“Heads Will Roll!” – First Impression Review Of FOX’s New Series “Sleepy Hollow”
Sleepy Hollow Is The Thrilling New Mystery-Adventure Drama From Co-Creators/Executive Producers Alex Kurtzman And Roberto Orci
This modern take on the popular Washington Irving classic, Sleepy Hollow, tells the story of Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) who has been resurrected and transported 250 years into the future to solve a mystery that dates back to the founding of our country and stop the Headless Horseman who was revived alongside him. Ichabod teams up with Detective Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie, Shame) to solve the mystery, and stop the Horseman who they discover is just the first of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Directed by Underworld’s Len Wiseman, and executive produced by Fringe’s Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, FOX’s freshman thriller made it’s debut appearance at 2013 San Diego Comic-Con with a pilot screening and Q&A panel. If The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was always one of your favorite stories, then you’ll get a kick out of this updated version.
This classic story is re-invented for a modern audience. Ichabod Crane is still the hero of Sleepy Hollow, but this time he’s partnered with a young African-American police detective who will not only help him solve the mystery of why he and the Horseman were resurrected, but how to survive in the modern era. In this version of he Washington Irving classic, Ichabod first meets the Horseman during the American Revolution in the Hudson Valley in 1776. Finding themselves on opposite sides, the two kill each other in battle, only to both wind up in modern-day Sleepy Hollow. Ichabod must solve the mystery of why they’ve both been resurrected before the other three Horsemen of the Apocalypse rise up from their graves.
What if you suddenly woke up from the throes of death 250 years in the future to find the world is on the brink of destruction, caused by unimaginable events, and you are humanity’s last hope?
Joining Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie on this exciting new adventure are Orlando Jones as Captain Frank Irving (Drumline), Katia Winter (Dexter) as Ichabod’s wife Katrina, and guest star Clancy Brown as Sheriff August Corbin (Cowboys & Aliens). As Crane and Mills try to unravel the clues to this deadly mystery, Jones’ Capt. Irving is a non-believer in Mills’ claims that Ichabod can be of assistance in solving Sheriff Corbin’s murder. Winter’s portrayal of Ichabod’s wife, Katrina, adds an additional layer of mystery as she comes to her husband in visions to help him defeat the vicious killer.
“Are you finished, because hearing you talk is like gibberish to me. It’s like watching a chicken cluck.”
A bond forms between Ichabod and Abbie, because she is determined to solve her mentor, Sheriff Corbin’s, murder. Plus, Ichabod has extensive first-hand knowledge of American history. Much of which is unknown even today. Ichabod needs Abbie, because she can help him understand this brave new world he’s found himself ushered into, and also possesses superior profiling skills.
Aside from solving the mystery of why Ichabod and the Horseman have returned from the grave, the dynamic duo also try to solve the mysteries of Ichabod and Abbie’s pasts. Both have been touched by the supernatural, and believe the clues to ridding the world of this vicious cycle of evil is locked in their memories. With Katrina as a ghostly guide, the two have to unlock the secret mysteries in America’s past to solve the one before them today.
“Welcome to the 21st Century, Mr. Crane.”
One of the most entertaining aspects of this new series is how it weaves real historical stories into the fictional story. Like the blockbuster movie, National Treasure, Sleepy Hollow will use true unknown stories about the early days of our Nation’s history. This aspect makes the show even more fun, since the audience will get to learn these secrets, and watch as Ichabod and Abbie use them to try and stop the arrival of the Apocalypse.
“As you know I’m insane, and impervious to simple commands.”
In the Washington Irving classic short story, Ichabod Crane was a cowardly school teacher who sets out secure his future, and wealth, by securing the hand of Katrina Van Tassel in marriage. Instead, Ichabod’s plans are thwarted when Katrina’s other suitor, Abraham Von Brunt fills Crane’s head with ghost stories of a Headless Horseman. On Ichabod’s way home, he comes across the fabled horseman, and is attacked when the horseman throws his decapitated head at Ichabod. In the morning, the only things left of Ichabod are his scarred horse, his saddle, and his hat. No one ever sees him again… Mwahahah! Just kidding! It turns out the Horseman was none other than Abraham, and Ichabod fled town in fright, allowing Katrina to marry Abraham in his stead.
In FOX’s new series, Ichabod is nothing close to a coward. This brave soldier defeated the Horseman in 1776, and is determined to do it again. Even if it means he, too, will return to the grave. Mison is great as a confused Ichabod trying to navigate a world he never thought he’s see, and offers a lot of the comic relief. Part Indiana Jones. Part Sherlock Holmes. Ichabod is now the perfect person to battle the Horseman, and hopefully save the world in the process.
Worth The Watch?
My first impression of Sleepy Hollow is that it is a fun show to watch. With fun historical tidbits, a great mystery, and creepy atmosphere, this new series is the perfect way to relax on a Monday night. The changes made in the original material make the series seem fresh, which is a good thing since it wasn’t too long ago director Tim Burton gave his take on this classic tale. In fact, Kurtzman and Orci’s version of Ichabod is so far from the one portrayed in by Johnny Depp in Burton’s film, that viewers won’t make any comparisons between Depp and Mison’s performance. As a fan of the National Treasure films and the History Channel’s now defunct Cities of the Underworld, this series proves to offer the fun adventures that both of those projects allowed viewers to embark on. Not only is the story interesting and fun, but the special effects are also well done. Which is to be expected from the people that brought us the Underworld films and Fringe. The only downside? FOX is known to cancel big budget science fiction / horror series, so getting invested in this new show may prove heartbreaking. Overall, I say give it a shot. The mystery and revelations were enough to keep me watching,and hopefully they will be for you, too.
Sleepy Hollow airs Mondays on FOX (9-10 p.m. ET), beginning September 16, 2013
Encores Fridays at 9|8c