With the success of Once Upon a Time comes another reimagining of a familiar tale. This week saw the premier of Sleepy Hollow, a mix of realism and sci-fi, a crime drama with some time travelling. This recap will have spoilers so consider yourself warned!
The pilot episode opens on a battle at Hudson Valley, NY in 1780. A soldier sees a big hulk of a man approach him and they battle before the soldier cuts off the man’s head. Due to his battle wounds, the soldier was dying and the next thing he knows, he’s stumbled onto a busy street in present day Sleepy Hollow.
The sheriff of Sleepy Hollow and his deputy go answer a call about some spooked horses at a stable and find the resident beheaded and themselves confronted with the Headless Horseman. At the same time, a cop arrests a frantic Ichabod Crane running around in the streets and they take him in for questioning. Hooked up to a polygraph test, he tells his story with no spike in the machine. He’s ordered to be locked up in a mental institution but the deputy, Abbie, takes him into custody and they go to where he first appeared, finding a bible that he was buried with.
The Horseman goes to find the local reverend, who seems to know him and Ichabod, and is hiding something. He tells the Headless Horseman that he will never tell him where “it” is. It’s then revealed in Ichabod’s dream where his wife comes to him and tells him that the Horseman wants his skull. She explains how they both came to be transported in time, and that she is a witch aiming to stop “the end.” Ichabod leads Abbie to his wife’s grave where the skull is buried, just as the Horseman shows up with the other cop—who has gone rogue—in tow. Backup finally arrives and they get their first glimpse of the Headless Horseman, thereby finally believing Ichabod.
The opening sequence set in history looked great, but the opening credits in present day had some pretty poor special effects and obvious computer generated elements.
I love the diversity in the cast and I’m loving the dynamic of Ichabod and Abbie Mills. The sarcasm in that first conversation between the two made me laugh out loud, and Ichabod reminds me of a British version of Lost‘s Sawyer. His ignorance on the present day commodities is sure to be a continuing source of chuckles for the viewers… for now. There was also great use of different camera angles and techniques, with some shots being from the POV of the one who’s being beheaded. Very nice touch. This Headless Horseman is no run of the mill fable either. As many other online reviews have called it, he’s like Headless Horseman meets Terminator.
In all honesty, I was prepared to find the show a bit ridiculous, with the premise being “time travelling” into present day but it’s actually quite good. I’m definitely intrigued enough to continue watching!