ITV1 - 7th February 2009 - 7.50pm
It's the finale. You'd think they'd pull the stops out. Just in a last ditch attempt to realise the potential of the format. Go out guns blazing, and all that, wishfully thinking ITV might commission a second series.
Did Galvin top Luke's dad?No effing fear. Let's just spend forty odd minutes spinning out a truly dull plot involving clowns and mediums. Sorry, didn't we just see this lot in the last series of The Sarah Jane Adventures? And done better on a miniscule budget compared to the devalued pounds lavished on this turkey. We knew what this final episode was going to be about, didn't we. It's been telegraphed for the last six weeks. Did Galvin top Luke's dad? Watching this you'll learn that he didn't really but Mackenzie Crook and his bunch would like the limp Luke to think so in order to get him to kill Galvin. Now, I'll give writer Peter Tabern a bit of credit in actually managing to twist the predictable plot by having Luke murder Galvin under the impression that he killed his father whilst having the father, Jay Van Helsing (Jay, what kind of a name is that) turn out to be a half-life sympathiser. So, by extension, Galvin did leave Luke's father to die in a burning car. Kill the swine!
Boredom.I guffawed through most of the opening scenes just because Luke uttered an unintentionally hilarious line about a clown hitting him with his balls. My mind wandered to imagining a gay porn version of this episode where a scenario he'd just described certainly wouldn't have been out of place. The trouble with this final episode is that it's too little too late as the creators awkwardly bolt on emotional baggage for Luke and attempt to make us care about the poor lad. Unfortunately, Christian Cooke isn't able to emote properly via the often terrible dialogue he's given. He tries to make us feel for Luke's predicament but I think the audience doesn't give a hoot. Add to this no discernable reason for baddie Gladiolus Thripp to set the two male leads against each other other than offering us a childish view of good versus evil. Why does Thripp do this? Revenge. Boredom.
Mina Harker - Vampire Detective. Coming soon to ITV3
And God help us, not only do we already have Phil Glenister mangling an accent for six weeks but then this script demands he plummet further by attempting an accent upon an accent when he's posing as a fellow medium from the Deep South. They're gluttons for punishment on this show, aren't they? It's a wonder Pauline McGlynn didn't run screaming from the room. She's about the only good thing in this as dotty medium Karen Speedwell and both she and Mackenzie Crook appear to be enjoying themselves far too much. Far more than the viewers who have to sit through plodding emotional heartbreak, zero action (apart from Cooke's boxing workout as part of the 'physical jerks in a black vest' clause in his contract) and Richard Wilson's Father Simeon carking it with a load of CGI flies coming out his gob. The best bit is once again down to Zoe Tapper. Mina knocks back the vampire blood and chews at Thripp's neck which makes him...turn into a puddle. Does anyone know why? Again, credit where it's due, they do end the series on a decent cliffhanger. Mina's turned into a vampire and is off across the rooftops in search of a bite to eat. Brilliant launch pad for the spin-off Mina Harker - Vampire Detective. Coming soon to ITV3
There is nowhere for this to go now. The Stokerisms could well have been the making of the series but a cartload of Buffy, popcorn Hollywood vampire and monster movie tropes, rather insipid lead characters, and castrated plotting have truly knocked the legs from under it. Goodbye Demons.
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