This week’s Danger Gal profile is on Vickie Nelson, from LifetimeTV’s show Blood Ties portrayed by actress Christina Cox. Nelson is a cop turned private investigator who solves supernatural cases after witnessing one herself.

Vicki NelsonI only recently heard about the Blood Ties series, based on Tanya Huff’s Blood Books, and I’m very glad that I did. It’s refreshing to find a TV show that really and truly casts its female lead as the main character and the two male leads as sidekicks, albeit very interesting sidekicks, one of them a vampire. More than that, Vickie isn’t a damsel in distress needing rescued by Henry and Mike in every episode. In a SciFi.com interview, Cox makes this very point:

Very often female characters, even leads on series, are these secondary characters that are really there to reflect the opinions and actions of the male lead.

This is refreshingly not the case with Blood Ties.

Some of the early episodes verged over into monster-of-the-week territory, but that’s to be expected until the show’s premise grows enough so that conflict can emerge from character instead of just plot. The series turned a corner in this regard at episodes six (“Loved Hurts”) and seven (“Heart of Ice”) and then again at the mid-season finale (“Norman”).

The writers have created a show where the plot conflicts are resolved through the characters’ team effort, which is unique. Case in point at the end of the second episode when Vickie is bound as a demon sacrifice; Vickie and Henry defeat the demon together — Henry by reciting the incantation and Vicki by breaking the demon circle with her foot. Another example is episode eight “Heart of Fire,” when Mike breaks in to rescue Vickie from a starving and deranged Henry and offers himself as Henry’s dinner. It’s Vickie who reaches through Henry’s delirium to convince him to back off before he kills Mike. And it’s Henry who listens to her.

Blood Ties also breaks with stereotypes by casting an actress with some actual muscle to play a very physical role. Seeing an actress or actor with zero muscle pretending to bring someone down really knocks me right out of my suspension of disbelief. According to IMDB, Cox is “proficient in boxing, Muay Thai kickboxing and has extensive training in stage combat, period weaponry and firearms.” It shows. Vickie, who is going blind and can’t carry a gun, arms herself with a telescoping baton that she uses in a stick-fighting technique right out of the History Channel’s Human Weapon show.

This physical proficiency and strength adds to Vickie’s character, and both Henry and Mike regard it as an attractive aspect of her. They find her mental and physical strength to be sexy, something that had to be intentional by the writers. In that same interview, Cox relates her personal pitfalls about playing physically strong female characters:

Part of it was just that I’ve always been annoyed that women who are perceived as strong, they are somehow masculine, and that female strength doesn’t seem to stand on its own. They have to be butch in some way in order to be strong enough to compete in a man’s world.

I did The Chronicles of Riddick, and there were requests and discussions about giving me a butch cut and essentially dressing me like a guy, and I said, “This is not Vasquez from Aliens. She is not Vasquez.” That character was a great sci-fi character, but this is a woman whose strength comes from who she is as a woman, and it’s not about her wanting or needing to be a guy. She is actually tough enough on her own, from a female point of view, to do the job without having to strap her boobs down or shave her head. That makes me sad, that we feel like we have to emulate men in order to be strong. Vicki is really sexual. She’s really feminine. She’s really sensitive, and that’s why she has to put that cover up, because she gets her tender little heart wounded too easily. So she’s trying to muscle through a very difficult world and a very difficult job and stay alive. And I mean that on an emotional and a literal level.

The show also cast Vickie’s assistant as female, a character victimized by a stalker in the pilot who turns that experience around into helping Vickie. Also, it’s refreshing to see an older female character in Dr. Sagara.

Vickie Nelson isn’t just strong of body and purpose, she is strong enough to resist a vampire’s mind control, something that keeps Henry coming back again and again. Blood Ties has created a multi-dimensional female lead character who breaks stereotypes, maintains her femininity and has a sense of humor to boot. I really hope Lifetime TV picks this show up for a second season.

Blood Ties airs on LifetimeTV at 11pm EST.



12 Responses to “Danger Gal Friday: Vickie Nelson”

  1. CHRISTINA COX WAS THE ABSOLUTE PERFECT CHOICE TO PLAY VICKI NELSON. SHE IS STRONG, SMART, BEAUTIFUL, AND FIERCE AS AL HELL. SHE’S THE TYPE OF WOMAN THAT EMPOWERS OTHERS. ME AND THE GIRLS A THE DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND ADMIRE HER. YOU ROCK CHRISTINA!!!!

  2. You should copy and post this to the LT Blog….maybe they’ll listen since all their female rolls of heriones start out as idiots making bad choices and along comes some guy who helps them resolve them if they choose him in the end. BARF Post it at LT. .. This is perfect and it embodies what we’ve all been trying to tell them about CC and the character she portrays. You did it beautifully…

    Sincerely P from the DP

  3. Thanks so much for giving Vicky Nelson the recognition and for helping spread the word about this program. Watching it is the least guilty pleasure I know. There are two very attractive men to drool over but the central pillar of it all is a gorgeous woman worth honoring not just for looking totally hot in skimpy lacy underwear (which, btw, she really does) but for being strong of mind, body, and purpose.

