THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON
Sanctuary: The Complete First Season
Actors: Amanda Tapping, Christopher Heyerdahl, Robin Dunne, Emilie
Format: AC-3, Box set, Color, Dolby, DVD, Subtitled, Widescreen,
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Number of discs: 4
Studio: E1 Entertainment
DVD Release Date: September 15, 2009
Run Time: 585 minutes
main selling point behind this 2009 Syfy television series is that it was
filmed the same way movies such as 300 and Sin
City were filmed, using a minimum of sets and fake computer-generated
backgrounds . . .
Yup, Sanctuary's end
titles should read: "NOT filmed on location."
One day we suspect all
movies and TV shows will be filmed like this. After all, this way you don't
have to worry about typhoons blowing away expensive
sets and so forth. All you need is some controlled environment (read:
abandoned warehouse) and an army of underpaid computer geeks.
The backgrounds and "sets"
have an artificial stylized look to them, but they never distract too much
from the action at hand.
The plot involves a
century-plus old woman named Dr. Helen Magnus (StarGate
SG1's Amanda Tapping) who runs a clinic or rather sanctuary for
so-called "abnormals". No, not people who thought
Battlefield Earth was pretty cool, but
rather all kinds of monsters and mutants. As the tagline has it: "Even
things that go bump in the night need protection . . ."
To be fair, you'd expect
Dr. Magnus (who looks remarkably good for someone who were born in the
Victorian era) to be a Green Peace environmentalist type who protects
endangered species, but most episodes she and her team usually wind up
fighting the creatures rather than convincing them to seek sanctuary at her, er, sanctuary. It
probably makes for more exciting television, but then one is reminded how
the very British Primeval team
actually goes to great lengths not to kill any of the dinosaurs they have to
deal with each episode.
Sanctuary has a curious static feel to it and it never really gets off
the ground. There are loads of better shows out there. (We for instance
stopped watching the Sanctuary box set when the
Lost ? Complete Fifth Season box set
arrived in the mail and only continued watching it again once we were
finished with Lost.)
Maybe it has to do with the
poor acting (it must be difficult for an actor to work with green screens
all day long), but we suspect the problem lies with the writing. Despite the
occasional flight of fancy ? Dr. Magnus? ex-boyfriend was Jack the Ripper! ?
Sanctuary is nothing extraordinary. In fact one episode in which the heroes?
HQ is overrun by cute fur ball creatures named Nubbins is such a rip-off of
the famous Star Trek Tribbles
episode that we almost stopped watching the series altogether. (The writers
will probably call the episode in question a "homage," but we know better.)
is it that the good shows get cancelled and the mediocre ones run for ever?
Sanctuary has been renewed for a second season whilst more intriguing recent
shows such as Terminator: The
Sarah Connor Chronicles bit the dust. (Luckily the superior - and very
similar ? Primeval show was saved from extinction recently.)
Sanctuary isn't bad - it's just stultifying average . . .