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January 29 2007

"Yes, we liked the show quite a bit when it was called Angel." Zap2it points out the obvious about CBS' latest pilot pickup "Twilight".

More details over at Variety.

I loves me some snark, esp. when it's so true -- Angel much? Oh, Joel Silver, your Wonder Woman writer-director might need to have a little chat with you. ;-)
"Yes, we liked the show quite a bit when it was called Angel."


Teehee!
Well played, TWoP :)

ETA: meant Zap2It, I was reading a snarky quote from TWoP in an email in another window and my wires got crossed.

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2007-01-29 22:51 ]
What does TWoP have to do with it?

And to be fair, I think Forever Knight deserves granddaddy status in the vampire as detective genre. :)
I've heard the show is looking to cast the role of a wacky, vision getting, irish half-demon as well, so at least that will set it apart from Angel.

Wait a second...
And people say there are no new ideas in Hollywood.

Sometimes the people are right.
I'll say. What's next, Claire Bennett fights vampires when she suddenly has super strength? That should keep MaybeEvilDad in line.
Or maybe CBS programming kinda forgot "Angel" existed.
Don't you see? "Twilight" is how Joel is helping Joss sneak Angel back on the air.

It's quite a clever ruse if you ask me.
I wonder how much Joss will get from the impending lawsuit.
If they're going to rip-off copy Forever Knight and Angel, the only question is, can he fly?
I don't know how those people can hold their heads up trying to pass this off as something original, knowing they've ripped off a Joss Whedon show.
Sheesh, anyone can see that maybeevildad is a robot.
Wow.....uh.....Wow.

Taking network ignorence to a whole new(ish) hell dimension.....er.....level.
Twilight is a very successful book in the teen section of the library, and it sounds like that show is based on it. The story is supposedly a lot like Bangel, but it was written by someone who's never seen Angel or Buffy.

[ edited by cityof on 2007-01-29 23:33 ]
cityof, 'twilight' is a teen book about vampires, but i don't think the show could be based on it. it's a very different plot, about a teenaged girl in the pacific nw, who meets a family of vampires. no private eyes that i know of. :) i did read an interview with the author where she said that she didn't watch buffy/angel. she was afraid (sensibly) that the shows would interfere with her own ideas and that she might end up internalizing some of joss's mythology. which in my opinion would have been a good thing...

anyways, the CBS suits are idiots if they think no-one is going to notice their creative theft.
I'm not quite ready to squish this show with the heel of my Easy Spirit athletic shoes, but if they make it more like Kolchak: The Night Stalker and cast Ron Perlman in the lead ('cause I luv him and want him back on TV) they might have something.
Whoa. I think people are being a little harsh. Forever Knight fans could have (and probably did) say the same things when Angel came out.

There are only so many stories to tell, after all. It's how you tell it that makes the difference. The premise for pretty much every medical drama ever is the same. Same for lawyer shows. Same for umpteen cop/crime shows. And yet there are still huge variations in quality among these shows.
Well, "cop fights crime" or "doctor treats someone" is a little more generic than "vampire private eye in love with a mortal".
Well of course the vampire is a private eye. Most vampires are private eyes. Just like most were-wolves are musicians and most TV executives are idiots.
Yep, and most of them are in love with a mortal. Vampire women are apparently very high maintenance. And kill you.

It's pretty specific but then, in fairness, we've had the press release, tag line, pitch-it-in-ten-words-or-less version of the premise, maybe there's more to it. The UK series 'Ultraviolet' was basically 'vampires battle mortals for control of the world'. 'K, like, yawnsville right ? But the implementation was cool and original.
Saje - "The UK series 'Ultraviolet' was basically 'vampires battle mortals for control of the world'. 'K, like, yawnsville right ? But the implementation was cool and original."

So I'm not the only person in the world with fond memories of this excellent (and all too short) series then? I was starting to think I was the only one who had seen it.

Coolest thing about Ultraviolet? I believe that it was the only vampire series made to never actually use the word 'vampire'. Strange but true.
I'm with KernelM on this one. As much as I loved Angel, I definitely had that "I loved it when it was called Forever Knight" moment when I first started watching.

