Series: The Crow: Stairway to Heaven
A 22-episode one-season television adaptation of the film of the graphic novel of ''The Crow'' (keep up!) produced by Polygram, created by Bryce Zabel and starring Mark Dacascos as Eric Draven. It first aired in 1998-99. The series garnered decent ratings but the show ended when Universal bought out its production company Polygram Filmed Entertainment. The whole series was released on VHS, DVD, Hulu, and Netflix.The final episode ends on... something of a cliffhanger. There were plans for a final telemovie to wrap the story up but due to the above difficulties this never happened.The most significant departures from the film are down to Pragmatic Adaptation. The TV series, whilst containing its share of stunts and action sequences, is by nowhere near as graphically violent as the movie, and many of the film's references to and depictions of substance abuse and sexual violence are softened. The major difference is that in the TV series, rather than Eric being darkly sardonic, violent and basically unstable the entire time (as he was in the comic) or most of the time (as per the film), he is basically just an angstier version of who he was when alive, and 'the Crow' is literally a dark supernatural alter-ego constantly simmering beneath the surface, who takes over when Eric is enraged or under stress, when someone he cares about is in danger, or a villain uses magic to bring out the Crow in him. The TV series expands on the film's mythology - Eric only has a finite period on earth to "put the wrong things right" before Shelly will be forced on to move without him and they will be separated forever, and introduces other supernatural elements such as reincarnation, possession, and an opposing force to the crow, in the form of a snake.
This series contains examples of the following tropes:
- Alcoholic Parent: Darla to Sarah. In the comic and film she was a drug addict, but this was softened for television.
- Back from the Dead: Eric, of course, at the start of the first episode. There are a few other examples throughout the series, including Talon in "Birds of a Feather" and possibly Shelly at the end of the final episode.
- Big Bad: Top Dollar. Even after being killed by Eric.
- Blood Knight: Hannah Foster, aka Talon (the second Crow in the series).
- Bouncer: Funnily enough, Eric starts working as one at the Black Out club where his band used to play (and still plays).
- By-the-Book Cop: Lt. David Vincennes.
- The Cast Showoff: Just like Brandon Lee in the movie, Mark Dacascos gets to show off his martial art skills in pretty much every episode.
- Commissioner Gordon: Albrecht, even more so than in the movie due to being a detective rather than a beat cop.
- Cool Bike: Eric owns one.
- Da Chief: Lt. Vincennes.
- Deadpan Snarker: The Skull Cowboy. And Eric's Crow half.
- Don't Make Me Destroy You: Eric.
- Evil Counterpart: If a Crow murders the person(s) who killed him/her, that person will return as a supernatural being called a "Snake".
- A Crow can become a Snake if they kill an innocent.
- Genre Savvy: Albrecht. He immediately realizes that Sarah is hiding something when she immediately agrees to go to school.
- Heel-Face Turn: Funboy, eventually becoming The Atoner.
- Immortality Immorality: What the Lazarus group is involved with.
- It's a Wonderful Plot: The episode "It's a Wonderful Death".
- Lighter and Softer: In comparison to the Brandon Lee movie, which was in turn lighter and softer than the original comic (yes, really).
- Magic Music: In one episode.
- Mind Rape: Eric does this to Top Dollar in lieu of killing him in the first episode.
- Superpowered Alter Ego: The Crow persona is this for Eric.
- Superpowered Evil Side: In the series finale, the Crow becomes this for Eric.
- Trickster Mentor: The Skull Cowboy is this to Eric.
- Vigilante Man: Eric.
- You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry: Eric.
- Woman in White: Shelly's primary costume for the series is the commitment ceremony dress she was wearing when she and Eric were killed.