”Welcome to the 21st century, Mr Crane.”
Yep, the hero of Fox’s new hit drama is a temporarily bewildered but resourceful English fellow (with great hair) who’s just woken up in the here and now, after dying in the way back then. The villain, meanwhile may or may not be the personification of “Death itself”, and the end of the world may be nigh.
But for all it’s fantastical trappings and desperately high stakes, Sleepy Hollow follows some pretty recognisable templates: we’ve got a sensible, female cop working with a slightly mad “civilian consultant” – who, okay, is on temporary secondment from 250 years ago – to try and solve the season-long mystery arc (or, okay, prevent armageddon), one wacky murder at a time. Since the Headless Horseman likes to spread the, er, headlessness around, it’s pretty bloody for network tv, and most of it takes place in literal as well as metaphorical darkness (because demons and the dead are always more convincing when you can’t see them all that well) but, underneath all that, it’s the age-old odd couple procedural: a smart, brave, obsessive, mismatched yet perfectly matched duo determined to solve a (supernatural) crime, with a smidgeon of witty banter and a side of sexual chemistry to go. Like 90% of procedural drama on tv.
Is it any good, though? Um…. maybe. Crane, I like a lot, Abby the cop, not so much. And all the death and demon stuff gets a bit stodgy. But the flashes of humour in the first episode leaven the mix considerably; there’s potential for a fun little series here (although a “7 year period of tribulations” seems a tad over-ambitious) if they don’t let the show take itself too seriously. I don’t think I’ll be writing weekly reviews, but I liked it – well, I liked Crane – well enough to watch it again and hope it builds on that promise rather than disappearing up its own apocalypse.