One of the unexpected pleasures of this fall's television line-up has been Fox's Sleepy Hollow. The writers have combined elements of two of early American writer Washington Irving's stories, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle" with the Book of Revelations from the Bible, complete with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Add to that a healthy dose of American history with George Washington's Bible as the key to fighting true evil, including demons who are working steadily toward the Apocalypse, and the seeming Wiccan-style spell cast by Crane's wife, Katrina, that brought Crane back to life in 2013.
And then place all of these intriguing elements in modern-day Sleepy Hollow with a police lieutenant and captain joining Ichabod Crane in fighting the demonic presence that keeps his wife enslaved in a type of purgatory, and we have quite the recipe for suspense, horror, and an epic battle between Good and Evil.
The key to this show's success is the extreme likability of the characters. Unlike Irving's originally laughable Ichabod Crane, this Crane (rarely referred to by his first name, thankfully), is a good man who, although originally a British soldier, becomes a spy for George Washington during the Revolutionary War. In one of the battles of the war, Crane fought a huge Hessian soldier whom he beheaded, but the soldier fatally wounded Crane before he could be finished. Katrina cast a spell on her husband which caused him to lie dormant in a cave until he awoke in 2013--as did the Hessian whom he had beheaded--who became the Headless Horseman.
|Left to Right: Captain Irving (Orlando Jones), Katrina (Katia Winter), Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) and Lt. Abby Mills (Nicole Behaire)|
Joining Crane (Tom Mison) in his fight against the evil, murdering Horseman is Lieutenant Abby Mills (Nicole Beharie) and her boss, Captain Frank Irving (Orlando Jones); later they are joined by Abby's sister, Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood). And we see glimpses of Katrina Crane (Katia Winter) in flashbacks and from the "other side" where she is imprisoned by a demon called Moloch.
Tom Mison is simply amazing as Ichabod Crane--his British accent is soothing yet when angered, becomes terrifying. He's of course far more handsome than Washington Irving's original. Crane is admirable for his single-minded pursuit of Good as he fights against Evil in order to free his beloved wife, Katrina, from her otherworldly prison.
In addition, sly humor is scripted in such a way as to make the characters even more endearing. At the beginning of last week's episode (Season 1, Episode 11), we see Crane trying on modern-day fashions rather than wearing his Colonial garb (which we have become quite attached to; Crane just doesn't look right out of his battered breeches, shirt, coat, and boots), declaring after trying to sit down in the binding clothing, "One sign of the impending apocalypse is surely skinny jeans."
I quite agree with him.
So after enjoying a new episode of Downton Abbey (Season 4) and the premiere episode of the third season of Sherlock last night, we're quite anticipating the two-hour season finale of Sleepy Hollow tonight. While I wish that Fox had ordered more than the half-season (13 episodes) of this amazing show, I am encouraged that Fox has ordered another 13 episodes for next fall.
So may Evil fail and Good prevail!!