Demons (BBC, TV Pilot Review)

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first published at on January 6, 2010

BBC America’s television series, DEMONS, starts off with a young man thrust into the deadly world of the supernatural. The teenager with a special destiny must either choose to be the hunter of vicious monsters or be the hunted.

As the dialogue boasts of references to STAR WARS and Bram Stoker’s DRACULA, the series itself can be seen as a rip-off of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. Rupert Galvin is the mentor (Watcher) recruiting “the chosen one,” who just happens to be Luke Rutherford. Luke Rutherford is a descendent of the Van Helsing line (Slayers) who must do battle against the diabolical creatures. Luke’s normal life is thrown into shambles as he finally meets his godfather, Rupert, who reveals the family’s secret past.

Philip Glenister played the arrogant and chauvinistic Gene Hunt in the British sci-fi police procedurals, LIFE ON MARS and ASHES TO ASHES. Now he steals the show as the sarcastic and witty Rupert Galvin. Philip Glenister delivers an American accent, which adds charm to his mentor role. Even though Glenister added substance to Rupert, he lacked chemistry with his co-star, Christian Cooke. I didn’t feel Christian Cooke brought enough star quality as Luke Rutherford, who is supposed to be the central protagonist.

Luke does have an insightful scene with his mother midway through the pilot. Luke and his mother reminisce what life was like before Luke’s father passed away. Mother and son are still dealing with their tragic loss as they struggle to move on. This was the only time the audience is presented with Luke’s back story. I wish there were more of these scenes in the pilot because Luke needed more personality to be an interesting, likable persona.

The episode did carry impressive special effects, especially when Rupert fires his pulse gun. I did have issues though with the dull look of the antagonist, Gladiolus Thrip.

I couldn’t take Gladiolus Thrip seriously because his face was shaped like a chicken’s head. When Thrip was taunting Luke in his lair, I really couldn’t see him as a superior threat to Luke because of the awful make-up job. I wonder if the episode could have been a more appealing if the protagonist and antagonist were much developed.

The pilot of the series, DEMONS, had its moments of entertainment but the show itself could have been better. The series continues with five more episodes but I doubt I will watch again to see if the show improves.

To see the schedule of the remaining five episodes of DEMONS, go to