When you think of Sleepy Hollow you probably think of two things, Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman and thats probably about it. Written as a short story in 1820 by Washington Irving, who also wrote the sleeping time traveling tale Rip Van Winkle, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow has been retold many different times in many different forms from a silent movie in 1922 to various TV movies and most famously of all Tim Burton’s 1999 film Sleepy Hollow starring Johnny Depp.
The idea of a modern series may seem a strange one considering all the adaptations however in the hands of Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci the creators of the fantastic Fringe a seemingly small story becomes an adventure of epic proportions with a brilliant cast of characters and immensely imaginative set up.
Opening in 1781 we meet Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) a solider and spy in the Colonial Army under the command of General George Washington whom he performs various secret missions for. While fighting for independence Crane is caught up in a furious battle where he is confronted by a masked horseman who fatally stabs him just after he manages to behead him both falling down dead on the battle field.
Flash forward more than 230 years later and Crane is resurrected in the small town of Sleepy Hollow. Bemused and confused he desperately seeks answers and this puts him in the path of Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) a police lieutenant investigating the beheading of her mentor and partner by a mysterious headless murderer.
Connected in more ways than they could ever expect the unlikely pair team up to track down not only the Headless Horseman who has returned with Crane but all manner of other supernatural beings who are terrorizing the town in a war of good and evil with far bigger consequences than anyone thought possible.
Combining Washington Irving’s two most famous tales into one is the first stroke of genius that Kurtzman and Orci injected into Sleepy Hollow transforming what would have been a boring period horror piece into an entirely different concept. The man out of time motif has been used many times before in television but due to the brilliant writing and Tom Mison’s amazing performance it seems fresh and new here.
From intriguing ancient mysteries to famous historical events to hilarious modern day befuddlement Crane’s character combines it all and the series flashes back to the past many times to expand the story across the years to today.
A million miles and years away from Depp’s portrayal of a cowardly bookish fool Mison has immense gravitas and transforms Crane into a heroic action hero who although capable and intelligent is completely out of his depth in the 21st century making him at times as useless as a 18th century musket.
In comparison Nicole Beharie’s heard working cop Abbie is our eyes and ears into the weird world of Sleepy Hollow and we learn all about the dark secrets of the town and the impending chaos that is to come through her. Although suspicious at first she soon opens her mind to what the couple witness and the events of her personal past come heavily into play as the series progresses.
Excellently plotted and paced Sleepy Hollow has humor, action, romance and plenty of horror and keeps you gripped from the first episode to the last ending as it does with a huge climax that makes you want to see Season 2 straight away.
Luckily for you Sleepy Hollow is now back on our TV screens so rush out and buy this box set immediately and start watching your new favorite TV series.