History Files

ULTRAVIOLET

 

Something of a surprise in Channel 4’s 1998 autumn schedules was this tense and gripping look at vampires in modern day London. Rapidly advancing technology and the Cold War and left the risk of mass human destruction still very much a possibility. Faced with their own existence being put in jeopardy, the vampires had decided to get themselves organised and do something about this threat to their all-important food source. In response, an organisation with roots almost as old as the vampires themselves, had been set up, with secret government recognition, to fight the suddenly increased menace.

Viewers were introduced to the two very different sides in the war through Police detective Michael Colefield. He is drawn into investigating Jack Beresford’s disappearance because, apart from being his best friend, Jack was set to marry Kirsty, a woman about whom he himself has very strong feelings. His investigation brings him into contact with the good and the bad of both sides before he is forced to make a choice that will change his life. His situation becomes even less clear when he is forced to contact Frances, an old friend, for information, and it is clear she still has strong feelings for him. His attempts to distance himself from both women in his life, for their own safety, prove fruitless, and the growing menace draws all three further into danger as the series progresses.

This smooth, well-made drama made the most of London locations and some beautiful photography. The word "vampire" was never once used, which helped the series gain credit. They were usually referred to either by inference, or directly by name. Idris Alba's ex-military character, the dry and dangerous Vaughn Rice, refers to them as leeches. The dark and sinister mood of the series was greatly enhanced by an engagingly grim soundtrack, which heightened the tension superbly. Four months after its first broadcast, the series received a screening on Sky One, but this programme’s debut was, for once, on network television. Unfortunately, a second series has never been commissioned.

 


REGULAR CAST

Michael Colefield Jack Davenport
Doctor Angela March Susannah Harker
Vaughan Rice Idris Elba
Father Pearse J Harman Philip Quast
Kirsty Colette Brown
Frances Fiona Dolman

 


Written by: Joe Ahearne
Executive Producer: Sophie Balhetchet
Producer: Bill Shapter
Director: Joe Ahearne
Music: Sue Hewitt


Habeas Corpus

When Police informant Pollard is murdered in a busy shopping arcade and his contact, Detective Jack Beresford, mysteriously disappears on the eve of his wedding, Michael begins his search for some answers. Jack is found to have had an unusually healthy bank balance, and an involvement with some very sinister people who only seem to appear at night. His absence and Michael’s involvement attracts the attention of a powerful organisation which operates out of a high-tech base above Cannon Street station in London, and with full government blessing. They make Michael aware of just what it is they are fighting, and how big a threat their enemy represents to humanity’s future. Upon meeting Jack for the last time, Mike must make his choice and fight for one side or the other.

Jack Beresford Stephen Moyer
Pollard Ronnie Letham
Carter Marc Bolton
DS Paul Ferman John Ashton
Sue Lara J West
Nurse Blondell Taylor
Street Artist Daniel Moynihan
Computer Operator Colin Kerrigan
Pathologist Ian Crowe

In Nomine Patris

The reclusive, wayward son of a wealthy public figure has a brush with a maddened biker during daylight hours and suffers hideous, and permanent, damage to his body. Michael and the team begin to close in on the financial backing behind his wealth as he pulls the plug on his City investments and tempts his market dealer, Danni, who is facing a mid-life crisis, into joining him in his night life. Michael also faces the very necessary task of having to shed elements of his personal life, including Kirsty, to keep anyone from harm because of his new connections.

Danni Jane Slavin
Gideon Trevor Bowen
Lester Christopher Villiers
Neil Neil Maskell
Sal Julie Smith
Nurse at Home Victoria Byrne
Bank Official Simon Cowell-Parker
Squash Player Dean Lepley
Margaret Angela Wyndham Lewis

Sub Judice

Marion Wainwright, a barrister, is attacked in an under-ground car park, but passes out, only to come to and find her assailants dead at her feet. It appears her husband, who committed suicide some years ago, is still keeping an eye on her, as his colleagues conduct a sinister cross-fertilisation experiment with the sperm samples Marion is using in an attempt to become pregnant. While Kirsty resorts to contacting a journalist, Jacob, to help her find Mike, Frances tracks him down at his new flat, and is interested in knowing more about his new career.

