When attorney Catherine (Hamilton) gets attacked in one of the shadier parts of New York City, she is rescued and cared for by a strange man named Vincent (Perlman). Because of her injuries, her bandages cover most of her head, so she doesn't know that Vincent has a demeanor that resembles a lion more than your average human. As she recovers under Vincent's care, the two end up growing close, but Catherine realizes that Vincent is hiding something, and when she finally lays her eyes on her savior, she is shocked at first, but quickly accepts Vincent for the kind heart that cared for her. The two's bond grows quickly, but both are conflicted over the relationship that they cannot have.
It seems Vincent has lived in a series of tunnels that exist under New York City, along with a whole class of outcasts lead by Father (Roy Dotrice), who raised Vincent ever since he was discovered on the doorsteps of St. Vincent Hospital (thus his name).
During the series' first two seasons, the bond between Catherine and Vincent grows, and the two actually develop an empathic relationship that allows them to feel each other's emotions. Vincent starts by simply protecting Catherine as she investigates various cases as an Assistant District Attorney. But eventually, they become more than protected and protector.
But their relationship is cut short when Catherine dies by the end of the second season, and Diana (Jo Anderson), a police woman, enters into Vincent's life while investigating Catherine's death. While Diana doesn't really become a romantic replacement to Catherine, she is still a major character who ends up learning a lot about Vincent and his under-city world.
Interestingly enough, each season has a very unique feel to it. The first feels a bit repetitive as Catherine investigates some crime that inevitably leads to Vincent saving her (though there are a couple of times when the roles are reversed). Season Two focuses a lot more on the growing relationship between Vincent and Catherine. Here Catherine also becomes more accepted by the people living under the city instead of just another outsider. The last season brings back a bit more of the action (which started re-emerging towards the end of Season Two), but the loss of Hamilton really changes the dynamics of show.
Beauty and the Beast: The Complete Series is a good series, at least as far late 80's dramas with a hint of sci-fi elements are concerned. Both Perlman and Hamilton do a great job of playing off of each other, while secondary characters like Father also help to enhance the overall experience. Fans of the show's original airing will definitely want to grab this collection (provided you didn't already buy the individual seasons as they were being released), but I really don't see it being enjoyed by modern audiences who can't reminisce about the era the series came from.