|“||He was brought across in 1228. Preyed on humans for their blood. Now he wants to be mortal again. To repay society for his sins. To emerge from his world of darkness. From his endless, forever night.||”|
— Voiceover from Forever Knight
Forever Knight is a television series that ran from 1992 to 1996. It is based on a 1989 CBS television movie, Nick Knight, that starred Rick Springfield as the title character. This was remade as the first two episodes of the series, which was broadcast by CBS as part of its Crimetime After Primetime lineup. Filming was shifted to Toronto, and the show was recast, with Geraint Wyn Davies now playing Nick Knight. Despite a hiatus after the first season and a shift to first-run syndication, Forever Knight eventually ran for three seasons.
Forever Knight chronicles the life of Nick Knight, a thirteenth century vampire living in a modern metropolis. Knight seeks to regain his mortality and rid himself of the savage blood lust that has consumed him for more than 700 years by once again embracing the mortal world.
He takes his first step toward the world of the living when he joins the city's police force. Serving as a homicide detective permanently assigned to the night shift, Knight sets out to clean up the crime ridden city with the help of his partner—initially, Don Schanke; and, after Schanke's death, Tracy Vetter. Despite a change in precincts and a succession of different superiors, Knight proves to have a talent for solving murder mysteries. Nevertheless, each reminds him of his own deadly past, reinforcing his desire for redemption and mortality.
Aiding him in his quest is Dr. Natalie Lambert, a pathologist with the Coroner's Office. The only mortal privy to his dark secret, she uses her medical expertise to search for a way to restore his mortality while her friendship helps him adjust to his new life. A devoted friend and confidante, she describes his condition as a severe allergy to sunlight, and will always step forward with a medical explanation when his strange ailment is questioned by Nick's suspicious police captain.
Tortured by the evil he committed in the past, Knight has distanced himself from the vampire community in order to rediscover mortal thoughts and feelings. Some in the community, however, are not pleased by his flight from the shadows. LaCroix, who gave Nick his immortality, wants him back and will do whatever it takes to conquer his former pupil's morbid qualms about the vampire state. Janette, his former lover, still secretly yearns for his eternal love and embrace.
Still relying on blood to sustain him, Nick faces a constant struggle to suppress his savage hunger to feed. With each passing day, however, he learns to deal with the rage that torments his soul, bringing him one step closer to mortality.
Although the original English-language title of the show is Forever Knight, it has other names in other countries.
- El señor de las tinieblas (Spain)
- Le justicier des ténèbres (France)
- Maldição Eterna (Brazil)
- Nick Knight - Der Vampircop (Germany)
Appeal to FansEdit
In May 1996, there was a discussion on the main Forever Knight mailing list, FORKNI-L@LISTS.PSU.EDU about the particular reasons list members liked the series. This was sparked by a post by Susan Garrett, "Why Do YOU Watch FK?", made 16 May, with responses over the next couple of days.
Susan asked the following questions, though not all fans who responded addressed all points:
- Why did the fan watch FK? Did the fan have preferences between the vampire and cop aspects of the show?
- Regarding flashbacks:
- Would the fan have preferred more or fewer flashbacks? Or perhaps equal time to flashbacks and the current day portions of the show?
- Would the fan have liked to see historical stories with no or little current day plot (as in "1966"?
- Would the fan have liked to see more non-historical flashbacks (as in "Curiouser and Curiouser" or "Stranger than Fiction")?
- Did the fan watch for one character in particular; and, if so, which?
- Did the fan watch for one relationship pair in particular (or more than one); and, if so, which?
Among the longer responses, the following are of particular interest:
Most fans did not answer any one question at such length.
Vampire vs. Cop: Reasons to WatchEdit
Fans' reasons for watching Forever Knight often involved a discussion of their relative interest in the vampire and cop aspects of the series:
- "I watch it because I loved the concept of a Vampire cop trying to become mortal, seeking redemption." — Kevin Matsumoto
- "I like strong male characters and the show gave me that. I also like strong female characters and that is why Natalie and Janette really appealed to me." — B. Janine Morison
- "I actually don't like vamps that much, so I guess the cop show. But it was more than that...romance, drama, a little comedy. There were some very deep thoughts about humanity and what it is to be human." — Tigon Diana Hooker
- "Actually, I think I'm a major anomaly on this list. I don't usually like *either* vampire *or* cop stuff-- but I *love* FK. What I like is the *relationships*. All the characters are real, 3-D people; even the ones I hate (and I *loathe* LC sometimes, especially 1st-Season LC) are so real I can't help but be fascinated by them. My favorite shows are the ones that manage to balance the cop and vampire elements." — Diane Echelbarger
- "I'm not altogether sure that I would have become a fan if the show if it had been a straight "vampire" show, but I *know* wouldn't have even begun to have watched it if it had been a straight "cop" show. It was the combination that hooked me." — Christine Hawkins
- "The thing that hooked me was the feel of drama on the show. Like a classic theatre production with dark history and nobel characters. The eternal struggle between good and evil, all within the soul of one man. Vampire, ha. Cop, ha. A good audience craves not these things. <g> I wanted to know more about this guy (and what a good looking one, at that) and his struggle." — Carrie Krumtum
- "I think the vampire vs. cop plot made for interesting parallels (for ex., good vs. evil). I think it was also rather essential for the plot. A 'good' vampire cop wanting to "repay his debts to society". Certainly caught and kept my attention..." — Mel Moser
- "I became fascinated with the whole vampire mythos when I saw "Dracula" when I was 6. That was 20 years ago and they still fascinate me. I like what they represent- raw sensuality, the forbidden, freedom, and of course immortality. The first ep of FK I saw was Dark Knight, and I think it incorporated all of those elements. So, I kept watching. I don't care for the cop stuff. I hate cop shows." — Michelle Mark