As for the people complaining about it being a ripoff, I'll kindly refer you to James Gunn's comments about Fred Dekker when he was accused of ripping off Dekker's movies. And remember, people made similar accusations about Joss when they noticed similarities between Firefly and Cowboy Beebop, so don't be too quick to jump to conclusions.

The fact that two creators are inspired by the same thing (or are both ripping off the same stereotypes) doesn't mean their work is any less valid. The question is whether or not they have new ideas on how to flesh out the old stereotypes. Angel may have had the same elevator pitch as Forever Knight, but it ran with it in a completely different direction. With any luck, this new show will do the same.
Wow...lol good snark though I like it.
but it was written by someone who's never seen Angel or Buffy.

And I keep reading of Tim Kring saying that he's never been a superhero comic reader. Somehow, that doesn't stop me from seeing almost every power he puts in his show as an adaptation of an X-Men character. (Disclaimer: I love Heroes, just saying.)


In spite of myself, I can't help thinking, "Ooh, it's like Angel? I wanna see!"
Without the dark and sexy David Boreanaz it can't be that much like Angel. Throw in the no Joss part and I'll pass.
I agree with Telltale. I liked Forever Knight, I loved Angel, and with Ron Koslow as a bonus, I've gotta give it a try.

Was there a series called Ultraviolet? Because I saw the movie with Milla Jovovich and I thought it was a waste of time, money and pretty.
I find it intriging, the defensiveness by some over a show not-yet-airing because others find the premise a bit.. ahem... familiar. Especially since the (ok fine, most -) previous show to use this premise was cancelled not so long ago and, in many people's HO, mid-stride. There is a certain humorous irony to it all.
what's next? vampire cowboy? Vampire fireman? Oh, vampire ballerina!
So this will be like Angel, but with sex?

I can't be the only person who's just a wee bit afraid.

[ edited by twa_corbies on 2007-01-30 02:41 ]
Ultraviolet the UK TV show was excellent and absolutely nothing to do with Milla Jovovich. But it did have Jack Davenport (of POTC) doing an excellent job of dark and brooding.

Hey, will Twilight have a snarky blond vampire sidekick that half of us can go bats for and watch him nick the lead's girlfriend after the lead goes all noble and leaves her, and then we can have silly fandom arguments between us and drive everyone else bats too? I could go for that...

*ducks and runs*
More on the vampire detective theme: There's P.N. Elrod's Vampire Files series and Charlie Huston's hardboiled vampire PI. The former started the around same time as "Forever Knight" (and the author also penned some books with the actor who played LaCroix) while the latter was after Angel. Definitely more than one way to tell the same "story". Otherwise we'd be complaining as to why Joss'd need to tell the Wonder Woman story his way... or not. :-)

[ edited by thiscloud on 2007-01-30 02:54 ]
what's next? vampire cowboy? Vampire fireman? Oh, vampire ballerina!

lol, bookworm! i'd watch that show!

i would love to see ron perlman back on tv, as a vampire private eye or any other character really.

charlie huston's books are GREAT, btw. if 'twilight' is like that, i will definately give it a try.
if they make it more like Kolchak: The Night Stalker and cast Ron Perlman in the lead ('cause I luv him and want him back on TV) they might have something.


Here I was thinking to myself that the show is probably going to be shite until you wrote that Tonya J. Then you went and made me hope for something that, let's face it, is never going to happen again. Even if one of the crew from Beauty and the Beast is in it!

I love Ron too.

[ edited by nixygirl on 2007-01-30 03:19 ]
Well nixygirl, with the Ron Koslow connection, and as Catherine Chandler said once, "I'm beginning to believe anything is possible."
I dunno. It's possible it'll end up nothing like Angel--Lost and Gilligan's Island have the same initial premise, after all.
As much as I turned up my nose while reading this news,

Lost and Gilligan's Island have the same initial premise, after all.

Is the best damn logic I've heard in awhile. JesterInACast (great name btw), can I borrow that for future armchair/Internet TV critism?
Will the brooding immortal hero stand on rooftop ledges in his billowy coat looking out over the city as the helicopter shot pans around him?

