The idea of Ichabod Crane waking up 250 years after his death in the Revolutionary War in a small American town with a Headless Horseman in pursuit had all the makings of a disaster. Yet the pilot episode of Sleepy Hollow, penned by Fringe co-creators Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, with Phillip Iscove, and directed by Len Wiseman of Underworld fame, took a spectacularly confident leap into the saturated genre of modern twist on a classic fantasy in a wildly entertaining debut.
It seems, for now, we can rest assured Sleepy Hollow isn’t going to take itself too seriously. Tom Mison’s Ichabod Crane is far removed from the traditional timid school teacher, and more of your idealistic hero, but the chemistry between Ichabod and Lieutenant Abbie Mills (played by Nicole Beharie) works perfectly. No opportunity for cringe-worthy moments was left unexplored, including Ichabod questioning if Abbie had been emancipated, grumbling about female officers and women wearing trousers, although he was calling her “Leftenant” soon enough. The town of Sleepy Hollow seems to be full of secrets, but there was no time to dwell on back-stories for too long, after Ichabod and Abbie forged a bit of an alliance, we were plunged back into the action soon enough.
This is an excellent, fast-paced blend of a classic supernatural tale with a heavy dose of humour, and surprisingly believable characters. This should shape up to be a great weekly fix of good cheesy fun.
Look out for the cameo by genre legend Clancy Brown, who has appeared in more film and television than we can mention, including Carnivàle, Starship Troopers, Highlander and does voice work for the DC Universe.