[Female Protagonists on SF TV] Jane Vasco on Painkiller Jane

Jane Vasco played by Kristanna Loken (Teminator 3, the L Word) was the protagonist on the short lived TV show Painkiller Jane. They made 22 episodes before it was canceled in 2007. This was during the time there was a SciFi channel in USA, before it became Syfy and showed wrestling and reality TV.

Painkiller Jane is a superhero kind of of show with a little bit of Alias. Jane can heal any damage to herself, but she feels the pain, thus the name. The show started out pretty good in my opinion. Jane is recruited to an unspecified government agency that hunt and neutralize “Neuros” when she probes to far into one of their operations. They have a rustic base in an abandoned subway station named Deckard Street. Each episode they hunt down and neutralize a Neuro – a mutant with supernormal mental powers. For some reason all mutations tend to cause deviant behavior.

Jaine becomes aware she is a mutant herself in the pilot when she is pulled out of a forty story window and plunge to her death, only to wake up in the morgue. The team doctor identifies her powers as something different from the ones the Neuros have. For one she don’t become deviant or evil. There is hints that both her powers and those of the Neuros might be induced by something or someone, but the show ended before we got an answer.

Much of the allure I enjoyed in the early part of the series was from the interaction and drama between the team members. The later part of the series focus mostly on Jaine and her handler Andre McBride played by Rob Steward and take place in Eastern Europe at a holding facility, that part I didn’t enjoy as much.

There is also a comic, or rather the TV series is based on a comic with the same name. Created by Jimmy Palmiotti and the current editor in chief of Marvel Comics, Joe Quesada back in 1995.

Last summer (2009) MTV reported that Jane’s creator Jimmy Palmiotti has announced that his character will once again have the opportunity to shine on screen.

“The good thing is that I will be involved a hell of a lot more than last time,” he said about the development of the new “Jane” film. “We had that two hour movie on SyFy and I was somewhat involved, then we did the series and I got to write one and I was involved a little bit more. But this time, I’m actually writing the screenplay.”

Kristanna Loken

Kristanna Loken (full name – Kristanna Sommer Loken) was born on October, 8th, 1979. She is the daughter of Chris Loken – the actor and the writer – and former model Rande Loken. Kristanna has a sister, Tanya Loken, who is 16 years older than her. She was born in a small provincial town near New York on a fruit farm “Love Apple”, constructed under her father’s project. Kristanna studied in both public and private schools, her free time she spent on dancing, singing, and actor’s art.

15 year old Kristanna decides to follow in her mother’s foot steps and like her adult sister Tanya, she became a model. She signs a contract with enough prestigious firm “Elite”. Her first role was in a soap opera As the World Turns in 1994, that did not bring her huge popularity. On TV she appeared in shows such as Philly, Law & Order, Sliders, etc. She got her first main role in Mortal Kombat: Conquest, where she played “Taja”.

Continuing to earn a reputation, Loken hopes to become well-known to the whole world. Living under the motto: “Trust and follow the dream”, she managed to get a role in the third Terminator film – Rise of the Machines. Kristanna’s last main roles were in the movies BloodRayne and Ring of the Nibelungs and more recently she became more well known for starring in the TV series Painkiller Jane.

Terminator 3 and The L-word


Read more on the Painkiller Jane website

Bonus pictures

Other posts on Female Protagonists on SciFi TV

  1. Olivia Dunham in Fringe
  2. Max Guevara (X5-452) in Dark Angel
  3. Erica Evans on V
  4. Molly Anne Caffrey on Threshold
  5. Wendy ‘Dub-Dub’ Watson on The Middleman
  6. Jane Vasco on Painkiller Jane
  7. Æon Flux on Æon Flux
  8. Dana Scully on The X-Files
  9. Myka Bering on Warehouse 13
  10. Dr. Helena Magnus on Sanctuary
  11. Sarah Walker on Chuck
  12. Echo on Dollhouse
  13. Amy Pond on Doctor Who