“Bitten” was the first Kelley Armstrong book I read and it is still my favourite (closely followed by “Stolen”, the next in the series). “Bitten” made an impression on me because it was so “werewolf-centric”, focusing on the reality of pack life and the strongly differentiated characters of the werewolves in the Pack.
When I heard that the book had been turned into a TV series, I had relatively low expectations. I couldn’t see American TV coping with the violence and the sex and the inevitable nudity that are integral to the story. Fortunately, the series was made by Canadian TV with Canadian actors and no punches were pulled, violence and the passion that fuel the story were presented candidly without any sense of prurience
The series doesn’t have exactly the same storyline as the novel but I felt that it captured the spirit of the original.
Much of the impact of the series comes from the very strong (mostly Canadian) cast, who deliver impressive individual and ensemble performances.
Laura Vandervoort (from “V” and “Smallville”) is the perfect choice for Elena. She is fashion-model beautiful but her impact comes from her acting, not her looks: she can move from physically intimidating to deeply vulnerable in a single scene, her fight scenes look realistic (helped perhaps by the fact that she is a black belt) and she can summon a coldly powerful presence that makes her truly frightening (which is perhaps why she keeps being cast as not quite human).
Grayston Holt does makes an impressive Clay Danvers, moving credibly from the University Professor his students lust for, to the Pack muscle that the “Mutt” werewolves hate and fear, through to being a man who feels he has lost himself.
The rest of the cast are also first rate, each coming across as strong personalities rather than Pack extras.
The Pack lives in “Stonehaven”, a place that is their sanctuary, the seat of their power and a symbol of their unity and strength. I thought the set for Stonehaven was so well designed to show masculine power without opulence or luxury, that it became almost a character in its own right.
The only things I didn’t like were the graphics (very “Buffy Season 1”) and the heavy-handed music.
If you think you might be interested in the series, take a look at the trailer below.