Posted on: December 15th, 2009 Sanctuary Returns to SyFy for 3rd Season


Syfy announced this week that they are ordering another season of both Sanctuary and Stargate Universe for fall 2010. This means Sanctuary is set up for its third season of Canadian science fiction goodness. *

Sanctuary is an odd series, not odd in the normal science fiction sense, but odd in the way that I love it, and I love to mock it, in almost equal proportions. I started watching Sanctuary this summer, because Torchwood was done for the year, and I needed to fill a (large) void in my life. In anticipation of the highly advertised second season, I rented the first season on DVD to catch up, and I got hooked.

Sanctuary tells the story of Dr. Helen Magnus, a 157 year old scientist who doesn’t age, played by Stargate veteran Amanda Tapping (who also executive produces). Magnus has made it her life’s work to protect and house ‘abnormals’; monsters of varying variety, from mermaids to werewolves and everything in between. She assembles a crack team to run her Sanctuary, and they go on adventures to track down abnormals in need of help and protection.

Robin Dunne is Will, a forensic psychiatrist whose methods are a little too weird for the normal police force. Sci-fi veteran Ryan Robbins plays Henry Foss, the loveable geeky jack of all trades. Agam Darshi plays Kate, the newest team member, a mercenary con-artist who decides to fight for the good guys.

All in all, this is not a bad premise.

sanctuary01Did I mention Magnus is in a love triangle with Nikola Tesla and Jack the Ripper, who are also immortal, Tesla being the metro-sexual king of the vampires and Jack being the homicidal alter ego of Magnus’ baby daddy, who can teleport through space by way of stolen vampire blood? Yes, and it gets better (or worse?).

Magnus seems to have attended just about every historical event during her life time, so she tells great stories about nearly drowning during the sinking of the Titanic and the like. Peter Wingfield (Highlander) even guest stars as James Watson, yes that Watson, who was in reality the ACTUAL Sherlock Holmes and is so clever he made himself a powered exoskeleton to help keep him alive for a hundred years.

The series is mostly one-shots about monster chasing and the ethical treatment of those that are not human, but there are some arcs about the wider global Sanctuary network, the Cabal, a secret society bent on using abnormals for the purpose of evil, and Magnus’ origins which are always entertaining.

It does come off as cheesy at times, well most of the time, and this season they seem to be ‘experimenting’ with non-linear storytelling and split screen cinematography, and by ‘experimenting’ I mean non-stop in every episode. When the split screen starts, I also start yelling at the television.

Snarking aside, I can’t seem to stop watching. Any series where you can rent the DVD and watch a whole season in a few days has to have value. It is a relaxing lark before you get into the grittier Stargate Universe, which airs immediately afterwards.

Sanctuary smells of steam-punk and dusty old libraries and romanticism, and it makes me happy. I suggest a Sanctuary drinking game wherein every time Magnus makes a hackneyed historical or literary reference, you take five sips of fine 100 year old brandy from a large snifter. You will need a lot of brandy.

Sanctuary airs Friday nights on Syfy and Space. Space is pre-empting the new episode on December 18th due to a Doctor Who special, which signifies that all is right with the universe.

* Technically, fall 2010 will actually be Sanctuary’s fourth season, if you are a giant geek and count the webisodes which aired before the series was picked up by Syfy. Quibbles.

Filed under: News, Review, Television

3 Responses to “Sanctuary Returns to SyFy for 3rd Season”

  1. Angela Harms Says:
    December 16th, 2009 at 12:07 am

    Oh, great. Another show I won`t have time to watch. You are ruined mai lief.

  2. bbaydar Says:
    December 16th, 2009 at 12:20 am

    Well done sheep-ily one. Aside from the minor nitpickery I pointed out to you on Twitter. *grins*

  3. all sgu episodes online Says:
    December 19th, 2009 at 6:28 am

    next time i’m asked about stargate universe in the future i’ll know exactly where to look! thanks for the hard work you put in making your site

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