This is pages 3 to 8 of the series bible for the third season of Forever Knight. All spelling has been left as per the original, as well as original highlighting.
Cycle Series 3 Bible
May 8, 1995
Forever Knight is back for a third season. USA Cable, now putting up about a third of the overall (and still very tight) budget, has encouraged us to do a little re-tooling. I view it as an opportunity to jump start our creativity and bring a fresh look to the show.
Sexier. The word has been repeated over and over to me. No one’s asking for the nude female victim of the week (although I’m sure we’ll have one or two) . . . what we’re talking about is sexier arenas, both in the present day and in the flasbacks. Sexier murder motives. Sexier casting.
The homicide cases should be a little more twisty and bizarre. Like hearts cut out of bodies. Grave robbing. A full moon killer. I don’t want to heap weird on top of weird, after all, our vampires aren’t going to seem particularly interesting if we put them in too bizarre a world . . . But I am looking for a bit more spin. This could also mean stories that are out of the headlines, or have a funny social twist (My Husband is a Vampire - next on Geraldo).
An edgier tone. Think of Pulp Fiction with vampires. I’m going to be looking for this in the writing, production design, and music.
More promotable/interesting flashbacks. One of the areas where we sorta dropped the ball last season. Our vampires can be in incredible places. They can be on the Titanic, on the moors with A. Conan Doyle, in the boudoir of Marie Antoinette. I’m not looking for historical travelogues . . . but reference what we did in first season with Joan of Arc, or last season - when we were at Pompeii.
We won’t have to worry about the Nick/Janette/LaCroix timeline because there are going to be additions to:
As you probably know, John Kapelos (Schanke) has decided not to return this year. He will be sorely missed on a professional and personal level. Natsuko Ohama (Cohen) and Deborah Duchene (Janette) will also not be with us, although I hope Deb will agree o return to do episodes from time to time as a special Guest Star. These changes, coupled with USA’s desire to inject some new and younger characters into the show, has led to a considerable shuffling of the deck. Hang onto your hats . . . . .
TRACEY VETTER - is Nick’s new partner. She is 25, and has achieved her position by being a thorough grind, a by the book player, and the daughter of an influential member of the Police Commission. She is the poster child for repressed sexuality. the woman is a knockout, who, because she was probably hurt at an early age, is doing everything she can to hide it. She is competent to a fault . . . a stickler for detail.
Which is not to say that she’s without humor. Part of her charm is an almost naïve optimism. She believes in the goodness of man. She also believes in catalogue shopping "I’m seriously thinking about this sock organizer. See how it hangs on the back of the closet door? My bathrobe’s there, now . . . and that’s a problem--you can’t just go hanging a bathrobe anywhere in the house. Where do you hang yours, Nick?" She also seems humor in things like names and words: "Say your first name and then my first name. Nick Tracey. Isn’t it a riot? We’re detectives. Nick Tracey? Dick Tracey? Get it?" She’s disappointed when no one responds.
In the opening episode, she receives the shock of her life . . . she meets a vampire. He completely shatters her neatly ordered existence, opening her up to thoughts and things she never knew existed. Stirring deep emotions inside her. Awakening her sensually. The irony is . . . the vampire is not Nick.
Tracey is absolutely blind to Nick’s vampirism. Sees him as a nice looking older guys with a strange skin affliction who makes up for his feels of inadequacy by doing macho heroic cop things. She doesn’t idolize Nick? Well . . . maybe deep down inside--but she’d never show it. In fact she kind of resents that she was assigned to him on the recommendation of her father. Tracey tends to put herself in extremely dangerous situations, thinking that it’s her own skill, rather than help from her partner, that gets her out (although I don’t want to overdo this, lest she seem a helpless boob).
She is petrified that Nick will learn the dark secret of her new and dangerous friend.
JAVIER VACHON is that friend. In the opening two parter, he will be the only surviving passenger of a plane crash/bombing - the same crash that will kill Schanke and Cohen. He will be deeply scarred when we first meet him (in fact, missing a hand . . . which Tracey will help him find) - His scars gradually healing to reveal a handsome, directionless, slacker of a vampire . . . . . brought over on 1532 as Pisarro marched toward Peru (although this could change with casting).
Vachon is mid-twenties and very contemporary in attitude and look (his goatee fits the coffee house crowd to a T). He’s going through exactly what many of his mortal X-gen contemporaries are going through . . . only on a slightly heightened level (this will be motivated by the plane crash). After 460 years of Lost Boy hellraising and wandering, he’s wondering if there isn’t something more to life. Something that he should be doing. Like, maybe getting a job? Slacking for eternity is starting to feel . . . . boring . . . empty. And he’s missing something emotional. The relationship word is suddenly sounding less scary. Tracey is . . . interesting to him. But, hell . . . the last thing he’d do is show it.
Think of Matt Dillon in Singles, or Chris O’Donnell in Reality Bites, crossed with Travolta in Pulp Fiction. A guy with attitude and danger who’s vulnerable because he’s afraid to commit. A guy who is experiencing an intellectual awakening because he’s finally starting to read.
Yeah . . . there’s some humor, here. The lost hand . . . the lost boys . . . but it should be Christian Slater wry. The reading thing is an underlying vulnerability that is meant to take a little edge off his cool . . . and give him the opportunities for intellectual growth/learning that mortal x-gens have. This is a guy who would love to spend the night in a coffee house discussing Kerouac’s On the Road from his own unique perspective. He is perfectly capable of boring Tracey to death with sophomoric enlightenment gleaned from his latest book.
