A six part series made by World-Productions of London about vampires in the modern world. Unfortunately (or fortunately) there are no plans to make more stories based upon this excellent background due to the creator, Joe Ahearne, feeling that he has mined the idea for all the really good shows possible. (Personally I would like to have seen more, as it ends with a number of things unresolved.)

No spoilers for the series, but the basic premise is that vampires are real and they are getting organized. It is thought that they are doing this to protect their food supply. They are reacting to the fact that humans now possess the capability to wipe themselves out, threatening the existence of their predator.

In the United Kingdom a program of study, control, and eradication is being funded by the government as a public health measure. This is, of course, not out in the open and the operatives work without the usual restraints of the police forces. In fact they are The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a Roman Catholic institution with a rather infamous history.

This all helps to make it rather unclear if the vampires are entirely bad. One of them points out that vampires are not the first group that the Church has demonized, and implying that people are just afraid because vampires are different. On the other hand there seems to be more than a little underhanded dealing being done by the vampires. Big questions are raised as to which side is the "right" one to be on, if any.

Some of the features of vampires as portrayed are that they fail to show up in mirrors or any recording device. They cannot use phones, either. A vampire can be staked by carbon bullets, and when a vampire is staked he spontaneously combusts into a fine reddish brown powder. Sunlight harms them as does an active ingredient in garlic. However holy texts and crosses are not 100% effective. Vampires can come back, but the exact method is a mystery. The component of sunlight that harms them is the ultraviolet part of spectrum, giving the show its name. Ultraviolet lights are also used to find the infected but healed over bite wounds.

A very interesting and edgy show with good production values. In particular I liked the mood setting title music used as an accent throughout episodes.

It stars:

  • Jack Davenport as Michael Colefield, a police detective that gets sucked into involvement
  • Susannah Harker as Angie March, the congregation’s chief doctor
  • Idris Elba as Vaughan Rice, an ex-military operative
  • Philip Quast as Pearse Harman, the priest that leads the squad


In the world of the PARANOIA role-playing game, ULTRAVIOLET is the highest of the nine security clearances. As the highest clearance, they are the most trusted citizens in all of Alpha Complex, and thus have the privilege to work on Friend Computer himself. For that reason, ULTRAVIOLETs are also referred to as High Programmers. ULTRAVIOLET is designated by the color white, and ULTRAVIOLET citizens traditionally wear white clothing, though any type of clothing is permitted for them.

ULTRAVIOLETs are the top of the food chain in Alpha Complex. Nothing is beyond their ability to control. The average INFRARED or RED citizen will likely never see an ULTRAVIOLET in their lifetimes; this is for both security and comfort reasons. The Alpha Complex that the INFRAREDs inhabit and that of the ULTRAVIOLETs are like two different worlds. For the ULTRAVIOLET, everything is safe, pristine, and comes with its own bootlicker; for the INFRARED, everything is broken, dirty, and not available at your security clearance.

VIOLET citizens, who are one rank below ULTRAVIOLET, are nominally in control of the service firms that are responsible for the entire economy of the Complex; however, they usually end up spending the majority of their time scheming and backstabbing to get a leg up on the other VIOLETs and find the way to be promoted to ULTRAVIOLET. At VIOLET, the resources are luxurious and the access is unbelievable; at ULTRAVIOLET, the resources are limitless and the access is total (or at least, in theory; in practice, your fellow ULTRAVIOLETs may take issue with you reprogramming aspects of The Computer they consider to be under their control). In addition, The Computer protects its ULTRAVIOLETs with ferocity; the VIOLETs are less protected but more endangered, for not only do they have all of their fellow VIOLETs gunning for them, they also have pressure from INDIGOs trying to make it up and ULTRAVIOLETs trying to stamp them down.

As with all citizens, ULTRAVIOLETs have their rank indicated in their name with a letter, specifically "U". "Allen-U-VAR-8" is an ULTRAVIOLET citizen from VAR sector who is on his eighth clone. If you talk to the right people, you will find that there are rumors about a security clearance above ULTRAVIOLET called GAMMA. Rumors are treason. Treason is punishable by summary execution. Besides, there's no reason for a security clearance above ULTRAVIOLET; the ULTRAVIOLETs are in complete control and know and can do everything. We know so because the ULTRAVIOLETs tell us they are, and they would know, after all.

Out of character, the Gamemaster of a Paranoia game is referred to as the ULTRAVIOLET. Players are usually referred to as REDs. This is the way the official Paranoia products are divided; player sections are labeled RED clearance, while sections intended only for Gamemasters are labeled ULTRAVIOLET. If a player read ULTRAVIOLET parts of the rulebook, they would gain knowledge of confidential information. With such unpermitted knowledge, players could easily create an advantage for themselves over the other Troubleshooters at the game! Needless to say, no Paranoia player would ever read the ULTRAVIOLET sections of such rulebooks.

At Paranoia-Live, the Internet's largest and most active Paranoia fan-site, the ULTRAVIOLET designation is reserved for the site administrators. The current administrators are Jazzer, Fargmania, Takyn-U-RUN, and saulres. These four add new content, code new site features, police the forums, and more. The GAMMA designation is reserved for Famous Game Designers, the creators of the Paranoia series and its products itself. Allen Varney, the primary author and editor of the latest version of the game (PARANOIA XP), frequents the site; other authors make rarer appearances.

Ul`tra*vi"o*let (?), a. [Pref. ultra- + violet.] Physics

Lying outside the visible spectrum at its violet end; -- said of rays more refrangible than the extreme violet rays of the spectrum.


© Webster 1913.

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