Tom Mison plays Ichobad Crane, a soldier in 1781 under General George
Washington who beheads a mercenary in the heat of battle. His wife
Katrina, played by Katia Winter, is a witch who casts a spell that
accidentally sends both 230 years into the future. Ichobad wakes up in
the year 2013. The headless mercenary also wakes up in 2013. The
mercenary hops onto a white horse and begins a reign of terror in the
modern New York town called Sleepy Hollow. What's funny and ridiculous,
beyond a headless horseman in a modern-day town, is by the end the
horseman goes from using an axe to wielding and firing a shotgun.
Yet, that's what this TV series is. It's ridiculous. Writers Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Phillip Iscove seem like they came from the J.J. Abrams' school of TV writing, but actually it seems like they're more from the Joss Whedon school. This is all the more clear in the scenes between Ichobad and Lt. Abbie Mills, played by Nicole Beharie. Abbie is a deputy in the sheriff's office who is the only one in town who witnesses and thus believes Ichobad's time travel story. Ichobad and Abbie's repartee is very Whedon-esque but honestly Whedon didn't invent the dynamic. Whedon merely popularized when it comes to sci-fi and fantasy.
This is essentially a police procedural with sci-fi and fantasy elements. In that sense, it's not that far removed from the CW's Supernatural or NBC's Grimm. At times, it does feel like Whedon's Angel. Yet, the writers don't want to fully embrace that fact. For example, in the pilot episode, there is a joke where Orlando Jones who plays Frank Irving, the police captain, calls Ichobad "Captain America." The joke wasn't funny because it makes no sense. Given Ichobad's British accent, a better joke would have been to call Ichobad "Doctor Who."
Also, given Ichobad's British accent, and how by the end of the second episode Ichobad is solving crimes Sherlock Holmes-style, this show also patterns itself like CBS' Elementary but only with fantasy elements. Director Len Wiseman has amped up the craziness, but the formula so far could ensure a pretty long shelf life, but it's too derivative so far for me.
Two Stars out of Five.
Running Time: 1 hr.
Mondays at 9PM on FOX.