Don’t let anyone tell you that the BBC’s 2005 reinvention of Doctor Who was anything other than a major surprise.
Surpassing the expectations of the executives that green-lit the Ecclestone series, the show now dominates the tricky Saturday tea-time slot in a more successful way than it ever did in its many other incarnations. It’s come as little surprise then that ITV wish to muscle in on some of that demographic. Hot on the heels of their fitfully entertaining Primeval, here we have the astonishingly bad Demons.
Dead and seemingly disowned by star Philip Glenister before the inevitable excising of the series for anything other than this 6 episode run, the Demons of the title are the most trite Buffy rip-offs imaginable. If Whedon didn’t have his hands full with his fledgling Dollhouse series, law-suits would no doubt currently being flung across the Atlantic with cease and desist plastered all over them.
It’s not hard to find the parallels between the all-American girl Buffy with her British guide Rupert Giles, who finds herself cast as one of the last vampire slayers, in comparison to the wholesome British boy Luke Rutherford (Echo Beach‘s Christian Cooke) with his “American” guide Rupert (a truly baffling performance and accent from Glenister), who happens to be one of the last in the Van Helsing line and must battle the requisite demons. I believe they reference such imitation as the sincerest form of flattery.
These obvious similarities aside, the show falls woefully short with its lack of invention, hiding behind a plethora of effects and jump cutting. There are some fun turns, especially from Richard “I don’t believe it!” Wilson as a villain of the week, but one doubts we will see these Demons being resurrected anytime soon.
Released on DVD and Blu-ray on 6th April 2009 by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.