Although vampires have been using powers of seduction to wile their way into their victims’ hearts for more than a century in literature, it’s only been a few decades since the creatures of the night became the beautiful, brooding immortals in television and film that fought against their bloodthirsty urges to seek human companionship. Despite the occasional moral misstep, many of these monsters became the misunderstood heroes of our favorite shows, and this week’s Sci Fi Fidelity podcast seeks to identify the most likable of the lot.
The discussion begins with perhaps the most obvious choice for lovers of vampires: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But who among the many examples in the show is the most charismatic? On the one hand there’s David Boreanaz’ quintessential tortured hero: the vampire with the soul, Angel, who wins the heart of the most unlikely woman in the world, the Slayer, Buffy Summers. But what about the underdog bad boy Spike, who proved his worth time and time again to the Scooby gang?
A common thread throughout the podcast appeared: the back story of the vampire in question played a role in the audience’s sympathy for him or her. For example, Jessica Hamby of True Blood won out over both Bill Compton and Eric Northman because of her troubled mortal life before her turning. As with many such characters, becoming a vampire was both a blessing and a curse as her passions awakened and her thirst increased. Jessica’s naive charm and simple romance with Hoyt won us over in the end.
As for a show like Van Helsing, most of those vampires are closer to zombies than the romanticized images ordinarily portrayed in these shows, it was difficult to find a character that truly fit the profile. We decided that both Dmitri, the leader of the vampires with his well coiffed hair and natty attire, and Rebecca, with her obvious attractiveness, sense of fashion, and overpowering attitude, deserved a place on this list despite their clearly evil nature that others of their kind try to deny.
Meanwhile, the UK’s Being Human brought us Mitchell, who, along with Annie the ghost and George the werewolf, tried their hardest to blend in with the mortals. It was both Mitchell’s heroic act in becoming a vampire to save his battalion in WWI and his love of Annie that really won us over. Although his altruism in thinking that “converting” dying humans in order to save their lives may be misguided, his heart’s in the right place.
Few vampires on this list exude as much charisma as Matthew Clairmont of A Discovery of Witches. The eldest example in the podcast, Matthew exhibits physical attractiveness as well as intellectual charm as a geneticist and professor who conducts research in his well appointed lab, seeking to understand the biological connection between vampires, witches, and demons. The chemistry between him and witch Diana Bishop draws us in, and the forbidden nature of their love makes the couple even more enticing.
Our final example for the discussion is Cassidy of Preacher. This 100-year-old vampire lived a life of avarice before meeting small town priest Jesse Custer, but as soon as they came together, Cassidy was all in on the mission to discover the source of the preacher’s mysterious powers. The vampire was the moral center of the group, and although he pined away for Tulip, Jesse’s ne’er-do-well girlfriend, he always had a good heart, especially when caring for his convalescent son, Denis.
As always, the listeners add their own favorite vampires to the discussion in the feedback segment of the podcast. Be sure to subscribe to Sci Fi Fidelity and join the Facebook group so that you can join in as well! Each week we review a currently airing show, discuss a topic of interest to genre television, or interview someone from behind the scenes of our favorite series. Find us in your podcast app of choice or simply listen below!
Michael Ahr is a writer, reviewer, and podcaster here at Den of Geek; you can check out his work here or follow him on Twitter (@mikescifi). Dave Vitagliano has been writing and podcasting about science fiction television since 2012. You can read more of his work here.