Werewolf was an American action-adventure television series and one of the original shows in the Fox network's broadcast line-up during its inaugural season of 1987-1988.
The show follows the adventures of Eric Cord (John J. York), a reluctant werewolf on a quest to rid himself of his curse by killing the originator of his 'bloodline,' a drifter named Janos Skorzeny (played by Chuck Connors in his last television role). While pursuing Skorzeny, Cord himself is pursued by the persistent bounty hunter "Alamo" Joe Rogan (Lance LeGault).
The show aired a two-hour pilot and 28 half-hour episodes before being cancelled in 1988.
As of June 6, 2007, Chiller TV is airing Werewolf. Chiller premiered the series with a marathon on June 6, 2007. The series airs Wednesdays at 8PM and 8:30PM, replacing the airing of two episodes of Monsters (TV series).
Eric Cord was just an average college student until his roommate Ted handed him a gun loaded with silver bullets and told Eric to kill him, because Ted was a werewolf who had been killing people. A red pentagram on his palm is the sign that the change is coming. Confronted with Eric's disbelief, Ted asks Eric to tie him up in a chair and wait until midnight, when he'll either see for himself or call in the shrinks. As midnight comes, Ted transforms into a werewolf, forcing his friend to shoot and kill him -- but not before he bites Eric. Before long, Eric finds a pentagram on his own palm, and soon after, undergoes his own transformation. On the run for his friend's murder, Eric spent the remainder of the series trying to break the curse by finding and killing the originator of his bloodline, the mysterious Janos Skorzeny.
The series was similar in tone and formula to shows like The Fugitive and The Incredible Hulk. Eric wandered from place to place, hitchhiking, taking odd jobs and befriending various people whose paths he crossed along the way, before invariably being transformed by his werewolf curse just in time to save his new friends from the clutches of some evildoer. Though Eric appeared to have no control over his actions while in werewolf form, and typically retained no memory of them afterward, he seemed to prey pretty much exclusively on villainous characters, never attacking or killing an innocent person. There were hints as the series went on, however, that this control was slowly eroding, as indeed Ted had warned him it would, threatening to destroy Eric's morals/conscience/will if he couldn't end the curse soon.
Near the end of the show's run, it was revealed that although centuries old Skorzeny was not the originator of Eric's bloodline, but rather another even more powerful immortal werewolf named Nicholas Remy (played by Brian Thompson). The series ended before Eric could be rid of his curse.
The special effects of the show were considered impressive for the time, specifically the transformation sequences, in which the pentagram-shaped scar on Eric's right hand would rise, thicken, and eventually bleed; this would usually happen at the climax of the episode, at which time Eric would become a seven-foot tall werewolf.
The werewolves in the show were immune to the effects of aging or disease with the exception of Skorzeny himself. Although Skorzeny was apparently a young man as shown in a flashback scene when he was bitten by Nicolas Remy in the 1800's he appeared to be in his mid 60's in 1987. Nicolas Remy explained to Eric Cord that Skorzeny was slowly dying from a "sickness brought about by his own evil" that was decaying him from within. Nicolas Remy himself was over 2,000 years old, yet appeared to be a man in his late 30's with the exception of a streak of gray hair near his right temple. His companion and fellow werewolf Dianne, still looked as though she were in her late 20's despite having been bitten by Remy back in WWII as also shown in a brief flashback scene.
The werewolves in the series were apparently vulnerable to harm in human form from ordinary weapons but with no permanent effects. In an episode entitled "A World of Difference" Eric is shot dead in human form (he was just beginning to undergo the change) only to resurrect in the morgue by transforming into his werewolf form at sunset. In another episode entitled "Nightmare at the Braine Hotel". Eric meets a werewolf named Servan who tells him a story in which he had been executed by hanging in his human form. He seemed greatly amused by the memory of the looks on his executioners faces as he leapt off the undertakers table when he transformed at sunset and rose from death. Another werewolf character, a hobo named Hank in the episode "King of the Road" dies in human form from having his throat cut only to also resurrect in werewolf form as soon as night falls. This ability is reminiscint of the "Eddie Quist" character in "The Howling" who is shot dead by police during the beginning of his transformation at the adult movie theater only to resurrect later by transforming in the morgue.