Marion Wainwright Emer Gillespie
Jacob Thomas Lockyer
Marion's Husband Simon Donald
Embryologist Richard Rees
Clinic Manager Charlotte Attenborough
Pregnancy Counsellor Martha Cope
GP Stephanie Fayerman
Mrs Seabrook Anni Domingo
DS Leigh Michael Hadley
Marion's Junior David Shelley
First Mugger Michael Price
Second Mugger Jimmy Gallagher
Angie's Daughter Elizabeth Earl

Mea Culpa

At a Roman Catholic school a pupil stabs his teacher, a priest, to death, and several other pupils seem to be light sensitive. While Michael is finding his working relation-ship with Rice becoming increasingly uncomfortable, given Rice's unorthodox methods, he uncovers a paedophile with ultraviolet-induced skin problems. The man is carrying a Code V-engineered strain of Meningitis and, unable to keep his tendencies confined, has infected several of the boys at the school. Kirsty loses touch with Jacob while he is trying to trace Michael. He finds his investigations have not gone unnoticed, and he is contacted by the very people Michael is trying to protect Kirsty from. Now the danger to her is closer than ever.

Jacob Thomas Lockyer
Colin Rupert Procter
Gary Robert Stuart
Father Downey Eamon Boland
Oliver Jeremy Gilley
Angie's Daughter Elizabeth Earl
Gary's Mother Jane Wheldon
Sports Teacher Jonathan Magnanti
Orderly Dennis Banks
Alter Boy George Cook
Boy Sam Bardens
Vampire Boy Andrew Wilkes

Terra Incognita

A Brazilian man steps off a plane bleeding from visible bites to his neck, and Vaughan and Michael learn that the plane was also carrying caskets. While Michael is being diverted by a wild goose chase, Angie is the key to a scheme that hopes to see her husband, a notable blood disorder specialist, returned to "life", but it's Rice who ends up trapped in a disused warehouse with four caskets on timed release and with only desperate minutes to come up with a plan. It seems as if his time has finally run out. Angie and Pearse interview the occupant of the fifth casket, John, an ambassador with a message. Michael's torment over Kirsty hasn't ended with his moving out of her life, as a hastily arranged meeting in a wine bar proves. Would he be able to do his job if she really has joined the opposition?

John Corin Redgrave
Aguinaldo Clarence Allen
Maria Ellen Thomas
Maria's Contact Rob Jarvis
Custom's Official Tom Knight
Nurse Abigail Hayes
Stewardess Dee Sadler
Pilot David John Pope
Cell Guard Mark Hill
Jacob Thomas Lockyer

Persona Non Grata

Kirsty has fled to seek protection from Jacob, little realising what he has become until she stumbles across him feeding. His edited explanation to her about the war he and his kind are involved in gains her sympathy, but it is the news that Michael killed Jack that really jolts her into taking sides. Frances, always helping Michael out by using her own government connections, now takes a more active role as she refuses to help him any further without knowing the full story, which, of course, he cannot reveal. She undertakes some investigations of her own, discovers the true identity of the mysterious "John", bumps into Rice and March, and finds herself undergoing questioning in the team's headquarters. Michael, fearing for Kirsty's life now that Jacob has revealed he is holding her captive, secretly "liberates" a casket from the vault and arranges an exchange meeting. Planning a Nuclear Winter during which they will gain complete control of mankind, Jacob's bosses want Robert March returned to them. But, as Frances undergoes her own shattering initiation into the team at John's execution, conflicting loyalties and a surprise return from the grave test old friendships to the limit. Kirsty is the last to discover the full truth behind recent events while Michael must make his own final choice about his confused loyalties. Life will never be the same again for any of them.

John / Paul Hoyle Corin Redgrave
Jacob Thomas Lockyer
Jack Stephen Moyer
Newspaper Editor Tom Cotcher
Laird Helen Anderson
Security Guard Simon Harris

 


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