By Will Wade,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Thriller about monster-hunting teen mixes fun, scares.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Though Luke admirably steps up to fulfill his fate as a descendant of vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing -- bravely fighting demons, ghouls, and other baddies -- everything else (including school, family, and friends) takes a back seat when duty calls.
Positive Role Models
Luke selflessly devotes himself to defeating evil, sacrificing schoolwork and sometimes his social life, whenever a ghoul or demon appears. Good and evil are pretty clearly defined.
Violence & Scariness
Plenty of supernatural action as the characters take on demons, ghouls, and other creatures. Fight scenes include martial arts, sticks, clubs, and a wide variety of unusual weapons designed to take out the undead.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some mild flirting and kissing.
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"Sodding" and "goddamn" are about as salty as it gets.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some social drinking at parties and pubs, and a few references to drinking or being drunk.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this supernatural series about a teen who discovers that he's the last descendant of a famed vampire hunter includes plenty of fights against supernatural enemies, including ghouls, evil spirits, specters, and other undead creatures. Though the confrontations often involve weapons, they're not especially graphic, and the monsters aren't that scary. Still, the whole show is based on the premise that the undead are real, which could be unsettling and/or scary for younger viewers.
Where to Watch
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What's the Story?
Luke Rutherford (Christian Cooke) seems like a normal teenager -- but a powerful secret courses through his veins. He's the last descendent of Abraham Van Helsing, the famous vampire hunter, and is destined to carry on his family's work. All his life, Luke has sometimes glimpsed strange things out of the corner of his eyes, but he doesn't understand why until the sudden arrival of Rupert Galvin (Philip Glenister), his late father's best friend. Galvin reveals that the world of the undead is very much alive ... and that it's time for Luke to join him and help defeat the demons, monsters, and ghouls of the world.
Is It Any Good?
DEMONS is a fresh take on a classic theme: An ordinary person is plucked from obscurity to assume a great destiny, usually with a bit of supernatural help (see Harry Potter, Buffy, King Arthur, et al.). There's a reason this storyline is so common -- it works. Who doesn't want to think that they're secretly destined for a life of magic and greatness?
This version works, too. Cooke is appealing as a teenager trying to juggle school, a social life, and his extracurricular activities chasing the undead. And Glenister, as the veteran, adds a bit of jaded panache. The series quickly creates a compelling backstory, introducing Luke's tutors Mina Harker (Zoe Tapper) -- a blind pianist with a complicated history -- and Father Simeon (Richard Wilson), a mysterious cleric who isn't always certain what century it is. There are plenty of TV shows out there about a secret world of monsters and demons just barely hidden from ordinary mortals, some worse than others. While Demons doesn't completely set itself apart from the pack, it's certainly better than average.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the show's messages. Is it OK that other elements of Luke's life take a back seat to his monster hunting? Is Luke a role model? Why or why not?
What do you think would happen if Luke chose not to embrace his fate? Why do so many popular stories feature ordinary people who suddenly realize they have a great destiny?
How does this show portray the undead? How does that compare to the depiction of evil spirits in other TV shows and movies?
- Premiere date: January 3, 2009
- Cast: Christian Cooke, Holliday Grainger, Philip Glenister
- Network: BBC America
- Genre: Science Fiction
- TV rating: NR
- Last updated: April 1, 2023
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