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Series / Demons

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2009 ITV show, sitting in the Doctor Who slot for a six-episode run. Reminiscent of Buffy the Vampire Slayer with a male lead.

The gist of the plot is that an ordinary teenager, Luke Rutherford, discovers he's the last descendant of the legendary vampire hunter, Abraham van Helsing and begins training to fight vampires, and monsters in general, under gritty mentor, Rupert Galvin (played by Philip Glenister, who was popular at the time after starring as Gene Hunt).

The cast is rounded out by Luke's best friend Ruby (played by Holliday Grainger, who would be presumably have been promoted to love interest if the series had lasted) and specialist adviser, Mina Harker from Dracula, who is blind, for reasons never explained. Mackenzie Crook appeared in two episodes as a vampire villain with a false nose, possibly planned to be the Big Bad.

This series contains examples of:

  • Absurdly-Spacious Sewer: Very clean sewers with extensive lighting systems, no less. Perhaps averted: looking at the Stacks, the Van Helsing family clearly has money, so maybe they'd have enough to fit up the catacombs properly...
  • Ancestral Weapon
  • Badass Longcoat: Galvin. Perhaps a bit of Pandering to the Base, as Philip Glenister's best-known character is somewhat known for his distinctive coats...
  • Blind Seer: Mina.
  • Bound and Gagged: Ruby in episode one, Ruby and Galvin in episode four.
  • British Brevity: The series is six episodes long. It doesn't look like it's going to get any more.
  • Call-Back: Dracula is canon to the series, and this is crucial to the fourth episode. They get every single relevant detail wrong though.
  • Defensive Failure: Ruby in episode three. After begging to be allowed a gun, she completely freezes when they rescue Galvin.
  • Driving Test
  • Drowning Pit: In episode three.
  • Elaborate Underground Base
  • Genre Blindness: Luke.
  • Hunter of Monsters: Galvin, although the assumption that it's out of revenge for the death of his wife is subverted - she was killed because he was a Hunter of Monsters.
  • I Am Your Father: Invoked in the first episode, to the point of the son being named Luke as well.
  • Mr. Fanservice: One critic noted that Christian Cooke, as Luke, occasionally wears a shirt.
  • One-Word Title
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Rupert's American accent somewhat inverts this trope. It's technically correct—vowel sounds right, and rhotic where it should be—but to an American ear it sounds a little too perfect: there's no hint of any regional variation, nor is there any of the inflection or intonations a native speaker usually has ... it sounds a little monotonous, actually. The writers also seem to have purposely given Philip Glenister a little help by avoiding, in his dialogue, not only any distinctly American words or turns of phrase but even writing around the situations where he'd have to use either them or their British equivalent.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Luke.
  • Our Demons Are Different: For one thing, despite the show's title, they're never called demons - they're "half-lives."
  • Our Vampires Are Different: To kill vampires, you need to take their DNA and electrocute it and then inject it back into them, or something.
  • Parental Obliviousness: Luke's mother, though she is at least aware that something's going on.
  • The Quisling: Mina's a vampire who's perfectly willing to help wipe out her own race, including her own son Quincey who never really did anything bad in the episode (he got blood through a donation scam, not killing). Presumably she'll kill herself when the job is done.
    • In defence of Demons (a sentence rarely said), Mina may just be helping out of fear of Galvin. He's proven that he has no problem with the idea of killing her if she steps out of line, after all.
  • Secret Legacy: Luke, obviously.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Luke regarding Ruby's feelings for him, though it's painfully obvious to Galvin at least.
    • "You really don't know?"
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Luke, as regards to Ruby. She obviously doesn't want this to be true.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Particularly the godawful opening theme.
  • Super-Breath: The villain in episode one.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Ruby.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The only reason Rupert gives for Luke to kill the non-humans is that they're a different species.
    • Made especially weird by how easily Luke accepts it and does indeed kill them, even when they *show* plenty of similarities. We're talking shooting them after leading them on that they won't. And this is a kids' show, apparently.
    • The fourth episode makes some effort to subvert this.
    • In an example very reminiscent of The Silver Chair, in the fifth episode, Luke refuses to kill Alice until she transforms into her harpy form.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: As noted above, Rupert's accent is this in the sense that it has no American regional qualities to it, nor does he use many American words or turns of's sort of a generic American accent.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: Quincey is stated to be 138 years old. Yet if he's the son of Mina and Jonathan Harker, he was born after the events of Bram Stoker's Dracula (which took place in 1897) and was turned into a vampire by his mother when he was an adult, injured in WW2. Now if the series is meant to take place in the year (2009) it was released (and there is no indication it does not), Quincey cannot be any older than 112 years old. Hell, he'd be older than his mother otherwise!
    • The underground base is supposed to have belonged to Van Helsing, then was lost for 200 years and rediscovered in the 1990s. Van Helsing is also mentioned to have done things in the 1640s. It's overall pretty obvious they had no idea when Dracula was set, so they just had it move around. Either that or there was a revelation that Van Helsing was a supernatural being that lived for centuries planned for a later episode.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Characters in one episode swapped to this (really, really badly) for absolutely. No. Reason. Nobody thinks this is weird, and nobody ever mentions it again. It is clearly supposed to be badass.
    • "Drop the gun or I shall smite thee, ya freak!"