witchfinder_general: (Confession)

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Created on 2014-01-16 17:25:21 (#2147862), last updated 2015-07-18 (113 weeks ago)

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Name:Father Pearse J. Harman
Location:United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Ultraviolet is a British six-part series released in 1998 about vampires in modern London, and a squad which hunts them. Played extremely straight: the vampires don't go around picking fights with people they know can kill them; however, after ages of secret co-existence with humanity, they have started meddling and preparing potential world domination, as they apparently fear that pollution and new diseases such as AIDS contaminate their food source. The vampire hunters have weapons such as garlic gas grenades, carbon bullets and knives, and guns with video cameras on the side. "Code Fives" (the show never once uses the word 'vampire') don't register on cameras, video or audio equipment, in addition to not having reflections. However, alarms do go off when they push past an Underground ticket barrier, and they can use keyboards. When they are killed, they explode dramatically, drawing down anybody too close in fiery destruction; they desintegrate into a brownish powder from which they can, presumably, regenerate, so the team stores the granulated vampires in an underground vault in their facilities underneath a London church, in a room permanently lit with ultraviolet light.

Father Pearse J. Harman is a Catholic priest with connections to the Vatican -- which is involved in the running of the secret vampire hunting squad, in collaboration with the British government. As leader of the squad, he now has a power and status that the Church couldn't offer. Whereas his colleagues remain unconvinced by the religious elements of the job, for Pearse they're central. Or perhaps it's simply his main failing - the sin of pride, along with an absolutely unshakeable conviction and a dark fanaticism that will allow for no alternative opinions. Pearse is the leader of the team, the one to make decisions and give orders; however, he only rarely goes out into the field or directly involves himself in the cases. When he does, he is absolutely ruthless, snarky, icy and scary: - the anonymous voice on the telephone that can get a conflicted infected victim to dissolve in despair. While firmly grounded in his faith, he has absolutely no principles or loyalties allowed to stand in view of his dedication to catching and killing vampires. In one instance, a member of his team refers to him as the 'witchfinder general', which is very fitting for the fanatical turn for one thing and one thing only that his faith has taken. The only person he is seen to trust in and be friendly with is Angela March, the team's scientist and doctor.

Philip Quast, the actor who played him, is quoted as saying:
"Although Pearse is not a conventionally active priest anymore, many of his scenes are very confessional. The covert work of the squad means that all its members are forced into an almost priest-like existence - so in that sense Pearse has the advantage as he's used to isolation. As a character he as a 'barrister mind' and a very intellectual approach to the work of the squad."

A very telling quote:
Angela: We should keep an open mind.
Pearse: That's the most dangerous thing we can do.

And a vid that captures the aesthetic and themes of the show very well -- thanks to Debi for linking that in chat.

Our Vampires Are Different
A comprehensive list of the rules under which UV-verse Code Fives operate.
(From the former home page for the show, preserved here on the Wayback Machine -- points in italics are my remarks/spoilers.)

  • Code Vs do not show in mirrors, photographs or videos. Their voices cannot be recorded or transmitted by phone. Image and sound can only be detected face to face. They can use computers, and will utilise vocoders to use the phone regardless of this.
  • They are immortal. They cannot be killed, only reduced to ashes (neutralized).
  • They can be neutralized by exposure to sunlight or by introducing carbon into the chest cavity (projectile, probe or explosive). Resulting immolation releases enough energy to start fires.
  • Code V ashes can be regenerated and must be kept secure. To regenerate a Code V, simply add the blood of another Code Five to the ashes of one. How much of the ashes is needed to regenerate a whole Code V is not known. They cannot be made bleed against their will, so experiments have not been possible as yet.
  • They can be repelled and immobilised by ultraviolet light (the radiation in sunlight) or by allicin (the chemical in garlic).
  • They can shield themselves from ultraviolet light with tinted glass.
  • They can be affected by polluted blood.
  • When they feed, the host wound heals over in minutes and can only be detected in ultraviolet light.
  • The bite can be treated with lasers. The skin around the wound is burnt away leaving a small scar.
  • If untreated, a human becomes suggestible and develops aversion to sunlight.
  • There may also be an aversion to religious symbols. This may be psychological. The effect of religious symbols on Code Vs is unproven. The effect of religious symbols on some effected humans has been very clearly observed, but the cause for it is unknown.
  • When drained to death, a human becomes a Code V. If an infected human dies in another way, this does not happen.
  • No-one is forcibly recruited. They only take those who want to go. They say! As the humans are extremely suggestible to suggestion at this point, when they have presumably been infected for quite a while, what we would ethically consider consent is not possible, just as a heavily intoxicated individuals cannot consent to having a tattoo done.
  • Code Vs claim to have human-type emotions. This is unproven and extremely doubtful. As far as one can tell, all the cognitive abilities and memories of the person whose carcass a Code V uses remain intact, but they have no soul, as that leaves at the moment of death. Personality changes extremely when somebody is killed and their body converted to a Code V; that is, presumably, the absence of a soul.

Father Pearse J. Harman is from 'Ultraviolet', and is the property of World Productions/Channel Four. They appear here solely for the purpose of role-playing in [community profile] milliways_bar and the affiliated sandboxes, from which no profit whatsoever is being made. The mun behind the curtain is [personal profile] yakalskovich

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