My Date with a Vampire
|My Date with a Vampire|
|Genre||Fantasy, jiangshi fiction, horror comedy, supernatural, romance|
|Written by||Leung Lap-yan
|Directed by||Chan San-hap
|Opening theme||Mung Lei Si Seui (夢裡是誰; Who's in the Dream) performed by Linda Wong|
|Country of origin||Hong Kong|
|No. of episodes||35|
|Running time||45 minutes per episode|
|Original run||30 November 1998 – 15 January 1999|
|Followed by||My Date with a Vampire II (2000)|
|My Date with a Vampire|
My Date with a Vampire is a 1998 Hong Kong television series produced by ATV. The story is based on the future events of the plot of Vampire Expert, a similar two-season television drama aired on ATV in 1995 and 1996. It blends aspects of the "hopping" corpses of jiangshi fiction with those of western vampires, while injecting elements of Chinese mythology and modern horror legends. The series is a tribute to Lam Ching-ying, the lead actor of Vampire Expert and a prominent cast member in the Mr. Vampire franchise, who died of liver cancer in 1997. It was followed by My Date with a Vampire II (2000) and My Date with a Vampire III (2004).
Fong Kwok-wah is a Chinese guerrilla fighter from the time of the Second Sino-Japanese War. In 1938, he was fighting with Yamamoto Kazuo, a major of the Imperial Japanese Army, when they were interrupted by Cheung San, the progenitor of all vampires. The two men and a boy named Fuk-sang were bitten by Cheung San and they become vampires.
In present-day 1998, Fong lives in Hong Kong under a new name, Fong Tin-yau. His physical appearance has not changed since 60 years ago. He works as a policeman while Fuk-sang lives together with him and pretends to be his son, who currently attends primary school. Fong meets Ma Siu-ling, the heiress to a clan of ghostbusters who have dedicated themselves to ridding the world of evil supernatural beings. Fong gradually becomes embroiled in a love triangle with Ma and Wong Jan-jan, Ma's close friend and confidante.
On the other hand, Yamamoto has become the influential boss of a big company, and he commands a small group of vampire followers. Planning to turn every human being into a vampire, Yamamoto unleashes his minions to attack people and spread the "vampire gene". Hong Kong sinks into chaos as vampires multiply and roam the streets freely. At this point, Fong teams up with Ma and his friends to stop Yamamoto and destroy him.
However, even after Yamamoto dies, not long later, a magician called Yu-meng Sap-sam resurrects him and controls him to do his bidding. The magician is actually Lo Hau, an evil sorcerer from ancient times, and he wants to dominate the universe. Once again, Fong, Ma and their allies combine forces to confront Lo Hau (the name is based on Rahu from Buddhism) and put an end to his wicked ambitions.
- Eric Wan as Fong Tin-yau (Chinese: 況天佑; pinyin: Kuàng Tiānyòu), the protagonist of the series. Originally named "Fong Kwok-wah" (simplified Chinese: 况国华; traditional Chinese: 況國華; pinyin: Kuàng Guóhuá), he was the chief of a group of Chinese guerrilla fighters during the Second Sino-Japanese War. He led an operation to blow up a Japanese military base and killed Yamamoto Kazuo's father. However, he was also injured during the attack but managed to escape and flee to a nearby village. Yamamoto brought his soldiers to the village to hunt for Fong and started killing civilians. Fong showed up, stopped Yamamoto and engaged him in a one-on-one fight, which lasted until nightfall. Yamamoto's men seized the boy Fuk-sang and used him as a hostage to threaten Fong. The fight was suddenly interrupted by Cheung San's appearance. Fong, Yamamoto and Fuk-sang were bitten by Cheung San and they become second generation vampires. Fong survives until the present-day (1990s) and works in Hong Kong as a policeman under a new name, "Fong Tin-yau", while Fuk-sang lives with him and pretends to be his son. Both of them have not fed on the blood of living humans for the past 60 years and have been drinking expired blood samples from hospitals.
