Fox Pairs GOTHAM With SLEEPY HOLLOW for Fall

Monday nights on Fox will be something of a travelogue to the fantasy realms GOTHAM and SLEEPY HOLLOW and freaks including the Penguin and Headless Horseman.

Fox has just announced that the new series GOTHAM, which chronicles events in Gotham City before the rise of the Batman (indeed, Bruce Wayne appears as a mere 12-year-old), will kick off the evening at 8 o’clock and be followed by SLEEPY HOLLOW in its familiar 9 p.m. slot.

Here is a smattering of promotional images of GOTHAM that Fox released along with the announcement.

No premiere dates have been released.

SLEEPY HOLLOW 1.7: “The Midnight Ride”

sleepyheadThe crazy-quilt trip through American history continues, with SLEEPY HOLLOW’s “real” story of Paul Revere’s famous midnight ride to warn the colonists that they were under siege. I think if history were taught like this is grade school, a lot more kids would pay attention. I know I would have!

Like the best such stories, there are nuggets of legitimate fact underneath the candy coating — for interest, Revers never shouted “The British are coming,” he discretely warned that “the Regulars are coming,” meaning the British fighting forces. And, of course, Paul Revere was hardly alone; he had supernatural cannon fodder two other guys helping.
Continue reading

SLEEPY HOLLOW 1.6: “The Sin Eater”

sin-eaterFinally, a little time was devoted to Ichabod Crane’s backstory from the Revolutionary War period — specifically what he was doing for the British before switching sides to throw in with George Washington. And we got to see how Ichy met Katrina the Quaker witch.

But best of all, John Noble — the brilliant but wacky Walter Bishop from FRINGE — was back on our TV screens, playing another enigmatic character. I’m glad he’s sticking around for a few more episodes.

After watching a local baseball game with Abbie (Nicole Beharie), Ichabod (Tom Mison) decides to visit Katrina’s (Katia Winter) grave — where he is shot by a tranquilizer dart and kidnapped. Meanwhile, Abbie has a prophetic dream (while driving!) in which Katrina warns her that Ichy has been kidnapped, the Horseman is coming back, and if the Horseman is defeated, Crane will die because of their blood link. Ichabod needs to be “sanctified” by a sin eater before sundown. Abbie gets little sis Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) sprung for 24 hours because Jenny once came across a sin eater. And, as luck would have it, he lives only two hours away, in Hartford, Conn.
Continue reading

Will SLEEPY HOLLOW Rue the Day?

SHnobleWhen SLEEPY HOLLOW returns to Fox Nov. 4 after World Series coverage, FRINGE veteran John Noble will make his first guest appearance,  and then on Nov. 25, the cast will grow again, when Jill Marie Jones and Amandla Stenberg begin recurring as Lt. Frank Irving’s wife and daughter.

Jones will play Cynthia, the ex-wife of Irving, who is portrayed by Orlando Jones. Stenberg will play their teen daughter, Macey. You will probably remember Stenberg as the adorable Rue in last year’s The Hunger Games movie — but no word on whether her character on SH will also be adorable. Early indications are that she feels “disconnected” from her father since he started working in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.

Noble — beloved by fans as FRINGE’s loopy Walter Bishop — will recur on SH as Henry Parrish, a man with supernatural powers who may hold the key to severing Ichabod’s blood connection to the Headless Horseman.

SLEEPY HOLLOW 1.5: “John Doe”

SHdoe02I normally do not like “infection” stories because they’re always so predictable: Our heroes encounter a strange disease, one of them gets infected and lies on the verge of death until a miracle antidote cures everyone at the last second. Can you think of an example where that doesn’t happen?

Well, that’s pretty much what we got from SLEEPY HOLLOW this week — a paint-by-numbers contagion story. But it was filtered through the show’s own particularly madcap mythos, so I didn’t really mind it all that much.
Continue reading

SLEEPY HOLLOW 1.4: “The Lesser Key of Solomon”

SHkey1SLEEPY HOLLOW is really starting to pick up steam! This week’s bombastic installment gave us a great (hopefully recurring) ally in Abbie’s kick-ass sister Jenny, exposed a Hessian sleeper cell operating in town, uncovered the real reason (and name) for the Boston Tea Party — and revealed the name of the Big Bad: Moloch, the god of child sacrifice.

The story began with a reenactment of the Boston Tea Party — depicted as a diversionary tactic dreamed up by Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) and Samuel Adams to distract the redcoats while Ichabod and a strike team board a British ship to steal a mysterious box. However, it is guarded by a Hessian who blows himself up rather than hand over the box. Nevertheless, Ichabod gets his hands on it and sends the cargo off to Gen. George Washington. In the present day, Abbie (Nicole Beharie) discovers that her sister has escaped from the asylum.
Continue reading

SLEEPY HOLLOW 1.3: “For the Triumph of Evil…”

SH01If you went into last night’s SLEEPY HOLLOW expecting to see Neil Gaiman’s version of the Sandman… well, no, that’s just silly; nobody was expecting that. But what we got at least featured a well-designed baddie — and a terrific gross-out effect that had me hooting at the TV!

It looks like the prophetic dream sequence might be a staple of this series, but it could get old fast; we might start assuming that the opening tease is always a dream sequence. But then again, the-powers-that-be could use that against us and slip in a “real world” opening.
Continue reading

SLEEPY HOLLOW 1.2: “Blood Moon”

SH202After last week’s pilot did the heavy lifting of establishing the show’s premise and setting up the loopy (and complicated) mythology, the second episode of SLEEPY HOLLOW had the equally tough job of setting up and status quo of the ongoing series and, luckily, it did an excellent job.

It does look like SH will follow a “monster of the week” formula, with each creature filling in some of the mythology and giving us an excuse to learn Ichabod’s and Abbie’s  backstory. I do like the winking hubris of the script, suggesting that our two leads are fated to endure seven years of biblical tribulations — that stretch would get them well into syndication territory.
Continue reading

SLEEPY HOLLOW: “Pilot”

Sleepy1It was with a skeptical eye that I sat down to watch Fox’s new supernatural-tinged series, SLEEPY HOLLOW, and I was also wary about liking it because the last Monday Fox show I liked in that time slot was ALCATRAZ, and we all know what happened there.

I ended up liking SLEEPY HOLLOW quite a bit, which surprised me, because I wasn’t expecting all that much: Even if the pilot is good, I thought, where can a weekly series go? How much comedy material can the producers squeeze from Ichabod Crane as a fish out of time? Will they meet  How does the Headless Horseman find his targets?

Turns out, there’s quite a lot of potential, thanks to some clever reimagining of the premise. Making the Headless Horseman into the personification of Death and tying him to something bigger, mainly the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, was a smart move and opens up the possible storylines for the series by expanding it from a parochial story into something that could, as Crane himself says, affect every man, woman and child in the world.
Continue reading