Most of the time, the vampires in Forever Knight look no different from mortal human beings. One of their distinctive characteristics, however, is changeable eye colour. When in "vampire mode", their eyes can be green-gold, orange, or red, depending on circumstances. This alteration in eye colour is produced by contact lenses worn by the actors. However, although the lenses used in Season One continued in use throughout the rest of the series, new lenses were added in Season Two, and there were alterations in the way that special effects were applied to the lenses.
During the first season, special contact lenses were used whose multiple tints simulated the complex coloration of the iris. The overall colour impression was a muted yellow, with olive tints.
To produce the illusion that the vampire's eyes were glowing, a flashlight was shone onto the actor's eyes through a narrow rectangle cut into a piece of cardboard. If the actor's face were well lit, the additional brightness to the eyes could be quite effective. However, scenes with vampires tended to be set at night, and the actor's face was often in relative darkness. As a result, the artifice generally failed to produce a successful illusion of glowing eyes. It simply looked like a bar of light across the top of the face.
Seasons Two and ThreeEditIn the second season, actors began to wear new contact lenses made in Italy. These lenses were designed to reflect any colored light shone on them. Most usually, an orange tone was used. Vampires were given glowing orange eyes when about to feed, especially in a sexual situation. In the historical flashback in Crazy Love, for example, Nick's eyes glowed when he fed from Amalia. And, in the same episode, both Nick's and Janette's eyes glowed before their sexual biting encounter. Orange eyes were also used to indicate anger: this was perhaps commonest with LaCroix, showing the intensity of his fury, particularly when aroused by Nick. The colour red was largely reserved for the reflective gleam of the eyes of vampires in the dark.
The glow in the contact lenses in the second and third season was made with lights attached to the cameras used during filming.
Wearing the LensesEdit
According to crew members, both types of contact lenses were extremely painful for the actors to wear, often necessitating the use of special eyedrops. There was much concern over the use of these eyedrops when it was discovered that prolonged use could cause permanent tissue damage. Fortunately, none of the actors was injured.
Geraint Wyn Davies often jokes about the first time he wore the new style of contacts in Season Two, describing how he stumbled into the camera during filming. When movement was required, therefore, actors usually wore the contact lenses from the first season.