Vampires have always been popular, but still appear to be on an upswing in recent years. It seems as though we're always seeing a new vampire series set in a different part of the world Moonlight is set in California, True Blood is set in Louisiana, and then there’s Blood Ties, which is set in Canada.
Blood Ties is a series that aired on Lifetime in 2007 and adapted the Blood Books by Tanya Huff. The series was filmed as one season with 22 episodes and that’s how it aired in Canada and Europe. Here in the States, Lifetime split the series up into two seasons, with season one containing the first twelve episodes including a pilot comprised of two hours.
Blood Ties follows Victoria "Vicki" Nelson (Christina Cox), a Toronto PD detective whose degenerative eye disease retinitis pigmentosa (her night and peripheral vision is slowly failing) forced her to quit the force, it was either that or “ride a desk.” Mike Celluci (Dylan Neal) is her ex-partner/former lover and completing that love triangle is Henry Fitzroy (Kyle Schmid) who is a graphic novelist and 470 year old vampire. He also just happens to be the illegitimate son of Henry VIII. Rounding out the cast is Gina Holden as Coreen, Vicki’s assistant/sidekick, whom Vicki hired because of her knowledge of the occult and Henry's true nature.
The show starts with Vicki witnessing a violent murder and deciding to investigate the crime. As she digs deeper, she learns of demonic involvement and meets Henry. The two form a partnership and more, which really pisses off Mike, who is the skeptic as the series begins. The trio then work together to solve cases involving zombies, Medusa, an incubus, ghosts, a Wendigo and much more. The love triangle also develops with relationship going from friendship to love to estrangement. The tension at times is very palpable amongst the trio.
Sadly, there’s not much in the way of extras with the release. There’s nothing new for the DVD release, no commentaries or anfything similar. The only special feature is a behind the scenes piece which aired in Canada to promote the series. It has author Tanya Huff talking about how the series is faithful to the series and captured the love triangle seen in the books. She also praises how the series came up with its own storylines in addition to using the ones from the books.
The final episodes, or “second season” as Lifetime called it, is slated to be released later this year; maybe there will be better extras on that release. The show's tagline, “a crime series, with bite,” is certainly an accurate and appropriate one.