"The moon ... is it my imagination, or is it always full around here?"
Exactly how many countless "X-Files" episodes were set in a "small Pacific Northwestern town"? And wasn't it also the setting for David Lynch's "Twin Peaks"? I don't know what it is about that area of the US which makes it the perfect setting for a small town supernatural melodrama such as "Wolf Lake", but it definitely works.
The show follows Seattle detective John Kanin (Lou Diamond Phillips), who travels to Wolf Lake in search of his kidnapped girlfriend Ruby Cates (Mia Kirshner). He discovers that Ruby's parents are in fact in charge of the town, with the town mayor Willard Cates (Bruce McGill) seeming to have complete power along with his wife Vivian (Sharon Lawrence). They also have a rebellious son named Luke (Paul Wasilewski). The other important figure in the town is the Sheriff, Matthew Donner (Tim Matheson), whose daughter Sophia (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is the object of Luke's affections. Wolf Lake is populated by other colorful characters, such as the mysterious Native American teacher Sherman Blackstone (Graham Greene), the villainous Tyler Creed (Scott Bairstow) and world-weary bar singer Miranda Devereaux (Kellie Waymire).
It does sound a lot like "Twin Peaks", doesn't it? Of course there was no way it was ever going to match up to the inspired weirdness of David Lynch's vision, arguably one of the best things ever to be shown on television -- but it's still very good. All of the supernatural events that take place in Wolf Lake can be explained by the fact that half of the townspeople are in fact part of a pack of werewolves who are battling for their own survival. They are ruled over by the town mayor Willard Cates, but there is a power struggle going on between Sheriff Donner, who is uncomfortable with his werewolf heritage and chooses not to transform, and Tyler Creed, who believes that their kind are superior to humans and need not be afraid of what they are. The actors playing these vital roles are invariably reliable, along with the rest of what is really a very strong ensemble cast.
Unfortunately, the series only ran for nine episodes and ended on a completely unresolved note, apparently the victim of unsatisfactory ratings. But well it lasts, what we have here is a finely crafted supernatural melodrama that ought to satisfy both "X-files" fans and werewolf fanatics. This is a fine example of cult television that was sadly axed before it's time, but still certainly worth checking out if you can get hold of a copy.
|Episode Title||Air Date||Rating|
|(Unaired Pilot Episode)||2001|
|Meat the Parents||19/09/2001|
|Soup to Nuts||03/10/2001|
|Tastes Like Chicken||10/10/2001|
|Four Feet Under||10/04/2002|
|Leader of the Pack||17/04/2002|
|Legend of Lost Lenore||24/04/2002|
|If These Wolves Could Talk||01/05/2002|
I've seen this one and it was absolutely great. Too bad they took it off air. I would love to see more seasons.
I have to say I LOVED THIS. I found it online and thought yeah why not and actually enjoyed it so much. I was so gutted that there were so few episodes and sorta hope that someone brings this tv shows concept back.
I can't believe the end though. I like died when I realized it was the last one.
Also Paul Wesley XD
The facts and mythology behind the werewolves of Wolf Lake are never really explained to us. We are simply expected to pick it up as we go along, which makes for a very interesting ride. The first thing we learn is that when the townspeople of Wolf Lake change into wolves, they are exactly that -- wolves. No ravenous biped hellhounds, just real-life, gorgeous-looking wolves (see top photo, from episode "Meat the Parents"). The transformation scenes are generally very artistic and serene affairs, unless something goes wrong during the initial change. And as in most werewolf television series, the wolves aren't entirely vicious. After the change, they can retain most of their will and humanity, although apparently they are always very dangerous -- if something runs from them, they will chase it. And if they want to be, they can be very mean (see second photo down, from episode "Leader of the Pack"). There is even a "Werewolves Anonymous" group in Wolf Lake for those who wish to be able to gain more control over their wolf side.
The werewolf genes come forward in the teenage years, around the age of 15 or 16, but in case of half-breeds such as Sophia Donner, it may or may not emerge. Apparently the change may come from psychogical factors, a simple desire to join the pack, which makes for a very interesting "peer pressure" metaphor when it comes to confused teenage girl Sophia. We learn early on, in the episode "The Changing", that not everyone survives the initial change, and mutants are not acceptable among the pack (see third photo down, from episode "The Legend of Lost Lenore"), and there is in fact an entire graveyard out in the woods reserved for those young people who didn't quite make the transformation. Children about to undergo the change are given a special rune necklace which symbolises a spiritual journey or transformation (see second photo up, from episode "The Changing").
As with actual wolf packs, there is a very strong clear heirachy among the citizens of Wolf Lake, with the alpha male being in charge. The alpha male initially is the ageing town mayor Willard Cates, but in the episode "Leader of the Pack", they must hold a conference in order to name his successor. We learn in the first episode that the most important thing to the wolves is "survival of the pack", although some of them have different ideas on how this should be achieved. They must protect themselves from dangerous outsiders such as Arthur Van Halen, the werewolf hunter who shows up in the final episode (see bottom photo, from episode "If These Wolves Could Talk").