Monday, November 24, 2008

Review: Forever Knight (1992-1996)

Forever Knight (1992-1996) was a cult supernatural and contemporary TV drama centered around the vampire protagonist, Nick Knight and his quest for redemption. It aired on the USA Network and the Sci-Fi Channel. There were 3 seasons (70 episodes total). It is now available for purchase on DVD. (Click on the link below to see the trailer in this post.)

Nicolas de Brabant is a 13th-century European vampire who has endured a lifetime of struggle and guilt. He feels tortured with who he is (a superhuman monster who preys on humans, a predator who feeds off blood for his own survival) and seeks his unending journey to become human again. He moves to Toronto, Ontario with a new identity (Nick Knight) to become a homicide police detective permanently on the night shift. In this role, he would pay society for his sins by doing good deeds. Dr. Natalie Lambert, a crime-scene medical examiner, accidentally discovers Nicolas' true nature and vows to help him. He distances himself from the vampire community to retain his mortal feelings and thoughts. She is the presence that helps him retain his humanity and sense of justice. Natalie presents a medical report to the police captain, Joe Reese, that he suffers a severe allergy to sunlight. Nicholas and Natalie gradually develop a forbidden love complicated by Nicolas' always present vampire family hiding in the shadows. Throughout the show, the audience witnesses flashbacks of Nicolas' past experiences over 700 years ago.

Janette du Charme has a very powerful influence Nicolas. They share an eternal love for one another and are bounded by the same master who created them. He can indulge in his vampiric urges and share a deep history (both originally came from France) of companionship together. The most powerful force in his life is Lucien LaCroix, the ancient and mysterious vampire master who brought both Nicolas and Jeannette across as immortals. Nicolas has a love-hate relationship with Lucien for bringing him into the darkness but also providing an important father figure in his conflicted journey. While Jeannette is amused by Nicolas' desire for mortality, Lucien derides the idea and loves him as his own son. It becomes even more complicated when Nicolas learns how Lucien was brought across as a vampire: known as Lucius, he was a decorated Roman general with a desire to live during the eruption of Vesuvius in Pompeii.

At the police station, Nicolas' partner is Don Schanke, whose happy-go-lucky and charming personality helps Nicolas develop his mortal character. Schanke provides comedy relief and reassurance to Nicolas' often depressed and conflicted life as a vampire.When Schanke is killed in the end of the second season, Nicolas inherits a new female partner, Terry Vetter, who finds herself secretly exploring the world of vampires. She does not discover Nicolas is a vampire until her own violent death. In the last episode of the third season, Natalie asks Nicolas to turn her into a vampire so they could live together as lovers for all eternity. He refuses initially, but obliges to drink from her neck slowly as a way to cure his vampirism. As he bites her, a flash of memories from all of his past experiences engulf him, and he is unable to stop drinking from her. Lucien arrives at the scene of the dying Natalie and gives Nicholas two choices: turn her or leave her. Nicholas refuses and gives him a wooden stake. Lucien questions his view of life, but Nicholas already chooses his fate. He raises the stake behind Nicholas as he kneels down next to Natalie and damns him, clearly resenting Nicholas's decision. This ending implied that Lucien killed Nicholas and Natalie dies from loss of blood.


Fan-Made Trailer for "Forever Knight"

Forever Knight has truly become a cult classic. It was one of the first shows that introduced me to vampires and other supernatural creatures of the night. You could empathize with Nick Knight through his struggle and desire to regain mortality again. In the end, the audience learns there is no cure for vampirism. His journey is not a success but he was able to die with the one he loves (Natalie) rather than walk life for all eternity alone and tormented. I really loved this series because of the alternating themes. Oddly enough, all his partners notice the odd behavior, such as allergy to the sun, lack of appetite, superior strength, and other abnormal traits, but they never actually learn his true identity. I also see parallels between Nick Knight and Bill Compton. A former Confederate soldier, Bill Compton of True Blood also wants to resume his mortal life and retain his mortal feelings but he also must live with the rules of the vampire community.

There is still strong interest to resume the TV series on television. Click here for more information on the Save the Knight petition.

If you have not heard of Forever Knight, rent or buy it today!

I have also decided I will review the three novels based on the Forever Knight TV series: A Stirring of Dust, Intimations of Mortality, and These Our Revels. All books are from different authors so it will take me a while to figure out and rate which book is the best. I am a Forever Knight fan for life!

Stay tuned for these book reviews in 2009.

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