Vachon likes Nick . . . but is wary of him. Nick is someone to watch and learn from. A vampire with a real job taking a moral stance. A voice of experience. And something of a rebel in the vampire world. Vachon thinks the whole guilt thing . . . the "I want to be mortal" thing . . . is bullshit. He’s perfectly happy with an eternity of night. But Nick’s stance is out there; it demands respect.
Vachon will have flashbacks. this opens up our vampire world, broadening the time/place constraints of the Nick/LaCroix/Janette travel/timeline. His companions on many of these flashbacks will be the Lost Boys (see below). Like Nick’s flashbacks, they should relate to the moral or practical situations his character is facing in the A story . . . but can come from a less guilt-ridden place than Nick’s.
How will Vachon function in stories? Think of him as street intelligence. Janette’s role . . . but casting a broader net. And, on occasion, even helping dig for information.
JOE REESE - The new captain. 50. We won’t know until we’re through casting, but I’d love for him to be Black. Huge hockey fan. Also likes practical jokes. Married, solid, and similar in attitudes to Stonetree, our captain in the first season. He’s ex-military . . . and commands respect.
Reese’s relationship with Nick is a good one. He’s sensitive to Nick’s loss of Schanke and Cohen . . . and gives him room to operate. Tracey is another story. Her father, on the Commission, loves his daughter very much . . . and Reese is bound and determined that she does not become a casualty on his watch. He implores Nick to keep her out of trouble. it never really works out that way; Reese consumes vast quantities of anti-acid.
This character will fill in once we have casting, and will fill in as the season progresses.
THE LOST BOYS - These are the guys that Vachon’s been running with for the last 400 years. In flashback, they’ll be dangerous, amoral, fun loving vampire . . . generally raising hell as they careen through history.
In the present (and we’ll see them from time to time), they have dissolved into a disparate bunch, that serve as sources for Vachon. Again, we’re opening up the vamp world. They’re broadly drawn, here. Stereotypes to be better defined as we use them.
KATOPA - brought over in the early 18th century. An African slave with the balls to stand up for himself . . . resulting in a near fatal beating. Saved by the Lost Boys . . . who admire him for his courage. Today, Katopa is known as Saleem Shakur of the Black Nation. Serious, secretive, strong, and suspicious . . . he is a powerful source to be used infrequently and with great caution.
SCREED - An English sailor. 17th century. Absolutely amoral. Today he lives in a sewer, rides a stolen motorbike, and lives on rat blood.
CHONG - brought over in 18th century in Hong Kong. A Lost Boy who’s a girl. Now has a shaved head, multiple piercings, and a lesbian band.
BOURBON - French. A 16th century Musketeer. Arrogant. Does arbitrage now. A complete asshole.
URS - An astonishingly beautiful Swedish woman, whom the Lost Boys couldn’t bring themselves to kill. Became a Lost Boys groupie. She’s an extraordinarily sad character, now. Strips for a mortal living . . . and can’t really give you a good reason why. No self esteem. Probably headed toward vampire suicide. Out of all of the "boys" . . . she is the one who’s truly lost.
I caution that, as attractive as these characters may be, we are not making series deals for them and shouldn’t use them often. This show is still about a vampire cop names Nick Knight. These younger characters are simply to add to the mix and throw in a few fresh voices. Although, Geraint is looking forward to working a few less hours this year.
THE RAVEN - will still be a set. LaCroix will have purchased the club from Janette when the season begins, and will be taking it in a stranger direction TBA. His radio show will remain as is--but he’ll be broadcasting out of the club.
STORIES & AREAS
These are some of the areas we’re working on/discussing.
1. SEASON OPENER - TWO PARTER - Parriott (I think). AIR DISASTER/TITANIC. Nick is shocked to discover, upon visiting the Raven, that Janette has sold it and left town without a trace. Time to move on. LaCroix is the buyer. . . but, even he has no idea where she’s gone. Nick’s depressed . . . but at least he still has Schanke, who’s returning home that night from delivering a deposition in Alberta with Cohen. And, then, tragedy strikes. A bomb goes off . . . and the plane goes down. All on board are killed. Schanke. . . Cohen . . . gone.
The show, then, is about Nick negociating himself through a personal crisis as he tries to find the bomber. His new partner, young idealistic, enthusiastic. . makes him feel old and jaded. Should he pack it in like Janette and move on? Is this a signal of some kind?
Tracey, the partner, discovers that there was a crash survivor . . . . a vampire named Vachon. And, when she comes up with the information that Vachon provides, Nick’s investigative talents spring to life. His fires re-lit, he dedicates himself to tracking down Schanke and Cohen’s killer.
This episode will introduce most of the new characters above. It’s entirely possible that a vampire will be the bomber . . . the target being Vachon.
2. CUJO - Johnston
3. BASIC INSTINCT - MATA HARI
4. TRIPLE PERSONALITY - Sexton
5. HEARTS MISSING MURDERS (TRANSPLANT)/FRANKENSTEIN - Cary
6. EXCESSIVE FORCE/NAZI OCCUPIED POLAND
7. JANE DOE/THE STORY OF URS - Sadowski
8. SHAMAN TAKES NICK’S EVIL - BECOMES KILLER - Horvath
9. MY BOYFRIEND’S A VAMPIRE - NEXT ON GERALDO - L&B
11. GHOST STORY
12. NAT ON HOLIDAY - SEEKS NICK’S CURE
13. MARDI GRAS
14. SCARED STRAIGHT