Anne Rice's

Earth Angels

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Sandrine Holt, Nick's ONCE A THIEF co-star, was also in this, as "Wendy":

This was an NBC presentation pilot called EARTH ANGELS. It filmed in Toronto, March 25 - April 3, 2001, and is a good-versus-evil story about warring angels on Earth. Nick plays "Maximillian," the devil's son. It was a presentation pilot only, and was not picked up as a series.

The series was from horror writer Anne Rice, famous for her "Vampire Chronicles" series of books (Interview With the Vampire, etc.) This isn't based on one of her books, though. She designed it as a TV series from the beginning. However, parts of her story treatment for the series have been published. In 1999, a company called Sicilian Dragon Press started printing a comic book series called Anne Rice's Tales of the Body Thief. Each issue included a page from Rice's story treatment for EARTH ANGELS, as a sort of bonus. There were supposed to be twelve issues, but the company went out of business after only four. (Eventually, all twelve parts were published as a graphic novel, but that compilation did not include the story treatment.)

Anyway, here are some excerpts....

1999 Anne O'Brien Rice. All rights reserved.

This is a show about five very beautiful, good and potentially dangerous angels who work undercover as humans on a whole range of assignments that come to them through prayer.

They work like the detectives in a virtual angel precinct house, and they have very close relationships with each other.

They have all chosen their earth assignment, forfeiting their neuter gender and their complete recall of Heaven. They have chosen scaled-down versions of their neuter bodies.

When the angels have to kill, combat demons, or overwhelm forces that try to destroy them, they manifest in their angel bodies - same actor or actress, but larger, neuter, ideal, with huge white wings, a traditional white gown and frequently carrying swords. In this form, the angels are terrifying. There are five angels. Three are male: David, Chaim and the Archangel Mathiel, who runs the place.

David tends to be the most curious, rebellious and passionate of the angels. He is the "hero" of the show. He has a terrible time fighting temptations of the flesh, and also restraining himself from intervening in worldly events too much.

Chaim is the somber and meditative one, the one who most loves music and art, and who tends to be absorbed in realms of beauty that take him away from his duties.

Mathiel is the strong one, for the benefit of others. When he has fears or anxiety, when he feels far from Heaven, he must hide it from the others, and seek solace on his own. Mathiel loves to drink as much as the angel David, but Mathiel has better control.

Other tidbits: The show is set in New York City. The characters are all described as being about 25 years old. They bicker a lot about whether male or female bodies are better. Though they can perform miracles, they aren't supposed to. When they kill (which they are allowed to do) and when they have sex with mortals (which they aren't), they transform into their angel personae.

Again, all this can (and probably will) change. Reportedly, the script is changing even as they film.

A rumor about the show: Supposedly, NBC's first choice for the lead was Timothy Hutton.

(Note: As expected, the actual pilot turned out to be quite different from Rice's original treatment.)

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