From Mill Creek Entertainment comes the perfect Halloween treat, The Complete series of “Forever Knight.” If ever there was a nineties series, it’s a show that takes a procedural cop drama and pairs it with vampires. One of the precursors to cult shows like “Angel” and “Blood Ties,” the syndicated series lasted for a total of three seasons and became obscure for many years after its run. This is shocking considering the series has its faults, but is genuinely a fun and Gothic vampire series. This was the decade where a lot of radical concepts were posed for television (Ahem—“Cop Rock”), but “Forever Knight” plays the whole premise with a straight face.
One of my best memories of “Forever Knight” was back when the series first premiered in 92 when I was a nine year old boy. I’d awoken in the middle of the night to find my mother watching the show on network TV, and I sat to watch some of it with her. Nevertheless the series always stuck with me as a fond memory, and has been appreciated much more over the years since its end in 1996. Geraint Wyn-Davies (formerly of “Dracula: The Series”) is known to his fellow officers as Nick Knight.
He is, in reality, Nicholas de Brabant, a 13th century French medieval knight turned into an immortal night creature by a thousand-year old former Roman general named Lucius (now Lacroix). He’s played with immense enthusiasm and memorable charisma by character actor Nigel Bennett. After centuries of blood lust and feedings as a vampire, Nick decided to seek redemption for his sins by fighting for good and forever looking for a cure to his affliction.
He would do good where he could, all with the vampire that sired him wouldn’t be far behind creating obstacles to his quest to be mortal again. In the 1990s, now as Nick Knight, he works the night shift as a police officer, claiming a medical allergy to sunlight. He ends up partnered with the gruff but interesting Donald Schanke (John Kapelos, best known as Carl the Janitor from The Breakfast Club). The pair of cops fight crime and solve murders, all with Nick’s centuries’ worth of lifetime experiences. This is exemplified mostly through flashbacks. Along the way he is assisted by humans Dr. Natalie Lambert (Catherine Disher) and vampire partner Janette (Deborah Duchene), all of whom care for Nick but have ulterior agendas. Can Nick fight his vampiric urges, and garner redemption?
Despite a ton of cast changes here and there, and some shifts in the arcs, “Forever Knight” is a delightfully taut Vampire cop drama with some great effects. Some of the better storylines include Nick looking for a grail that could make him mortal again, his flashbacks to protecting a child during World War II, and is sent by LaCroix to kill an author who reveals intimate details about vampires. In an episode very of its time, Nick is called to testify in court—during the day (gasp!)—and must decide if he should risk burning alive or being charged with perjury. I joke, but “Forever Knight” is a series that, while it has its wrinkles here and there, is a great Canadian artifact of the decade, and laid the template for many other contemporary horror series.
The DVD set sadly comes with zero extras. There’s not even a trailer or subtitles for that matter.
From Warner, Supernatural: The Complete Fourteenth Season is the season that’s mostly been buzzed about online because it features the ultimate return of John Winchester. Jeffrey Dean Morgan, now a regular on “The Walking Dead,” played father John for a few years on “Supernatural” and makes his big return in the series’ 300th episode titled “Lebanon.” In it, Dean and Sam get a hold of a pearl that fulfills your heart’s desires. Accidentally Sam and Dean evoke their dad back to life and effectively alter reality where they’re basically altering reality.
They ultimately have to face whether the price is worth it, or if they have to once again say goodbye to John. “Lebanon” is a great episode and a gut wrenching reunion for the cast, all of whom never really lose a step once they re-unite. In either case, “Season fourteen” is the next to last season where more of the fate of the world is on the line for Sam and Dean to fight for. Dean is possessed by Michael the Angel, Jack is trying to learn about his origins and how to work without his powers, and Sheriff Jody Mills returns once again to team with Sam to find out what happened to Dean.
I pretty much gave up on Supernatural back in season nine, but the show as a whole is still pretty good, even if it gets stuck in repetitive storylines and episodes. Supernatural: The Complete Fourteenth Season contains various bells and whistles on all three discs, which include sporadic deleted scenes and a few commentary tracks to go along with the obligatory featurettes and a comic-con panel. The release comes in a slip box and includes a digital copy code for consumers. Disc one includes a single deleted scene from episode six, “Optimism,” while disc two includes an audio commentary with writer Davy Perez and Actors Briana Buckmaster, Samantha Smith, and Mark Pellegrino for episode 11, “Damaged Goods.” There is one deleted scene from episode 11, “Damaged Goods” and two deleted scenes from episode 13, “Lebanon.” There’s also “Supernatural Homecoming: Exploring Episode 300” which is a closer look at episode 300, “Lebanon.”
It explores key moments and characters from the past and returning or re-exploring them for this episode, John’s appearance in the episode, episode themes, and more. Finally Disc Three includes an audio commentary with actors Samantha Smith and Mark Pellegrino for episode 17, “Game Night.” There’s “The Winchester Mythology: The Choices We Make” a twenty four minute insight into the characters’ arcs throughout the series and through this season. There’s the thirty five minute Supernatural Comic-Con Panel for 2018 with Rob Benedict, Richard Speight Jr., Robert Singer, Andrew Dabb, Eugenie Ross-Leming, Brad Buckner, Alex Calvert, Misha Collins, Jensen Ackles, and Jared Padalecki, all of whom discuss the show in front of a hyped audience. There’s also a single scene from episode 19, “Jack in the Box,” and finally an eleven minute Gag Reel with fun moments from the shoot.
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