Eagle Rock Entertainment, who have for years been a leading label for classic rock releases both on CD and DVD, recently released the complete series of Blood Ties, a Canadian crime drama/horror-thriller that ran on Lifetime from 2007 to 2008. The complete series, all 22 episodes, is out now on Eagle Vision Blu-Ray, in a deluxe 4 disc set, which is a perfect way to enjoy this solid show which, sadly, was not renewed for another season in 2008.
For those who are unfamiliar with Blood Ties (and I was one of them), the show centers around a private investigator named Vicki Nelson, played by the beautiful & sexy actress Christina Cox (Chronicles of Riddick, 24). Vicki is a former cop, whose debilitating eyesight problems forced her to retire from her career as a homicide police officer to start up her own business. Another main character is her former partner & lover, Mike Celluci, played by Dylan Neal (Dawson's Creek), and though they are no longer a couple, some feelings are still there and they remain constantly in contact. The third main cog in this story is Henry Fitzroy, a 450 year old vampire who looks as if he's 25, and the illegitimate son of Henry the VIII of England.
Henry gets mixed up in a case of Vicki's in the first episode and he quickly becomes her partner, as his vampire talents seem to be very valuable to her with all the supernatural goings on that seem to be happening. To add more intrigue, Vicki is also strangely attracted to Henry, and he to her, but Mike is also very much in the mix, so an interesting and ongoing love triangle commences and continues throughout the series. Vicki also hires as her assistant the very gothic Coreen Fennel, who also becomes part of the storyline, and she's played by Gina Holden. Other frequent characters come into play, such as Celluci's new partner Kate, his boss at the force, and the helpful coroner, but it's the main four that you get to know very well, and the chemistry between them is great.
Many of the storylines for each episode center around cases that come up, most being of a supernatural origin involving demons, wizards, voodoo, mummies, reincarnation, wendigos, and other assorted creatures and manifestations. It's all very much like a modern day Night Stalker, which many of you might remember as a popular supernatural crime thriller starring Darren McGavin back in the mid 1970's, except here with a female lead character, and a male vampire lead. Some of the storylines aren't the most convincing, but the interaction between the characters are what makes you come back for more. Special effects and gore are hit and miss, but then again, this did air on Lifetime after all, so you can't expect too much.
By the time you get to the final episode, you really hope they have Vicki decide one way or the other-will she pick Henry, or go back to Mike? I'm not going to give any spoilers here, but rest assured, if you are not satisfied with how they leave things off on the series (which was not picked up by Lifetime for another season), you can always go read the book series, called Blood Books, by Tanya Huff.
In the end, it's a real shame that this show did not continue on. Anything involving vampires these days seems to be a good bet, and you have to wonder why another network, like Sci-Fi, FX, or even Showtime (especially to do battle with HBO's True Blood), didn't pick Blood Ties up, seeing as it became somewhat of a quiet cult favorite. Goth and metal fans would dig some of the soundtrack themes, and a few of the episodes have scenes that take place in clubs where extreme acts are playing.
Acting and cinematography (the show was shot in Toronto) is generally top notch, and there's a slight undercurrent of humor which adds a fun element to many of the scenes. Though I'm a little disappointed that the 22 episodes are all that we have, I enjoyed this series enough to watch out for future roles for the stars (Cox is currently on the new season of Fox's hit show 24), and will keep my fingers crossed that one day Blood Ties might be resurrected.