A Couple of Points -- The Vampire Solution


Instead of Lawn-Bowling or Shuffleboard

First is the worst.
Second is the best.
Thank God we never saw Arthur Bauer's chest!
That thought enters my mind nearly every time I watch "The Vampire Solution." Keep in mind the sheer amount of fun the production team seems to have had on this show. I can just picture the effects people approaching the actor, "It's the third episode, and you're playing a nerd, so we're going to give you a hairy chest that you can be proud of!"

This poor man does not deserve the scorn heaped upon him by fans of the show. He does a lovely job of playing a doofus. Arthur Bauer does, however, bring up a major reason why goths and 'vampires' (as viewing audience) hate D:tS, and a big part of why it was cancelled.

In this fictional universe, any nitwit might become a vampire! Apart from Lucard, Bedard and LaLonde did away with the convention that only the most beautiful and mysterious people are turned into vampires. They made Dracula into a Mae West of sorts.

Although it pains me to admit to being this old, I remember the early '90s very well. Almost overnight, AIDS and HIV went from a subject no one could mention in public to being practically a subject with its own class in public schools. Whenever there's a blood-borne disease that everyone's talking about, it rejuvenates the vampire theme. It's a vampire solution, if you will.

Our favorite story writers and editors cut their teeth on vampires with Dracula: the Series, and went on to produce Forever Knight. A vampire TV series can't be funny and lighthearted when the public is scared of a disease—and mostly doesn't know how it's transmitted. The more 'dramatic' D:tS second season outlines lead me to believe that the writers did realize that by the time they were cancelled.

And speaking of Forever Knight, it brings up why a significant number of people watch Dracula today: Klaus. This episode was the vehicle for his introduction, without ever mentioning that he's the son of Gustav. (I bet that was Glenn Davis' and William Laurin's hands.) It's a pity that Platinum decided to shuffle the episodes, and put this one next to "Black Sheep." I'll own that the reasoning is sound, however.

This opinion's going to earn me flak: I don't like Klaus. It is no reflection whatsoever on Mr. Wyn-Davies, I just don't like Klaus. I somehow manage to like everything about Klaus, without liking Klaus. I'm going to wake up one night surrounded by fangirls wielding hockey sticks saying, "So you don't like Klaus, eh?" I just know it.

The only character with funnier lines than Klaus is Mr. Tickler (from "The Great Tickler"). And I'm certain that's just because Klaus does not have any trained seals. At least none that would need to go through customs. And he could simply bribe or bite the customs official if he did.

"...You've decided to spend your twilight years as a vampire hunter, and an extremely boring one at that." There is a plot point here which the writers don't develop. Klaus alludes to the idea that his father only took up vampire hunting after Dracula bit him, or retired or both.

"How did they capture you, the great vampire hunter?" Arthur Bauer has clearly got a very different notion of Gustav's activities. What exactly did Gustav tell his students?

Bauer and Lance Burton ("I Love Lucard," as we all do I'm sure) paint a much different picture of their former professor than Klaus. Did Gustav's vampire history class take "field trips?" Did Dracula take Klaus as a measured response to Helsing unleashing a bunch of vampire hunters on him, all reporting back to Gustav the great? "Holy St. Varma, Gustav, it's the Cross of the Magyars!"

"Oh sure, Uncle Gustav's running laps morning, noon and night." I love the little side plot here of Max pursuing physical fitness. It's hutty as nell, but cute.

Of course Sophie practices tai chi because it's "sophisticated." Clearly she does it all the time. You can tell by her relaxed mind, balanced attitude, and effective dodging! But if Sophie kept it up, she might just be a darn sight better at vampire hunting in a few years than Chris or Max. At least hopefully she'd learn how to dive out of the way.

"I have no intention of losing all this, from some potion... or spell." "You needn't worry about that, Klaus. I have the only one left." Methinks I see a missing scene involving Arthur Bauer approaching Lucard, and Lucard giving him the two leaves. I also think there's room for a missing scene involving Lucard picking all the leaves off of the last philemon tree. Then he chops that sucker down himself in a fit of Machiavellian pique.

"The leaves of the philemon tree: extinct for over a hundred years." To satisfy the truly trivial trivia buff, there is no philemon tree. In Greek mythology, Philemon and his wife Baucis were changed into an oak and a linden tree growing from a single trunk at the end of their mortal lives. Zeus did this so they would never be parted, as a reward for their faithful service as priest and priestess at a temple they built in his honor.

Grafting a linden onto an oak or vice versa wouldn't make a tree of a different species, nor do they use oak or linden leaves in the episode. The name Philemon itself, from its Greek roots, translates "lover" (phile), "the one" (mon). A man named Philemon was one of Paul's converts at Ephesus, and apparently martyred by Nero (not personally).

There were three different little roadside herbs that the props people dried and pressed into service for "Vampire Solution." The first one at Gustav's house is some species of mustard. I spotted all this purely by accident, and only because I've been trained to look at tiny mummified plants and say 'That's a woodbine!' or some such.

Brush up your Shakespeare. Start quoting him now. Klaus must have seen "Kiss me Kate" as a child, and took this advice way too seriously. But it's almost never women he's trying to wow.

I buy into the fandom theory that he's gay, or at least bisexual. The bulk of his time is spent trying to imitate or impress Lucard, with him failing miserably at it. He's so different in the finale, "Klaus Encounters," that it's easy to see he'd be a great and stylish vampire—if only he would go wreak havoc somewhere else—maybe in Toronto?

Lucard is so protective of him, too. But is he protective of him for the paternal or loverly reasons that Klaus thinks, or because if Klaus was killed it would take away a hold on Gustav? We'll never know.


A Couple of Points / Lucard's Home Page / lpetix@dpcc.com