
them to perform this role. The mysterious figure will be a mentor to
the teenager, helping them to develop their skills and to fulfil their
destiny. However, they must keep their life as a demon fighter a secret
from their mother.
Okay then, at first sight this seems very much like a British take on 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'. The producers have even cheekily acknowledged this fact by calling the teenager's mentor 'Rupert' !
However, I think that the best way to approach this show is to forget about the 'Buffy' connection and to enjoy it on it's own terms. To judge from the first episode, it has a lot to offer.
The most striking part of episode one was it's appearance. Unlike American producers, the makers of British programmes don't usually care much about making their shows look visually attractive. So, most British dramas are filmed in unappealing locations and look fairly dull and grey. 'Demons', however, looks beautiful and stylish, with most of the first episode being shot at night. This certainly gave a very cool and atmospheric feel to the show.
As you'd expect, the first episode was used to set up the basic premise of the show. 17 year old Luke (Christian Cooke) is told by his American godfather Rupert Galvin (Philip Glenister) that he is the descendant of Abraham Van Helsing, who was a real demon fighter and not just a character in Bram Stoker's 'Dracula'. He is also told that it is his destiny to follow in the footsteps of his illustrious forbear. In the course of telling Luke about his heritage, Galvin takes him to meet blind pianist Mina Harker (Zoe Tapper), a descendant (?) of the wife of the original Van Helsing's assistant, Jonathon Harker.
We then move onto a plot where Luke's not-yet girlfriend Ruby (Holly Grainger) is kidnapped by demons (or 'freaks', as they're apparently to be called in this show).
All in all, the structure of this first episode seemed well worked out, and it also moved at quite a pace.
The acting in the show was fine too, though the dialogue would have benefited from a tweaking in a few places, as would have Philip Glenister's American accent !
And, despite the criticisms that I've read from other people, the special effects and make-up also seemed to be quite good to me.
So, I am going to defy what seems to be the majority opinion and say that this was a very promising first episode, at least on a par with the openers of other recent British fantasy series such as 'Doctor Who' and 'Merlin'.
I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.
So I'd heard the bad reviews. I knew the basic concept of the show, and
I had my doubts. I couldn't imagine how the idea of Van Helsing's
descendant coming into his own and demon fighting could be something
that could be actually made to work. But it absolutely does, and it
does so in the only way it could; by going for over-the-top cheese and
not taking itself too seriously. I think the nods given to Buffy were
excellent, and far better that than trying to play down the similarity
of the base concept of the two shows. But that's where the similarity
ends - in the base concept. This is not in any way an attempt to make a
British Buffy. It's fresh, original and dazzling.
To be honest, I can't help feeling that a lot of the negative reviews are from people who somehow missed the point. Bad SFX??? What? Were you blind? No, they aren't "realistic" effects such as we are used to with shows like Buffy and Dr Who; they are, instead, of a larger-than-life comic-book style and are done brilliantly. The whole show, in fact, has this same comic book feel throughout - everything from the cinematography to Galvin's cheesy American characterisation.
If you want this show to be another Buffy, then yes you will be disappointed. If you can take it on it's own merits, then be prepared for some pure comic-book entertainment.
I honestly don't know what stuns me more, the cliché-riddled ineptness
of this show or the fact that it took three people to create it (or
four if you count Joss Whedon.... and you should. If I was him I'd be
seriously be considering legal action....). I mean, how many people
does it take to watch, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," then attempt to
recreate it for a British audience? The creators will no doubt argue
about the, "uniqueness," of their show and how it provides something,
"different," for todays television audience. I would say it shows ITV's
desperation to grab any part of the, "Doctor Who," type audience from
the BBC that they'll commission dreadful knock-offs like this rather
than something genuinely original and exciting.
So, instead of a young, wholesome, stereo-typical (at first glance) American girl living in the U.S. who turns out to be the last Slayer and must battle vampires, demons, werewolves and various other, "evil entities," with the help of some friends and a British mentor with an encyclopedic knowledge of all things demonic, using cool martial arts skills and assorted strange and ancient weapons/spells, etc we get a young, wholesome, stereo-typical British BOY living in the U.K. who turns out to be the last Van Helsing and must battle vampires, demons, werewolves and various other, "evil entities," with the help of some friends and an American mentor with an encyclopedic knowledge of all things demonic, using cool martial arts skills and assorted strange and ancient weapons and spells. Totally different.
Whereas, "Buffy," had Joss Whedon's wry, clever, original, funny ideas behind it this has Philip Glennister doing an American accent and a blind girl whose medium-type abilities seem to give her a real leg up when it comes to negotiating stairs at high speed.
Watching it, it seems as though any kind of original idea had the same effect on the writers as a crucifix does on Dracula. Rather than come up with a single original thought they seem to have sat there, watched every action movie and TV show from 1997 and gone, "Ohhhhh! That's cool! Let's do that!" unfortunately meaning they've rather missed the point that it is now twelve years later all this stuff has been done to death already (and far better too). So we're treated to endless, martial arts fights where the action goes from regular speed to sudden slo-mo as our hero/villain/demon does a back flip mid-battle and are so poorly edited with crash zooms and camera jerks you can't actually tell what is going on.
Obviously, as with any show like this, acting talent is not the main reason these people have been cast. It's the, "Prettiness Factor," that's got them in and I have no problem with that. This is designed to be eye-candy, fun, entertaining television, not a Pinter adaptation. But the level of writing and the ideas behind the show are so poor it's hard to tell if the actors are bad or if it's just the scripts and direction.
