I hate vampire stories.
I think it’s because of the way they often symbolize dark temptation toward a life lived without restraint, indulging in hedonistic sensuality, which is so often treated positively or at least appealingly, and yet so in opposition to my values. They are often portrayed as part of some sort of secret underground society which regular people are pretty helpless to contend with – so there’s often no chance but to just avoid being part of their wicked games. It’s that hopelessness which I despise, and the cruelty that often comes with it, as well as the glorification of evil and self-indulgence that comes with such fiction, and the way that those things related to real people and problems in our world.
So all that to say that I usually shy away from stories about vampires.
Still, I listened to Project: Twilight, a Sixth Doctor Big Finish audio adventure, which features vampires as the main enemy. Actually, it features vampires as just about everything in the story. Pretty much every character is a vampire; if not from the beginning, than by the end. Except for the Doctor and his companion Evelyn Smythe, naturally.
Not that it is apparent at the beginning. In fact, it’s not revealed until the end of the second of the four episodes. Now, this being Doctor Who, there is a lot of scientific gobbledy-gook about where they come from. The Doctor talks about the great wars that his people fought with ancient vampires, as we previously heard about in the classic series story State of Decay, but then apparently people on earth found some vampire DNA (?!) and attempted to use it to scientifically engineer super-soldiers to win World War I at a super secret laboratory called “The Forge” that is apparently important in other stories.
[Aside: Has there ever been a story in which a government’s attempts to scientifically engineer super-soldiers didn’t end in absolute disaster? (Captain America, I guess. That’s what really makes Steve Rogers into someone special.) Learn this lesson, governments of science fiction: Don’t try to scientifically engineer super-soldiers! Even if they help you win, they will probably just turn around and wipe you out anyway!]
Anyway, the Doctor stumbles upon a couple of vampires who are masquerading as gangsters. They deceive him into helping them come up with a way to spread their vampire-state to the rest of the world. Another “hero” vampire shows up to fight these evil vampires, but the Doctor doesn’t listen to him because this “hero” fails to, in any what whatsoever, explain to him what is going on (ie, instead of saying, “Doctor, these guys are evil and want to destroy the world!” he says stuff like, “Oh Doctor, I’m so surprised to find you in company like this,” except really slowly). The evil vampires are so evil that they have a zoo-ful of humans that they have raised in cages since infancy to use as food. The Doctor rages about how terrible all this is but it doesn’t matter, since the guest characters just blow everything up.
So no, I don’t really like this story. It’s not necessarily badly produced. But as an adventure it’s a bit depressing and overall unsatisfying, with a highly ineffectual Doctor, and a script that is more interested in the guest stars than our regular characters. On the whole, not my cup of tea.