  4. Thanks for giving Vicki the props she deserves. The more people read about her the more curious people there are the more people will check out the show all leading to more episodes. Then they will see the two absolutely gorgeous guys on the show that bow down to her and will be forever attached.

  5. You are quite a writer. I’ve read many descriptions of Christina Cox and reviews of Vicki, but yours by far was the best. Well done!

  6. Hey DANGER,

    GREAT article lady and what a wonderful character Vicki Nelson has become to this show and ALL the DIE HARD FANS who enjoy watching HER kick ass every week… Christina Cox was the PERFECT choice to play her and I’m so happy that YOU found this fantastic show in its infancy and also seem to be as ready as all at the DP to welcome them back tonight for the Season 2 permiere… Thanks for the invite from our PLAYGROUND to YOURS… LISA, YOU ALSO KICK ASS LADY… YBTB Angie from the DP…

  7. Thank you so much to all the Blood Ties fans and especially the Devil’s Playground gals!

  8. You’re WELCOME girlie girl… PLEASE feel free to stop by ANYTIME for a chat… WE LOVE YOU at the DP… Please check out the HOT FanFic the ladies have written in their down time waiting for the show’s hiatus to end… Some fantastic stories for sure… The links are listed in the tag up top that reads FanFic of course… Come ROAM in OUR playground… Your Blood Ties Buddy (YBTB) Angie…

  9. It’s nice to see a heroine that can both KICK ass and be SMART as well. Her character portray’s sutile wisdom, strength and humor.., even if wry at times. ( LOL ) CC, plays the part to a flawless degree and there could be NO other Vicky. Casting should also get a “Kuddo’s” for recoganizing the great qualities of the actors and apparently noticing the FANTASTIC chemistry between them all!

    ~ v ~
    From the Devils Playground

  10. FOR YOU LISA, ANYTIME, THE DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND LOVES YOU. YOU KICK ASS CHICK YOU HEHEHEHE

  11. Hi Danger Gal! Would you help us spread the word?

    I just wanted to let you know that today is the one year Anniversary of the first airing of a wonderful TV show called Blood Ties on the Lifetime network. Yes, one year ago today we were introduced to Henry Fitzroy (Kyle Schmid), Victoria Nelson (Christina Cox) and Mike Celluci (Dylan Neal) for the first time. The rest is, as they say is history. If you are not aware of the internet phenomenon surrounding the show, you must be hiding your head in the sand! Check out the TV poll sites like http://www.heynielsen.com/opinion/view/a-wonderful-show-about-a-female-private-detective-that-currently-airs-on-lifetime-tv/#commentsand http://richlabonte.net/tvvote/nominations.html. What an incredible fan base it has! I personally have communicated with people from all over the world who have taking this little show into their hearts, and made it their own.

    But I am very sad to say that this wonderfully entertaining show has not as of yet been renewed by the Lifetime network for a third season. That is unfortunate, because the show has a tremendous following of loyal and dedicated fans. What a wonderful marketing opportunity for the right network to access the female market with ages ranging from teen to 60+. There seems to be no age limit to the type of woman to which this show appeals. We come from all economic backgrounds, countries and races as well.

    What is the appeal? A strong female lead portrayed by the amazingly beautiful Christina Cox, two extremely handsome and talented male co-stars, Kyle Schmid and Dylan Neal, make the show entertaining to watch. Great writing, interesting weekly plots and a steamy romantic back story keep viewers coming back week after week. It would be a shame to lose this gem of a show.

    I personally would like to see this show given another chance. That is the motivation behind the International Renew Blood Ties Day Campaign. We as loyal fans are pushing to “Save Our Show” by posting and emailing to bring it into the public eye., and to the attention of networks that might possible consider it for their Fall lineup.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    “Annalaise duChat”
    msgypsy.wordpress.com

  12. Sorry for the thread necromancy (thoughI can’t imagine many posts more fitting for it).

    “The show also cast Vickie’s assistant as female, a character victimized by a stalker in the pilot who turns that experience around into helping Vickie. Also, it’s refreshing to see an older female character in Dr. Sagara.”

    Coreen, the assistant, was also a capable occult researcher, who was frequently the one to discover both the identity of the monster they were facing and the means of fighting it.

    Also, the series had another recurring female character, the pathologist Dr Mohadevan. Aside from being a purveyer of useful information (it helps my suspension of disbelief a lot that physical examination of monster-victims isn’t an entirely pointless line of enquiry), she also breaks the stereotype of the closed-minded scientist (it gradually becomes clear that she already knew about paranormal phenomena well before the beginning of the series), and does so without Special Ethnic Knowledge (since she also makes it clear that it was through her work that she learned of it).

    And there was also Detective Kate Lam; she wasn’t involved in the paranormal side of things, but was a concerned friend trying to prevent Mike’s association with Vicki from trashing his career (and doing so without being a romantic rival of Vicki’s, or jealous of her, or even really disliking her).

    It’s not that hard to get multiple cool women in the same place; I wish writers would do it more often.

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