Tag Archives: dark angel

TV Review: Dark Angel (Everyone’s heard of Buffy but who knows Max?)

Pic from judiciaryreport.com

James Cameron’s and Charles H. Eglee’s Dark Angel lasted a short two seasons back in 2000-2002, launching Jessica Alba’s Hollywood career.  Like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this show had a similarly headstrong, wise-cracking, female superhero at the helm.

Set in the near future in rainy Seattle, Washington, Max was a bike courier by day and thief by night, struggling to get by in Post-Pulse America.  She burgles the wrong rich guy one evening who recognises her for what she is, an escaped genetically-engineered human from Manticore, a secret training facility that creates kids like Max and raises them to become soldiers and assassins.  With rich guy Logan’s (Michael Weatherly) guidance/nagging, Max grudgingly uses her physical and mental talents to do some good in the world.

Did I mention she did it grudgingly? Max is not a smiley, cheerful young woman.  Most of the time she’s got a scowl on her face but deep down she’s got heart, and despite the tough, ‘I don’t care about anyone but myself’ front she puts up, she’s still a normal young woman trying to put the trauma of being raised to be a weapon of destruction  behind her.  The torture and abuse she suffered as a child at the hands of those in Manticore still haunts her.

Alec & Max
pic from valjeanfanfiction.com

Max was among a dozen children that fled the prison-like institution ten years previously.  She tries to keep a low profile, fearful that her worst nightmare and personal bogey man Lydecker (played chillingly by John Savage) will find her.  She’s also trying to track down her “brothers” and “sisters”, the other kids who fled.  Logan agrees to help her in this quest in exchange for her help with his noble causes.  Logan is “Eyes Only”, an underground journalist and thorn in the side of criminals.

pic from darkangel.wikia.com

Keeping Max company is her best friend Original Cindy (Valarie Rae Miller), Sketchy (Richard Gunn) an idiot who works alongside her and Normal, the grouchy but actually easy-going boss at the courier company Jam Pony.  Normal frequently shouts ‘bip bip’ at his employees in order to motivate them to do some work.  It rarely works!  Along the way we meet Zach (William Gregory Lee), her “brother” who is totally in love with her and Alec (played by hottie Jensen Ackles from Supernatural), another Manticore soldier.   We can’t forget about Joshua (Kevin Durrand), the dog-man, one of Manticore’s earliest experiments that left many of their people/creatures looking decidedly non-human.  They were confined to the basement in Manticore until Max releases them into the world in season 2 with devastating consequences. Max looks after Joshua and along with Alec, the three of them form somewhat of a weird, dysfunctional but tight-knit family.

pic sidereel.com

Logan’s and Max’s relationship continues the will they/won’t they line for the duration of the two seasons.  A lot of fans wanted her to hook up with Alec but it never happened, despite a few lingering looks.  I loved the universe and characters of Dark Angel.  It’s one of my favourite supernatural/sci-fi tv shows of all time, right up there with Buffy, Roswell and The X- Files. The music was great, the characters awesome and the dialogue snappy.  For me, the most intriguing character was Lydecker.  Yes he was a bad guy, but in a creepy way he was also like the father figure of the group.

I made a short fan video celebrating Max’s awesomeness.

Check Dark Angel out on Amazon

Book Review: Dark Angel by Virginia Andrews

Dark Angel is the second novel in the five part Casteel family series.  However this gothic horror tale can be enjoyed as a stand alone book.

17 year old Heaven Leigh Casteel goes to live with her paternal grandmother Gillian and her younger husband, the wealthy and distinguished Tony Tatterton, head of the successful Tatterton Toys empire. Heaven is determined to triumph above her poor, hillbilly roots in West Virginia and make a success of herself in Boston.  Despite the beautiful mansion, trips to the most exclusive boutiques and access to all the trappings that money can buy, Heaven finds herself bored and lonely trapped within the walls of the gothic-like, Victorian style mansion of Farthingale Manor.   Deciding to explore the maze outside in the gardens one cold day, Heaven finds herself outside a tiny cottage that looks like a toy house from a children’s book.  She lets herself in and meets Troy, Tony’s younger, loner brother who prefers to make toys rather than deal with people.  Reluctantly Troy allows Heaven into his life and they begin a bittersweet romance with far reaching consequences.

As a fan of Flowers in the Attic and Petals on the Wind, I was happy to give the Casteel series a chance and am glad I did.  Heaven is an emotionally starved girl yearning for love and acceptance having endured nothing but hardship and betrayal throughout her childhood and adolescence.  The tentative relationship between Heaven and Troy is thrilling to read as is the disturbing controlling nature of Tony over all those in his life.  As with all of Andrews’ books, disturbing elements of incest linger beneath the surface so when the big reveal comes about, the reader is not entirely surprised.

I first read this book in my early teens and am happy to report that my most recent reading of it hasn’t diminished my enjoyment.  The one factor that irks me is the continuity errors in the book, particularly in relation to Heaven’s age which changes from seventeen, to sixteen and back again.  I remember being annoyed by this many years ago and this error was once again glaringly obvious.  Dark Angel is an exciting tale of psychological terror and rousing romance owing to Andrews’ ability to evoke an ongoing sense of both dread and hopefulness in the reader.


Check it out on Amazon HERE