“Sleepy Hollow”

This is the final, unpublished piece that Desirée and I had written for “Nuclear Winter Entertainment” before that site shut down. Please keep in mind that more of the series has aired since this article was written.

Washington Irving’s classic short story, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, has inspired a lot of film and television projects over the years. One of the most memorable was the 1999 theatrical film “Sleepy Hollow”, directed by Tim Burton, starring Johnny Depp, and Christina Ricci. Now, in 2013, a new television series has launched that may well be the most unusual project ever to be based on that piece of timeless literature.

“Sleepy Hollow” is a new one-hour drama airing Monday nights on the Fox network. The show was created by Phillip Iscove, Alex Kurtzman (“Cowboys & Aliens”, “Alias”, “Fringe”) Roberto Orci (“Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”, “Xena: Warrior Princess”, “The Proposal”), and Len Wiseman (the “Underworld” film series). The show stars Tom Mison as Ichabod Crane, Nicole Beharie as Police Lieutenant Abbie Mills, and Orlando Jones as Police Captain Frank Irving.

In this newest incarnation of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, we learn that Ichabod Crane had been a soldier in the Revolutionary War, personally recruited by George Washington. Washington, as it turns out, had become embroiled in a secret war against supernatural forces of darkness. He tasked Crane with the chore of killing a particular enemy combatant during battle. Crane managed to remove the head of his foe with an axe, but was simultaneously struck down. Crane’s wife, Katrina, played by Katia Winter, was a witch. She stepped in, and used magick to place her husband into a form of suspended animation. Due to a mingling of their blood on the battlefield, the spell also linked Ichabod to the enemy horseman he had decapitated. This soldier cannot truly die, and we later learn he is one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse—Death. The horseman’s body was encased in a metal coffin, chained, and sunk into a deep river; his head being kept separate.

Fast forward to 2013, and the spell keeping Crane in suspended animation is triggered, waking him. Due to his link with his enemy, the Headless Horseman is also revived. Crane, now a stranger in a strange land, stumbles around until he is arrested. Soon after his arrest he makes the acquaintance of Lieutenant Abbie Mills. Where as everyone else thinks Ichabod is insane due to his tales of supernatural horror, and first-hand accounts of talks with George Washington, Abbie isn’t so sure. Why? Because, as children, Abbie and her sister encountered a demon in the woods.

Events, of course, bring Abbie around to accepting that Crane is telling the truth. Abbie and he, according to Crane, are Witnesses—with a capital “W”—who must spend seven years together, combating paranormal evil in order to stop the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Over the course of the four episodes that have aired of as this writing, the unlikely partners have been forced to deal with the Headless Horseman, an evil witch, a demonic Sandman, and search for a book of black magick capable of mass demon summoning. They work with the assistance of the ghost of Ichabod’s wife, Katrina, who was burned for witchcraft soon after casting the spell upon her husband. Katrina’s spirit visits Crane in his dreams when he is in need of her help.

Personally, I have been thoroughly enjoying this show. The acting is great, with a top-notch cast. The plotlines are intriguing. Although there are a lot of special effects in the show, the stories revolve around the characters, set against the backdrop of the struggle against supernatural evil. The effects are one facet of the show, not the reason for it. After watching the first four episodes, I’m firmly hooked, and can’t wait for more!

“Sleepy Hollow” debuted on September 16, 2013, with 10.1 million people tuning in. As a result of the terrific beginning, Fox has already announced that they plan to renew “Sleepy Hollow” for a second season. Season 1 and Season 2 of “Sleepy Hollow” will be comprised of 13 episodes each.

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