Okay, so the SciFi Channel's new series Sanctuary has premiered. I finally got around to catching it.
Speaking as a fan and writer of this skiffy stuff, I feel I should address it here, and offer my opinion:
Thus far, I am unimpressed.
For those of you who haven't seen it, the show concerns a kind of jail/mental institution for sentient beings other than garden variety humans, including aliens, genetic mutants, and -- apparently upcoming -- witches. Run by a mysterious woman doctor who looks much younger than she actually is, plus her daughter, and a couple of oddball supporting players, the sanctuary in the title is a mostly CGI setting that looks like a cross between a German castle and the Bat Cave.
The story as I saw it, using the high-concept of movies to nail it down, seems to be equal parts of Men in Black, Escape from Alcatraz, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and Kolchak, the Night Stalker.
The opening episode involves recruiting a reluctant new guy, (who is a Daniel Jackson clone from Star Gate) to become part of the team. There is a mysterious kick-ass bald headed bad guy who can not only move like the Flash and teleport, but who was formerly Jack the Ripper and kept alive by infusions of blood supplied by his ex-, who happens to be the immortal doctor running the place.
All these people have dark histories, some of which is revealed, some merely hinted at for later revelation.
There's a kid who has an appendage growing out of his torso that sucks brains and has a mind of its own. Until he takes his shirt off, that skinny tentacle snaking out of his clothes looks like an, um, lesser-sized appendage that men all have, and is -- probably unintentionally -- hilarious.
Everything but the kitchen sink is here. Maybe it will become a guilty pleasure, but so far, neither the EFX, the acting, nor the story have overwhelmed me.
I have the feeling that it is going to turn into a monster-of-the-week show, and if they don't so something about the angst and talking heads, destined for the chopping block.
(Plus, very time I think of the title, I hear the voice of Charles Laughton as the hunchback of Notre Dame saying "Sanctuary!" as the mob chases him to the church ...)
You'd think the folks at SciFi Channel would have a better handle on science fiction and fantasy than they have demonstrated to date. So far, the crown seems to be held by Eureka, which is harmless and kind of entertaining, but -- c'mon Where is Firefly when we need it?