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Ultraviolet (2000)

Jack Davenport , Susannah Harker  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jack Davenport, Susannah Harker, Idris Elba, Philip Quast, Colette Brown
  • Format: Color, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen, Multiple Formats
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Palm Pictures / Umvd
  • DVD Release Date: June 26, 2001
  • Run Time: 360 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005KA70
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,406 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Ultraviolet" on IMDb

Special Features

  • 2 discs
  • Previews
  • Episode Summaries
  • Personal Files
  • UV Dictionary
  • Audio Interview With Creator Joe Ahearne

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

For centuries, vampires have co-existed in harmony with humans--until now. Now, amidst the growing threat of viral epidemic and the possibility of worldwide environmental catastrophe, humanity has an unprecedented ability to destroy itself. In order to

In a new twist on an old theme, the coolly stylish British miniseries Ultraviolet brings vampires into the 21st century, though the word vampire is never uttered in this mix of The X-Files and somber British TV mysteries like Touching Evil. Jack Davenport is a police detective who stumbles into an elite government agency when his partner and best friend suddenly becomes a nocturnal thug and bites him on the neck. Davenport reluctantly cuts off his old friends and lovers to join the team, which includes Idris Elba as a merciless ex-soldier and Susannah Harker as a medical researcher, and investigate a web of counterfeiting operations, banking scams, and experimental labs featuring human guinea pigs. "What they're researching is pollution: contamination of their blood supply," offers team leader and former priest Philip Quast, but the question remains: are they soulless monsters out to conquer mankind, or a persecuted minority who just want to live in peace with the humans?

Writer-director-creator Joe Ahearne brings all the traditional vampire tropes up to date; not only do they lack reflections in a mirror, but they don't show up on video and their voices don't carry over phone lines or record on audio tapes ("which makes surveillance a bitch"). Sunlight burns like an acid, and when they die they go up like a flare, leaving a pile of ash in their wake. But it's the sharp character writing, moral quandaries, and ingenious twists of this smart, stylish conspiracy thriller that make this series gripping down to the final episode.

The two-disc DVD set features an audio interview with Ahearne along with episode synopses and character notes. --Sean Axmaker

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
74 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The British Know Vampires -- And How to Deal With Them September 12, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
For those who have not seen this movie, it is well worth the buy. Set in modern day London, a cop's partner is "turned" on the eve of his wedding. As he investigates his partner's failure to show and disappearance, he learns that vampires (or "leeches" as they are usually called -- the word vampire is never used) are real. He is then co-opted into a special government branch -- run by an ex Priest, a medical scientist, and a special forces operative -- that is hunting the vampires.

Are the vampires evil? Does religion really have anything to with them? Is the cross's effect on vampires merely psychosomatic or is there real power there? Is the special branch just a modern day version of the inquisition, oppressing the innocent?

It is to the show's credit that you do not really know the answers to all of these questions until the last episode, though clues are sprinkled about throughout.

This is the best vampire story I've ever encountered (book, movie, or series). Although shown occasionally on the Sci Fi channel, owning the DVD is well worth the price to see it for the first time.

For those who have seen the series on t.v., the DVD is still worthwhile. Though there is not much in the way of extras, the DVD version seemed much easier to understand (and not just because I had seen it before). The sound quality is very good. On the t.v. version the conversation was sometimes hard to follow because of the English accents. Not so with the DVD. Being able to follow the conversations more closely added a lot to my viewing pleasure.

