With it being only a 6 episode series I thought it would be easier like that.
So we start off with a phone call, a call to Mike (Jack Davenport) asking for his friend. The man on the phone is paranoid, someone is following him. Mike says he will pick him up to make sure he is alright but by the time he gets there, the man is dead.
We find out Mike is actually a cop, and the guy that died was basically his snitch. Mikes friend Jack (Stephen Moyer) has disappeared after the night before and that his disappearance is now being investigated by the CIB. Enter Susannah Harker and Idris Elba as Angela March and Vaughan Rice. Mike finds out that the CIB is actually an underground agency that hunt Code 5's a.k.a ''Leeches''. Basically vampires to you and me.
That's when the series gets going.
The first episode was probably the best of the first 3 as even though only an introductory episode it showed the most fun, action and mystery.
In the second episode it shows that Vampires have much more emotion and feelings than what we and the character Mike thought. We along with Mike also wonder who to actually root for, the CIB or the Vampires and adds more mystery to both sides.
It starts to settle with the third episode, its main focus is on how people deal with pregnancy and abortion etc.
Now it starts to show that these vampires aren't just laugh off 'Buffy' style vampires, nor '30 Days Of Night' monster style but are very much likable human types, even though now we know the vampires or at least the majority of them are the ones to fear. The third episode did however drag on a bit thanks to it being distracted a little too much by the pregnancy plot line and felt longer than the previous 2 episodes not in a good way. At least it's settled into what it wants to be by this time, it just needs a little polishing.
And a polishing it gets!
The fourth episode shows how dark the series can be by starting with a 12 year old repeatedly stabbing and killing a priest. It also finally delves into the main characters lives a bit more and shows us they aren't just all 2-dimensional characters that are forever miserable. We also get more background in the virus behind the code 5's and its similarities/differences of meningitis.
Episode 5 sticks with the seriousness and brings in some of the bigger twists of the series, unfortunately again it felt like episode 3 in which it was too distracted by other matters than of the main plot.
Ah the finale, episode 6, when thinking about it, it was pretty clear what the vampires were after all along but this final episode sums it up and confirms all your suspicions or shows what you didn't expect and of course is the most full of action and fun since the first episode. What a terrific ending it was, all truth is out.
The show altogether was quite a decent show, it's a shame it didn't get a second series but then all the writers the original creator (Joe Ahearne) brought in were thought that they couldn't do the story arc justice by keeping it as well tight knit so Joe wrote every episode himself which is probably why the show worked, it could have easily fallen apart. (There could also have easily been a second series but not the point).
The score was beautiful, quite reminiscent of Philip Glass's 'Candyman' theme at times.
The acting was mediocre, what you normally find in a British TV series I've found. There's always the decent and always the erm, not so decent. But luckily on the most part the actors used are quite the upper end of acting.
Some cool little details to note: All episodes are titled in Latin and Susannah Harker who plays one of the main characters is in reality a descendant of Johnathon Harker, Bram Stokers friend who he put in the novel of Dracula.
I don't know if the DVD specs have changed at all from the 2001 release but it looks and sounds quite nice and crisp.
Practically everything is a pro on this collectors edition set from Medium Rare. The only con I can see is there is no play all function.
A few of the more important episodes have audio commentary, I haven't listened to them yet but I've always loved anything with commentary and am glad this DVD set has some in unlike the original DVD release.
Here I will list the extras and what they include.
- Creating Ultraviolet - A really interesting 14min interview with creator Joe Ahearne about how he started out in the business and of course how he created 'Ultraviolet' which was originally known as 'Vampyre Squad'. His love of old horror shines through as he tells us how he basically wanted to take the old, put it into the new and as a show not a film, also how he disguised it as a cop show while pitching it. Then of course more....
- Casting Ultraviolet - Another interview with Joe Ahearne coming in at 16 mins and tells what the roles were all about and how he got the actors in their respective roles. For Jack Davenport for example he tells how there were no auditions and Channel 4 loved the idea for him to be the main character.
- Directing Ultraviolet - Ahearne speaks for 11 mins about Directing the show and how it became quite a nervous thing thanks to emotion from the actors and also talks about editing, etc.
- Storyboarding Ultraviolet - The final interview is with Ahearne again but is only just under 2 minutes and tells how and why he storyboarded the scripts of the show.
Shame there wasn't any interviews with the actors to be honest but Ahearne is an interesting man with some nice little things to say.
- Promo Short - Clue is in the title, a promotional short teaser really.
- Promo Long - Exactly the same as above but longer.
- TV Spots - Basically mini teasers with a commentary with a quick explanation of what the show is.
- Deleted Scenes - A few deleted scenes (5 mins worth) which don't add anything really new.
- Stills Gallery - Images of the show as a video for a minute with various pieces of dialogue over it.
So in all, the show was a brilliant vampire show and could easily be released amongst the mass of Vampire shows out today.
Ahearne definitely did a good job with what he could back in 1998 and I could only imagine how amazing it would be if filmed today.
Medium Rare has revisited almost a lost classic here and re-vamped it with its extras, the 2001 release had next to no special features whereas this has loads, it's nice that they even went to the added length of getting audio commentary.
A hefty 9/10.
The only thing I would add is interviews with actors, but obviously this isn't as easy as it sounds.
Definitely looking forward to more Medium Rare DVDs and if you want to buy the show or if you just want to view a decent vampire show with a difference then go for this version. It's available to pre-order from Amazon here: