Witchblade, The Television Series – Two Seasons of Action and Adventure

Witchblade is a short lived, but well made action drama television series based on the comic book series of the same name.

I was a little surprised to find out a television adaptation of the Witchblade comic book series existed. Although I read some of the comics back in the day, I couldn’t remember the full story. Which is good, because it helped me get into the show without any preconceived notions.

Witchblade is the story of Sara Pezzini, played by the ever-enigmatic Yancy Butler, an NYC homicide detective. Sara encounters an ancient artifact of incredible power called the Witchblade while in pursuit of a killer. Wielded only by women throughout the ages, the Witchblade is almost another character in and of itself. It gives Sara the power to see the past, present and future in glimpses. It can also heal, and more generally, it aids Sara in the form of a long blade. The Witchblade is sentient and sometimes displays a will of its own in direct opposition to Sara’s own wishes.

The show plays out like an action/adventure drama with supernatural elements. There is a bit of thriller and mystery in there as well. Overall, it is a very complex series. We look at the character of Sara Pezzini as she comes to grips with the murder of her father, the death of her partner, her lack of a love life, and the Witchblade itself with the power it holds. Conflicts abound. Sara versus criminals, Sara versus those that seek to take the Witchblade from her, Sara versus those that wish to use her, Sara versus herself. As you can see, there is enough in there to keep a good television series going for a long, long time.

Yet, somehow, this show ended after only two seasons. By all accounts, it was a well-received show, with good ratings. So, what happened? I found the show intriguing. It started with a made-for-TV movie, which you can consider the pilot episode. The pilot tells the story of how Sara’s partner died and how she came into possession of the Witchblade. The series continues that story for another 11 episodes. The second season expands on the first for another 12 episodes.

I did not have a problem with the show. The actors did well with their characters; the shows were admirably episodic with an overarching plot. There were enough twists and side stories to keep the drama going, and the exquisite torture of the main character throughout the show made it adequately dramatic. Sometimes it wasn’t great, but it was always at least good television.

A few gripes I had with the show: The first season has Sara’s partner, Danny Woo played by Will Yun Lee, already dead by the start of the first episode (he dies in the pilot). He still appears, but he is hardly a main character…yet he gets top billing in the opening credits. It is somewhat odd. He plays a bigger role in the second season. How a dead man manages to do that is up to you to find out.

Another problem was the second season itself. It’s not nearly as good as the first. Especially considering the season works as a reboot of the first season (once again, you will have to find out how that works by watching). The second season has much of what the first season lacked, yet it misses a bunch of the things that made the first season awesome.

But those are small gripes. The show is enjoyable, well written and well acted. You do not have to like the comic to enjoy it. You don’t even have like sci-fi or fantasy stuff to get into it. I suggest tuning in to the first season (including the movie/pilot) and from there you can decide if you want to jump into the second season.

When I found this series, I also found out there is an anime and manga series as well. I will be watching the anime soon, so look out for a review. Also of interest, I found there is a live-action Witchblade movie currently in the works. Of course, the news is years old now, but word is there is a script or two written up and there are still plans to make the movie. I am glad there is still interest in this franchise.

For more information on the television series, try the usual places:

Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witchblade_%28TV_series%29

IMDB – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0274298/

Here is a link to the script of the pilot by Lee Thomson

http://leethomson.myzen.co.uk/Witchblade_1×01_-_Pilot_(1999).pdf

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http://silenciobarnes.com/reviews/movies-tv/witchblade-the-television-series/

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