The world of Sanctuary
Sanctuary is a Canadian SF/Fantasy TV Show that I’m currently obsessed with. Obsessed as in watching-episodes-until-4-AM obsessed. But ever since I woke up this morning I’ve been wondering what to do with my life, now that I’ve finished the available four seasons in a little over a week. I remembered I have this thing called a blog and I’ve written in there I’m going to start posting more regularly again. In retrospect, I don’t know what came over me then, but I do have this huge emptiness to fill, so I might as well let you in on this amazing show.
The show centers on the head of The Sanctuary Network, 157 years old Helen Magnus (Amanda Tapping), and her team of experts as they deal with all kinds of abnormals (powerful creatures, for the most part the result of natural mutations, although some are created on purpose). The Sanctuary Network is a network of safe havens for abnormals, with Sanctuaries placed all over the world, naturally.
In addition to being the elected leader of the Network, she is also the head of the Old City Sanctuary, which is where a good part of the action takes place. In the pilot episode, Sanctuary For All, Helen recruits forensics psychiatrist Will Zimmerman to work for the Sanctuary. Reluctant at first, he eventually accepts her offer and becomes her protege. Also part of the Helen’s team are her daughter Ashley, a Sasquatch-like creature only known by the nicknames Big Guy, Biggie or Big Foot and Henry Foss – the tech guy. From the second season, the team is joined by bad-girl-gone-good Kate Freelander.
Naturally, over the course of four seasons more characters -usually interesting characters- are introduced, brought back or sent away. Midway through the first season, for example, we learn of one group of individuals called ‘The Five’, group which Helen was a part of. That group is one of my favorite things about this show, and some of its members are based on real life figures: Jack the Ripper or Nikola Tesla (his character in the show is actually one of my favorites, but that’s another post).
The episode The Five wasthe series’ turning point, at least for me. Up until then, I thought the episodes were kind of slow paced and not intriguing enough. But beginning
with it, the episodes got more suspenseful, funnier, the characters’ story lines started getting interesting… Things started to shake up quickly and they only continued to do that; each season is unique, with at least one big change happening. It helps keep the show fresh, while still staying true to its theme and concept. For comic relief, there are a lot of references to other books (even a Harry Potter one!!!!), movies, music – you name it.
What I love about the show is how reasonable and realistic the solutions to problems are. Almost every episode, a seemingly impossible situation is introduced and by the end of the episode (or the story arc), we are presented an elegant solution that actually makes sense. Granted, I didn’t watch many SF shows before, but I was expecting a lot of deus ex machina type of endings, characters dying and then being brought back to life constantly, and so on. But that is not the case at all. Another thing you can count on are the special effects – always stunning. The show is being filmed mostly on green screen, which makes it either one of or the most environmental friendly shows out there.
I’m going to end this post here, cause I’m trying to keep this one as spoiler-free as possible. A follow up discussing my favorite characters should be up soon, and then I’m going to list my favorite and least favorite episodes. All of them. From all seasons. It will be fun.
Anyway, if you’re a SF or Fantasy fan, I say definitely give this show a shot. You most likely won’t regret it.