Forever Knight

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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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 night.

Airing from 1992 through 1996, this series examined the plight of Nicholas Knight, an 800 year old vampire who is determined to reclaim his humanity. In the meantime, he works as a police detective; he is assisted in both causes by coroner (and love interest) Natalie Lambert. His efforts are often mocked and sometimes thwarted by maker Lucien LaCroix and "Big Sister" and ex?lover Janette DuCharme.

Each story has a B plot, told in flashback usually relating thematically (But occasionally directly) to the main plot and usually taken from Nick's 800 years of backstory.

Bears no relation with the recurring antagonistic group from the Ben 10 franchise.

Tropes used in Forever Knight include:
  • AB Negative: They actually not only get the blood type info right, saying Schanke, who is AB+ , "can take anything but motor oil," while O- can only receive O-, it's involved in a plot point, too. The killer's mother had died from hepatitis contracted from a blood transfusion, which slipped through the screening process; he was taking out only O- donors who could have been the source.
  • Accidental Bid: Subverted; Nick really is bidding on the item, but his partner Schanke, who doesn't yet know that Nick is insanely wealthy, thinks he's doing it by accident.
  • Action Series: It's a crime drama so there's obviously a showdown with a mad bomber or a serial killer about once every episode or two.
  • And You Were There: "Curiouser and Curiouser". A woman is killed in "The Raven" when Nick botches taking down a pair of shotgun-armed robbers. Nick proceeds to hallucinate a world in which LaCroix has been murdered, "The Raven" is run by Cohen, Janette is his wife and the mother of his child, and Natalie is his captain and mistress.
  • Ascended Demon: Your classic possession.
  • The Atoner: Nick has given up drinking from humans, and becomes a police officer to make up for all those he's killed.
  • Backstory: Provided in flashbacks of Nick's long life that relate to the present-day story of the episode.
  • Badass Long Robe: Lucien LaCroix, in flashback scenes.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Rasputin is a vampire, which explains his legendary inability to die.
  • Blatant Lies: Nick Knight tells his coworkers he has an unfortunate combination of light sensitivity and food allergies to explain away why he's never seen during the day and doesn't eat... food.
  • Bus Crash: Schanke and Cohen die offscreen between seasons 2 and 3.
  • California Doubling: Averted; the series was both shot and set in Toronto.
  • Canada Does Not Exist: The series was set in Toronto, but so downplayed that you had to have the deductive powers of Sherlock Holmes to actually notice it.
    • Honorable exception for "Capital Offense", which focuses on the issue of an escaped American convict facing the death penalty back home. The CN Tower is also used fairly regularly, including an appearance in the credits sequence.
  • Can't Grow Up: Divia.
  • Can't Have Sex Ever: Nick and Natalie; vampire/human sex generally ends with a dead human. In the series finale, they try it anyway. Bad idea.
  • Can't Stay Normal: Nick's former love interest Janette gets his dream of becoming human again, and he has to make her back into a vampire to save her.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Nick seemingly hardly ever wakes up without blood-sweat on his forehead.
  • Cell Phone: an early example of non-brick cell phones. Nick and other cops carry them around.
  • Chinese Vampire: Nick Knight is captured by a Chinese acupuncturist who (incorrectly) believes he killed his mother years before. He identifies Nick as a Jiangshi.
  • City of Adventure: Forever Knight's Toronto, with a serial killer for every day of the year.
  • Clip Show: "Close Call," in which Schanke starts putting together all the strange things he's noticed about Nick (and comes this close to confirming that Nick is a vampire).
  • Coconut Superpowers: Actually used on-screen flying effects in the first season, but because of safety and budget issues, decided to imply Nick's flight by just having him lifted up before cutting to an in-flight viewpoint and then to him "landing" at his destination.
  • Coincidental Broadcast: LaCroix becomes a late night radio host; his Suspiciously Specific Sermons often plug into what Nick is thinking or investigating. Given the close eye he keeps on Nick this is likely deliberate.
  • Confessional: In one episode, Nick is staking out a confessional. Schanke (his partner) goes into the other side, confesses, and figures out that Nick's in the other side. Nick maintains the perfect Irish accent and reiterates his command to say his Hail Marys.
  • Cool Car: A light blue 1962 Cadillac. It served as his coffin at times. Nick made mention on at least one occasion that he bought it because its trunk was big enough for him to camp out in during daylight if he couldn't get to shelter in time.
    • It has the largest trunk of any car built in North America in the last 30 years. At least, according to Nick.
  • Cop Show
