Lifetime Television’s “Blood Ties” – The Complete Series

Several months ago we got our hands on the very interesting Vampire Crime Drama series called “Blood Ties” and offered the readers some critique about the show. It aired on Lifetime Television in 2007 and was based on the writings of Tanya Huff and her “Blood Books”. Give that each season was discussed for you already, we are revisiting those narratives before getting to the task at hand. Please feel free to sink your teeth into them – we’ll wait for you at the end.

SEASON ONE:

Lifetime Television has really come a long way from its consistent airings of episodes of “The Nanny” and “The Golden Girls” by periodically offering up some interesting dramas that cater to more than just a their typical female audience. One such program was the highly rated “Blood Ties”, which is essentially a crime drama with a vampire twist. Think “Law & Order” meets “Dracula” if you need to draw a quick idea of what we are getting at. Sadly I never saw an episode of this program when it was airing on the Lifetime Network, but I had really enjoyed the very similar show that ran on CBS entitled “Moonlight”. I was sad to find this show being canceled just when some character development was happening and that’s what made getting my hands on the full first season DVD set for “Blood Ties” so special. The show works with a similar premise where there is a Private Investigator working outside of the conventional Law Enforcement officials and in the middle of this is the presence of a vampire. The main difference from this and “Moonlight” is that the vampire is not the PI and is instead just a typical “normal” vampire who keeps his needs sustained via the usual means and by being a comic book, or “graphic novel” artist as he explains in the show. The PI in this case is Vicky Nelson (played by Christina Cox) who has left the police force after an accident that left her partially blind. During the two part pilot episode Nelson is hired by a Gothic girl (Gina Holden) who wants her to investigate the mysterious murder of her boyfriend. As the show progresses we find that the reasoning for this is based on demons, evil vampires and spells and this brings our charming vampire ally Mr. Fitzroy (Kyle Schmid) who seeks to stop this evil from returning to our world. It’s not long before Fitzroy reveals his nature to Nelson and the pair begin working together until they strike against the powers of darkness with success. The episode closes out with Vicky taking the young Goth under her wing as an assistant where she will now work at the investigations firm with her. Vicky also frequently butts heads with her former partner and ex-lover on the police force, Mike Celucci (played by Dylan Neal).

The show is based on the “Blood Book” novels by Tanya Huff who was a big fan of “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” and other similar programs before she came up with the idea for the series. If you are a fan of things that go bump in the night and shows like the long gone “Buffy” and recently canceled “Moonlight” then you would definitely enjoy the show. There is the occasional other vampire or zombie and other creature of the night making an appearance for the sake of the shows supernatural nature and despite minor violence there is no colorful language or super graphic gore to worry about. This was a network show after all. The First Season is made up of thirteen episodes that span the four DVD’s in the set. There are no commercials obviously, so the new fan can easily get up to speed in a matter of hours. The menus are easy to navigate and there is one special feature which amounts to a Behind The Scenes segment. At the time of this writing I know the the other episodes of the remaining 22 that were filmed will amount to Season Two and based on the positive ratings that the first go round received I am sure that Lifetime will waste no time in getting them aired for the dare I say “ravenous” fans. I had to say that I liked it enough to continue following it into the second season and hope that the network stands behind the show and allows it to keep going. The popularity found in movies like “Twilight” and shows like “True Blood” (an HBO offering) prove that people love vampires and any stories about them.

Season One Episodes: 1. Blood Price (part one), 2. Blood Price (part two), 3. Bad Juju, 4. Gifted, 5. Deadly Departed, 6. Love Hurts, 7. Heart Of Ice, 8. Heart Of Fire, 9. Stone Cold, 10. Necrodrome, 11. Post Partum, 12. Norman, 13. D.O.A.

SEASON TWO:

Picking up where Season One closed out is the Second Season DVD boxed set of Lifetime Television’s “Blood Ties”. For those that are joining us in the middle of the movie; let’s recap and fill you in on the fact that the show is Crime Drama meets Bram Stoker. A little bit of your conventional detective mystery with a deliciously devilish vampire bite taken out of it. When the show originally ran on the Lifetime Network I never caught an episode so I enjoyed having the chance to absorb the whole first season in a couple of days sitting and now with the assistance of the second season set can learn just how the story played out. I mentioned enjoying the long canceled “Moonlight” on CBS just as it was picking up steam and the premise of “Blood Ties” is rather interesting for a television show.