- Joey Meng as Ma Siu-ling (simplified Chinese: 马小玲; traditional Chinese: 馬小玲; pinyin: Má Xiǎolíng), the heiress to the Ma family, a clan of ghostbusters who have dedicated themselves to ridding the world of evil supernatural beings. She earns a living by helping people "clean up" haunted locations and perform exorcisms, sometimes overcharging her customers. Her ancestors have laid down a family rule forbidding her from shedding tears for a man or she will lose her magic powers. Her most powerful skill is a nine word mantra, which, when chanted, will summon forth a Divine Dragon to destroy any evil being. She falls in love with Fong Tin-yau.
- Joey Meng doubles as a young Ma Dan-na (simplified Chinese: 马丹娜; traditional Chinese: 馬丹娜; pinyin: Mǎ Dānnà), Ma Siu-ling's grandaunt and predecessor. 60 years ago, she tracked down Cheung San and attempted to destroy him (moments before he bit Fong, Yamamoto and Fuk-sang) but Cheung San still escaped. After she died she often appears as a "floating ghost" to her grandniece, giving her advice and poking fun at her. She sacrifices herself to restore her grandniece's powers after the latter cried for Fong and lost her abilities.
- Kristy Yang as Wong Jan-jan (Chinese: 王珍珍; pinyin: Wáng Zhēnzhēn), Ma Siu-ling's close friend and confidante who works as a primary school teacher in Hong Kong. She falls in love with Fong Tin-yau after their first encounter in Japan. Yamamoto sees her as his deceased wife because of the striking resemblance between them, and he wants her for himself. She is mortally wounded during the battle against Yamamoto and Fong reluctantly bites her to save her life, transforming her into an undying vampire. In the final episodes, she is captured by Lo Hau, who wants to use her as a sacrifice to complete the Moon Funeral ritual so that he can dominate the universe. She is revealed to be actually a reincarnation of the Heaven Warrior's fiancée and dies trying to persuade Yamamato (who has been possessed by Lo Hau) to give up on his wicked ambition.
- Kenneth Chan as Yamamoto Kazuo (Chinese: 山本一夫; pinyin: Shānběn Yìfū), a major of the Imperial Japanese Army and the primary antagonist in the series. His father was killed by Fong Kwok-wah and he pursued Fong and fought with him near a village. The two men slashed at each other with swords, drawing blood and arousing the attention of Cheung San, who was in a nearby cave. Cheung San interrupted the fight and bit the two men and Fuk-sang, transforming them into second generation vampires. Yamamoto is deeply traumatised by his encounter and behaved oddly after returning to Japan. When his wife died, he sank into despair and was afraid of losing his daughter as well, so he bit her and turned her into a vampire too. He lives until the present-day (1990s) and becomes the influential boss of a big company in Hong Kong. He intends to turn every human being into a vampire just like him and unleashes his minions to attack people in Hong Kong. He is defeated and killed by the combined efforts of Fong, Ma Siu-ling and others. However, after his death, Yu-meng Sap-sam resurrects him and controls him to complete the Moon Funeral ritual so that he can dominate the universe. During the final battle, he recalls his past life as the Heaven Warrior (天勇者), one of the Five Warriors who fought against Lo Hau in ancient times. He uses his power to assist Fong in destroying Lo Hau, who has possessed his body. He is also known by his aliases "Yamamoto Takeshi" (Chinese: 山本武; pinyin: Shānběn Wǔ) and "Yamamoto Ryuichi" (simplified Chinese: 山本龙一; traditional Chinese: 山本龍一; pinyin: Shānběn Lóngyī).
- Chapman To as Kam Ching-chung (Chinese: 金正中; pinyin: Jīn Zhèngzhōng), a resident in Ka-Ka Estate. He claims that he is an incarnation of a divine being called "Xuan Wu Boy" (玄武童子) and earns a living by conning people and pretending to be a ghostbuster. After his lies are exposed, he decides to be a real ghostbuster, and is accepted by Ma Siu-ling as an apprentice and he diligently studies under her tutelage. He is given a flyswatter-like implement as his weapon, which can be used to summon a "Buddha's Palm" to attack evil beings. During his romance with the White Snake, he is revealed to be actually a reincarnation of the White Snake's lover, Xu Xian (simplified Chinese: 许仙; traditional Chinese: 許仙; pinyin: Xǔ Xiān), as told in the Legend of the White Snake. He is killed by Lo Hau in the final battle.
