Although many TV viewers may still associate the Syfy network with B-movie creature features – an idea admittedly helped along by the ongoing Sharknado franchise – the network has become home to many sci-fi and fantasy series beloved by fans. The channel features its own take on a potential zombie apocalypse in Z Nation, a bounty hunter-geared space drama in Killjoys, a young adult adaptation in The Magicians, and a horror anthology series in Channel Zero. One of the network’s latest additions is Van Helsing, a new spin on the classic tale of the vampire hunter of the same name.
The Van Helsing series premiere establishes that the show takes place in a dystopian future overridden by vampires in which Vanessa Helsing (Kelly Overton) awakes – albeit without knowledge of her particular capabilities when it comes to fighting the living dead or that she is a descendant in a line of legendary vampire hunters. The result has been a series following a reluctant hero who traverses the vampire-infested world while others look to her for answers. Now, with five episodes under its belt, Syfy has renewed Van Helsing for season 2.
Deadline is reporting that the network granted a 13-episode order for Van Helsing season 2 on Friday, prior to the airing of the show’s fifth episode, ‘Fear Her’. The series’ second season is expected to enter production January 2017. Van Helsing showrunner Neil LaBute said of the show’s renewal:
“We have a wonderful and terrifying road ahead planned for Vanessa, her allies and her enemies. I think this is a world and a story that can be sustained for many years and I am inspired to do so thanks to Syfy’s obvious trust and commitment in the storytellers, cast and crew.”
Although there have been a number of popular vampire series on television in the past decade – such as The CW’s Vampire Diaries and HBO’s True Blood – none have focused on the historical literary figure of Van Helsing, who first appeared as a character in the original Dracula novel. Now, in addition to Syfy’s Van Helsing television series, Universal is planning a reboot of the famed vampire hunter as part of their movie monsters universe. Previously, a live-action adaptation of Van Helsing hit theaters in 2004 starring Hugh Jackman that garnered largely negative reviews.
That said, Syfy’s Van Helsing is putting its own spin on the legendary character by following a descendant of Dr. Abraham Van Helsing and setting the series in a dystopian future. Although the show has received middling reviews from critics, Van Helsing has undoubtedly found a fanbase among Syfy’s viewership (likely helped along by the time slot immediately following Z Nation). Now that Syfy has granted Van Helsing a second season, fans have plenty more episodes to look forward to as the adventures of Vanessa Helsing continue.
Van Helsing season 1 airs Fridays @10pm on Syfy. Season 2 is expected to premiere sometime in 2017.