Ironically enough, it is the person who is probably the most respected actor in the cast, Philip Glennister, who fares the worst. His Rupert Galvin has to win the award for most clichéd depiction of an American by an English person on a British show ever. It's not really his fault, he makes a fair crack at the accent and what have you, but it's the dialogue he's given that lets him down and makes it just interminable. He comes across like a twelve year olds idea of what a tough guy American must talk like based only on watching bad American movies and who has never actually met an American in their life. Practically every line out of his mouth is some leaden cliché, like references to, "The whole enchilada," and the godawful, "Showtime!" (which terrifyingly seems to be what the writers are trying to make his catchphrase despite the fact that even Arnie stopped thinking saying that just before a fight was cool twenty years ago) that flops around on the ground like a fish gasping for breath before expiring. I actually consider the use of the phrase, "Showtime!" as an indication of how awful a movie or TV show is. If a writer thinks it's a cool, original thing for a character to say then it's generally a pretty fair indication that whatever I'm watching is crap and, "Demons," is no exception to the rule. It ranks right up there with, "Why don't you put down your gun and face me like a man?" And, judging by this show, the North of England must be empty as they all seem to be living in London.
All in all, I can see why this show seems to be losing viewers by the millions already. Although it will probably get a second season due to the amount of money they've put into it, regardless of ratings, as happens with U.K. shows more and more these days. Maybe ITV could put the money to better use and come up with an original idea for a change? Maybe a show about a group of elite soldiers, framed for a crime they didn't commit, who escape from prison and enter the criminal underworld and use their skills as mercenaries to help innocent victims? Oh.... Hang on.....
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After Merlin came to an end my wife and I were delighted to find that Demons adequately fills the gap left by that series. Once again I find that the whiners and moaners have come out of the woodwork with comments about poor SFX and ripped off plot lines and once more we find those smart asses who, without actually checking their facts, bleat about incorrect parts of the script (Mina & Jonathon Harker's son Quincey for instance. To all of them I say get a life, it's an entertainment - simply remove your brain, sit back and enjoy it. If you don't enjoy it switch channel or turn your TV off and get some exercise. I shall continue watching and enjoying. Someone wrote that Ruby is 'hot' - so she is but Mina smoulders. I even like Mr Glenister's portrayal of that miserable sod Galvin.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When I initially saw this I thought awww God : Another vampire slaying series then I thought FOR FAMILIES. The first episode was one big setup with Phillip Glenister sporting a decidedly dodgy American accent and the whole thing being entertaining. The second episode showed an improvement but was still an anticlimax with the monster only being on screen for a few minutes, whilst Richard Wilson's turn as Father Simeon showed his superb acting ability. Episode three picked up and was by far better than its predecessors. Kevin Mcnally was fantastic as Mr Tibbs although his screen Time was disappointing. OVerall It was enjoyable.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I admit that when I first saw the advert for it, I wasn't amazingly impressed. But decided to watch it regardless. I ended up loving it, it has it's flaws as most British television does but I really liked it. Of course the main actor is gorgeous with a love interest... which is admittedly cliché. The story lines could be slightly improved or whatever and maybe the special effects aren't amazing, but it's honestly worth watching. Bit of an anti climax at the end if you ask me, and they haven't QUITE got got the tension building techniques down to perfection. Galvin also can occasionally get on your nerves, however Thrip is perfectly cast.
Demons is about the descendant of Van Helsing picking up from where his
ancestor left off and hunting creatures called Half-Lifes (demons).
There are quite a few interesting characters in this show. One of them
is a hunter named Galvin that worked with Luke's (the descendant of Van
Helsing) father. Now he helps train him to hunt demons just like his
father and ancestor did. Also there is a medium named Mina that helps
them with finding out where to find demons while also having a secret
that you'll learn a few episodes in to the show. Also one of Luke's
friends named Ruby helps him hunt demons when he really needs help.
So far the show has just started but its very interesting. We start learning about all of their pasts and then there are episodes that are just about them hunting demons. The series is already starting to show some very promising material. Its already gotten interesting so future episodes are definitely going to be fun to watch.
This is a show that Charmed, Angel, Buffy, and Supernatural fans will enjoy just about guaranteed.
Demons is an English mini-series about a young man who finds out that
he is the last descendant of Professor Abraham Van Helsing (a character
originally seen in the 1897 Gothic horror novel Dracula). It is this
young man's destiny to fight inhuman creatures and protect the human
It is entertaining, suspenseful, and often funny. It used gorgeous imagery, fantastic computer animation, and a brilliant soundtrack. Demons is a very well-written series. In comparison to similar American shows, I found Demons to be better written, directed, and acted. The writers put together interesting, multi-layered background on every character
Unfortunately, the series ended after only six episodes, leaving many unanswered questions and unresolved problems.
I can understand actually those who disliked this series. I personally did like it in a way, and think with more time it would have gotten better. It's just sad that it didn't get that chance. The writing is clichéd and weak in places, and I agree Phillip Glenister's accent needed work as did some of the effects. However, the look of the series was suitably bold and stylish, the music added to the atmosphere and rarely felt over bearing and the stories while dull to start with maintained interest. The demons are imposing enough, some of the episodes did have moments where they were genuinely atmospheric and some effects are at least serviceable. To begin with, the acting was not that good, and it wasn't just Glenister's accent, but I feel it steadily improved. In conclusion, Demons had a lot of faults, but I personally didn't think it was that bad. 6/10 Bethany Cox
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