William Herrick was an extremely powerful 168 year old vampire who was interested in the way Mitchell lived his life. In his time of being a vampire he infected John Mitchell, Cara and many others before being staked by Mitchell in Series 3 Episode 8 The Wolf-Shaped Bullet.
Herrick was born in 1843 in Britain, possibly London. He was well-educated and became a legal clerk. In 1890, whilst living in London, he came across Hetty, a young orphan who was left penniless after the death of her father. He considered flogging her but instead brought her to a brothel where he had hoped to sell her to the owner, Madam. When Herrick was left alone with Hetty, she revealed herself to be a vampire and suddenly lashed out at him, biting him on his neck, and so infecting him with the vampire curse. It is unknown what exactly happened to Herrick after this, but somehow he managed to establish himself as the leader of the vampire community within about 25 years.
Sometime during the First World War about 27 years after he was turned, a young Irish soldier by the name of John Mitchell came across Herrick and his fellow vampires searching through bodies on the battlefield, looking for fresh blood to feed on. Herrick agreed to spare the rest of Mitchell's battalion if Mitchell allowed himself to be bitten, thus infecting Mitchell with the vampire curse.
Partnership with Mitchell
Mitchell and Herrick grew close to one another after Mitchell had been recruited. They worked as a team, attracting women to come with them to a private place where they would murder them and feed. This went on for decades, until Mitchell began to reconsider his lifestyle choice. His first sign of weakness came in 1964, when he and Herrick had seduced a young girl into coming with them into an abandoned building. Herrick left Mitchell to finish off the kill, but Mitchell could not bring himself to take another life and let the girl go, telling Herrick that she had escaped. Mitchell subsequently turned his back on the vampires and tried to live a normal life as a human, much to the anger of Herrick.
Herrick mainly serves as the leader of the vampires based in Bristol, but later mentioned in The Wolf-Shaped Bullet that he has command of Vampires across Europe, and also in America and Australia, possibly even worldwide. The Vampire headquarters are a funeral parlor by the name of 'B. Edwards'. He is leading a vampire style Final Solution, which sees the whole world either turned into vampires, or kept like cattle as food; he even planned to 'give' Mitchell South America. Their motto is 'No one gets left behind'.
He is killed in "Episode 1.6" by George in his werewolf form. Throughout the episode, he taunted George, saying he did not have guts to take him down. However, after George transforms and prepares to attack Herrick shows very little fear of him, even egging him on. Even Herrick's last words were taunts to George, shouting "Come on! Do it! Bring it you fucking freak! Do it!” Although Herrick does look afraid when George is coming toward him, seconds later George attacks tearing Herrick apart killing him.
Herrick left a large legacy. All vampires over the world heard of his death and George was known as a 'Celebrity' amongst the supernatural community. Many vampires travelled to Bristol, the home of George, Mitchell and Herrick such as Ivan and Daisy. Many stories were spread throughout the world to justify Herrick's death- one of the most notable being that George had begged him to be part of the new world but Herrick refused. All these were fake, but Herrick would be remembered throughout the vampire community as a hero, and not as a weak leader.
During Series 3, he appeared in the psychiatric area of the hospital George, Nina and Mitchell work at. Clearly disturbed and suffering amnesia, he was brought to their new home in Wales and kept in their attic posing as Nina's Uncle Billy due to the risks if he was photographed and his true nature exposed.
Mitchell came to him to attempt to figure out how he survived a werewolf attack, so he too could live through the prophecy Lia told him about. Herrick, however, did not remember being a vampire. He found Mitchell's journal of the Box Tunnel 20 massacre and shared this with Nina, and later, a detective who Nina reported Mitchell to. Herrick killed McNair, a werewolf, by stabbing him with a knife, when he tried to kill him in his werewolf state. When the police raided Mitchell's home and arrested him, the detective Nancy Reid found McNair's body upstairs shortly before Herrick killed her and massacred a group of armed policeman downstairs.
When Nina returns home, she does not see the bloodbath in the other room, and Herrick appears to her in a policeman's uniform. He has gained his memory again, and after contemplating it, stabs Nina before leaving, back to his old, evil ways. He susbequently helped Mitchell escape from prison, pitting him against George in the dogfight cage. When Mitchell had gained Herrick's trust he was freed from the cage - under the condition that he was now Herrick's protege once again. Later, he offered to share with Mitchell the secret of his resurrection; Mitchell rejected the offer, concluding that he had seen and done enough with his life. Mitchell thanked Herrick for giving him "more memories than [Mitchell] deserves" - then staked him while he was distracted watching a sunrise. Herrick collapsed into dust and was finally killed for good.
Herrick, as described by his actor Jason Watkins, is presented as a very likeable, charming man. He is polite, charming and always, publically at least, values good manners. Underneath this mask of charm and charisma however lies a much darker personality more akin to his vampiric nature. He is the leader of the Bristol Vampire community and so acts with an iron will to command them. He is prepared to kill his long time companion and former friend John Mitchell if it means the greater cause of his race and people as well as kill any and all who he valued in order to erase Mitchell's existence.
Herrick also acted in a very sadistic manner towards those he considers beneath him such as humans or Werewolves like George. He, like many vampires, consider Werewolves to be a lower species and despises George simply for being one. He enjoys tormenting John by using Lauren Drake to tempt him to return to the vampires as well as capture runaways to feed off of them, literally stating to Mitchell "it feels so nice." Herrick justifies his sadism and malice by stating it is entirely within a vampire's nature to do so and is a firm believer of the Vampire agenda, stating that their plot of world domination is simply the "natural churn of history".
This view emphasises a nihilistic stance in his personality and shows that he doesn't truly care for the moral nature of his actions, purely calling it neither good nor bad and simply "what happens next."
Herrick possessed all of the abilities common to vampires; including enhanced strength, senses and resilience, retractable fangs, awareness of the supernatural, increased rate of healing, invulnerability to most conventional forms of harm and fatality and immortality. Herrick also has no reflection and his image cannot be captured on film. Due to his advanced age, Herrick's vampiric abilities are far superior to that of younger vampires, as shown when he was able to slaughter a squad of armed police officers within a few minutes. Herrick was also aware of how to resurrect himself, should he die by means other than a stake to the heart or ingesting werewolf blood.
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- Herrick means war ruler. It is also interesting to note that his first name William is from the Germanic name Willahelm, which was composed of the elements wil "will, desire" (This is interesting because in one episode Herrick refers to himself as hunger,) and helm "helmet, protection".
- Herrick is a complete reversal of his pilot counterpart, in both personality and appearance.
- Herrick's North American counterpart is James Bishop, though Bishop is noticeably less sadistic and a more morally complex character than Herrick.
- Herrick: [to George, Annie and Mitchell] "So, a werewolf, a ghost and a vampire decide to live like humans do, they get jobs, a house and a TV licence. They make friends they will lie to, take lovers they will infect. In fact the only thing part of humanity they successfully adopt is its ability to deceive and destroy. All in all, I'd say your little scheme has been something of a failure."
- Mitchell: "And what about your plans, right now how would you say they're working out?"
- Herrick: "Well, the fat lady ain't singing yet."
- George: [Screams in pain as he slowly transforms].
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