Real Name: Nicolas de Brabant, Knight of the Crusades
Occupation: Police detective; (formerly) Knight of the Crusades
Affiliations: Janette Ducharme, Natalie Lambert, Donald Schanke (partner, deceased); Tracy Vetter (partner, deceased); Javier Vachon (fellow vampire - not exactly friends, but they do co-operate); Captain Stonetree; Captain Amanda Cohen (deceased); Captain Joe Reese
Enemies: LaCroix; Divia
Known Relatives: None known
Aliases: Jean-Pierre (his real name in the original pilot)
Base of Operations: Toronto
First Appearance: Nick Knight (a.k.a. Midnight Cop, 1989)
Powers/Abilities: Able to fly, hypnotize people, super fast, super strong (though his reflexes seem to be about average), enhanced senses, fangs and cool glowing eyes. He also paints and plays the piano.
History: "He was brought across in 1228, preyed on humans for their blood. Now he wants to be mortal again-- to repay society for his sins, to emerge from his world of darkness, from his endless ...Forever Knight..."
In 1228 Nicholas de Brabant was a Knight, newly returned from the crusades in the Holy Land. His experiences had wearied him, leaving him cynical and a little bitter. So when he was approached by the beautiful French woman, Janette Ducharme, who enticed him with talk of eternal life, he was easily seduced by her charms. She introduced him to her companion, Lucien LaCroix, who promised him power and youth. Nicholas took the bait. He became a vampire, and a ruthless killer, travelling the world alongside his sire Lacroix and fellow vampire, Janette.
Janette was once a prostitute in France. She was rescued by LaCroix and brought across as a vampire when she was on the point of being killed by a client. She has always claimed to be perfectly happy as a vampire, finding it immensely preferable to her past life. She and Nick would be lovers for centuries on and off, but by the late twentieth century she grew tired of their relationship and moved on.
LaCroix had been a Roman general in mortal life, known for his ruthlessness in battle. He lived in Pompeii, in his own villa, with a wife and daughter. When his teenage daughter nearly died, a healer from the east paid a visit and "healed" her. Divia, his daughter, had been healed of the fatal illness, only to become a vampire. As Vesuvius erupted, Divia offered her father the only way to survive. She brought LaCroix across as his villa was being buried by ash and lava.
The trio travelled together for centuries, leaving a sea of corpses in their wake as they moved from town to town, city to city, country to country. But as time passed, Nicholas began to suffer from his conscience. He would leave his fellow undead for periods, sometimes for decades, and try to live without killing. Always LaCroix and his own bloodlust would eventually bring him back into the fold. Finally, in the middle of the twentieth century, Nick, as he had come to be known, struck out on his own again, planning for this time to be permanent. Over the years he had been many things. In the year 1996 he came to Toronto and became a police officer. There he formed a friendship with the city coroner, Natalie Lambert, whom he first met after he had "died" from injuries while trying to save people from a bomb. With her aid he set out to try and become mortal again and live the rest of his days in peace. He found that Janette had made a home in the city, running a nightclub called the Raven, a frequent haunt of the local vampire community. Nick would often drop by to see her, and to get the word on the (undead) street.
LaCroix soon arrived in the city, intending to force Nick to give up his stupid desire for humanity and embrace his true nature. Nick ran him through with a burning roof beam for his trouble, and for a year believed he had ended the existence of his former mentor. A year later he discovered this was not the case - LaCroix was too old to permanently die by fire - and the two continued to maintain an uneasy antagonistic love/hate relationship thereafter.
Around the same time as LaCroix arrived in Toronto, Captain Stonetree, Nick's superior, assigned him a partner for the first time. Don Schanke was a Polish-Italian cop whose policing methods differed radically from Nick. More than once, Schanke was warned to stay out of the Raven, after he followed his partner to the club. Schanke, unsuspecting of the truth, simply presumed that his partner was just hogging all the action. In spite of these differences, the two officers came to respect one another, and became friends. However, after two years of working together, Schanke was killed when a plane he was travelling on was blown up by a bomber.
