This post will be about the following shows:
Moonlight — Eleventh Hour (US)
Ah, MOONLIGHT. Probably the only vampire series out there that is not only grown-up because it’s only suitable for the same, but because it has a real no-nonsense approach to vampires. And that I enjoyed so much.
With only 16 episodes in one season, first aired in 2007, there is, unfortunately, not a lot of it. From what I read, the network wanted it turned into a vampiric CSI, something the showrunners didn’t want – so they made the conscious decision to let it end. It’s a shame, but also I’m kinda glad they didn’t follow the network bosses’ demand, because the show would have lost its original (in more than one way) charm.
MOONLIGHT follows Mick St. John, a private investigator and – vampire, obviously. He started out as a normal human, but then was bitten and given vampire blood to drink, which effectively turns one into a bloodsucker. So far, so good.
But the vampires on that show, and especially Mick, are different. The show starts with great scene that I think was the reason I felt the need to continue watching: it’s an interview in which he does away with all the cliches out there. Like there is no problem with crosses or garlic (if you like this kind of thing); sunlight it not nice, but won’t have him burst into ashes right away (it’s also shown later on in the show). He drinks blood, but doesn’t bite people for it unless he has to or is offered to; he gets his blood from ME assistant. A stake won’t kill him – but it will paralyze him as long as it is stuck in his heart. And so on.
There is a whole vampire community, including Mick’s best friend, who is a lot older, though he looks younger. They live a normal and usually unsuspecting life among the humans, unless some vamp decides to go on a rampage, which however rarely happens.
The cherry on top is of course the actor who plays Mick – Alex O’Loughlin. Everyone who has ever seen the guy knows what I mean 😀
Premise – apart from the whole PI stuff – is Mick meeting Beth Turner one night. She is a reporter and she is also the one Mick rescued many years back from a kidnapping. Beth was still a kid then; but she remembers something, remembers him in veiled visions. Bit by bit Beth learns more about Mick and thus she of course also has to learn who and what he really is. To do that in the first season already was a great thing to my mind.
It won’t come as a surprise that there is a romance developing between Mick and Beth later on, and it is well played and believable. Here you have a mysterious setting, lots of drama, and two beautiful people falling in love. Yeah, I admit, saying it like this makes it sound like you average vampire drama, but trust, it isn’t.
There is a whole big mythology unfolding I don’t wanna go too much into in case someone wants to see the show 😉 and to my mind there is/was loads of potential. On the mythology end, this one could have been massive, especially since they created in parts their very own, unique vamp ideas instead of going with the usual that is shown everywhere.
The only good thing is that the show didn’t end on a cliffhanger in terms of Beth/Mick, and also has a more of less consiliatory ending otherwise.
Those who know Rufus Sewell know that he is one of the best actors of our time. That is my opinion and I will defend it everywhere. Whenever I see that man I am amazed by how versatile he is. No matter what role you give him, he will nail it.
In ELEVENTH HOUR, he plays Dr. Jacob Hood, a brilliant biophysicist. He is a bit like Sherlock Holmes, or Dr. House, with the difference that he is a gentle soul with a tendency to live in his own little world, in his head. He works as a science adviser for the FBI. By his side therefore is Special Agent Rachel Young, with the FBI, who is Hood’s personal handler. She is not only his bodyguard – because apparently in the past there have been attempts on his life – but also, you could say, his social skills.
Together those two travel through the US to wherever they are needed because there are some biological or chemical outbreaks or other mysteries. Whenever it’s about possible bioterrorism, questionable experiments, or curious phenomena that seem to be natural, Hood and Young will investigate.
Despite a very fascinating premise, in my opinion at least, the show was cancelled after only 18 episodes in one season that ran from 2008-2009. Somehow I think that it was too… well, intelligent, too demanding of its audience, because it was very scientific at times, even though Rachel always acted as the audience and had Hood explain things in a way every one will understand.
Each and every case they had was cleverly thought through and done by the writers’ department. At times it had an X-FILES feel to it, when it was about cloning embryos, or the quest to stop aging. Other times it appeared mysterious, but just plain old chemical waste being dumped, which had the craziest effects on people.
The series seemed intent on showing the people: Look, no matter how mysterious or supernatural it seems, there is always a scientific explanation.
Come to think of it, maybe that’s why it appealed to so few people…
As a side note – because I am me, and this is important to me – there was also something developing between Hood and Young. Most certainly did they become friends over the course of the season, they even said so. But you could see that there is potential for more; and that was hinted at too when Jacob’s sister (played by no other than Torri Higginson, dear Dr. Weir from STARGATE ATLANTIS) outright asked him if something was going on between him and Rachel – or was going to go on. Apparently she thought of it as a good idea, and when you have your sister’s seal of approval, well…
But also aside from that, it was nice to see who those two grew together. In the beginning protecting Hood was only a job for Rachel, and one she wasn’t all that fond of. But later on it became clear that his safety wasn’t something she only cared about because she was paid for it, but because it – he – truly started to matter to her. Similarly did Jacob also show that he cared deeple for Rachel and in turn also wanted to protect her, as much as he was able to. In my opinion, both actors had some chemistry that helped their case in that regard.
ELEVENTH HOUR is one of the show I actually also still have an unfinished fic for… lack of time has yet kept me from finishing it, but I haven’t given up on it.