Vampires on television, they’re an undying breed. Over the decade there have been countless series focused on those immortal beings who dwell at night and feast on the blood of humans. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries more recently, and as far back as the 1960s with Dark Shadows and all the years in between. Still, there has never been a vampire quite like Reginald, the lead character on SYFY’s new series, Reginald the Vampire.
The television world of vampires is commonly populated by beautiful, fit, and vain vampires. The hour-long series, which stars Jacob Batalon as the title character, breaks the mold when it comes to vampire representation. Batalon (who would probably be most recognized as Peter Parker’s loyal best friend, Ned in the Marvel films) was intrigued by the possibilities of a bucking that trend, putting common vampire tropes on their head..
“We all sort of have preconceived notions of what it’s like to be a vampire in movies and in TV,” said Jacob Batalon. “We make sure that we base it mostly in reality and not the sort of vain idealism of vampires are only beautiful and vapid and don’t do anything else with their lives.” He continued, “That being said, we assumed that there’d be a lot of blood, and there definitely was a lot of blood that got in really bad crevices. But other than that, no, we don’t have shiny skin. We don’t really, obviously, me, I don’t have long, flowing hair. I’m not really tall. But here we are. Here we are. I’m the hero of the story.”
“The sum total of all of the tropes of all of the vampire shows that we’ve watched culturally and taken in over our lives really provoked a kind of synergy with Johnny Truant‘s books, which really helped us really push and turn all of the normal vampire tropes on their heads,” explained Executive Producer Jeremiah Chechik. “I think that was really due to how we approached casting, how we approached the dynamic of where vampires sit in the culture of vampirism as we historically have known from our culture.”
This show is about much more than blood sucking and crosses, at its core there’s a lot of heart (maybe a poor choice of words.) Viewers will get their fair share of blood, but in addition we get to watch Reginald navigate common challenges that young adults face today, bullies, a crush on the girl of his dreams who is just out of reach and of course a vampire chieftain that wants him dead. Normal stuff.
Chechik discussed what he connected with most about the titular character. “I’d say Reginald is a very thoughtful and very enigmatic person, in that he’s very much uncertain about life, but he’s so very aware of where he is in his situation, in comparison to how society sees him,” he explained. “That kind of like, in a way, made me feel a lot more grounded in my life because it’s this idea of it’s either you just accept your fate, or you change it. And luckily, for Reginald, he — I mean, he didn’t really ask for it. It just happened to him, but he did something with that change, and he became a really great person.”
Unlike most vampire series, Reginald the Vampire, leads with its positivity, while also incorporating plenty of dark humor, some action and of course the blood – separating it from other series out there. “I think the heart of our show is very different than a lot of the other vampire shows out there. And what really appealed to me was just that this is a — this is such an underdog story, and there’s a really positive message that’s baked into all the entertainment and comedy,” said Executive Producer Lindsay Macadam. “So it’s very aspirational, and it’s just so much fun. But all those other shows don’t have Jacob and the cast that we have. We’ve just nailed it right off the top.”
Reginald the Vampire premieres on SYFY on Wednesday, October 5th at 10:00 p.m., following the Season 2 premiere of Chucky.