Here's a link to our most recent Letter to the Editor from Richard Tracy in Mesa, Arizona. It was also posted on the Mediaburn Radio Weblog:
Below we've decided to keep Kevin Andrew Murphy's letter posted right here!
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Wolf Lake? Kindred: The Embraced in a New Wrapper
Read your review. Here's a little tidbit you might want to run:
Wolf Lake may look original, but it's something we've seen before.
About five years ago, just before the advent of Buffy, executive producer John Leekley brought us a show on FOX called Kindred: the Embraced, based on the best selling roleplaying game, Vampire: The Masquerade, depicting the shadowy politics of the undead who call theselves "Kindrid." What isn't generally known outside gaming circles is that Vampire: The Masquerade has a companion game called Werewolf: The Apocolypse, depicting the secret lives and politics of a dying breed of half-wolf shapeshifters. Sound familiar?
What's also familiar is that the premise of the first two episodes of Wolf Lake paralell the two-hour pilot of Kindred: The Embraced. In both, we find a pair of young lovers, where the girl is from outside the mysterious clan but strangely related (in Kindred, Sasha has a vampire uncle. In Wolf Lake, Sophia has a werewolf father) and the boy is a full blown member of the club, with an odd penchant for fast human transportation (motorcycles in Kindred, cars in Wolf Lake) and spikey blond haircuts. I have no idea why werewolves and vampires would have a thing for motorcycles and cars, when they can run faster than either of them, except that they look cool and are good for picking up human girls, so maybe that's enough explanation in and of itself.
The biology of the Werewolf: The Apocolypse werewolves and the Wolf Lake werewolves is a bit different. In the game version, werewolf is not allowed to mate with werewolf because the results are sterile. In the TV version, the werewolf numbers are kept down by having half of them conveniently die when they go through their first change--but that really doesn't mean much. There were differences between the TV vampires and the game vampires as well. Most notable being the fact that TV vampires could go out in the sun so long as they'd recently fed. but the sililarities are much stronger.
According to rumor, Wolf Lake was script doctored in the 11th hour to keep from there being a turf war between rival werewolf gangs. Since Kindred: The Embraced had a turf war between rival vampire gangs, this would have been just too much of a parallel.
It'll be interesting to watch in the next few episodes how much of Kindred gets recycled and how much of Werewolf gets lifted in service of the plot of Wolf Lake. On the plus side, Lou Diamond Phillips is a much more interesting and engaging detective than C. Thomas Howell, whose character was such a nebish that he quickly got sidelined for the more engaging plotlines of the Kindred.
Kevin Andrew Murphy
Great letter! Thanks for exposing the creative truth! ;O) - GS