16 August 2005 | Teknofobe70
It started well ...
An American student named Randi Wallace travels to England in order to study mythology under British professor Doctor Ian Matheson. Whilst ghost-hunting out on the moors, she is attacked and bitten by a savage animal. At the next full moon she turns into a werewolf, and manages to convince her new professor of her condition. Together the two of them begin to investigate various supernatural occurrences, in order to explore mythology and attempt to find a cure for Randi's curse ...
As you can see, thankfully this series shares very little in common with the dull 1940's movie She-Wolf of London from which it takes it's name. It actually seems much more inspired by John Landis' classic 1981 horror movie An American Werewolf in London, not only with it's very similar storyline but also with it's darkly humorous approach to the standard supernatural horror formula. It certainly showed great promise in some areas, but unfortunately the English financial backers for the show dropped out after four months due to some poorly-written episodes. The creators were brave enough to move the show over to Los Angeles for six more episodes and retitle it "Love and Curses", but after this the series was soon cancelled altogether.
Considering the series is titled "She-Wolf of London", few of the episodes are actually focused on lycanthropy, and some don't feature the werewolf at all. Mostly Randi and Ian just investigate various supernatural occurrences, such as ghosts and zombies and nymphomaniac sex demons ... Randi is, however, constantly on the look-out for a cure to her condition, even in the most unlikely places. In the "London" episodes, Ian's extended family provide both comic relief and serve as key characters on occasion, and the "will they, won't they" relationship between teacher and student is prominent all the time, sometimes charming and sometimes irritating. Some have argued that "She-Wolf" was heavily influenced by "The Incredible Hulk" television series, but to me it seems more likely that it was simply following after Frank Lupo's Werewolf, which was certainly influenced by that show.
Kate Hodge gives a peculiar, quirky performance as Randi, which can become a little annoying at times but for the most part she's good. She seems more interested in the comic aspects of the series rather than the horror or the drama elements. Neil Dickson, meanwhile, is a superb actor who you may or may not remember for his excellent portrayal of every schoolboy's favourite World War One pilot in Biggles : Adventures in Time. Okay, so you probably won't. But anyway, he's perfectly cast as the stuffy, charming professor (a kind of proto-"Giles" character, if you will -- this series seems a strong predecessor for "Buffy"), and as long as the script is good he is a reliable performer.
The series isn't nearly as good as it could have been, but aside from certain episodes it's certainly not as bad as some would have you believe. The redeeming quality of the series is it's odd and original mix of creepiness and corny humour. Overall it was a promising blend of horror and comedy, with some truly excellent episodes, and it's a great shame what ultimately became of it.