April 2, 1999 (1999-04-02) – April 27, 2002 (2002-04-27)
Big Wolf on Campus is a Canadian television series created by Peter A. Knight and Christopher Briggs that ran from 1999 to 2002. In the lighthearted horror/teen drama tradition of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it is about a teenage boy named Thomas "Tommy" P. Dawkins, who was bitten by a werewolf during a camping trip in the woods a week before his senior year. After becoming a werewolf, he fights against vampires, cat women, ghosts, zombies, and other supernatural entities to keep his hometown of Pleasantville safe, even though almost everyone in Pleasantville believes that their protector, "The Pleasantville Werewolf", is dangerous.
Thomas "Tommy" P. Dawkins is a teenager who is mauled by a werewolf during a camping trip. After returning to his home town of Pleasantville, of which his father is the mayor, there are sightings of the "Pleasantville Werewolf". The first person to find out that Tommy is the Pleasantville Werewolf is Tommy's goth friend Merton J. Dingle, a keen expert of the supernatural. Together they battle other paranormal creatures that comes into their town. Despite Tommy's best efforts to protect Pleasantville, almost everybody sees him as a dangerous monster, including Tim and Travis Eckert, twin brothers who are obsessed with hunting the Werewolf down.
In the first season, Tommy's love interest is Stacy Hanson, and most of the other characters are completely unaware of Tommy's secret. They date at some points but due to Tommy's vigilante lifestyle as a lycanthrope, his transformations interfere with their relationship. At the end of the first season, Stacy leaves for college after graduation.
Some of the antagonists in the series take a toll on Tommy, such as the werewolf who bit him. Tommy also stands against a Werewolf Syndicate who intends on using Tommy to create other werewolves, as they are unable to since they are not Alphas like Tommy.
Taking Stacy's place as Tommy's love interest is Lori Baxter, a former Catholic school girl who was expelled for vandalism. Lori is an expert fighter who realizes Tommy's secret and later befriends Tommy and Merton and joins them in fighting evil.
Along with Tommy's relationships, some of the drama they struggle with is Merton being temporarily cursed by Medusa, as well as their frequent encounters with the Syndicate. At some point Merton and Lori, on two different occasions, are turned into werewolves themselves. Merton is accidentally bitten while doing dental work on Tommy, and becomes excited at the notion of becoming a werewolf, and Lori is bitten by Tommy after he is brainwashed during an encounter with the Syndicate, which results in a takeover. Both are cured before becoming permanent werewolves, but Tommy, despite his own attempts at being cured, is unsuccessful in finding a cure as he is a full werewolf. Nonetheless, he accepts that being a werewolf is his fate, though an unwanted one.
Cast and characters
Brandon Quinn as Thomas "Tommy" P. Dawkins, aka "The Pleasantville Werewolf." Tommy is a senior in high school and the main character of "Big Wolf on Campus". He was one of the most popular kids in the school, and is the captain of the footballteam. His mother is the head reporter of Pleasantville news while his father is the Mayor of Pleasantville and he also has his couch potato brother, Dean Dawkins. He has two love interests, Stacy Hanson in the first season and then Lori Baxter in the second. During a camping trip on the night before senior year, he is bitten by a werewolf known as Mr. Dunleavy, whom he meets in "Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow". He befriends social outcast Merton Dingle after Merton offers to help him with his lycanthropy. In the first season, his "wolfing out" made his relationship with Stacy Hanson difficult because he always had to leave to fight bad guys. In the second season, Stacy left for college early, and his new love interest was Lori Baxter, who finds out about his secret after he has to save her from the WerewolfSyndicate. A recurring theme in the series is how he wants to get rid of his lycanthropy.
Danny Smith as Merton J. Dingle. Merton is Tommy's best friend who helps him with his werewolf problem. He is a social outcast and a goth who is often the subject of bullying, especially by Tim and Travis. Tommy Dawkins and Lori Baxter are his only friends. He has converted his basement into what he calls his "lair", in which he, Tommy and later on, Lori use as their meeting place. He has a younger sister, Becky, with whom he has a rivalry and who often calls him "a freaker", and tries to act like he doesn't exist. He is very protective of her, however, but this often annoys his sister. At the same time, she showed appreciation of Merton when he cheered her up after a potential date stood her up without explanation. He is often the comic relief of the show with his quirky personality and his often cowardly behaviour, but sometimes he has been shown to have courage by risking himself to save Tommy, such as when he leapt in front of Tommy and was turned to stone by Medusa instead of Tommy. He wishes that he were a werewolf too, often asking Tommy to pass on his lycanthropy to him, and even becoming a werewolf temporarily when he accidentally pricked his finger on one of Tommy's fangs during a dental exam. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of all things to do with mythology and movies, often giving movie references to everything. He is a budding screen writer and often tries to write screenplays, and even got one sent to Corey Feldman, who came to Pleasantville once himself. Merton has had many love interests throughout the series, with the main one being Lori Baxter in the second season, sometimes fighting with Tommy over her. He is very loyal to Tommy, but there was a recurring joke in the series in that he would attempt to make deals with enemies, though Tommy ends up defeating them afterward.