  • Creepy Child: Divia, who is both LaCroix's mortal daughter and later his maker. Her only appearance in the series (outside of flashbacks in an earlier episode) is a Roaring Rampage of Revenge as she kills those close to him in vengeance for his nearly killing her and entombing her for two thousand years.
  • Critical Psychoanalysis Failure: An episode had a serial killer who escaped from a mental institution. He talks about killing in such an enticing way that he almost drives Nick (a vampire trying to "go straight") into killing again. Also, his ranting has already gotten to his therapist: she kills one of her patients, and is about to kill another when Nick stops her.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: See Creepy Child above.
  • Demonization: A flashback in which Hitler was portrayed as a man so full of evil that it made him too evil to turn into a vampire.
  • Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: In the episode "Hunted", a hunter shoots Nick with bullets stuffed with garlic.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Nick's vampiric dependency on blood is treated like alcoholism. It's said that he could even become human again like he wanted if he could just kick the habit. At one point, he even tries a 12-step program.
  • Downer Ending
  • Dramatic Hour Long
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Cpt. Amanda Cohen and police detective Don Schanke were unceremoniously killed off off-screen in a plane crash, in the first episode of the series' last season.
  • Emergency Transformation: Natalie's brother Richard. Like much on the show, it doesn't end well.
    • And then there was the case of Janette, Nick's vampire lover. After being Put on a Bus, she returned for one episode, having somehow become human. She was then mortally injured, and Nick turned her back into a vampire, explicitly against her will, rather than let her die. The irony of this was not lost on anybody.
  • Equivalent Exchange: One episode featured a mystic healer that could take darkness out of people. However, said mystic happened to be a novice at her craft, and didn't know that this darkness had to be put somewhere, (usually into an inanimate object of some sort), and wound up absorbing it herself and being overwhelmed by it. The episode had a really sad end to it, Nick was quite close to becoming human again, with most of his vampiric urges gone. But she herself was absorbing his darkness and becoming a vampire. She died from "OD'ing" on his evil, which he re-absorbed into himself. Her grandfather alluded that she might have been capable of fully healing Nick (or at least making his gains permanent) if she had been more skilled.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Divia again. What got her trapped in a sarcophagus was the fact that she wanted LaCroix to have sex with her, which he refused to do because, you know, she was his daughter. And did I mention that physically she was 11 years old? And looked 10? So yeah. When during the episode she brought up the fact that she considered his refusing her to be a betrayal, LaCroix invoked this trope: "I always thought evil was a finite entity until you showed me otherwise. Even I have my limits, Divia!"
    • In another episode's flashbacks, Nick and LaCroix meet a young German soldier named Adolf Hitler on a train. At first, LaCroix wants to bring him across, but eventually decides not to: There's a kind of evil in him that "we don't need."
    • Also when LaCroix bites Jack the Ripper it seriously debilitates him, and he tells Nick to go finish the Ripper off. Nick, who doubts anyone could be more evil than his sire, doesn't bother doing so, to his regret.
  • Exposition of Immortality: Nick has Incriminating Evidence photos of him in previous time periods, mementos like Joan of Arc's cross and plenty of memories he likes to share, usually Once an Episode.
  • Extra Y, Extra Violent: One episode centers on a legend that a (female) vampire who mated with an XYY male "higher than high, under the light of the full moon" would become human. The XYY human did have extra violent tendencies.
  • Fandom Nod: Gave a nod to fandom by naming a couple of murder victims after some of the more noteworthy fanfic authors.
  • Fantastic Drug: For vampires, blood seems to be this, or Psycho Serum.
  • Final Season Casting: The third season sees Janette gone and LaCroix taking over her club, Nick's partner Schanke replaced with Tracy Vetter, Capt. Cohen replaced with Capt. Reese, and the introduction of a new vampire, Vachon, plus two recurring vampire characters, Screed and Urs.
  • Firemen Are Hot: Janette gets together with a hunky firefighter. When she says, "He knocked down my door, swept me off my feet and carried me off," she is not speaking figuratively. She is, however, neglecting to mention that her apartment was on fire at the time.
  • Flash Back: Every episode, usually multiple times. Nick actually seems to be having these in character, since he occasionally drifts into oncoming traffic in the middle of having one.
  • Flashback Echo: Ditto.
  • Flatline Plotline: The subject of an episode. Nick too crosses over, in order to find if he's damned forever.
  • Flowers for Algernon Syndrome: Natalie uses vampire blood to increase a mentally challenged teenager's intelligence.
  • For the Evulz: Frequently seems to be LaCroix's motivation, as pointed out by Natalie in "Francesca":

