Best Undead on TV

Just for fun, here’s a list of excellent–some might even say “best”–vampires to be found on television. A personal list to be sure, but offered with sincerity. Your own views most welcome as well!

Drusilla-Spike-Angel-promotional-images-buffy-the-vampire-slBuffy the Vampire Slayer has so many great vampire characters I force myself to just choose two–the Sid Vicious and Nancy (or would that be Ophelia?) of the vampires. Namely, Spike and Drusilla! Such a fascinating pair, and more we learned about them the more startling they came across! Drusilla’s back story turned out be something from the grand guignol while I think we can confidently say Spike’s history proved full of surprises. Both remain fan favorites and for an excellent reason!

Forever Knight had lots of great vampire characters as well, but for me the most fascinating remains Urs.  Introduced in the third and last Cast-Photos-forever-knight-1221183_320_240season, she looked like a waif but one at home in very dark shadows indeed. Then we learned the truth. As the “kept” woman (i.e. slave in everything but name) to a wealthy man of great cruelty perhaps 150 years past, she met another man. And recognized him as a vampire. She begged for help in escaping. He made her undead, thinking to give her the power to make her own choices. But she’d hoped for death, for sweet oblivion.  In many ways my biggest regret in seeing FK end was never getting to know her better.

Of all the vampires on True Blood, and we all know they are legion, JessicaVLog-002_024several grabbed my attention and kept it. But Jessica got under my skin from season one and remains there. A good Christian girl initially thrilled to become a vampire (despite the initial pain and terror) she proceeded to stumble and trip over undead. But she has a good heart, even if it doesn’t beat anymore.  As a brand new vampire, a “baby vamp” in the show’s parlance,  Jessica keeps trying. But life really doesn’t get any easier when you potentially might live centuries–especially when you drink blood and sunlight sets you on fire.

The British t.v. show Young Dracula sounds silly. Dracula’s son doesn’t want to be a vampire. He longs to live a normal life. But the show, like Young-Dracula-Pics-young_drac_vamp-young-dracula-27318831-48Harry Potter, refused to back off from the real issues of something like that. Just as it has followed Vlad from childhood to his teen years, as he becomes The Chosen One (sans lightning-shaped scar), tries to forge a truce between vampires and slayers, sees some of his plans fail totally and even suffers the end of first love. One of many Reluctant Vampires on t.v. but all the more fascinating because we see him stumble. And, well, he is a DRACULA!

Finally, we all must agree that one of the most unusual and entertaining vampires ever to appear on the small screen also hails from Transylvania. duckulaNot as well known outside the UK but time will hopefully repair that. I refer of course to none other than Count Duckula!

There’s my list, based on careful consideration (and the mood I happen to feel right this moment).

Who would be on your list? I can well imagine some folks upset my passing over The Vampire Diaries not to mention both versions of Being Human, ditto Dark Shadows as well as Dracula: The Series and Blood Ties. But that is what comments are for, yes?

By david

David MacDowell Blue blogs at Night Tinted Glasses.  He graduated from the National Shakespeare Conservatory and is the author of The Annotated Carmilla. and Your Vampire Story (And How to Write It) as well as a theatrical adaptation of Carmilla.


  1. the best un Dead Vampires on tv was spike on buffy the vampire SLAYER
    one he look like singer billy idol and lived in own cypt the was set up with cable tv.
    and once and a while spike would get an visit from drusilla his vampire girl friend
    no to bad for one of the un dead

  2. Spike is great and so was Eric before Fricken Sookie and the death of his maker ruined him but LaCroix (forever knight) is one of my favorite bad asses! I really liked Blood Ties and Henry was my favorite type of Vampire next to Lestat as it is so had to choose just one. What about Dark Shadows? Barnabas was one of the best as well…

  3. LaCroix was one of the best vampires on TV and it should be noted that the actor, Nigel Bennett, went on to write some decent vampire fiction with help from P.N. Elrod.

    One vampire who doesn’t get mentioned much is Marcus VanSciver from the short-lived Blade TV series. Far from the one-note villains of the movies, VanSciver was a complex character, a reluctant vampire with a tortured past who came to embrace his new condition and fight against the oppression of the “pure bloods” against the “turned.” He was a character I would have liked to see grow in a second season.

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