Ain't It Cool News (

More Details on ULTRAVIOLET's Upcoming Move to the US

Greetings and salutations, readers, El Cosmico here, with more fun details on the handling of the super-badass UK show Ultraviolet as it makes its move to the shores of the colonies. A friendly reader sent this in, it's a story with an interview with Howard Gordon, tthe fellow who is responsible for bringing this series to the US. According to the reader who sent this in, this interview was originally posted on a site that he refers to as "www.vampires&", which isn't a valid URL. I've tried to locate this site, but as the reader says, the original source site appears to be dead. Well, if you know what happened to this site, please let me know, so we can give proper credit to the original source on this. Many thanks,'s the story, folks!

ULTRAVIOLET, the highly successful British TV drama series based on conflict between vampires and the inquisition, has had its right bought by the United States network Fox.

Fox has announced it will produce a pilot for the series, with producer Howard Gordon,formerly of the "X-Files", "Angel" and "Strange World" on tap. Fox is heavily in search of it X-Files replacement, with stars David Duchovny and Gilian Anderson making it clear they want to leave the long-run series. To that end, Fox is said to be "tweeking" the much-praised show for the US , with a 2001 release date anticipated.

Also on the team to develop the pilot and potential series is producer Chip Johannessen (X-Files, Millennium, Beverly Hills, 90210) and director Mark Piznarski (The ’60s, My So-Called Life. Creator of the original UK Ultraviolet Joe Aheearne, when asked about the Fox move, said "I dunno. Could be mine. I know they're negotiating but nobody's told me anything yet. If it is my one, that doesn't mean there won't be any more Ultraviolet over here (in Britain)." American reporting on the series has been somewhat confused. Many don't know the British origins of the show, and descriptions have ranged from "sexy" vampire show through to "ultraviolet vampires". US reporters don't even seem to be able to grasp the concept of mini-series, with several calling the highly successful TV drama "short lived".

Producer Howard Gordon appears to have a better understanding of both the concept and morals beneath the story. However, fans have reacted with concern at his description of the show as a "soap opera" and stated intent to make it more "emotional". This is how Gordon sees the show: "Basically that there’s a hidden world. We’re living in times that are incredibly prosperous and there’s an underlying tension of when is it going to collapse? There’s an anxiety that is less Millennium-based and more tied to our prosperity along the lines of the higher things fly, the further they can fall. The vampires, to me, represented not necessarily good or evil, but simply a very uniquely American kind of appetite. Why does everyone want to get rich? Why is everyone having plastic surgery, getting their eyes done, their nose done? In a way it’s a very vampiric kind of desire." "It felt like a fusion of Angel and The X-Files," he said. "What differentiates it from Angel and The X-Files is the tone, and the fact that it's more adult."

When asked how this American version came about, Gordon answered, "My agency represents the British company that owns the underlying rights to Ultraviolet. Essentially they brought it to me and to Fox simultaneously. Fox saw it and liked it. I had been talking to Chip Johansson about possibly doing something together, so it was a confluence of events. It was material that Chip and I wound up being interested in. My initial reaction when I heard the idea was that it felt a little familiar in terms of vampires and conspiracies. It felt like a kind of fusion of material I had dealt with before. Then I watched the tapes and was completely transfixed. I found it really sophisticated and interesting, and in a way found a kind of governing metaphor there that interested both Chip and I".

He was quick to dispel any comparison with Buffy or Angel: " It’s not like every time someone does a cop show you automatically compare it to NYPD Blue, or compare lawyer shows to The Practice. But the tone of Buffy/Angel and "Ultraviolet" is so different, and the audiences they serve are so different. I think ultimately this is both scary and sexy, and I think that’s not really what Buffy and Angel are. Those aren’t the first two things you think of in terms of those shows. There’s a very ironic sense to them, and I think this one is going to be quite emotional and scary." In the case of Ultraviolet, I think it’s going to be a way to examine what this life is about. Vampires give us a way to confront our greed and our appetites in kind of a wish fulfillment, which is exciting and enticing, and at the same time can be tragic. They work really nicely as a metaphor for part of us, and we’ll sense that as the story is told through our hero’s eyes. That’s the other thing, the stories will deal with an undercover element, being closer to Donny Brasco and Wiseguy than Buffy/Angel. The undercover element is one way we’re twisting it, dealing with someone who infiltrates the vampire organization. It’s going to be about a relationship between two best friends and a love triangle at the center of it. It’s also a love story set against a war that’s very much being fought in plain sight. "I see it as a more serious show, and more of an emotional storyline within which you can tell a variety of stories, whether they’re capers or moral parables. At the same time, having a set of characters interact as characters with their temptations, their loves and their losses."

Regarding the challenge of taking the original British concept of the series and making it palatable for American audiences, Gordon says, "I think at some level the way the story was originally told was so understated, some of the points of view have to change. I think the way the stories are told needs to be endowed and in some ways made more emotional. These are the challenges and I’m so at the beginning of the process right now, that I don’t know how I’m going to answer some of these questions. But, certainly I’m aware of them."

The original Ultraviolet was a six-part series with a tight plot-arc linking the shows. Questions have been raised as to how this would translate to an ongoing series.

"I think everything should have a beginning, middle and end, whether it be 12, 22 or 56. One hundred episodes is kind of an arbitrary number, and whether something can stay fresh that long is not always an easy task," Gordon said. "I think in some ways the British model is more forgiving on the creative people that have to do it; to actually sustain the quality. In some ways what American TV asks of its producers is an impossible task. Again, until you get in to it, it’s hard to project. I would hope that there’s enough material here because it’s a soap opera, so we should be able to reinvigorate it when necessary.

Oh man. The more I hear about this show, the more desperate I am to see it. If Fox handles this right, this show could rock the house SO DAMN HARD! I can't freaking wait for this series. No sir, I can't freaking wait.

-El Cosmico

mail me at:

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus