It’s never easy to predict what will work and what will flop when it comes to new television series, but recent years that have seen successes in shows such as True Blood and The Vampire Diaries have been proof enough that vampires aren’t a bad way to go. Cable channel Syfy has come to the same conclusion, and vampire enthusiasts everywhere should be pleased to know that a new adaptation of the Van Helsing mythology will be coming to the small screen in fall of 2016.
Syfy’s Van Helsing will share elements with the traditional mythology, but the premise will be wildly different. Instead of the tale of infamous hunter of vampires and nemesis of Dracula himself Abraham van Helsing, Van Helsing will follow the adventures of Abraham’s daughter Vanessa Helsing, according to Deadline. Vanessa will be resurrected five years in the future as humanity’s last hope to take back the world from the vampires who have seized control. With a unique power over the vampires and a pretty solid lineage when it comes to controlling the creatures, Vanessa may well be the savior of humanity.
Aside from refreshingly changing the gender of the Van Helsing vampire hunter, Van Helsing will be a departure from typical vampire tales. Other shows have seen vampires hiding from the human race or at best coexisting. With Van Helsing throwing Vanessa into a world in which vampires are majority, this series may see the beginning of a whole new brand of mythological monsters on the small screen.
Sure, Syfy’s Van Helsing sounds an awful lot like Terminator with vampires, but there’s already been a great deal of faith placed in the show. Syfy and production company Nomadic Pictures have forgone the typical proceedings of ordering a pilot before a full season and ordered a full 13 episodes.
Of course, a franchise with "Van Helsing" in the name may have something of an uphill battle for any who saw the 2004 film of the same name. The movie starring Hugh Jackman received mixed reviews and failed to jumpstart a franchise as some had expected. Hugh Jackman’s career certainly wasn’t permanently damaged, but the name Van Helsing likely does not fill the hearts of many film buffs with optimism.
2004’s Van Helsing may be the most well-known of the Van Helsing ventures into mainstream media, but the film was hardly the first. The name “Van Helsing” first became associated with vampires as a character from the original Dracula novel by Bram Stoker in 1897. In the years since, a handful of continuation novels and then adaptations into the Marvel comics universe have seen the character of Abraham van Helsing and his descendants live on.
While there’s not a ton yet to be known about Syfy’s Van Helsing, it promises to be a new take on a tried genre. With a female protagonist and a 13 episode order, the series should have the time to establish a universe rather than throw everything immediately into a pilot. Van Helsing begins production in January 2016.