- Pinky Cheung as Yamamoto Mirai (Chinese: 山本未來; pinyin: Shānběn Wèilái), Yamamoto Kazuo's daughter. When her mother died, her father was afraid of losing her as well so he bit her and transformed her into a third generation vampire. When she first became a vampire, she was unable to control herself and bit her lover Domoto instinctively, turning him into a vampire too. She hates her father, leaves him and moves to Ka-Ka Estate, where she meets Fong Tin-yau and his friends. After her father's death, the vampire gene in her and those linked to her father are destroyed, so she marries Domoto and bears him a son (Domoto Sei) and they become normal human beings. However, her father is later resurrected by Yu-meng Sap-sam, and he takes back the vampire gene from her, destroying her in the process.
- Berg Ng as Ken / Domoto Shingo (Chinese: 堂本真悟; pinyin: Tángběn Zhēnwù), Mirai's lover and Yamamoto's henchman. When Mirai first became a vampire, she was unable to control herself and bit him instinctively, turning him into a fourth generation vampire. He appears as Yamamoto's right-hand man but actually hates Yamamoto and has been plotting secretly to kill his boss. His plan fails and he is seriously injured in a fight against Yamamoto, but escapes to join Fong Tin-yau and his friends, and helps them in the fight against Yamamoto. After Yamamoto dies, the vampire gene in him is eliminated and he reverts to the life of a normal human being. He marries Mirai and has a son with her, but their romance does not last long, because Yamamoto is resurrected later and he takes back the vampire genes from them, destroying the couple in the process.
- Cheung Kwok-kuen as Fuk-sang (simplified Chinese: 复生; traditional Chinese: 復生; pinyin: Fùshēng), a boy vampire who lives with Fong Tin-yau. Originally from a rural village, he was captured and held hostage by Yamamoto's men during the fight between Fong and Yamamoto. Cheung San appeared and bit the three of them, transforming them into second generation vampires. He survives until the present-day (1990s) and lives in Hong Kong with Fong, pretending to be the latter's son who currently attends primary school. He is kidnapped by Yamamoto's henchmen and forced to suck the blood of a woman, arousing his bloodlust. He is unable to control himself and starts killing people and drinking their blood. When Fong learns the truth, he reluctantly allows Ma Siu-ling to cast a freezing charm on Fuk-sang, temporarily putting him to sleep.
- Wong Shee-tong as Ho Ying-kau (simplified Chinese: 何应求; traditional Chinese: 何應求; pinyin: Hé Yìngqíu), the successor to Mo Siu-fong (the protagonist in Vampire Expert) and an ally of Ma Siu-ling and Fong Tin-yau. He runs a small shop selling ghostbusting equipment disguised as a video game arcade. He also conducts experiments and makes new inventions, one of which is the "Blood Angel" (血天使), a substitute for human blood, which can boost a vampire's strength and powers when consumed. In his younger days, he used to be Fong's foe and lost one of his legs to Fong in a fight. He keeps the spirit of his deceased son by his side. He is killed by Yamamoto in a fight shortly after sending off his son's ghost for reincarnation.
- Kam San as Cheung San (simplified Chinese: 将臣; traditional Chinese: 將臣; pinyin: Jiàng Chén), the progenitor of all vampires. He bit Fong Kwok-wah, Yamamoto and Fuk-sang, turning them into undying vampires. He is the most powerful vampire in the series because he does not fear sunlight, religious symbols and other things that normal vampires fear. His descendants become weaker than him as the generation gap between them increases.