Natalie: Maybe someone's messing with your head. LaCroix?
Nick: Why would he do that?
Natalie: Because he's evil?

  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampires: Some are, some not so much.
  • "Friend or Idol?" Decision: In the very first episode, Nick Knight has a split second to decide whether to save an innocent woman from his maker, or catch a falling cup that is the key to his cure for vampirism. He picks the woman, but since she's dead before the episode ends, it's kind of a Shoot the Shaggy Dog Story.
  • Fully-Embraced Fiend: LaCroix.
  • Good Guy Bar: The vampire bar "The Raven". A neutral zone, and goth haven.
  • Hannibal Lecture: LaCroix gives mini-versions of these several times throughout the show, then it gets inverted during the Downer Ending, when LaCroix tries to convince Nick that he'll get over Natalie's death eventually. Needless to say, it doesn't work.
  • Hemo-Erotic: Word of God states that male vampires can't have erections, so blood drinking is not just a part of sex, but a substitute for sex.
  • Hotter and Sexier: The replacement of Nick's first partner, a balding middle-aged guy, with his second, an attractive young blonde.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: "Hunted"
  • I Hate You, Vampire Dad: Nick had a very... difficult relationship with his maker.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: One of Nick's driving motivations is the desire to be mortal. Unfortunately, his other driving desire is to make up for his centuries of killing by doing police work and he constantly uses his vampiric powers as a detective. If he ever lost them, he'd be dead within the week.
  • Jedi Mind Trick: Vampires can do this to most humans (Natalie and Tracy are among the exceptions).
  • Kill'Em All: We really mean it about the Downer Ending. Okay, you asked for it. After a season of killing off or sending away the supporting cast, Nick's partner Tracy gets killed in the line of duty, with Nick facing an Internal Affairs investigation for killing the guy who shot her. Then, while preparing to make love to his mortal love interest Natalie, Nick drinks so much blood from her that she ends up near death. Instead of turning her into a vampire and a killer (she had previously said she was "not afraid of death, or an eternity in darkness" if it meant they would be together), he chooses to let her die, then asks LaCroix to kill him, as he can't live without her. LaCroix's final line(the final line of the series) as he stands behind Nick with a stake, summed up many fans reaction to this ending: "Damn you, Nicholas.")
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: In one episode, an injury makes Nick forget he's a vampire. He eats regular food for a while, but when he goes out in the sun it still burns, and Natalie has to tell him the truth.
  • Opening Narration: At the top of the page, read by LaCroix.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Averted; our vampires are pretty much the 1800s classics. Garlic repels them, sunlight causes them pain but doesn't kill them particularly quickly (although it will still kill them), stakes or beheadings kill them, crosses repel them and so on.
  • Phone Trace Race: One episode had a serial killer phoning a radio psychiatrist, and killing his victims on the air; he knew about phone tracing, and was keeping his calls short enough to prevent a trace. When he kidnaps the psychiatrist, Nick takes her place on the air, and starts playing mind games with the killer so that he stops watching his clock and stays on the phone too long.
