SLEEPY Hollow is so much better than its premise suggests.
Ichabod Crane awakens in 2013 in Sleepy Hollow, as does the Headless Horseman. Sounds thin? How are you going to get a series out of that? Night after night of the Headless Horseman riding off on his killing streak, hunted again and again by Ichabod?
Turns out there’s more to this series – witches, all sorts of occult good and evil, dark supernatural forces at play, plots, ritual and …wait for it…the other three horsemen of the apocalypse, no less.
This sure ain’t The Legend of Sleepy Hollow as Washington Irving wrote it.
In fact, it’s all quite fun.
And for those of us who think we’ve seen it all after heavy doses of blood and horror in shows like True Blood and even Supernatural, Sleepy Hollow surprises by even being a bit scary.
So let’s get back to old Ichabod (Ichy for short, do you think?). He’s chopped the horseman’s head off in 1781 while on a mission for George Washington during the American Revolution. Washington, it seems, wasn’t just fighting the British but trying to prevent some big bad from rising.
Ichy, however, is mortally wounded. But his wife Katrina (Katia Winter) is a nurse and a witch – a good witch, before you ask, on the side of the angels and all that – and she and a mysterious looking Reverend bury Ichabod with Washington’s Bible.
He wakes in a cave in our time to find the horseman is also back and searching for his missing head.
If he finds it – or so Ichabod’s wife warns him via a bit of supernatural dream stuff – the horseman will herald the way for the other three horsemen of the Book of Revelations.
Ichabod joins forces with Lieutenant Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie), an officer about to leave Sleepy Hollow to join the FBI. But now she realises a creepy incident from her childhood is linked to what’s threatening Sleepy Hollow now and she must stay and help Ichabod.
With us so far?
It’s not as strange as it sounds. Really. And it is good fun.
After all, it combines the character thrown out his time idea with dark, supernatural conspiracies, secret covens, and even the apocalypse, so what’s not to like?
But wait. There’s more. The cast is pretty good too.
The actor playing Ichabod has a whole English Sherlock coolness and accent going for him; He’s played by Tom Mison who we’re picking early as the “hot guy” of the series. He certainly brings a bit of humour to the role in that dry, understated and refreshingly British way and there’s chemistry between his character and tough officer Mills.
In this incarnation, Ichabod is a British soldier who realised he was fighting on the wrong side. We meet him waking in his cave, wandering onto a road and nearly being hit by a car. And that’s just the first few minutes. Heaps of action follows as the horseman beheads Mills’ partner the sheriff (Clancy Brown) who seems to have been keeping strange files going back years in a locked cabinet in his office. It really heats up when the horseman gets his hands on some modern weapons …
All in all, we’re not quite sure where Sleepy Hollow is going but we’re ready to take the ride.
SLEEPY HOLLOW is showing on Ten at 8.30pm on Tuesdays.