Joe Ahearne, Director/Writer
Palm Pictures

The best, freshest vampire tale since Bigleow’s Near Dark, only with that famous English restraint, and no cool Cramps tunes.

The story goes that vampires, referred to here as Code Vs, and humans have co-existed for years, but with the current human trend towards self-destruction on a global level the vampires have organized to protect their food supply.

In six one-hour episodes we meet the CIB team through the experiences of their latest reluctant recruit, Michael (Davenport). Michael is a cop in the homicide division and when his partner Jack goes missing the day of his wedding Michael gets drawn into the battle between humans and vampires.

The leader of the CIB, Pearse Harman (Quast), a Catholic priest who only found his faith when faced with the reality of the evil he sees in the Code Vs. One of the best episodes pits Harman and one of the vampire elite in a philosophical debate about the existence of God.

Their residing scientist is Dr. Angela Marsh (Harker). When the vampires tried to recruit her and her husband, a noted blood specialist, she lost both her husband and one of her twin daughters when she refused to go. As Vaughn (Elba) tells Michael later, “They say they only take those who what to go, but they don’t tell you what they do to make you want to go.” Her husband was turned but now resides as dust in deep storage below the CIB offices.

The brawn of the team is Vaughn Rice, a military specialist who lost his whole team to the vampires and now hates them with a cold vengeance that only elite military members seem capable of feeling. He carries a torch for Mash, but keeps his distance from her pedestal. In a particular touching scene, Vaughn believes he is going to die and he uses his cell phone to call Marsh, but doesn’t speak, only listens to the sound of her voice and hangs up.

The story follows Michael as he learns about the vampires through their attempts to control their food supply, namely us. The CIB uncovers hospices used as cover to test fake blood and a possible plot to throw the world into a nuclear winter if the fake blood can be perfected. All through the story we meet the enemy and they claim to be misunderstood and persecuted minorities. Through clever scripting, there is always a small hint that this might be true, and you can’t help but wondering if the Code Vs appear evil simply because they threaten humans.

Constantly dogging Michael is Jack’s jilted fiancĂ©e, who Michael carries a torch for until her obsession with Jack and finding out the truth reveals her for the twit she is.

There is also a subtle sex appeal to the show that could only the English could produce. Each character has, burning below the surface, an inferno of emotions. Marsh’s scientific restraint holds back a seething desire to rip every Code V she meets to shreds. When it becomes apparent that the Code Vs are trying to produce a human /vampire hybrid, Michael and Vaughn find the potential delivery room complete with empty incubators. Michael posits that Vaughn would have destroyed anything that had been in them without a second thought. No, replies Vaughn with a grin, Angie (Marsh) would have killed me if I’d destroyed then before she had a chance to look at them.

Vaughn harbors a not so secret hate for the Code Vs, his fire burns for Marsh. And Harman burns with a fear that all he believes may be wrong, but forges ahead like a good Catholic basing his decisions on faith when he can find no reason for them.

This is an intelligent series that uses fantasy to discuss real issues like global warming, abortion, and pedophilia with a deft hand. Amazing storylines, first rate acting and production make this a must see series for anyone who loves a good political thriller with a little bloodletting. Even the score is notable. This is a two-disc set with three episodes on each disc.

Each episodes present peripheral characters who enthrall you to the point of wishing this was a weekly series along the lines of NYPD Blue or the X-Files. But where theX-Files didn’t have the good sense to quit after it’s prime years, Ultraviolet goes for only six episodes that leave you drooling for more rather than feeling over stuffed and sorry you ate the whole thing. The series ends at a high arc in the storyline. you know there is more, but at least most of your questions have been answered.

There is rumor of an American version in the making, but there is little doubt, given past American remakes of English series, that this will remain the best version. Extras include some good interactive character “personal files.” The picture quality is very good with a lot of night shots that are easy to see and the sound is also good.