If you judge werewolves by their beauty, then the heroine of Bitten is far and away the best wolfie out there.

Syfy's sexy, diverting drama features the delectable Laura Vandervoort. Adapted from novelist Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series, Bitten is the newest addition to the channel's supernatural-Mondays lineup. It debuts at 10 p.m., following the season premieres of Canadian succubus yarn Lost Girl and the American remake of Being Human.

Vandervoort, 29, best known for her turn as a reptilian alien with a heart of gold on ABC's V reboot, stars as Elena Michaels, a twentysomething photographer from Toronto who has lived for four years with a monstrous secret.

Conveyed through honey-toned flashbacks, Elena's past is riddled with tragedy. An orphan raised in a succession of abusive foster homes, she finally finds her place in the world when she falls in love with her dream man, wealthy anthropologist Clayton Danvers (Greyston Holt). Alas, he bites her, ravages her, savages her. But instead of draining all her elan vital, he turns her into a werewolf.

Every one of Danvers' relatives - all men - is a wolf. They live in the creepy Gothic mansion Stone Haven in Upstate New York, under the watchful gaze of alpha male Jeremy (Greg Bryk). Elena is an exotic creature in this world: It seems she's the only woman ever to survive being turned. So for nearly four years, the Danverses force Elena to live with them.

As the pilot opens, Elena has broken away from the pack and created a normal life. She shares an amazingly swank flat with her hunkerama of a beau, Philip McAdams (Paul Greene), and goes out for coffee and shoe shopping with her bff, Philip's sister, Diane (Natalie Brown).

Things change when Jeremy summons the pack back home to hunt a stray werewolf that has been killing women in the neighborhood. As the pack's best tracker, Elena is compelled to return.

Who is this "mutt," as the pack calls him? Why is he killing?

Is he after the Danverses?

Before long, more mutts come on the scene, killing humans and threatening to expose the Danvers secret.

Drum roll . . .

Though it lacks the production value or special-effects budget of the Twilight movies, Bitten has a smooth, slick look and boasts solid performances. I could think of worse ways to while away my Monday nights.



10 p.m. Monday on Syfy