While on vacation I was treated to an early screening of Webisode I of “Sanctuary,” the much anticipated online series from Damian Kindler, N. John Smith and Martin Wood.
If I may drop the professional facade for a moment and get giddy like a true genre fan, let me say this, Frackin’ Awesome!
Now back to the job.
Without giving any of the plot away, Webisode I of “Sanctuary” opens on the city streets on 1888 London, England where we are quickly introduced to series star Amanda Tapping (“Stargate SG-1”) who plays Dr. Helen Magnus in old world attire and full proper English dialect — which at first seems just a bit awkward after seeing her as Sam for 10 years on the Stargate series — but, you just as quickly adjust and her accent fits her and is genuine. The scene opens with an all-to-brief interplay between Tapping, her murderous husband and a street prostitute before jumping to present day America in which the climate is ripe for monsters under the bed, in children’s closests and in the minds and nightmares of adults.
Tapping’s seemingly ageless character seeks out all manner of terrifying and monstrous creatures. She is aided in her quest by her reluctant protege Will Zimmerman (Robin Dunne of Dawson’s Creek) and her somewhat reckless, daughter Ashley (Emilie Ullerup from Battlestar Galactica). Together they are drawn into a frightening and mysterious world populated by beings that defy explanation.
This production of “Sanctuary” is of the highest quality with unigue CGI, fabulous camera angles, innovative interactive elements and inventive style, a compelling and eerie soundtrack reminiscent of “Battlestar Galactica.” “Sanctuary” can easily compete with any big Hollywood production costing tons more than this series. Series writer and creator Damian Kindler called “Sanctuary,” “the next evolution of series-based entertainment.â€ That is an understated and humble assessment. In my opinion, “Sanctuary” has raised the bar of online quality entertainment to unprecedented heights.
The script for Webisode I is perfectly written and deftly done by both actors and crew alike and all attached to the production. It is very hard to say much more without giving too much of the storyline away, but just let me say that we do get to see “Stargate: Atlantis” actor David Hewlett out of his Rodney McKay persona as an unassured man on the brink of a total mental and emotional breakdown.
Based on this first webisode of the online series I have to predict a major hit for its creators and a long life should be in store for “Sanctuary.” If it doesn’t happen that way, then the world has truly gone mad.
“Sanctuary”‘s first release consists of eight 15-minute webisodes. These are competitively priced and may be purchased individually or bundled for even better value. A new webisode will be released about every two weeks. Viewers can watch “Sanctuary” via download or using a proprietary interactive media player developed exclusively for the online series. “Sanctuary” will be available in both standard and high-def formats. I strongly recommend that you don’t miss this series.
“Sanctuary” debuted this week and you can find all the existing webisodes HERE.
On the Uncle Sam scale of 0 to 5 stars I gladly give “Sanctuary” 5 STARS