The werewolves themselves transformed into large almost bear-like bipedal wolves with long simian arms that allowed them to run on all fours as well as two. All the werewolves transformed by sprouting fangs, claws and fur except for Skorzeny who peeled back the skin of his face revealing the werewolf form within. In human form they had no traditionally distinguishing remarks such as eyebrows meeting over the bridge of their nose or hair on the palms of their hands. It was also never explored as to whether or not werewolves could reproduce sexually in their human forms.
Although the werewolves did completely recover from wounds made by non silver weapons. The series never explored whether or not werewolves could regenerate missing limbs. Skorzeny who wore an eye patch over his left eye, did seem to regenerate his missing eye when he transformed into his werwolf form. But when he returned to his human form, he once again wore the eye patch. It was never explained why this was or if he lost the use of the eye or the eye itself when he was in human form.
Werewolves in this series did not transform during the full moon. The pentagram on their palm was the only signal that the change was approaching. In the pilot Eric Cord's roomate Ted stated that it's appearance was very random and that he had not discerned any pattern to when or how often the change would occur. Older werewolves like Skorzeny and Remy had the ability to induce the change without the appearance of the pentagram unlike Eric who seemed to be at the mercy of the curse's cycle. In the episode "To Dream of Wolves" Remy also showed an ability to shapeshift single body parts at will as shown when he shapeshifted his right arm into it's werewolf form when he killed Dianne for disobeying his order to kill Eric. Remy also seemed to have a form of psychic control over those of his bloodline. In "To Dream of Wolves" he toys with Eric by telepathically forcing him to press a silver dagger to his own throat drawing blood.
Becoming a werewolfEdit
Apparently the bite of a werewolf or blood transfusion from a werewolf were the only ways to pass on the curse to another person. No mystical talismans, salves or hexes seemed to have any place in the series. It was also never suggested that the curse was hereditary.
The werewolves had only three known weaknesses mentioned in the series. Any weapon made from silver, being killed by another werewolf or suicide. It was not explained why suicide was a permanent means of death unless of course it was from a weapon made of silver.
- The show's recurring villain, Skorzeny, was named after the vampire battled by Carl Kolchak in the original TV movie The Night Stalker which was spun into the series Kolchak: The Night Stalker. In its turn, that name may have been inspired by Otto Skorzeny, a noted Waffen SS officer in World War II, once described as "the most dangerous man in Europe". He organized a German special forces unit called "Werwolf" which would carry clandestine attacks against Allied occupation forces in Europe in case the Nazi regime fell.
- Chuck Connors last appeared as Janos Skorzeny in the ninth episode, "Friendly Haven" -- Skorzeny's subsequent appearances starting with "The Unicorn" only showed him in werewolf form, or played by a body double. It is unclear why Connors left the series at this point. The script for Skorzeny's final appearance in "To Dream Of Wolves" gave him a dialogue scene with Remy as the writers must have thought Connors would still be available to return, but all Skorzeny's dialogue was cut in the aired version. This was due to the fact that Connors objected to the scenes where his character Skorzeny knelt down in submission to the new villain. When a body double was used in his place along with archive footage, Connors successfully sued the show.
- Makeup artist Rick Baker who did the werewolf effects for both The Howling and An American Werewolf in London, designed the werewolf suit and transformation effects for the show. He also designed the werewolf makeup for the upcoming The Wolf Man (2009 film)with Benicio del Toro.
- "A World of Difference," in which Alamo Joe suspects he's been bitten by Eric, was written as a one-hour episode but aired as two half-hours.
- The real-life Nicholas Remy was a member of the Inquisition.
- The producers of the show established a 1-800 number where viewers could call to report "werewolf sightings", and many called to report sightings of what they believed were actual werewolves.
- In The Werewolf Book: The Encyclopedia of Shape-Shifting Beings by Brad Steiger, Werewolf is reported to have been the only television series to feature a lycanthrope as its lead character, despite a previous reference to the syndicated series She-Wolf of London in the book's Forward section, a show which also focused on a character seeking a cure to her werewolf curse.
- In July 1988, Blackthorne Publishing released a six-issue comic book series based on the show.
- 1) Werewolf (pilot) - Eric is attacked by his best friend, who is a werewolf. Now afflicted with the curse, Eric must track down the originator of his bloodline in order to rid himself of his new alter ego, while also avoiding the bounty hunter who's been sent after him.