Rachelle Lefevre (1999) as Stacey Hanson was Tommy's love interest in Season one. She is the captain of cheerleading and the most popular girl in school, said to have dated seniors since the sixth grade. She has given Tommy many second chances, but most of their dates are often ruined by Tommy "wolfing out", which she takes for him just ditching her. She left for college at the end of the first season, because Rachelle Lefèvre (who played Stacey) was doing the same thing.
Aimée Castle (2000–2002) as Lauren 'Lori' Baxter is Tommy's friend and sometime sweetheart who debuts in season two. She transferred from Pleasantville Catholic for vandalizing a tribute to the school's football star which was wrecked during a one on one scrimmage between Tommy and the ghost of that star. She is a kickboxer and often uses her fighting skills to help Tommy beat the bad guys. Both Tommy and Merton like her, but she often picks Tommy over Merton. She is the only other person apart from Merton who knows that Tommy is a werewolf. She becomes a werewolf herself temporarily when she is bitten by Tommy, who was under the spell of the Syndicate, but was turned back into a human by Merton.
Domenic Di Rosa and Rob deLeeuw as Tim and Travis Eckert, aka "T'N'T". They are two six-year juniors at Tommy's school who are large and unintelligent. They often try to capture "The Pleasentville Werewolf", not knowing that they're actually chasing Tommy.
Jack Mosshammer as Dean Dawkins. Dean is Tommy's brother. He is two years out of college, unemployed, and still lives with his parents. Dean is almost always found at home, sitting in a recliner and watching television.
Nathalie Vansier as Becky Dingle is Merton's younger sister. She often refers to him as "freaker". In one of her notable appearances, she is possessed by the serial killer "The Pleasentville Stangler".
Jane Wheeler as Sally Dawkins is Tommy's mother. She's a local reporter in Pleasantville.
Alan Fawcett as Mayor Bob Dawkins is Tommy's father. He is the wealthy and influential mayor of Pleasantville.
Marc Fiorini as The Werewolf Syndicite Leader is the unnamed leader of an organization of werewolves that attempt to use Tommy to create more. He attempts so by brainwashing Tommy but is nearly overthrown by a lycanthropic Lori. He is killed along with the rest of the syndicite when they encounter a vampire that fed on werewolf blood. He is the overall antagonist of the series as a whole.
Barry Julien as Gil is the son of the Syndicite leader. He isn't evil and has a happy go lucky personality. He is shown to be afraid of his father, but regardless he attempts to take up his seat in the Syndicite after his fathers death.
When he's left alone with a bad guy, Merton often asks the villain what it's like to be what they are, e.g. "So, you're a soul stealing agent of the dark dominion, what's that like?" or "So, you're a cybernetic creation who turned on his creator, what's that like?" To which they will often reply with an answer like "it puts food on the table".
Merton making a movie reference, then instead of talking about the movie itself, he would talk about either how the film was received or what he felt when he watched it. Tommy usually hits him and says "In the movie!" e.g. "This is like the Purple Rose of Cairo, Woody Allen's Oscar-nominated tale of longing and betrayal." "Yeah? What happened?" "The academy snubbed him, it's all so political." "What happened in the movie!?" This was the most recognizable gag in the show. Even when Tommy was under a trance, he still hit Merton, and when they're in a parallel dimension, it is Tommy who makes the movie reference.
Tommy's hero worship of John Elway, having an annual speech on him and also having an autographed rookie card of him.
Merton trying to make a deal with his enemies when it looks like Tommy has lost.
Merton saying someone has a rash in order to humiliate them, usually Tommy or Becky.
Sometimes the villains call Tommy a dog-man, then Tommy always says werewolf.
the syndicate leader often explains how evil werwolf are when Giil will usually spoil the drama with a perky or innocent comment
Originally, Brandon Quinn had more extreme werewolf make-up. He had an allergic reaction to the glue and the look had to be altered.
Danny Smith, who played Merton J. Dingle added a lot of his own catch phrases into the role. He also wrote, produced, and sang the show's theme song. During the show, Merton tries writing a song, and actually writes the show's theme (albeit with one or two words changed).