Saturday, October 4, 2008

Give Me Sanctuary - on the Sci Fi Channel

Just saw the two-hour premier of the Sci-Fi Channel's new series, Sanctuary, and very much enjoyed it. It began as a series of webisodes which I didn't see last year, so tonight was my first immersion in the series.

The show has a style and storyline all its own, even as it has elements of Heroes (as in, humans or human-like sentient beings with super or strange powers - including a mermaid), New Amsterdam (immortality or at least a major character living relatively young - at least, not old - for a long, long time), and even some of the strange creature feel of H. G. Wells' Island of Dr. Moreau.

My favorite of these was a Neanderthal with real heart. (I like the idea of Neanderthals surviving into our time, which is why I wrote The Silk Code.)

The story revolves around Dr. Helen Magnus - always good to see Stargate's Amanda Tapping - who recruits Dr. Will Zimmerman (reminiscent of Daniel Jackson from Stargate and the younger Bishop on Fringe) to work with her in the "Sanctuary". This is just what it sounds like, but for the strange sentient beings, including the Neanderthal, that Magnus has been rescuing from all over the world - for at least as far back as the time of Jack the Ripper. Some of them are good, some are bad, some confused. Zimmerman, in fact, was rescued by Magnus when he was a boy, but doesn't realize that until the end of the premier. Also on hand is Helen's daughter Ashley - who looks to be about 20 or late teens, does most of the dangerous collection of specimens, packs a mean punch, and is blond. Think somewhere between Claire and Niki, to get back to Heroes.

But Sanctuary does have an appealing original flavor - zoological and botanical and scientific, where Heroes is comic book, and Fringe is just invitingly weird so far, without any real explanation of why.

Biology was my favorite subject in high school, and in college, too, until I realized I'd get more out of sleeping late on Friday mornings than running down to City College for an 8am lab.

is on at the more civilized time of 10pm on Fridays, and I expect I'll be watching.

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