- 2) Nightwatch - After trailing Skorzeny to a shipyard, Eric is set upon by a pair of seamen looking to collect the bounty on his head.
- 3) The Boy Who Cried Werewolf - Injured by Rogan, Eric seeks shelter in a young boy's treehouse, and soon runs afoul of his mother's abusive boyfriend.
- 4) The Black Ship - Eric is captured by an old friend of Skorzeny's and must find a way to escape before Skorzeny comes for him.
- 5) Spectre of the Wolf - Eric consults Dr. DeGoethels, a well known author and professor of werewolf lore, for help in finding a cure.
- 6) The Wolf Who Thought He Was A Man - While on the road, Eric meets up with a hunter who takes the phrase 'hunt like a wolf' a little too far.
- 7) Nothing Evil In These Woods - Lost in the woods, Eric happens upon a local witch who claims she has the power to rid him of his curse.
- 8) Running with the Pack - Working at a small diner to make ends meet, Eric gets more than he bargained for when a cutthroat motorcycle gang rides into town.
- 9) Friendly Haven - Eric takes refuge at the home of an old woman while being chased by Skorzeny.
- 10) Let Us Prey - Chasing reports of a wild cougar, Eric takes refuge at a monastery where he soon learns that some of the staff prey in a different way at night.
- 11) A World of Difference (part 1) - Rogan finds Eric locked up in a small town, but when his captive changes into a werewolf and escapes, the bounty hunter finds he's no match for the hunting skills of the wolf.
- 12) A World of Difference (part 2) - In the hospital recovering from a werewolf attack, Rogan reflects on how to deal with his dilemma. Things get sidetracked in a hurry when he learns that Eric isn't dead after all.
- 13) The Unicorn - Eric gets kidnapped by a pimp when he saves one of his charges from a brutal beating. Meanwhile, Rogan is hot on Eric's trail, not realizing he's actually closer to finding Skorzeny.
- 14) All Hallow's Eve - Eric holes up in an abandoned house on Halloween night in order to lock himself up before the change, not realizing that the house isn't actually abandoned after all.
- 15) Blood on the Tracks - Eric gets a job working the railroads and runs into one of his childhood heroes, a former heavyweight champion with some demons of his own.
- 16) Nightmare at the Braine Hotel - Eric crosses paths with a slasher and a sinister hotel manager.
- 17) Wolfhunt - Eric and a wolf form a bond of friendship out in the wild, but a rancher is out to hunt them both down with silver bullets thanks to a visit from Rogan.
- 18) Blood Ties - Working as a groundskeeper at a high class residence, Eric must clear his name when he is framed for murder.
- 19) Big Daddy - Forcefully taken by a state trooper to Big Daddy Frasier's home, Eric learns that Big Daddy has an idea of what Eric can do to help cure his cancer.
- 20) Eye of the Storm - Eric finds himself in the middle of a murder mystery at the Simms Lodge. He convinces the other lodgers to work together in order to find the culprit, but his plans change when he is about to.
- 21) Nightmare in Blue - The long arm of the law finds Eric when he is at his most vulnerable. To make matters worse, Rogan's reach is even closer.
- 22) Skinwalker - Eric learns that the Native American legend of the Skinwalker is true and that it's up to him to stop the bloodshed.
- 23) King of the Road - Hopping a train, Eric runs afoul of a group of homeless travelers trying to escape a 'ripper' who's been preying on vagrants in their small hometown.
- 24) A Material Girl - Eric chases Skorzeny into a mall after business hours. He meets a girl who lives there and learns he wasn't chasing Skorzeny after all.
- 25) To Dream of Wolves (part 1) - Eric finally tracks down Skorzeny but learns that, contrary to what he was told, his old nemesis is not the originator of their bloodline after all.
- 26) To Dream of Wolves (part 2) - Eric breaks into the home of Nicolas Remy and learns that Remy is the one he must destroy in order to rid himself of his curse.
- 27) Blind Luck - Working at a carnival, Eric runs afoul of a group of schemers who are taking advantage of blind women.
- 28) Gray Wolf - While being chased by Rogan, Eric meets an old werewolf from another bloodline. Together they can defeat Remy, but only if Eric can keep the man on his side.
- 29) Amazing Grace - Eric saves an old lady who loves to tell stories from two thugs. Soon she is placed in a mental institution and Eric tries to break her out.