  • Pilot Movie: Nick Knight, starring Rick Springfield as Nicholas, aired in 1989. Although it used almost exactly the same script as the show's actual pilot, the entire cast except for John Kapelos was replaced, including the coroner changing from male to female.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Serena of "Baby, Baby" asked Nick to give her "eternity"; Nick interpreted this as a request to bring her across and uncharacteristically did so...after which it turned out she'd wanted to get pregnant. Ooops.
  • The Power of Blood: Nick, and all the other vampires in the series, get their supernatural abilities from drinking blood. Nick drinks only cow blood (he's given up human because he has a conscience), but human blood is hinted at as being more potent.
  • Scenery Censor: In a point-of-view shot, Nick Knight raises his badge just in time to block our view of a stripper's below-the-neck-area as she turns to face him. This scene was used in the opening title sequence for the series, for obvious reasons.
  • Secret Keeper: Natalie.
    • Later a few other characters get the role. Ironically, Nick's third season partner knows that vampires exist but not that Nick is one. She thinks that she's keeping the secret of their existence from him.
  • Sheet of Glass: Double Subverted in Nick Knight: A runaway car, barreling down the hill. Guys carrying pane of glass across the road. Drive yelling and trying to wave them off. Frightened face of car's helpless driver reflected in the glass. Guys make it out of the way in time, saving the glass...except they're so busy watching the car, they walk into a nearby tree, smashing the glass anyway.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Nick and Natalie, due among other things to the human/vampire Can't Have Sex Ever factor and LaCroix's declared intention to take vengeance on any woman Nick truly loves.
  • Suicide by Sunlight
  • Supernatural Soap Opera: Averted. The show is not just a Supernatural Soap Opera which claims to be about a Detective who is a repentant vampire, it was an actual crime drama with mundane criminals and regular police work, that also happened to feature a repentant vampire.
  • Tag-Along Actor: In "Amateur Night," an actress shadows police detectives Nick and Schanke to research for a movie role. She ends up getting too involved in the case, putting herself and others in danger. In a humorous parallel, Schanke learns more about the movie business and decides he wants to purse an acting career.
  • Translation Convention: Usually involves characters speaking a few lines in a foreign language and then switching to English, or switching back and forth between the two.
  • Uncancelled: The show was originally canceled during its first season, but was saved by a massive letter-writing campaign. Canceled and saved again after the second season.
  • Un Confession: In the episode "Be My Valentine", Nick and Natalie finally openly declare their love... except LaCroix doesn't like Nick being in love with a mortal because he had to give up his love for Nick's sister 800 years ago (which somehow never came up with any of Nick's previous mortal Love Interests). By the end of the episode, Natalie has lost her memory of the entire preceding day.
  • Undead Tax Exemption: There are people who specialize in providing fake identities for the vampire community.
  • Unexplained Recovery: LaCroix is killed off in the first episode[1], and shows up strictly in Flash Backs for the remainder of the season. Then at the end of the first season it's revealed that he survived.
  • Vampire Detective Series: Possibly the trope maker.
  • Vampires Own Nightclubs: The Raven, initially owned by Janette. When she left in the third season, Lacroix took it over.
  • Vegetarian Vampire: Nick drinks cow blood rather than feed off humans.
  • Waking Up At the Morgue: Nick and Natalie meet when Nick wakes up on her autopsy table.
  1. well, 2nd half of a two-parter