TV Review: Sleepy Hollow

Sunday 13 October 2013 by

Sleepy Hollow, Universal Channel, TV, HorrorI thought posting my review of new TV drama Sleepy Hollow on the 13th would be particularly appropriate! Universal Channel has picked up the latest offering in sci-fi/fantasy/horror TV just in time for Halloween, but is the show worth it?

Sleepy Hollow – episode one – Pilot

*mild spoilers alert*

The series itself is based on the story of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, in which hero Ichabod Crane (played by Tom Mison in the show) battles the terrifying Headless Horseman in a small, sleepy (geddit?) town/hollow.

This time, though, Crane (a soldier in the American Civil War) wakes up 250 years after his death in modern-day Sleepy Hollow, with no idea of where he is or how he got there. Local police officer Lieutenant Abbie Mills, meanwhile, encounters a rather unpleasant man with an axe… and without a head.

The episode ramps up the tension relatively quickly – throwing Abbie and Ichabod together, killing off Abbie’s partner, and heavily suggesting there are bigger things at stake with blurry flashbacks to Ichabod’s original demise.

I was expecting to be spooked by the show – having been so easily terrified of the film before – but found myself rather flummoxed by it instead. I felt like they revealed too much too soon; immediately establishing the reasons for Crane and the Headless Horseman’s dual resurrection (they are interconnected by blood and when someone raised the Horseman, raised Crane in the process), and going even further to reveal that the Horseman is Death – one of the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse – that the town is haunted by a demon (which Abbie saw as a child) and that the town is inhabited by two witch covens: one good, one bad.

Are you feeling as flummoxed as I am?

I at least thought the series would drag out the Headless Horseman’s story, and create more of a mystery around the whole thing. Instead, the mystery is effectively wrapped up neatly in this pilot episode, with lashings of biblical references.

There was plenty of mystery, action and spookiness, and I will openly admit I was gripped from start to finish, but did wonder what else could be done after the Headless Horseman was revealed as Death. I mean – where do you go from the Apocalypse? (Let’s give Supernatural a nod at this point, who apart from Buffy, has been the only series to continue after the end of the world)

Instead, they did something a little clever towards the end of the episode – they gave themselves a chance to run for at least 7 years…

But that’s a spoiler too far, so if you’ve not seen it, I’d go watch to find out what I mean.

It was an entertaining show, and it did make me jump a couple of times, but I wasn’t blown away. I’d be cautious about it overreaching itself, but could happily sit and watch it for the next 7 years…

Rating, Review, Three

Did you watch Sleepy Hollow? What did you think?

Meet the cast:

Ichabod Crane is played by Tom Mison
Lt. Abbie Mills is played by Nicole Beharie
Captain Frank Irving is played by Orlando Jones
Katrina Crane is played by Katia Winter
Jenny Mills is played by Lyndie Greenwood
Detective Luke Morales is played by Nicholas Gonzalez
Andy Brooks is played by John Cho
Sheriff August Corbin is played by Clancy Brown
Reverend Alfred Knapp is played by Patrick Gorman

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