Review: Ultraviolet Collectors Edition / Cert: 15 / Director: Joe Ahearne / Screenplay: Joe Ahearne / Starring: Jack Davenport, Susannah Harker, Idris Elba / Release Date: Out Now
Back in the late '90s, TV shows about vampires weren’t the sure thing they are now. Buffy the Vampire Slayer had just got going and that was about it. So Ultraviolet felt like a breath of fresh air; a procedural crime drama about bloodsucking parasites and global conspiracies was just the thing to capture the imagination of your average horror fan.
Show creator Joe Ahearne had just finished working on twenty-something drama This Life, and you can see the fingerprints of that soap opera in this character-driven work. This is a show that suffers from a healthy dose of the end times, written during that period of history in which the Cold War had only just ended and people still weren’t sure we’d make it to the year 2000. Ultraviolet’s core story arc is heavily influenced by the idea that an apocalypse is coming, and it’s only thanks to the efforts of the valiant few that mankind can carry on pretending that there’s no such thing as monster.
The performances are superb, but then when you have the likes of Jack Davenport, Susannah Harker and Idris Elba as your main cast, it’s hard to go wrong. The series only lasted for six episodes, and this gritty and believable crime drama with fangs ended way to soon. The DVD extras that come with the set explain a lot of why there isn’t any more, and it’s fascinating to hear Ahearne explain his thinking around the show. If you have a taste for intelligent horror and urban decay, this one is worth a look, especially if it passed you by the first time.
Extras: Audio commentaries / Directing Ultraviolet / Creating Ultraviolet / Casting Ultraviolet / Deleted scenes / TV spots