- Sin Ho-ying as Master Peacock (simplified Chinese: 孔雀大师; traditional Chinese: 孔雀大師; pinyin: Kǒngquè Dàshī), a Buddhist monk from Mount Kōya in Japan and an ally of Fong Tin-yau. He makes his first appearance when Fong, Ma Siu-ling and Wong Jan-jan visit Japan. He loses to Ma when they engage in a contest to subdue a female ghost. He is later revealed to be a reincarnation of the Fire Warrior (火勇者), one of the Five Warriors who fought against Lo Hau in ancient times. He dies in the final battle against Lo Hau.
- Ching Tung as Lo Hoi-ping (simplified Chinese: 罗开平; traditional Chinese: 羅開平; pinyin: Luó Kāipíng), a tailor living with his mother in Ka-Ka Estate. He is honest, simple and filial. After his mother dies, he commits suicide and becomes a vengeful spirit, returning to seek revenge on his neighbours, whom he perceives to be responsible for his mother's death. He is eventually subdued and reformed. He studies supernatural arts under Mo Siu-fong in the underworld and is brought back to life by the Air Pearl. He is revealed to be a reincarnation of the Air Warrior (空勇者), one of the Five Warriors who fought against Lo Hau in ancient times. He dies in the final battle against Lo Hau.
- Chan Lai-wan as Lo Hoi-ping's mother (simplified Chinese: 平妈; traditional Chinese: 平媽; pinyin: Píng Mā). She lives with her son in Ka-Ka Estate. She has a weird temper and is easily agitated. She is also overly protective of her son and controls him strictly. She is chronically ill and dies at one point. Lo pleads with Yamamoto Mirai, who passed by, to save his mother, so Mirai uses one drop of her vampire blood to revive Lo's mother. Lo's mother is brought back to life as a half-human half-ghost and she stirs up much trouble in Ka-Ka Estate when she insists that Wong Jan-jan marry her son. After being subdued by Ma Siu-ling, she realises how she has negatively affected her son by being too controlling, and decides to let him make his own choices.
- Mak King-ting as Pak So-so (Chinese: 白素素; pinyin: Bái Sùsù) / Pak So-ching (simplified Chinese: 白素贞; traditional Chinese: 白素貞; pinyin: Bái Sùzhēn), the White Snake in the Legend of the White Snake. She runs a bar, the Waiting Bar, near Ka-Ka Estate. She meets Kam Ching-chung, falls in love with him, and learns that he is the reincarnation of her lover Xu Xian. She dies of natural causes and transfers her powers to Kam before her death.
- Wong Mei-fan as Siu-ching (Chinese: 小青; pinyin: Xiǎoqīng), the Green Snake, the White Snake's companion. She disguises herself as an estate agent in Hong Kong and meets Kam Ching-chung by chance and leads him to Pak So-so. After Pak dies, she starts a romance with Kam and helps Fong Tin-yau and his friends in the battles against Yamamoto and Lo Hau. She is seriously injured and dies from her wounds when Yamamoto comes to kidnap Wong Jan-jan for the Moon Funeral ritual.
- Keung Ho-man as Ko Bo (Chinese: 高保; pinyin: Gāo Bǎo), Fong Tin-yau's colleague in the police force. He joins Fong in the fight against Yamamoto and his vampires. He is revealed to be a reincarnation of the Earth Warrior (地勇者), one of the Five Warriors who fought against Lo Hau in ancient times. He dies in the final battle against Lo Hau.
- Chung Yeung as Peter, a Christian priest and Ma Siu-ling's friend. Ma often consults him over the Internet on matters regarding exorcism and ghostbusting. He is revealed to be a reincarnation of the Wind Warrior (風勇者), one of the Five Warriors who fought against Lo Hau in ancient times. He dies in the final battle against Lo Hau.
- Lisa Lui as Au-yeung Ka-ka (simplified Chinese: 欧阳嘉嘉; traditional Chinese: 歐陽嘉嘉; pinyin: Ōuyáng Jiājiā), Wong Jan-jan's mother and the owner of Ka-Ka Estate.
