Sleepy Hollow: Pilot (101)

Let me just say, I liked it.  A lot!

This episode gets 4 stars.

The headless horseman rides at night.

Oh, that’s not good.

I generally don’t put a lot of stock in pilots.  There’s so much exposition to be done, it’s often not representative of the series.  In the case of Sleepy Hollow, you can throw that premise out the window.  Which is quite an accomplishment for such a high-concept show.

The story of Ichabod Crane in 1781 America could have gone on forever, yet it was over in a minute and a half.  (I timed it.)  And that included showing us how the horseman became headless and letting us know he was something other than human.  In fact, the Revolutionary War and Ichabod’s resurrection in the 21st century were over before the credits rolled.

[At least one spoiler follows]

We quickly learned police lieutenant Abbie Mills was an excellent cop with high ambitions, although her daughter-like relationship with her mentor and boss Sheriff August Corbin indicated he’d be dead before the first commercial.

Not all was revealed immediately, though.  Throughout the episode, Ichabod flashed back to the Revolutionary War and General Washington.  Key events from Abbie’s past were revealed.  And it turns out there’s more to August Corbin than met the eye.

Abbie Mills takes Ichabod Crane in for questioning.

Abbie Mills takes Ichabod Crane in for questioning. Or to the sanitarium.

What usually makes or breaks a series is the one facet that can’t be acted or directed into the script—chemistry.  Tom Mison (whose Ichabod Crane looks nothing like the real him) and Nicole Beharie quickly established a camaraderie that’s more about mutual respect than physical attraction, even before they learned they have a supernatural connection.

I had my fill of the apocalypse with Supernatural, but I’m willing to give it another go.  After all, one network’s view of the end of the world is not necessarily another’s.  Heck, in Supernatural, Death doesn’t ride a white hose; he drives a vintage white Cadillac (at least that’s what I think it is), eats Chicago style pizza, and drinks beer with a straw.  This version of Death?  Well, he can’t very well eat pizza because he doesn’t have a head.  Right?  Even the police wondered if he could hear them when they ordered him to “Put your hands on your…?”

Sleepy Hollow introduced a number of other-worldly ideas, but surprisingly also answered a couple of them.  The ghost of Crane’s wife Katrina (a witch) revealed how and why he was raised from the grave.  We even caught a glimpse  of the demon-in-charge, which looks a lot like the devil-thingie from Devour (a movie seen by only Jensen Ackles fans).

And lest you forget who created  Icabod Crane, we have not only Revolutionary War General George Washington,but also present-day police captain Frank Irving.

If the action continues to move at the pace established in the pilot, and the campy humor continues to counter the darkness, I’m in.  Then again, this is a science fiction show on Fox.  How long can it last?

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7 responses to “Sleepy Hollow: Pilot (101)

    • This show comes from the same minds that brought us… cripes, now I can’t remember the show, but it was that popular Fox scifi show that starred the kid from Dawson’s Creek. (Obviously, I didn’t watch… Flitch? Oh yeah, Fringe.)

  1. Any show that begins and ends with “Sympathy for the Devil” sung by the one-and-only Mr. Jagger has a piece of my heart from the start. This grabbed it and ran with it the whole way. I giggled my head off that it’s set in the actually Sleepy Hollow – only because my husband’s cousins live there. Hope the writer’s find a way to work in The Horseman Diner (nice little place with a gleefully gruesome sign).
    It should be noted that the Disney story record of “the Legend of Sleepy Hollow” was one I played over and over (that it was read by Thurl Ravenstone may explain my fondness for basso-profundo voices). My daughter’s Johnny Depp crush had me watching that version with mixed emotions.

    • I need to add “Sympathy for the Devil” to my iTunes. Definitely!

      Having a personal connection (like cousins-in-law living in Sleepy Hollow) with a story always adds to the enjoyment. BTW, there’s mention of the town’s population of 144,000 (apparently larger than actual) has some meaning.

      Yup, there’s nothing like a good basso-profundo to get the ol’ juices flowing!

  2. Crane kept it together remarkably well for being confronted with a 250 year time difference. 🙂 Seriously, I liked this a lot. It has a similar feel to Supernatural(humor, gore, spooky stuff), and you can’t go wrong with that.

    • I watched the “Behind the Scenes” stuff from OnDemand, and they remarked how they’re striving to make every episode a mini-horror movie. I remember Supernatural saying the very same thing. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Sleepy Hollow: The Midnight Ride | SciFi Chick (s)

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