Or is it just Torchwood doing that nowadays?
I'm thinking underneath an Opera House with a lagoon, and a boat, and a big pipe organ.
Just for completeness sake, I must mention what is IMO a very touching short story of a vampire who fought successfully against his nature to win the love of a woman and acceptance in her society. Penance by Stephen R. Donaldson was first published in 1998 in his second book of short stories, Reave the Just, and other Tales. FWIW, the author mentioned in his blog on several occasions the possibility of expanding Penance into a movie or opera.

The author has this to say about the subject of the similarity of sympathetic vampires:

"Well, "Penance" doesn't seem all that unique to me. Writers like Chelsea Quinn Yarbro and Fred Saberhagen have written about sympathetic vampires for years. And vampires have become stock erotic figures in certain kinds of "romance" novels. But I do find that stereotypes paralyze creativity; and I never seem to get story ideas that don't in some form involve discarding preconceptions, prior expectations, and stereotypes. In other words, discarding stereotypes isn't so much a conscious choice as a creative necessity."
Will the brooding immortal hero stand on rooftop ledges in his billowy coat looking out over the city as the helicopter shot pans around him?

*coughBatmancough* ;-)
Okay, I'm feeling snarky about the similarities. I also agree with the irony of some people taking such personal interest in defending a show that hasn't even begun production yet. Agree with the Ron Perlman love. AND I have to give a HUGE "props" to napua for mentioning Stephen R. Donaldson. Good on ya, mate!
I'm ninety percent certain the show will be crap, like at least ninety percent of all TV shows (or anything, cf. Sturgeon). I just like a broad fandom worldview. :)
Uh huh. Just like Angel? Well, we'll SEE, won't we?

Forgive my cynicism, borne as it was from previous dreck.

Presumptuous, much?
Hey, if they can rope Nigel Bennett into doing those sexy voice-overs, I don't care how derivative this show turns out to be!

*why yes, I would like a sexass vampire with my crime-solving, thank you!*
I've always been amused by Joss' reaction when at an early press conference talking about his upcoming Angel series, someone mentioned a similarity in premise between Angel and Forever Knight. Joss was apparently unaware of FK, and appeared sheepish while making self depricating comments along the lines of calling himself a hack :)
Haunt said: I also agree with the irony of some people taking such personal interest in defending a show that hasn't even begun production yet

Erm, aren't we all taking a personal interest one way or another, s'why we posted surely ? Someone else used the word 'defensive' which is also a bit loaded (there's a difference between 'defending' and 'defensiveness'). And it's not really ironic either (in the words of Irish comic Ed Byrne it's just 'fuckin unfortunate' ;). But apart from all that we're in total agreement ;-).

Was there a series called Ultraviolet? Because I saw the movie with Milla Jovovich and I thought it was a waste of time, money and pretty.

Not seen the film but the Channel 4 UK series from the late 90s sounds very different. It was contemporary and about a semi-official government team working to contain the vampire threat (though, as Arcane mentions, they never said 'vampire', they used slang terms or sometimes 'code 5' - 5 being 'V' in Roman numerals - in keeping with the down-to-earth, non-supernatural feel of the show).

Coolest thing about Ultraviolet? I believe that it was the only vampire series made to never actually use the word 'vampire'

That was cool but the real coolest thing about 'Ultraviolet' IMO ? Ex-squaddy and all-round kicker of ass, taker of names, Vaughan Rice, hands down. He was the kind of hard that English (note, not British) characters do very well, elsewhere not so much. It didn't come from diving through doors guns ablazing, it came from that staple of the English character, good old bottled-up, buttoned-down, seethingly repressed rage ;).

(got it on DVD in a box somewhere, may need to dig it out to re-view)
Well of course the vampire is a private eye. Most vampires are private eyes. Just like most were-wolves are musicians and most TV executives are idiots.


Thanks for making me laugh out loud this morning. I needed it.