- "Because it didn't "look" like other TV, because it made me laugh and occasionally think, because there was always fascinating discussion going on about it on this list and mainly because it wasn't completely predictable and boring like most TV. Silly at times, but always in a very knowing way, like "yes we know this is melodramatic as hell, but aren't you enjoying it?" I enjoyed seeing all the characters interact and deal with problems, not always in the expected way. Basically, humor, unpredictability and some complexity." — Toni C. Holm
- "I thought it was going to be cheezy at first; I was very skeptical. The idea was unique though, and I was attracted to watching it (give it a chance). I was hooked. I like it mainly for its philosophical/religious undertones. A show that deals with the meaning of life. Deep." — Tanya Smith
- "I watch FK because it is *good*. That's really the only criterion that I use. I don't normally watch cop shows, and I do have a slight fascination for vampires, but I don't watch for either of those elements. I watch it for the characters." — Marina Bailey
- "I watch it because I love the flashbacks and the whole concept of trying to be better than you are while still staying true to your nature. It's a helluva lot harder than people give credit for." — Jerimi Paul
- "I watched it because of the interaction between the characters... Most shows don't go to that much effort..." — Abby Albrecht
- "Not because it's a vampire show - until last winter, I would not have thought it possible to care this much about a show featuring a "vampire cop." It's the wonderful combination of story, great acting, and marvelous production (and all on a shoe-string budget!)." — Cyndi Knecht
- "It's not that I don't like cop shows as a genre, but there's no way I'd have stayed up in the middle of the night and worked in a zombie-like trance next day for a cop show. (My local station couldn't be trusted, when FK was on CBS, to show it when it was listed.) I'd simply have said, hey, nice show, pity it's on at such a bad hour and left it alone." — Lisa McDavid
- "I can relate to it. I've been there, all of it, in my own way. I know the way Nick angsts; I'm like that on a seasonal basis. I understand Nat's frustration with Nick, how she can love him but still be on the brink of giving up sometimes, and the way she tolerates with ever-shortening patience the insults (ignoring her regime, ignoring her, etc.) he flings at her, just because she wants to help him; [...]. I've been Tracy, the new person, trying to make a good impression and not considered the greatest authority. I've been Janette, the meld of amorality and compassion, where nothing stands in the way of what you need to do and who you need to be, and the dark past which forces you to go on (different past from Janette's, but shudderingly similar). I understand Divia, and how hatred can grow from a seed. Vachon and his semi-cynical wonder of the world; Urs' blind, trusting innocence; Screed's liveliness and enthusiasm for what he is. Most of all, though, I understand LaCroix, and how a dark, poetic, cold, and logical shell can be the layers of stone around a grain of sharp black sand. I think this may be why all of us actually watch and love the show, the characters, why we choose factions. In a way, they aren't figments brought to life by humans, they're us. They represent our dreams, hopes, pains, loves and losses, our deepest selves and what makes us go on to the next day in this broken little world. In one word: recognition." — Lady Sushi
Fans' comments on the flashbacks include the following:
- "I think they balanced it out properly, I don't think they should generally give more time to the past then the present. It would have been interesting to have a more past orientated show occasionally, like "1966." I also think that, considering there was 800 years of history, they seemed to limit themselves a great deal on what could have been done. Also, just once I would have liked to see a human Nick in the crusades, perhaps giving us even greater insight into his decision to cross over." — Tigon Diana Hooker
- "I don't give a darn about history. As long as the flashbacks elucidate on the characters, I could care less. I love character development--its my favorite aspect of any genre ( I love Lacroix and Nick's complexities)." — Tanya Smith
Fans' discussion of characters includes the following:
- "I love Nick, his angst, his duality between good (humanity) and evil (vampirism), and ahh, his looks :) (big lusty sigh)." — B. Janine Morison
- "I watched for Nick, his struggle to repair his human spirit...this to me was the key of the show." — Tigon Diana Hooker
- "Without a doubt, the center of the whole series is Nick. He is the tragic hero facing multiple obstacles and challenges on his endless quest for mortality and redemption. It was always interesting to see how he faced them. By doing so and succeeding, he reminds us that we too can overcome obstacles in our lives." — Mel Moser
- "I honestly think the show works best as an ensemble. Anytime they focus too much on *any* character, even Nick (Yes, I know it's called Forever *Knight*!), the show loses that wonderful balance it has." — Diane Echelbarger
Fans' discussion of relationships between the characters includes the following:
- "I rooted heavily for [Nick's] relationship with Nat, but of course his relationship with LaCroix is wonderfully complex." — Tigon Diana Hooker
- "The main reason, without a doubt for me, was Nick & Nat. Most shows don't handle romantic relationships between main characters very well. Usually they turn out too soap-opera-ish or boring. This relationship was mainly about unrequited love and desire, about true love that endures no matter what or how long they must wait. It's very seldom do you see this old romantic "I'll die for you" kind of love. Not only did it make the show interesting as you watched the relationship evolve over the 3 seasons, but it also made for great fan fiction for us hopeless romantics..." — Mel Moser
- "I was never sold on the Nick /Nat relationship, and I would rather have seen Janette with LC than Nick. Nick shouldn't be paired with any women, period. He needs to find himself first or he will drag everyone down with him. Which he has pretty much done. <ducking and covering from Natpackers and Immortal Beloveds and Knighties> The perfect pair? LC and Janette." — Michelle Mark