V Wars, Netflix

Another month, another Netflix show spun off from a graphic novel. In this case it’s horror writer Jonathan Maberry’s eponymous series about an outbreak of vampirism caused by a virus which emerges from the ice at an Arctic base and which is then transmitted to the wider world. Or to America, anyway, which is more or less the same thing where horror-themed graphic novels are concerned.

At the centre of the story, at least based on the evidence of the first episode, is the bromance between Dr Luther Swann, a virologist who’s sent to find out why said Arctic base has broken off communication, and his sports car-driving pal Michael Fayne.

Fayne’s also pretty handy around helicopters and even appears to own one, so he joins Swann on their ill-fated visit to the north. Soon they’re both banged up in quarantine as the powers-that-be try to determine whether or not they’ve been infected with whatever it was that was floating around in the air at the base and catching prettily in the light of Swann’s torch. An ice age cold virus or something more malign?

Initially the answer appears to be the first of those, but then Fayne begins to act weirdly. His senses become heightened. He develops an almost super-human strength. He only picks at his salad when he meets Swann for lunch to share his concerns. Oh, and all of a sudden there’s a serial killer stalking the streets of the city and draining their victims of blood. Being rationalists and not immediately suspecting a vampire, the cops are stumped – Swann walks in and confesses that he has just helped his friend Michael Fayne dispose of a dead woman who Fayne claims he has no recollection of killing. Meanwhile there’s a TMZ-style peddler of online exposes chasing (and winning) hits thanks to her posting of leaked crime-scene photographs.

Swann is played by Ian Somerhalder, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Rob Lowe as he was about the time of Wayne’s World (so post-sex tape, pre-West Wing). Wrexham-born Canadian Adrian Holmes, a veteran of the more action-y end of the TV spectrum, is Michael Fayne. They are an odd couple, but maybe that’s the point.

If you haven’t guessed by now, V Wars is sort of terrible. Not hands-over-the-eyes-and-fingers-in-the-ears terrible, just not very good. I can’t say there have been better TV shows about salad-avoiding vampires who wish they’d never pulled on a pair of snow boots, but it wouldn’t need much to make it so.