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Thursday, 20 September 2012

Wolf Blood

Despite regularly declaring myself resolutely pro children's drama, and jumping to their defence on more than one occasion, I have to confess that I didn't really make that much of an effort to keep up with what the current scene was like, preferring instead to track down shows from my own youth, or even earlier. I don't know why I thought modern children's drama would in all likelihood be rubbish, but I can't deny that that was my working hypothesis.

It wasn't until the arrival on the scene of The Sarah Jane Adventures that I once more dipped my toes into what the yoof were watching and, as I believe goes without saying at this point, I was wowed. This was a 'kids' show that wouldn't have disgraced itself in it's parent shows slot. In fact, during David Tennant's final year in the TARDIS, when we found ourselves limited to special episodes every few months in lieu of a new series of Doctor Who, I advocated running that years SJA as hour long episodes instead of 2-part half hours, and putting it in the vacant primetime slot, or at least a Sunday teatime (where I still believe a decent family adventure drama could thrive). Of course, that didn't happen, but the show was good enough, for long enough, that it's convinced me to show a little faith and trust in CBBC to get it right.

It was with this in mind that last week I settled down in front of the tellybox to watch the premiere episode of WolfBlood, the new half hour drama about werewolves.* And while I don't think I'm insulting anyone by saying it's not as accomplished as the aforementioned SJA, yet, it certainly did nothing to make me regret my decision.

Created by writer Debbie Moon; and as I type that I see the Moon/Werewolf thing for the first time because I'm a total dunce; the series sees teenage girl Maddy attempting to live a normal life whilst hiding from her friends and teachers that she, and her parents, are Wolf Bloods. The task becomes even harder when new boy at school Rhydian turns out to be a Wolf Blood too, but one without a pack whose upbringing in the foster system has left him woefully unprepared to deal with his heritage.

Maddy and Rhydian
 That's pretty much all you need to know to enjoy the series, and in truth it 'is' very enjoyable. The leads, Aimee Kelly (Maddy) and Bobby Lockwood (Rhydian) both have charisma to spare and an easy chemistry with each other which really sells the unique bond between the characters. There are a couple of weak links among the supporting cast of friends and school bullies, but it would be churlish to name names; they're only young, after all, and there are flashes of brilliance from each that hint at great things once they find their groove.

Aimee Kelly

 I'll admit that I found some of the 'moral of the week' writing in episode 3 a touch too on the nose, but that's a minor complaint, and once the supernatural elements came back to the fore the show started to fly again. I hope the difficult childhood/emotional problems/ dealing with adolescence stories continue; and let's face it, they will; but hopefully they'll find a way to more seamlessly blend them with the fantasy. Once they get that balance right, I predict something a bit special from them.

Bobby Lockwood
  So far the story has been very much focused on Rhydian learning to fit in, and Maddy's burgeoning powers (the puberty/virginity parallels here are obvious, but downplayed to better suit the sensibilities of it's broadcaster), but at time of writing I've only seen 4 episodes and there's a lot still to come. I think we'll almost certainly see at least one of Maddy's friends discover the truth; the identity of the mysterious Wild Wolf Blood roaming the woods will be revealed (my money is on it being one of Rhydians birth parents, or the school teacher, although the latter would require some explanation as to how none of the other Wolves can smell him, so I may be talking rubbish there); and if we don't see another supernatural race (probably vampires but I'd rather it not be) then I'll be very surprised.

All told, the show is another impressive notch on CBBC's belt and a credit to Moon and her fellow writers. It's not easy to put a fresh spin on such a familiar concept, but they've done it. I'm begging though, no romance for Maddy and Rhydian. Please.

*The show goes to great pains in-story, to stress that they aren't werewolves at all, but rather 'Wolf Bloods'; werewolf carrying a 'monster' stigma. Fair enough. But even if you accept that werewolf=monster; and I think Buffy, and others including current show Teen Wolf by all accounts, have proved that stereotype doesn't always need to be applied; the fact is that whatever you call them in-story, you want kids (and, er, sad cases like me) to be raving about 'that cool new werewolf thing.'


  1. the first time i heard of it i thought it was stupid because 1 of my shows fad been replaced to another then 1 time my sister lost the controll cbbc was on and we have no bottons on the t.v i watched a couple of shows untill wolfblood came on so i started looking 4 the controll again i watched like 5 to 6 episodes and then i became attached to the show and even the charaters them selves ive resaerched a lot abot aimee and bobby since then and have learnt aimee was in another show called sket i also want to watch and bobby was in a show called auston towers well something like that on the disney channels i cant wait till they show up somewhere because i got a load of questions i want to ask them both like if i mixed my blood with a wolf will i get sick a nd then die or will i live and turn in to a wolfblood will the wolf turn human will it die or will it carry on as if nothings happend what so ever sinsarly yours angel s-h

  2. no i want romance for maddy and rhydian, it makes it more interesting go maddian:)

  3. omg they should make like 30 seasons at least this is my favorite show i watch it every day when i come home from school maddy and rhydian should be together they look so cute together i cried on the last episode of wolfblood for a month if u dont put in on again ur gonna make me cry i really wanna watch this show so please make season 3 and put at least 25 episodes please Debbie Moon please it my birthday november 8 and if wolfblood is not back on ur gonna ruin my birthday and ill cry also when maddy and rhydian kissed i was so happy they make a great couple in real life

    1. Are maddy and rhydian dating in real life

  4. are they together in real life i love them...they're so cute together in Wolfblood i love it ohh and season 2 finally they're gona date and what happend..that's not cool

  5. Are they together in real life they should be an I love wolfblood I cried on the last episode because rhydian finally asks maddy out on a date and then they get split up again but I was happy when they finally kissed so please make a season 3 and 4 and 5 I don't want it to ever end it is amazing but the funny thing was all the episodes jana was in they couldn't get close an when she left they finally admitted their feelings for each other so please please please make another season soon an more after that