The Runway – Your 2016 Pilot Survival Guide: CW Dramas

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laura brent

Transylvania

Logline: Set in 1880, a headstrong young woman in search of her missing father ventures from NYC to Transylvania where she teams up with a wrongfully disgraced Scotland Yard Detective, and together they witness the births of the most famous monsters and villains in history.
Cast: 
Creators: (Writer / EP), (EP), (EP), (EP), (EP), (D)
Studios: CBS TV Studios, Midnight Radio

1889. Victoria Harker, a young private detective from New York, arrives in Transylvania in search of her missing father (yes, Jonathan Harker). What she finds instead is a small town terrorized by the Wolf Man. Victoria partners up with washed-up ex-Scotland Yard Inspector Lestrade to investigate, discovering secrets that go back centuries.

Harker. Dracula. A whole lot of iconic villains. Steampunk technology. Transylvania is one of those shows where characters say “You gotta be kidding me” in the late 1880s. It’s as if the cast of Penny Dreadful finally stopped taking itself so seriously and hijacked an episode of Supernatural. What’s not to like?

What’s most interesting about Transylvania are its settings. The pilot spends a lot of time introducing these, often with awkward exposition, but it’s worth it. A highlight for me was a mysterious medical school that borders on being a cult-like society.

The character work is decent enough. Victoria’s got a great intro that shows us how intelligent, resourceful, confident, and funny she can be. She’s comparable to Claire Randall (Outlander) and Peggy Carter (Agent Carter), and is a heroine I’d gladly return for. Her relationship with Lestrade is fun, with potential for banter, conflict, and romance.

The pilot’s got a solid series engine as well, powered by secrets, mysteries, and unresolved central relationships. We’ve got a truckload of reveals packed into the final moments, raising enough questions to have viewers back in their seats for the next episode.

Transylvania really grew on me. The more I think about it, the more I like it.

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