This modern day re-telling of the Sleepy Hollow legend is something that initially didn’t interest me; when I found myself having nothing else to watch and it happened to be on TV, I thought I’d give it a go and I was so glad I did. The show opens with Ichabod Crane smack back in the middle of a battlefield – the American Civil War. He faces off against an enemy who doesn’t appear to be of this world – he’s shot and he doesn’t die, but when he cuts off his head with a sword the man falls to the ground but not before shooting Crane in the process.
Cut back to modern day America and the action really gets underway. For viewers, that opening segment was the origins of the headless horseman who seems to have been awakened, and as the legend goes, quite wants his head back. It’s a good thing then that Ichabod also awakens but has no idea where he is. Enter the main female lead, Abbie Mills, a detective with a slightly troubled past she witnesses the work of the headless horseman but struggles to make believers out of her superiors.
Through the episode these two make a great pairing; actors Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie have a great chemistry together – I particularly like Mison in his role as Crane who is snarky and oozes sarcasm, but yet is devilishly attractive. The episode fits in a lot of story and manages to add in character development as well. It’s quite an intriguing concept as well – part-crime drama and part-mystery fantasy. As well as the original tale of the headless horseman, it plays with the idea of other evils including the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse.
There’s a lot of good about this pilot, and the fact that it’s branching further out and not just sticking with the classic headless horseman story also means there’s more scope for story, which is originally what put me off this drama. However, the writers do take certain leaps of faith in the opening episode, such as how quickly Abbie believes Crane’s story, even though it is incredibly bizarre and how well Crane adjusts to being over 200 years outside his time period.
Despite those few grumblings aside, I felt really positive after watching this first episode, with likeable characters, an intriguing storyline I was already looking forward to the next one. The series has already been picked up by FOX for a second series, making a quick impression on the network so it’ll be sticking around at least until 2014. Don’t let the title fool you though, this looks like it’s going to be much more than just the Sleepy Hollow legend.
(About the headless horseman) “Do you think he can hear us?” (Police Officer, Sleepy Hollow