[ edited by Cider on 2007-01-30 12:53 ]
And http://televisionary.blogspot.com/ also reports of another pilot with similarities to Angel: New Amsterdam.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Wimbledon) has been cast as the lead, an immortal man who works as a police detective whose "curse" (or "blessing") of immortality was placed on him, unwillingly, by some indigenous people (Native Americans, in this case). Said curse can only be lifted by finding his one, true love.
Just to add another "vampire as a private eye" into the mix, I'm not sure if anyone has read it, but the "Shadow's" series by Christopher Golden features Peter Octavian, a vampire who fights his nature and becomes a private eye in order to defend the weak and pay for his earlier crimes against humanity.
Y'know we hear a lot about the 'curse' of immortality but personally i'm willing to take the chance (provided your knees don't age ;). I'd be avoiding my one true love like the bloody plague in his situation.

(unless he was really unkillable - don't much fancy floating around in space after the Earth's destroyed by the Sun's death for example, especially with no light to read by)

It also strikes me that working for the police presents a lot of problems for an immortal - assuming he keeps it secret - that working as a PI wouldn't. Like, when he doesn't age, don't his colleagues notice ? What about pensions, medicals etc. ?
Just to add another "vampire as a private eye" into the mix, I'm not sure if anyone has read it, but the "Shadow's" series by Christopher Golden features Peter Octavian, a vampire who fights his nature and becomes a private eye in order to defend the weak and pay for his earlier crimes against humanity.

Doesn't Chirstopher Golden write some of the Buffy novels?
Indeed. Not read any of his stuff but to call him prolific is kind of understatey.

(he apparently wrote the first 'Shadow' book in 1994 though i.e. pre-Angel and Buffy the series)
Saje, in Forever Knight, the vampire cop had to move on a regular basis so that no one noticed he aged. It got more diffiult as computers came in and in one episode he had to go to a vampire who made a very good living hacking into computers to change information as needed.
That was part of the pain of loving the mortal woman - he never stayed in one place for long.
"Saje, in Forever Knight, the vampire cop had to move on a regular basis so that no one noticed he aged. It got more diffiult as computers came in and in one episode he had to go to a vampire who made a very good living hacking into computers to change information as needed."

Which is basically a rip of Highlander, where the same problems were often experienced by the various Immortals.

I guess no television concept is ever going to be a truly original idea these days. No matter what is put forward there will likely be an existing show that is similar, one way or another. I suppose with that in mind we should all really give Twilight the benefit of the doubt and see if it can put a fresh twist on a not so fresh concept.
Just wanted to chime in and say 'yay' for Ultraviolet - must re-watch that soon-like. Though I must also say Jack Davenport will always be Steve from Coupling to me (PoTC.. feh) :)
Oh, vampire ballerina!

Not a vampire ballerina exactly, but there is a graphic novel coming out about vampires, with a ballerina in the lead role.

My thought process was as follows: Vampires + ballerina = Waiting in the Wings = Summer Glau = so I'm ordering this book, apparently.
I guess no television concept is ever going to be a truly original idea these days.


I think the concept of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (maybe you heard about it) was very original. I am no expert in american TV from before the 90's, but I never heard about anything like it.

p.s. Thank you Cider for quoting me.
But does this new vampire detective have a soul?

roadrunner said
Hey, will Twilight have a snarky blond vampire sidekick that half of us can go bats for and watch him nick the lead's girlfriend after the lead goesall noble and leaves her, and then we can have silly fandom arguments between us and drive everyone else bats too? I could go for that...

Me too, but only if the sidekick's a better actor...and prettier.

Perhaps it's just Warner Bros' way of bringing back Angel and not having to pay 20th Century Fox for it ;)

*thinks Hollywood sits on a hellmouth*
Urkonn, I did say "these days". ;)

To be picky though, whilst the idea of the main character was certainly original, the basic themes of Buffy were nothing new. Vampires, werewolves, demons, all your standard horror stereotypes. Whilst Joss put his own original spin on them they were still fairly well used concepts.

Which is also sort of what I was saying about Twilight. Until we see what they intend to do with the basic idea then we may be being unfair to think it won't be able to find a unique voice.
Fun story: a few years ago I remember somebody suggesting the Angel writing staff were copying stories from Forever Knight. As it turned out, from a poll of the Angel writers, none of them had either seen it or knew what it was..
"As it turned out, from a poll of the Angel writers, none of them had either seen it or knew what it was..."

And from the episodes I remember watching many years ago, they can count themselves blessed. ;)
Me too Zeit, he'll never be anything but Steve!

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