Sleepy Hollow Episode 1 – Pilot – Review (Spoiler Free!)

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07 Oct 13

Recently I was over in LA, and I got the chance to catch the USA’s brand new take on the legend of Sleepy Hollow. As the show is about to land in the UK (coming 9pm Weds 9th Oct on Universal Channel), I though it would be a good time for a quick review.

This take on Sleepy Hollow is a little different to what you may have seen before. Although it starts in the 1700’s, Ichabod Crane (English theatre actor Tom Mison) is not a school teacher as in the original tale, but a soldier in the Revolutionary War… except he’s English, but fighting for the Americans… On the battlefield, Crane comes face to face with a brutal masked solider whom he manages to decapitate, but also appears to receive a mortal wound himself in the process. Skip forward a few hundred years to the village of Sleepy Hollow where Crane awakes in a cave, to find the local Lt. Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie – The Good Wife) who assumes he’s crazy when he starts babbling on about being in the revolutionary war and has him institutionalized… That is until a headless horseman in a revolutionary uniform makes an appearance, when she realises he might not be so crazy after all…

The show is written by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, the 2 main writers behind the very successful revival of Hawaii Five-O, and the outstandingly bonkers Fringe. Sleepy Hollow is a great fit for them. Part cop drama, part other-worldly weirdness. Although it’s somewhat gruesome in places (hey, it’s dealing with a headless horseman!), it’s still got their trademark witty banter between the cast. It’s also not afraid to shoot off in a direction you might not necessarily expect, with a number of cast members not making it all the way through the first episode.

The show makes a strong start which rips along a great pace, and Mison and Beharie spark off each other well. Also, for those of you worried about getting into a series only for it to be cancelled, fear not, it’s only 3 episodes in on the other side of the pond, and Fox have already given it a 2nd season. If you’re a fan of Kurtzman & Orci’s other work, this is definitely a show for you.

Sleepy Hollow airs 9pm Weds 9th Oct on Universal Channel in the UK.