- Lau Kwok-shing as Kam Shau-cheng (Chinese: 金守正; pinyin: Jīn Shǒuzhèng), Kam Ching-chung's father. He is bitten by a vampire during Yamamoto's terror rampage and blows himself up with the vampires to buy time for his family and companions to escape.
- Ng Wan-yee as Kam Ching-chung's mother (Chinese: 金姐; pinyin: Jīn Jiě). She is greedy for money and used to collaborate with her son to con people before their lies are exposed. She is killed by Yamamoto when he comes to kidnap Wong Jan-jan for the Moon Funeral ritual.
- Wai Lit as Yu-meng Sap-sam (Chinese: 御命十三; pinyin: Yùmìng Shísān), a traitor of the Mount Kōya school. He pretends to be a servant of Yamamoto and resurrects him after his death. However, he is revealed to be actually Lo Hau (simplified Chinese: 罗侯; traditional Chinese: 羅侯; pinyin: Luó Hóu), an evil sorcerer of ancient times, and he intends to control Yamamoto and use him to complete the Moon Funeral ritual so that he can dominate the universe. He is defeated by the combined efforts of Fong Tin-yau, the Five Warriors, and others, but only Fong survives the battle.
- Alice Chan as Miu-sin (Chinese: 妙善; pinyin: Miàoshàn), the human incarnation of Guanyin. Every 33 years she will appear in a different location and meet only 33 people. Each person is entitled to ask her three questions.
- Raymond Tsang as Lau Hoi (simplified Chinese: 刘海; traditional Chinese: 劉海; pinyin: Líu Hǎi), Fong Tin-yau and Ko Bo's boss in the police force. He is bitten by Yamamoto and becomes the latter's henchman, helping to spread the vampire gene throughout the police force.
- Yeung Ka-nok as Lam Kwok-tung (simplified Chinese: 林国栋; traditional Chinese: 林國棟; pinyin: Lín Guódòng), the executive director of Yamamoto's company. He suffers from liver cancer and refuses to undergo medical treatment. He is attracted to Au-yeung Ka-ka when she comes to work in Yamamoto's company as a secretary. He knows that Yamamoto is a vampire and often begs his boss to bite him and make him an undying vampire so he can be spared from suffering. Yamamoto grants him his wish eventually.
- Leung Bik-tze as Bik-ka (Chinese: 碧加; pinyin: Bìjiā), a female vampire working for Yamamoto. Before she became a vampire, she already possessed psychic powers, and was thus seen as a demon and was persecuted. Yamamoto saves her and bites her, turning her into a vampire. She develops a crush on Yamamoto and becomes jealous of Wong Jan-jan when her boss feels affection for Wong. She attempts to harm Mirai and is killed by Yamamoto in anger.
- Lee Yung as Herman, a male vampire serving under Yamamoto. He works as a model in his boss' company and uses his charming good looks to seduce female employees and suck their blood. He is seriously injured in a fight against Ma Siu-ling.
- Lau Shek-yin as Vairocana (Chinese: 大日如來; pinyin: Dà Rì Rú Lái), the omnipotent divine being in the series. When Lo Hau becomes a serious threat to the universe, he attempts to cast a 'Universal Cleansing Spell' (淨世咒) to end all life in the universe to make way for a fresh beginning. Guanyin manages to persuade him to wait and give Fong Tin-yau one last chance to stop Lo Hau before casting the spell. Fong succeeds and Vairocana grants him his wish to go back in time and be a vampire no more.
The vampires depicted in this television series trilogy are based on the Chinese jiangshi and the western vampire, although they resemble the latter more. They are creatures that do not belong to the Trailokya or any of the six domains in the desire realm as described in Buddhist cosmology. They do not age and need to regularly feed on blood to sustain themselves. They may also possess powers such as superhuman speed or the ability to shapeshift, in addition to their "immortal" status. Their powers and invulnerability to sunlight, religious symbols and other things that typical vampires fear, however, become weaker as the generation gap between them and Cheung San (the progenitor of all vampires) increases. An example to illustrate this concept of "generation" is as follows: Person A, who became a vampire after being bitten by Cheung San himself, is known as a second generation vampire. Person B, who became a vampire after being bitten by Person A or another direct victim of Cheung San, is a third generation vampire, and so on.
