This week's Sanctuary followed up the premiere episode by murdering the skeletons of the Super Mario Bros. We're not sure who these crypt-soldiers are working for - our best guess would be Shredder - but the slaughter can be laid on the hands of Amanda Tapping's 157 year old (and spry) cryptozoologist and her mercenary daughter. This prompts us to ask the writers of the show: if you're going to steal, why not steal from the best?Last night's episode concerned a centuries-old cult and echoes of the bubonic plague - and the only efforts at the science part of "science fiction" was Amanda Tapping looking vaguely concerned at the prospect of a CGI corpse. I don't suppose these Stargate vets have read Connie Willis' masterful Doomsday Book, the best presentation of the Middle Ages ever done in the genre? Had they done some research, there was a fine episode here buried under layers of dead skeletons. Once you've got a bunch of people with skulls for heads being gunned down willy-nilly, is time travel really that much of a stretch?
It's not that Sanctuary is entirely bad, it's that even when it's good, it's having trouble rooting itself in any firm ground between humans and CGI monsters. At the premiere, exec producer Damian Kindler mentioned an episode that takes place entirely in one warehouse-like setting. It's high time they brought that convention of the cobwebs and bonded these people together in some meaningful way.
I still believe there's a hint of something promising here in this concept. On the Fringe podcast this week show executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci answered a question about the future of Anna Torv and Joshua Jackson's characters: basically, will there be intercourse? The Fringe creators responded by saying that you don't want to plan everything out on a series. It's fun to watch things happen to the characters along with the audience instead of plotting everything to the hilt. With that said, explicit CGI-enhanced sex between psychologist (Robin Dunne) and Amanda Tapping's Hayden Panettiere-inspired daughter (Emilie Ullerup) should probably be pushed to episode 3, and fast. Did you watch, and did you weep softly during each brutal murder?