KINDRED: THE EMBRACED
was one of the first vampire series
that was ahead of its time. The only
other vampire show before it was FOREVER KNIGHT. After KINDRED: THE EMBRACED
after its short run where FOX only showed seven out of eight episodes, Showtime
was going to revive the show before the untimely death of star Mark
Frankel. John Leekley saw it impossible
to continue the show without the central character and the negotiations were
broken off. KINDRED: THE EMBRACED was
like a vampire mafia saga mixed in with a cop series while using vampires to
explore the human condition. The show
was ahead of its time and it remains a cult favorite. Other series like
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER,
ANGEL, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, and THE ORIGINALS followed in the years since in
addition to movies like TWILIGHT AND UNDERWORLD. KINDRED: THE EMBRACED
soared as a show as it
shifted its focus more into the world of the Kindred and the clans as Detective
Frank Kochanek (C. Thomas Howell) took a back seat as the storylines
They didn’t intended
it to be that way, but the vampire
characters are so much more compelling that the clichéd detective with a
grudge. Mark Frankel is charismatic as
Julian (the Prince of San Francisco) who straddles good and evil while his sire
Archon is wise man with dark secrets.
Lillie (Stacy Haiduk) is a beautiful Toreador with the heart of the
Nosferatu and she is deadly as she is beautiful. Jeff Kober manages to
portray the soul of an
artist with a deep inner conflict as Daedalus of the Nosferatu clan and he is
the closest friend and advisor of Julian.
Then you have the leader of the wild Gangrels, Cash (Channon Roe), who
has a deep hatred for the corrupt Brujah clan and a desire for Julian’s wild
human niece Sasha (Brigid Walsh). Also
you have Edie Fiori (Brain Thompson in the best performance of his career) is
the Brujah Prince who plots to get rid of Julian and have San Francisco for his
own. I shouldn’t forget about Caitlin
Byrne (Kelly Rutherford), the investigative reporter who captures Julian’s
heart as he must also make sure to hide the truth about the Kindred and
maintain the Masquerade because breaking the Masquerade means death for Kindred
and human alike. I have seen this show
about four times including this viewing.
KINDRED: THE EMRACED still holds up as a strong vampire after 18 years-
an instant cult classic that people will continue to love and discover.
The Extended pilot episode
(82 minutes) includes more of
Sasha’s plotline where she comes to live at the mansion (moved to the second
episode in the series) and being enrolled in a Catholic school (dropped from
the series only to be seen in this restored pilot) and an alternate
ending. Creator John Leekley and
director Peter Medak talk about the pilot, the series, the untimely death of
Mark Frankel, and where the alternate ending would have lead the series to in
the audio commentary for the extended pilot.
Also on DISC 1 is a two minute
trailer for the series in
addition to an episode recap for PRINCE OF THE CITY. There are recap included
for the other
episodes on DISC 2 and 3.
Deleted scenes for NIGHTSTALKER
and ROMEO AND JULIET which
are in various degrees of shape with much of it timecoded off videotape
Audio commentary for ROMEO
AND JULIET by John Leekley and
director Ralph Hemecker
VAMPIRE: THE MASQUERADE- ORIGINS
OF THE KINDRED is a brief
primer of the role playing game from White Wolf which is the basis for the TV
series, Live Action Role Playing groups (LARP), and the online WORLD OF
Audio commentary for BAD MOON
by director James L. Conway as
he talks about his directing career, directing two episodes of KINDRED: THE
EMBRACED, and how he gets fan letters.
Audio commentary for CABIN
IN THE WOODS by John Leekley and
director Ralph Hemecker gives information on the making of the final episode
and gives hints on where the show may have went with certain characters if it
Seven minutes of deleted scenes
for CABIN IN THE WOODS
DAEDALUS: THE LAST WILL AND
TESTAMENT, THE SAGA CONTINUES….
which can act as an epilogue to the series or a possible pitch for the show to
continue after 18 years.
THE KINDRED CHRONICLES is an
hour long two part making-of
PART ONE: GENESIS- creator
John Leekley, cast, and crew talk
about how the show came about.
PART TWO: CRAFTING A MYTH-
cats and crew talk about the
characters and storylines in addition to how John Leekley didn’t know how to
continue the show after Mark Frankel died.
The DVD set comes in a nice
cigar shaped case which contains
a letter from creator John Leekley, a limited edition BOOK OF NOD (the vampire
bible from the role playing game VAMPIRE: THE MASQUERADE which helped inform
the mythology of KINDRED: THE EMBRACED), and the three discs in a cardboard
booklet which may cause the discs to get scratched up over time.
KINDRED: THE EMBRACED is a vampire drama ahead of its time- a show that
really shined when they focused more on the world of the Kindred. The
video and audio quality is a vats
improvement over the subpar DVD set from Artisan. The extras are wonderful
and it makes me
wish the series could come back soon since stars Stacy Haiduk and Brigid Walsh
look about the same since the show was made 18 years ago.
This DVD review is (c)11-5-2013 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without
permission. Send all comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
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