First Impressions

Sleepy Hollow

Aired on: FOX

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

                When I first saw previews for the new FOX television series, Sleepy Hollow, I was determined to avoid this show.  I mean how many times can the story of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman be told and in how many different ways?  Well, in the interest of our readers, I watched the pilot episode and I can honestly say that FOX has found a NEW way to tell the tale.

                In this version of Sleepy Hollow, Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) is an Oxford University history teacher sent to the American colonies as a British enlisted soldier to put down the rebellion.  Ichabod had a change of heart...and of sides.  Fighting for the Americans, he comes up against a seemingly invincible British mounted mercenary wielding a battle axe.  He smites Ichabod a fatal blow before the teacher turned soldier beheads the mercenary. 

                Flash forward a couple hundred years to the present when both Ichabod and the mercenary rise from the dead.  While investigating a disturbance, Sleepy Hollow Sheriff August Corbin (Clancy Brown) and Lieutenant Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) stumble upon the resurrected Headless Horseman.  The meeting proves fatal for Corbin, but Mills survives.  Found in the area is Ichabod Crane.  Now a suspect in the beheading of the sheriff, Ichabod appears to be criminally insane, talking about the Revolutionary War and working with George Washington as if it took place yesterday.

                Despite the department psychiatrist's beliefs, Abbie sees something in Ichabod and believes that he may hold the key to finding her friend's murderer.  This is not the first time Abbie has experienced the unexplained in Sleepy Hollow and she is willing to listen to what Ichabod has to say about the Headless Horseman. 

                As the story moves forward, we learn that Ichabod's wife was a witch and cast a spell over him, keeping him safe until the Headless Horseman's resurrection and tying him to his return.  Unfortunately, we learn, the Headless Horseman is actually one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.  Ichabod's wife was a member of a coven of witches charged with preventing the Apocalypse.  Fighting against them is another coven, bent on making certain that the Apocalypse takes place.  It would appear that Ichabod and Abbie are the two witnesses prophesied about in the Book of Revelation.

                Though I wanted to dislike this show, I couldn't help but become absorbed.  This was an entirely different version of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - a new and exciting version that does seemingly stray quite a bit from the original legend but in quite an intriguing way.  The characters had great chemistry with one another, not to mention the sexiness of this Ichabod (in contrast to the legendary Ichabod) and I loved that the Captain of the department just happened to have the last name of Irving (Orlando Jones).  I like the idea of tying the Headless Horseman legend to that of the Apocalypse. 

                I also loved that the powers that be used Sympathy for the Devil by the Rolling Stones as a main theme.  I have long thought this song to be the best of the Rolling Stones with well-thought out lyrics and a catchy hook.  It was a great choice for this series and I hope it turns out to be the series permanent theme song.

                Bottom Line: Sleepy Hollow has definitely sparked my interest.  Bringing witches and the Apocalypse into this gives the legendary tale a whole new exciting and intriguing twist.  The actors are definitely easy on the eyes and they offer up a believable performance to boot.  The chemistry between the lead characters is great.  I can't wait to see where they go with this series and so I will continue to watch Sleepy Hollow at 9pm EST every Monday on FOX.


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