Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sanctuary! Fantasy SF Paranormal Fun With Monsters

Is there a name for fans of Syfy/Canadia fantasy-thriller Sanctuary? You know like Trekker? I'm ready for my badge and membership card.

I glanced at the first episode when it aired on then Sci Fi, but didn't get to stay with the series, and I'll confess I was a little dismissive. Just another paranormal investigation show, I thought.

I returned for more sampling when the season became available on Netflix Watch Instantly. Episodes became a nice 45-minute break for the lazy part of Saturday afternoons just before time to start my grill for dinner while I was in school.

And I decided the premise was kind of fun and that Sanctuary wasn't just another X-Files. For the uninitiated, it's about Dr. Helen Magnus, Amanda Tapping, Stargate SG-1's Maj. Carter in a stunningly different persona. Dr. Magnus is immortal due to some Victorian magi-science, and she heads a network devoted to finding and protecting a generous supply of "abnormals" sprinkled around  the globe.

The mythology grows richer as the series moves along, even though there are obviously cost-conscious episodes in which Magnus and right-hand-man Dr. Will Zimmerman (Robin Dunn) are trapped in one-set confines such as the cabin of a crashed aircraft or the belly of an oil tanker. One ep was set entirely in a warehouse, viewed through the lens of a news crew's camera.

Myth, myth
Magnus is part of a circle that includes a misunderstood Jack The Ripper, Dr. John Watson and Tesla. The Sanctuary network is fraught with internecine political struggle, and there's a rival organization called Cabal. (Spoiler warning) One major character was killed off with stylish imagination.

The Season 2-ending, Season 3-beginning arc eschewed claustrophobic confines for a glob-spanning, world-threatening feature-like three-parter introducing Bollywood numbers and even more mythology, which seems headed in a Steampunk direction next. That's if an eye-candy holograph recently unlocked is any indication.

Happily with Netflix and Hulu, you can catch up quickly or just begin the series now and forge ahead at your own pace.

You never know what monster will crop up next.


Charles Gramlich said...

I like the actors in this but haven't watched any complete episodes. Not because I wouldn't like it but I just tend not to get much time to see TV regularly. The Walking Dead is about all I can handle right now.

Sidney said...

I tend to be an on-demand viewer. DVR, Netflix, Hulu, though Hulu is a little less reliable unless you're paying extra fees.

Erik Donald France said...

Sounds wild ~~ that's a nifty sendup, for sure.

I need to try the Netflix instant!

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