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DVD Review

Blood Ties
The Complete First Season


Starring: Christina Cox, Kyle Schmid, Dylan Neal and Gina Holden
Contender Home Entertainment
RRP: £39.99
Certificate: 15
Available 28 January 2008

Vicki Nelson is a private investigator who stumbles onto a new case involving vampires and the supernatural. Her investigation leads her to a vampire called Henry, who claims to be the illegitimate son of Henry VIII. So starts a professional relationship that sees the two working together on a series of supernatural cases...

Blood Ties is based on the Blood book series by Tanya Huff and stars Christina Cox as Vicki Nelson, an ex-cop turned private investigator. When one of her cases brings her into contact with a vampire, Nelson gets an unwelcome introduction to the paranormal. The series sees Nelson calling up on this vampire, as well as her old cop partner, for help in future supernatural cases.

The first season deals with all of your typical supernatural subjects. There's demon possession, reincarnation, Voodoo, ghosts, monsters, mummies, evil children and possessed paintings for starters.

There is a good mix of episodes in this first season. And while Blood Ties doesn't do humour based episodes as well as it could, the episodes with sad twists are incredibly well handled. These include the Gorgon based Stone Cold and the Fight Club inspired Necrodrome.

There were also a number of interesting guest stars (oddly enough most of whom have appeared in Stargate: SG-1) including David Orth (Ned from The Lost World TV series), Eileen Pedde (SG-1's Major Gibson), Julian Sands (SG-1's Doci), Jody Racicot (SG-1's Vernon Sharpe) and a blink and you'll miss it appearance by Tom McBeath (SG-1's Colonel Maybourne). Interestingly enough Christina Cox appeared in two episode of SG-1 as Lieutenant Kershaw. The SG-1 link also extends to the crew, with Peter DeLuise and Andy Mikita directing episodes.

Another interesting aspect of this five disc DVD collection is the fact that all 22 episodes have been squeezed onto five discs (five episodes on each of the first four discs and two episodes on the final DVD) and Contender Home Entertainment are giving fans the chance to own the first season for less than £40.

While there are no extras of any description (not even the obligatory trailers or subtitles) who really cares when the addition of extras usually bumps the price up to £60 or more (like the recent release of Heroes: Season One or Stargate: SG-1: Season Ten Box Set). While Blood Ties is not quiet as entertaining as both of the aforementioned shows it still holds its own in a genre that hasn't seen a decent show with a vampire in the main cast since the cancellation of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

And while some might moan that the vampire/PI angle was covered in Angel, and that this show borrows heavily from shows that have gone before, at the end of the day it still manages to hold its own as well as inject new life into the vampire mythology.


Darren Rea

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