Writer-director-creator Joe Ahearne brings all the traditional vampire tropes up to date; not only do they lack reflections in a mirror, but they don't show up on video and their voices don't carry over phone lines or record on audio tapes ("which makes surveillance a bitch"). Sunlight burns like an acid, and when they die they go up like a flare, leaving a pile of ash in their wake. But it's the sharp character writing, moral quandaries, and ingenious twists of this smart, stylish conspiracy thriller that make this series gripping down to the final episode.
The two-disc DVD set features an audio interview with Ahearne along with episode synopses and character notes. --Sean Axmaker
Jack Davenport stars as former police detective-sergeant Michael Colefield who's recruited into CIB - an elite government force that has been formed to combat the treat. Joined by a squad of covert government investigators led by ex-soldier Vaughan Rice (Idris Elba), former priest Pearse Harman (Philip Quast) and scientist Dr. Angela March (Susanna Harker), their mission is to seek out the enemy. But when eternal life is offered, no one is beyond temptation.
Episode 4 - Mea Culpa
A twelve year-old boy is involved in a violent attack on a teacher. But the peculiarities of the case could mean that vampires are involved...Michael is convinced that it is just schoolboy violence. But the truth is stranger and more terrifying than anyone suspects.
Episode 5 - Terra Incognita
A plane from Brazil brings a bleeding refugee and a number of vampire caskets. How are they connected? And why is John Doe (Corin Redgrave) risking the journey?
Episode 6 - Persona Non Grata
Michael is compromised by a threat to Kirstie, and his actions unwittingly jeopardize humankind. As the last pieces of the puzzle fall into place, CIB is caught in a race against time - and total evil.
"Ultraviolet" is part mystery, part sci-fi thriller and part horror show mixed into one story spread over six episodes. The main character, Michael (played by Jack Davenport, also of "Coupling" fame), is a London police detective leading a fairly normal life in the beginning of the Episode One. When his partner Jack disappears on the night before Jack's wedding, however, Michael investigates and quickly becomes possessed of a knowledge that few others have: the world is infested by a small but active vampire colony. Interestingly, the word "vampire" is never used in the series; "leech" is apparently the preferred term. However, these leeches suck blood from their victims' necks, have superhuman strength, cannot be recorded by any modern technology, can be killed by exposure to sunlight, and will live forever if not destroyed. In other words, if it quacks like a duck... While continuing his investigation into Jack's disappearance, Michael is reluctantly recruited into a special police/paramilitary unit whose sole function is to neutralize the leeches and keep humanity safe from enslavement and/or extermination.
I'm not going to provide an episode guide; other reviewers below have done that. Instead, I'm going to tell you why you should watch this show. First, Writer/Director Joe Ahearne does a masterful job of buliding suspense. The action is seen through Michael's eyes for the most part, and Ahearne uses the classic "less is more" style to make this show really creepy. For example, you hardly ever see the leeches; instead, you see the effects on the people with whom the leeches have had contact. It creates a very tense atmosphere of "they're out there somewhere, we just don't know where." (See the movie "Alien" if you don't know what I'm talking about.) Further, Michael's new colleagues are almost as threatening as the leeches. It is several episodes before Michael learns much about them and even then they are so maniacal about doing their job, you never quite get to a spot where you completely trust them. The viewer knows, as does Michael, that Michael would be shot down immediately if he ever ever becomes a leech, bonds of loyalty or friendship (such as they are) notwithstanding.
Second, the cinematography is excellent. Much like early seasons of the "X-Files", most of the scenes in "Ultraviolet" are shot either in very low light or at night, setting a dark mood for the whole series. I won't ruin it for you, but there is a scene in Episode Five (Terra Incognita) involving one of Michael's colleagues being trapped inside a warehouse with several leech coffins that are time-coded to open right at sundown. Michael and the cavalry are ten minutes away; the coffins are set to open in four minutes. The sun sets in the blood red sky as this seconds tick off and.... well, as another reviewer says, this might be the best scene in the whole series.
Third, and although there is plenty of action, the characters develop more through good dialogue than through good marksmanship. It's really hard to find a show that is as well written as this one, where what the characters say has real meaning to the story, as opposed to just being filler material until the next chase scene. It is so well done, in fact, that you will be sorely disappointed when the end of Episode Six rolls around because you really want to know what happens next to all of these people. You feel cheated, like there should be more. And that, my friends, is the mark of a good TV show.
So go ahead and hit that 1-click ordering button; you'll be glad you did.
Suffice it to say it is an wonderful piece of work. Read more
I've watched it twice already and while I haven't seen all the extras mentioned here, all I can say is GIMME MORE! Read more