Nick was given a new partner, Tracy Vetter, the daughter of the police commissioner. She joined him on the investigation into the bomber who caused Schanke's death. While on this case, Tracy encountered Javier Vachon, a vampire who had once been a Conquistador. The Spanish vampire had been unfortunate enough to be on the same plane, but unlike the other passengers he had survived. Tracy met him when he returned to the crash site to reclaim one of his hands, severed during the explosion. Having witnessed Vachon's true nature, Tracy proved naturally resistant to his hypnotism, and thus could not be made to forget what she had seen. The two began to fall in love, although both realised their relationship could have no long term future, as consumating their love would inevitably lead to Tracy either dying or becoming undead. Upon discovering the relationship, Nick warned Vachon away from her, to no avail. Ironically, at the same time Tracy was doing her best to try and "protect" her new partner from discovering the existence of vampires.
It was an eventful, and not entirely good year for Nick. Not only was Schanke killed, but then Janette, who had left town a year earlier, returned, having somehow become mortal again. Ironically she had achieved by accident what Nick most desperately had been trying for, and failing, for years. But Janette was apparently killed, although there is the suggestion she might have been saved from death by returning to vampire life. Later that year Tracy suffered a fatal gunshot wound when a criminal got loose in the precinct house; she died in hospital having discovered her partner's secret, angry at him for not trusting her. Nick discovered around the same time that LaCroix intended to move on, having given up on persuading Nick - he told his child that he would return briefly before he left, and if Nick decided to accompany him, that was good; if not, he would go anyway. Nick decided it was time for him to move on too, but Natalie, who loved him, offered to accompany him in undeath until they could both regain their mortality. Nick hesitated, scared that if he tried to turn her into a vampire he might kill her by drinking too much of her blood, unused as he now was to supping on humans. She convinced him to try anyway, but Nick's fears proved justified, and he slew the woman he had come to love. LaCroix was true to his word, and came upon Nick sitting by Natalie's corpse. Nick begged LaCroix to kill him, to end his tortured existence. LaCroix moved behind the kneeling detective, and picked up a large piece of wood to use as a stake, berating Nick for hating him. But Nick finally understood the truth of their relationship, and replied "No, you are my closest friend." LaCroix paused for only a second, said "Damn you Nicholas", and rammed the stake home.
Comments: Created by Barney Cohen and James D.Parriott.
Originally played by Rick Springfield in the 1989 pilot, it was Geraint Wyn Davies who made the part his own through three seasons of the TV show Forever Knight. Schanke was played by John Kapelos in both versions of the show, Catherine Wisher played coroner Natalie Lambert, Michael Nader was LaCroix in the original version, with Nigel Bennett taking over for the ongoing series, Deborah Duchene was Janette (Cic Verrell played Janette in the first version), Lisa Ryder was Tracy Vetter, and Ben Bass was Vachon.
Other new characters introduced during the third season include Screed and Urs, both friends of Vachon's. Screed was a Cockney and a sailor. He was a "carouche," despised by other vampires as a lesser breed because he would feed off rats instead than people. Urs had been a saloon singer until Vachon turned her after she pleaded for him to kill her subsequent to him rescuing her from an abusive relationship with one of her "customers". It unfortunately transpired that she did not want to be a vampire, rejecting Vachon for bringing her across once the deed was done. The Spaniard felt guilty about this, having misinterpreted her desire to die and now wished to help her to make up for this mistake.
Forever Knight started as a CBS television pilot . The made-for-TV movie was entitled Nick Knight in the US and Midnight Cop in the UK. Nick was a 200 year old vampire based in LA, but otherwise the story remained largely the same. No series was forthcoming however. In the wonderful irony of a vampire programme, it was reborn in 1992 as Forever Knight, set in Toronto instead of Los Angeles. Only one actor remained from the original pilot - Detective Don Schanke was still played by John Kapelos. Welsh-born actor Geraint Wyn Davies took over the titular role of Nick Knight. There was a long break between first and second seasons, when none of the actors were sure it would survive, before it was renewed for the second season. Having survived two seasons in Toronto, it was sold to CBS for "Crime Time After Prime Time" in syndication. The third season was picked up with some of the original cast missing. The third season opener, Black Buddha, parts I and II, saw the deaths of Detective Donald Schanke and Captain Amanda Cohen. This season would prove to be the last, with the show ending on the apparent death of the lead character...although it faded to black before we saw the stake strike home.
Thanks to Megan Hull for providing information regarding Nick's powers.
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
Angel, another vampire seeking redemption and playing detective
Jack Fleming, another vampire in detective work, from P.N.Elrod's series of books
Christopher Blaze, another vampire detective, from Vampire Beat
Vicki Nelson, another vampire detective, from Tanya Huff's series of books.
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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