Now Gene Hunt takes on vampires

February 13 2008 (The Guardian / Leigh Holmwood) -- Actor Philip Glenister, anti-hero DCI Gene Hunt in BBC1's Ashes to Ashes, is to take on a rather different guise for his next project, playing a vampire hunter in a modern day take on the Dracula story.

Glenister, who also starred in Life on Mars, is to play Rupert Galvin, a "larger-than-life" American with a "tragic past and a zero-tolerance policy to the rabble of mythical half-life entities" in the as yet untitled new ITV1 drama series.

The drama, currently known internally at ITV as the "untitled Van Helsing project", will put a "contemporary spin on the legacy of Bram Stoker's Dracula" and be set above and beneath the streets of modern-day London.

Glenister's character will appear in the life of his teenage godson, Luke, played by Robin Hood's Christian Cooke.

Luke's father died in mysterious circumstances and afterwards Glenister's Galvin is "catapulted into a world of vampires, demons and zombies".

The Office's Mackenzie Crook will also appear as the evil Gladiolus Thrip, a sinister vampire with a burning hatred for the Van Helsing lineage.

"There are supernatural forces of evil at work and it is Luke's destiny, as the last descendent of the Van Helsing line, to smite the half-lives that stalk our streets," ITV said.

The drama will be made by Elisabeth Murdoch's independent production company, Shine, which previously made Sky One's supernatural series Hex.

It will be produced by the team behind Hex - Julian Murphy and Johnny Capps - and written by two writers from that show, Peter Tabern and Lucy Watkins, as well as Hotel Babylon's Howard Overman.

The six-part drama was commissioned by ITV director of drama Laura Mackie. It is currently filming in London with an ITV1 transmission expected later in the year.

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From the Library

As the 20th century evolved, rational man turned to science to explain mythology that had pervaded for thousands of years. How could a man be mistaken for a vampire? How could someone appear to have been the victim of a vampire attack? Science, in time, came back with answers that may surprise you.Anemia
A million fancies strike you when you hear the name: Nosferatu!N O S F E R A T Udoes not die!What do you expect of the first showing of this great work?Aren't you afraid? - Men must die. But legend has it that a vampire, Nosferatu, 'der Untote' (the Undead), lives on men's blood! You want to see a symphony of horror? You may expect more. Be careful. Nosferatu is not just fun, not something to be taken lightly. Once more: beware.- Publicity for Nosferatu in the German magazine Buhne und Film, 1922  

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