At the end of the second season, it is revealed that Pangu, the creator of the universe in Chinese mythology, is not a single entity, but rather, a clan of divine beings who are all first generation vampires. Unlike others, these vampires do not need to feed on blood to survive. It is hinted that Cheung San is a member of the Pangu clan. In the third season, two important Chinese mythological figures, Fuxi and Yaochi Shengmu, are depicted as first generation vampires.
A vampire's generation or type can be identified by his/her eye colour when he/she is in "vampire mode". See the table below for details.
|Eye colour||Description||Characters in My Date with a Vampire||Characters in My Date with a Vampire II||Characters in My Date with a Vampire III|
|Red||First generation vampires||Cheung San||Cheung San,
Fong Tin-yau (later stage),
|Green||Second generation vampires||Fong Tin-yau,
|Fong Tin-yau (early stage),
|Orange / Yellow||Third generation vampires||Yamamoto Mirai,
|Grey / Blue||Fourth generation vampires||Au-yeung Ka-ka,
|White||Fifth generation vampires||Si-nga,
|Black||"Zombie" vampires||Si-nga's victims||Yuen-ngan Bat-po's soldiers|
|Purple||Members of the Ma family who became vampires||Fong Tin-ngai,
|Silver||"Mutant" vampires||Yuen-ngan Bat-po|
|Brown||Vampires who are several generations behind the first||Mr. X|
- In season 1:
- Cheung San made only a few minor appearances in the first season and his eye colour cannot be seen clearly.
- Domoto Shingo should be a fourth generation vampire because he was bitten by Yamamoto Mirai (a third generation vampire). However, Yamamoto Kazuo inserted a drop of his vampiric blood into Domoto right after he was bitten by Mirai so that could have resulted in him becoming a third generation vampire. If not, his eye colour should be grey instead of orange.
- In season 2:
- Larry is a third generation vampire because he was bitten by Kei-nok (a second generation vampire), so his eye colour should be orange instead of grey.
- In season 3:
- Yuen-ngan Bat-po's soldiers should be considered second generation vampires because they were bitten by Yuen-ngan, who is a first generation vampire. However, Yuen-ngan is not a "pure" first generation vampire.
- Tong Gam-bo was bitten by Fuxi (a first generation vampire) so her eye colour should be green. However, because she married Ma Dai-lung and bore him two children, she is considered a member of the Ma family, so her eye colour becomes purple.
- Ye-lut Gwai's eye colour is yellow even though he was bitten by Yuen-ngan Bat-po (a first generation vampire). Lo Tsui's eye colour is blue even though he was bitten by a "zombie" vampire.
- Chang'e's eye colour was blue when she initially became a vampire. However, later, even though she became more powerful than first generation vampires, her eye colour did not change.
The script for My Date with a Vampire was written by Leung Lap-yan in 1997. Leung attempted to market the script to TVB but was rejected, so he went to ATV instead. Chan Sap-sam, who wrote the script for the two sequels, revealed that Lam Ching-ying, a prominent cast member in the Mr. Vampire franchise, was their original choice for the lead actor, and that Joey Meng did not have a place in their initial cast list. However, after they finalised the script, they were unable to contact Lam, who was critically ill. Besides, ATV's top management was not pleased with the script because they felt that it did not fit people's impressions of how vampires should be like. ATV's top management wanted to cancel the project after Lam died of liver cancer in 1997. Faced with these problems, Chan decided to make bold changes to the script and create a new character — Ma Siu-ling, a female ghostbuster wearing high heels and a miniskirt who is greedy for money. Sin Chi-wai, the producer for the series, recommended Joey Meng to play Ma Siu-ling. When Eric Wan was offered to play the male lead character in the series, he wanted to turn down the offer because he felt exhausted, but eventually agreed as he became more interested in the story.
- (Chinese) My Date with a Vampire official page on ATV's website