SANCTUARY has an interesting concept. For a fantasy/ sci-fi series, it first turned me off with scripts that could have
been much stronger. Later on, I discovered the show could really deliver after
catching a few episodes later into the season on a daytime marathon on SyFy. SANCTUARY
does rely on lots of green screen to create their sets. Sometimes it really works
and sometimes the CGI sets could use improvement.
Dr. Helen Magnus (Amanda Tapping) has created
a sanctuary system for all manners of creatures known as Abnormals. She recruits
forensic psychiatrist Dr. Will Zimmerman to be her protege. Will and Magnus seek
out the Abnormals with Ashley (Helen’s daughter) and come up against an organization called the Cabal who seek to destroy
all Abnormals. Throw in the mix the somewhat psychotic Drury who used to be Helen’s
lover and Nikola Telsa as a vampire; you get a very interesting series. Tapping
is convincing as a British scientist of about 150 somewhat years even though she doesn’t look it due to her and four
others taking vampire blood that changed them in various ways. SANCTUARY is at its strongest when it focuses on the show’s mythology and building on it. Even if the first six episodes are hit-or-miss, stick around for the other seven.
Audio commentaries were recorded for all
13 episodes with members of the cast and crew. I haven’t had the time to
listen to any of the commentary tracks.
Disc 4 features a few extras of interest. First, there are three Making-Of featurettes:
WELCOME TO THE SANCTUARY covers the origins
of the series and casting.
SANCTUARY RESIDENTS focuses on the characters
of the series.
SANCTUARY VISUAL EFFECTS looks at the amount
of CGI in the series including the virtual sets.
The original two hours of webisodes are
also on the disc and they do features some differences between the first two stories of the show (and yet the aired episodes
do use lots of material from the webisodes) that show they did improve on the CGI sets for the series. Rounding out the extras are a funny blooper reel (where the cast do make fun of each other), a behind-the-scenes
photo gallery, and a season two trailer.
FINAL ANALYSIS: SANCTUARY does take a while to kick in, but it is a very good series once the writers actually write something
with depth. The humor doesn’t work as great. The show is better as serious. The extras are fantastic. Be sure to check out the featurettes and the original webisodes.
This DVD review is (c)10-31-2009
David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. All Rights Reserved. Send all comments to firstname.lastname@example.org