Vampires in Pop Culture Feature: Forever Knight

IMDb’s listing for Forever Knight describes the show this way:

“A drama about an 800 year old, angst ridden vampire who lives in present day Toronto as a homicide detective in an attempt to repay for his sins and regain his mortality, with the aid of Natalie Lambert, a mortal coroner, while trying to keep his secret from his partner. His quests are hindered by his tormented past and his seductive 2000 year old master, Lucien Lacroix.”

I remember watching Forever Knight back in the early 90s, and it was kind of a guilty pleasure for me. During the third and final season, I was in graduate school studying English Literature, and I felt as though I was somehow sneaking around to watch it when no one else would know, as though it were my dirty little secret.

But oh, how I loved that show. How I longed for Nick Knight to be redeemed. And how I longed for him and Natalie to make things work between them. Their romance was heartbreaking, and I loved every minute of it.

Nick: Don’t. Don’t get too close to me.
Natalie: Why? You want to hurt me? Kill me?
Nick: No. But I might anyway.

When the show went off the air, I was so disappointed. I loved the poignant ache of Nick’s character, and I suppose in some ways the way that Geraint Wyn Davies portrayed him informed the way I’ve written one of my novel Ma Chère Antoinne‘s main characters, Raul Griffin. They both share a sort of tragic desire to change what cannot be changed, to go back to being human in order to be with the women they love.

Janette, Nick’s former vampire lover, struggles to understand why he doesn’t appreciate the gift he’s been given, and Nick’s master, Lucien Lacroix, was devastatingly sinister yet alluring at the same time. Lacroix seemed to have Nick in a trap that he could never escape from, no matter how much he longed to be free. I loved his musings on the meaning of life, and while they were chilling, they also made a great deal of sense, and it was easy to understand how someone like Nick would be persuaded to follow him.

Lucien LaCroix: Life is a gift. As sweet as a ripened peach, as precious as a gilded jewel. I’ve never understood the logic of willfully surrendering such a treasure. And what is there to gain? How dark can your existence be when compared to an empty void? Unless of course, you have faith that there is something beyond. What do you see from where you stand? A bright light at the end of the tunnel? Is it a ray of hope? A glimmer of something better? Or will it burn you like the rising sun? Is that sound you’re hearing the trumpeting of St. Peter’s angels, or the screams of Memnoch’s tortured souls? You can’t answer that, can you, because you will never know the answer, till the deed is done. And is your faith really that strong? I understand the need to move on, it is something that happens, and your time has truly come. I also understand that with the beauty of this life there comes pain and despair. No one is immune. But consider what is in your hands. Don’t trade a treasure for an empty box. 

Nick’s struggle was so very painful, and yet I could not stop watching. I never let go of my hope for him, even at the last.

If you have never seen the show, I highly recommend it. It’s available on DVD and can be downloaded or streamed from iTunes, Netflix, or Amazon.

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