The series continues to follow the adventures of private investigator Vicky Nelson who while no longer a member of the Police Force sometimes works with their officials on matters that are a little harder to explain. Christina Cox plays Nelson and her vampire ally is Henry Fitzroy (played by Kyle Schmid). Together the pair bravely explores the night air solving mysteries that your conventional Crime Scene Investigators would stymie them. The first season found them against the living dead, voodoo powers and more. This time around they face shape shifters, demons, killer bugs and psychic serial killers and with that host of horrors you just have to think that the team has their work cut out for them. It’s a thrilling ride into the dark cave that you are not supposed to go inside without a flashlight or steel will and while some stories are left unsolved there are others that reach a final conclusion most dire. I liked the first season quite a bit and can safely inform the more skittish viewers that there are no real vivid depictions of blood and gore even though this is some minor violence or “action” depending on your view of that. This was a Lifetime TV show after all and as result there are no off-color comments and bad language to worry about in case the little ones are watching with you. The characters work well for a prime time broadcast of this type and the stories are rather interesting to see played out, even if you might be able to figure out a couple of the mysteries just before the final “Monk moment” that they have that ties the whole story together. I guess my long time viewership of the various C.S.I.’s, Monk, & Columbo shows have given me a bit of an edge over the years. We’re not going to ruin the actual episodes for you here so no fear of spoilers in this narrative but we shall say that the story does end with a bit of a cliffhanger that perhaps we will one day see the conclusion of.

The show is based on the “Blood Book” novels by Tanya Huff who was a big fan of “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” and other similar programs before she came up with the idea for the series. Perhaps you would enjoy it if you are a fan of those kinds of terrifying treats and shows like “True Blood” or maybe even “Dexter”. Granted the latter reference is not exactly vampire related even though the premise is ghoulish. The First Season set found thirteen episodes on four DVD’s and the Second Season completes the full run of 22 filmed shows on three DVD’s. It is packaged in the same decorative case with a clear plastic sleeve. I’ve long appreciated the full season show releases based on the fact that one doesn’t need to suffer through mass amounts of commercials and can be on top of the show in a couple of days if the time to sit in front of the TV is available. Like the first season, this season has easily navigated menus and a scant amount of bonus features. This time around it is limited to a Photo Gallery and Season One Trailer. Since this “finishes” the series for the most part one can only wonder if it will be picked up again and give us more of these characters adventures. One can only hope since the need for vampire shows has not waned in the public eye given the massive popularity of the “Twilight” movies, the “True Blood” HBO series and the fact that these kinds of stories take us to worlds that don’t truly exist……or do they? It currently runs in syndication on a number of television stations around the world and I am sure that Lifetime airs it very often in the middle of the night. The show ended in April 2008 and that’s been some time so I would not hold too much faith in its returning. At least you have the DVD’s to take you away for a little while.

Season Two Episodes: 1. Wild Blood, 2. 5:55, 3. Bugged, 4. The Devil You Know, 5. Drawn And Quartered, 6. Wrapped, 7. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, 8. We’ll Meet Again, 12. Deep Dark

OK, so welcome back, thanks for sticking around. The reason that we simply re-delivered our two narratives about the show was based on the fact that Eagle Vision while initially dishing out the two seasons as stand alone editions, have now packaged them as one “Complete Season” release that gives the fans following one easy place to enjoy the show. There are no differences between the releases and the same small booklet that comes with each season is exactly the same. The seasons are in your standard DVD case and kept together by a slipcase that features art that appears to be a little of Season One’s cover and a little of Season Two’s. Since the two seasons were made available already and are likely in the hands of those who followed the adventures of the characters each and every week, I don’t think that I can recommend it to them to purchase. When it comes down to it, the DVD collector will not even find much space is saved by the dual season set. Maybe at best a couple of millimeters but no more.

Of course if you are someone who might have caught the show airing on either the Lifetime TV network or even on their online site and find that you must know all of the stories, then you should treat yourself to this version as opposed to buying the individual sets. Lifetime Television announced in middle 2008 that they would not be picking up the show, and we referenced that while the tale ends with a slight “to be continued”, it is unlikely that we shall ever see it being filmed again. The shows fans are ardent individuals and they regularly contact the network to give it a chance as well as inform other places where a solid Vampire Crime Drama might be enjoyed, so let’s be hopeful for their sake. This is really good Saturday afternoon television, especially when its a dark and rainy day.

Official Show Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_Ties_%28TV_series%29

2 thoughts on “Lifetime Television’s “Blood Ties” – The Complete Series”

  1. Loved the review, only 1 correction needed. Vicki had retinitis pigmentosa which limited her vision, not an accident. This was a great show, staked way too soon by lifetime. I guess they couldn’t handle it as it wasn’t a Victim of the Week movie and had an independent woman in it.

    Thanks for making the other correction that I had asked about in the past. As a fan I REALLY do appreciate it that you were kind enough to do it. Thanks again.

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