Worth it.
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Current day twist on the ancient vampire myth... January 22, 2002
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
An elite group in the police department are pursuing modern day vampires. But they aren't running around killing vampires with wooden stakes. This British "miniseries" (6 episodes) gives an updated twist to the old Vampire myths. For example, if a vampire can't be seen in a mirror, it stands to reason that he can't be seen on videotape. Hmmmm.... Provides a surveillance challenge!! Very inventive twists make Ultraviolet fascinating to watch!
However, it's not just the unique updating of the myth that makes this series a good watch. The story development is excellent, and the characters are very well played. Probably most familiar to US audiences will be Susannah Harker in a very different role from her portrayal of Jane in the BBC/A&E production of "Pride and Prejudice". She is excellent as the doctor in the group, focusing on the medical aspects of the vampire challenge.
Very different in style from the US shows "Kindred: The Embraced" (available on DVD) and "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer", Ultraviolet is more focused on the psychological than blood and guts. "Kindred" and "Buffy" are action fare, "Ultraviolet" is psychological fare. If you enjoy a psychological thriller with a little action thrown in and are intrigued by the Vampire myth, you will enjoy Ultraviolet.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What The X-Files Could Never Do June 13, 2001
I got an advance copy of Ultraviolet DVD and watched all 6 hours over the course of 2 nights. Right off the bat it was very obvious that Ultraviolet is a British production - rather than beating you over the head in the first 15 mins, they give you credit for having a brain and piece things together in a way that really draws you in. The film/series runs 6 hours and the writer/director Joe Ahearne really understands how to set a pace to keep you engaged while moving the story along.
Ultraviolet takes a wonderfully fresh and inventive approach towards vampires. I genuinely enjoyed the infusion of technology in relation to vampires - If vampires don't have any reflection, how can they talk over a phone? I also really liked the philosophical approach it took to the subject of vampires: Are vampires really bad? Should they be killed because they are who they are?
In the early years of the X-Files I was certainly a fan, but the show really lost me over the years, after watching Ultraviolet I realized why. Rather than hyping up some big conspiracy and never doing anything about it, Ultraviolet creates a complex world where everything isn't black and white but there are very specific 'rules'. Rather than myopically focusing on the world it creates Ultraviolet concentrates on really telling complete stories about the people in that world.
Ultraviolet was well acted, well directed and thoroughly enjoyable. I can't remember the last time I spent 6 hours watching something and was more than willing to see more. If Ultraviolet ever became a regular series I'd certainly be a faithful watcher!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazon chose well September 3, 2001
this DVD was recommended to me by itself, and i must congratulate the system that brought this to my attention. any viewer will be quietly devastated that there are only 6 episodes of this series about a building war against vampires and humans. the concept itself has no shock value - we've seen the vampire myth done to death (so to speak) - but what will nab you is the brilliance of the characters, the actors, and the storyline. this is not comic book X-files fodder, with its glitzy special effects. this is drama, and literate drama at that. the interweaving of the characters tales and fates is remarkable for TV. but don't panic if you're the kind who shies away from drama. this isn't heavy. there's chills and spills aplenty for those who like their suspense and a few layers of depth for those who like more meat to their vampire stories. at its core, it is a drama about war, built up around the concept of vampires, and because it uses this myth as its backbone and not it's front cover, it's hard to imagine anyone (even those who don't like vampire stories) won't become involved.
other reviews have said this is strictly for sci-fi/horror fans and i disagree. the four characters - scientist, warrior, cleric and cop - beautifully represent humanity and its struggle to be human. who can't identify with that?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Excellent, alternative view of the interplay between humans and vampires in a world where booth exist.
Published 14 days ago by D. Johnson
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite different - a little unsentimental, but very good drama
A quick opening statement: if I could give 3.5 stars for this one, I would.

This show must have looked very, very strange to its original audience. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Kathy-W
5.0 out of 5 stars Still the finest vampire TV series ever made
Ultraviolet ran for six episodes at the tail end of 1998 and rapidly picked up enormous critical acclaim. Read more
Published 18 months ago by A. Whitehead
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing but to short English vampire show
This was the first TV series I ever bought on DVD as I so loved it when it was shown on TV. Ultraviolet is a miniseries which follows the well meaning English cop Michael. Read more
Published on December 27, 2011 by Anja Rebekka Schultze
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Vampire series!
I love this show. It is very British so know ahead that you will be hearing some strong accents.
The story is well thought out and is spread over 6 episodes. Read more
Published on June 11, 2011 by Pulpman
1.0 out of 5 stars Awesome shipper,seller
Published on March 30, 2011 by Dan2707
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy anything from GOHASTINGS!!!
I really cannot comment on this item, because I never received it or a response to four(4) e-mails and a letter to the president of gohastings. Read more
Published on February 18, 2010 by rockets63
1.0 out of 5 stars sloppy production of dvd
Full frame; no captions; marginal sound track recording with hard to understand accents increases the difficulty of following the story. Read more
Published on January 23, 2010 by Phillip L. Stacy
5.0 out of 5 stars A different kind of Vampire series......
I bought this DVD set about four years ago. And from the very first five minutes I was hooked.
This show keeps you in suspense, never mentions the word Vampires, but we all... Read more
Published on January 14, 2010 by Barbara J. Mullaley
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost love it
I almost love this. The story is great. The acting is great. The only bad thing is some of the British accent or dialect is a little hard to understand
Published on December 26, 2009 by kzolady
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