UPDATE: BITTEN will have a two-hour premiere on SYFY (US) on 17 April at 8pm eastern.
The following Friday, BITTEN will move to its regular 9pm time slot.
Film and TV werewolves have mostly been ordinary people inadvertently infected by the bite of another, often when trying to rescue someone else from being devoured. Curt Siodmak created the template with his 1941 screenplay for THE WOLF MAN. The verse below, uttered by many in that film (but most effectively by Maria Ouspenskaya), cautioned that no one is immune to the werewolf curse (except perhaps women).
“Even a man who is pure in heart
And says his prayers by night
May become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms
And the autumn moon is bright.”
The werewolves of BITTEN don’t fit Siodmak’s template (except for the gender preference), and that’s what makes them interesting. They inherit their lycanthropic talents. They remember what they have done when in wolf form, and they have some of their wolf powers when in human form. They are mean, vicious, violent creatures, and these are human, not wolf, characteristics. They behave like mobsters, ruthlessly torturing and killing their enemies. Elena (Laura Vandervoort) had a human fiance (Phillip, played by Paul Greene) at the beginning of the series, but the ‘pack’ disapproved, and, at the end of Season One, Elena found Philip’s severed head in her bed.
As Farley Mowat put it in Never Cry Wolf, “We have doomed the wolf not for what it is, but for what we deliberately and mistakenly perceive it to be – the mythologized epitome of a savage ruthless killer – which is, in reality, no more than a reflected image of ourself.”
Female werewolves are rare in the BITTEN universe. (There have been plenty on film, the most memorable being Julie Delpy’s Seraphine in AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN PARIS.) Women can become infected, but most do not successfully make the transition to wolf form. Elena is an exception, and because of that seems destined to become pack leader.
NOTE: The mother of current pack leader Jeremy Danvers (Greg Bryk) has not yet appeared on BITTEN, and is a Kitsune (one of the mythological fox-maidens that are also part of LOST GIRL.)
Enter the witches. Witches, we learn, only have female children. Like the werewolves, they inherit their powers, and assert that both they and the wolves are from the ‘other world’. Does this mean another planet? Another plane of existence? Another dimension? Wherever the lycanthropes are from, they can change humans into werewolves like themselves with a bite. (This indicates that the means of transmission is probably a virus, bacterium, or parasite.)
We have met two witches. Ruth Winterbourne (Tammy Isbell) and her daughter Paige (Tommie-Amber Pirie). They exhibit the ability to make people see what is not there, and are quite adept at telekenesis. We know that the witches are hunted by someone or something, but haven’t been told who or what that is. It could be an association of former spouses, because if the witches want to keep their existence secret, they must somehow avoid telling the men with whom they procreate what they and their offspring are. This is bound to engender hostility. It is possible that the witches may eventually have a domesticating influence on the wolfpack.
Tommie-Amber Pirie is Ellen Harmon in TELL THE WORLD, due to be released on 1 July in the US. The film tells the true story of people as they wrestle with biblical prophecies that point to the imminent return of the Messiah. Against the backdrop of 19th Century America, their hopes are dashed when nothing happens on the predicted date.
Natalie Brown (sister of Elena’s deceased fiance) will be Anna in Jeremy Lalonde’s next feature, HOW TO PLAN AN ORGY IN A SMALL TOWN. And she will be Stacey in the film WHITE NIGHT, which follows several people as they move through art installations during a nuit blanche festival.
Sherry Miller (Olivia McAdams, another of Phillip’s relatives from Season One) is Helena Blake in OPEN HEART, a live-action mystery series currently airing Tuesdays at 9 pm ET on YTV in Canada and on TeenNick in the US.
Tammy Isbell (Ruth Winterbourne) is married to actor Peter Outerbridge (ORPHAN BLACK’s Hank Johanssen).
Season 2 of BITTEN airs Saturdays at 9pm eastern on SPACE CHANNEL in Canada. It will air on SyFy (US) later this year.