Season 2 Episode 5

Pavor Nocturnus

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Nov 06, 2009 on Syfy
out of 10
User Rating
159 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A confused Dr. Magnus finds the Sanctuary and surrounding city has been destroyed, but she has no idea how it happened. While searching the remains she is pounced on by a vicious creature, leading to two armed men rescuing her and taking her to a nearby abandoned building. After being hosed down and dumped in a room on her own Magnus becomes fearful when an aggressive man, with a familiar face, enters.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • Pavor Nocturnus

    Pavor Nocturnus was a superb and very entertaining episode of Sanctuary. I really enjoyed watching this episode because it was a Sanctuary take on Zombie Apocolypse as they call it. I thought the episode came out of no where, and it is more or less a stand alone episode, yet it had some interesting character development. It was neat to see possible versions of the future. This was a stylized and well put together episode with dark and apocolyptic tones. It was cool what Magnus discovers in the end and an interesting take on the Mayan Culture. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!moreless
  • Magnus awakes in a dilapidated version of the Sanctuary and when she gets to the tower it is revealed that the city is destroyed. She must find out if there is anyone left alive other than the roving bands of creatures in the streets.moreless

    Talk about a filler episode. In itself this episode was entertaining. Of course it really had nothing to do with the Sanctuary, but that is secondary to the plot of this story. It had everything to do with Helen alone.

    Helen is alone. She keeps seeing a glittering pattern of flickering lights at one time or another. Obviously we seem to understand they must be something important. In the end of course they are.

    ***** Spoilers *****

    Helen finally finds Will, or more correctly he finds her. He claims she's been dead for five years. Everyone else is gone as well. Each having a spectacular ending in one way or another. I especially liked the teleporting into Boston with a nuclear device scenario. Humanity has been ravaged by a plague that has destroyed mankind and created a world much like the Resident Evil world. In not revealing the ending I'll leave it too you to find out what happened. I will say it was an interesting final piece to the puzzle and very enlightening as to what has occurred. For arguments sake though Helen eventually returns to the world she lives in and is much the wiser for it.

    Again, with the technology they use and the situation involved this had to be one of the least expensive episodes of a hour long scripted show ever made. The majority of the sets have to be green screened and they already have the halls to make it look like Armageddon has occurred. Interesting story with nods to many movies and TV shows in the past. Well acted and an interesting side step to the current season of Sanctuary. Let's hope we get back on track next week. Thanks for reading...moreless
  • Apocalypse the Sanctuary way

    Well, I must say, I loved this episode! I am always partial to the theme of the world ending in one catastrophic, horrible way or another, and even though it has been written, filmed and otherwise presented many times before, each take is unique and has its own merit. Searching for completely original themes in sci-fi will be a difficult task indeed, with the genre being so expanded and in some cases, overdone. After Arthur Clarke, Philip Dick and William Gibson, what more is there to say really? Who can blame anyone for overlapping?

    So I will judge this episode for itself. Even though there were no other characters involved apart from Will and Helen, the atmosphere had the right balance between dramatic tension and adventure, the special effects were very believable, the creatures especially were very well done, and there was something eerie about Helen wandering in an abandoned, wrecked Sanctuary trying to find traces of her past work there. With what Helen and the rest of her crew are usually up to, one has to wonder whether their intervention might cause some kind of disaster. The mind-travel in the future provides Helen with a glimpse of the catastrophic effects of her transporting an ancient Mayan artefact into the modern world. Sometimes it's better to leave the past buried where it is. Respect it, but not try to change it. I didn't see this as a filler episode given the way it is connected to Ashley's death. We haven't seen Helen try to deal with accepting her daughter's death. By trying to find something to end her longevity she was somehow punishing herself for what happened to Ashley. She was trying to intervene in the facts. The grim, unbearable future she would've created is a lesson for her too, as shown at the end of the episode where she returns to the present. There are still things there to be appreciated, her colleagues, a beautiful day, her work and her establishment. This was an indirect way for Helen to accept Ashley's death.moreless
  • Great episode!

    A great "apocalyptic"-style episode. Magnus wakes to find herself several years in the future, on the floor of a completely gutted Sanctuary. The building is torn apart inside and out, with several holes in the roof that let in the rain which never seems to cease.

    I thought its premise was interesting from the start, but the explanation at the end was very cool, and it was great to see Robin Dunne play Will in a new way. Most of the regulars got this episode off, it seems - though listed in the opening credits, Ryan Robbins, Agam Darshi, and Christopher Heyerdahl do not appear in this episode (aside from a picture of Henry).

    This show keeps getting better and better!moreless
  • A different kind of story

    I most say, I really liked it. In some way, the story seemed not to be most important aspect of that episode. It was probably just a stand alone thing, nothing of that storyline probably will ever get to reality, so you can call it a filler, but in artistic way, it was stunning. I mean, they had spent so much focus and attention to the way it looked, to the dynamic, costumes, camera work.. that someway it took over. I most say I specially loved the camera work. It gave a change to have so dynamic, so moving story telling. And the way, as a viewer, you felt so confused at the first, it added so much.

    I really liked the way this episode was special. I loved the "world end" theme.moreless
Nicole Muñoz

Nicole Muñoz

Jessica Mitchell

Guest Star

Sean Tyson

Sean Tyson


Guest Star

Darren Shahlavi

Darren Shahlavi


Guest Star

Chuck Campbell

Chuck Campbell

Two-Faced Guy

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • The episode title, Pavor Nocturnus, is Latin for "night terror" - a parasomnia (sleep-related) disorder characterized by extreme terror and an inability to regain consciousness. The person may appear to be awake, but is confused and unable to communicate. They do not usually respond to vocal cues and can be difficult to fully awaken.

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Helen: More fun and games?
      Will: Don't move.
      Helen: Will!?
      Will: (knocks Magnus back down) I said, "Don't move!"
      Helen: What the hell is going on? What the hell happened to you?
      Will: Who are you?
      Helen: Will, it's me …
      Will: Your name!
      Helen: Helen! Magnus! Satisfied?
      Will: I don't think so. Helen Magnus died … three years ago.
      Helen: (shocked whisper) What?

    • Jessica: They'll find us, you know. They always do.

    • (Magnus watches a computer video log recording of "her" speaking)
      Recording: Hearing this, we will abandon the last Sanctuary. All efforts to find a cure for this plague have failed. Our only hope is to find safe ground to protect what few of us remain … I'm sorry for everything.
      Helen: Dear God.

    • Will: Three years ago … the air force dropped a daisy cutter … on an Argentine neighborhood that you were tryin' to evacuate. 15,000 people were vaporized, including you, at ground zero. And suddenly, here you are, alive and well. You were gone, Magnus, without a trace …
      Helen: I can't explain it …
      Will: Try!
      Helen: I don't know. I - I woke up here, with no memory of anything. I mean you, those creatures …
      Will: Well, you look good. You must've been holed up somewhere real sweet. You look like you've had … food, shelter, sunlight! Was there a colony that I didn't know about?
      Helen: The last thing I recall …
      Will: Was what?
      Helen: A mission. Central America. I … Why can't I remember anything since then? It's like this is all a dream.
      Will: Everything is gone, everything we built - gone. Everyone we ever cared about is dead! Does this look like a dream?

    • Will: We did everything we could to slow it - nothin' worked. After a while, you were euthanizing more than you treated. Governments evacuated cities, we abandoned the Sanctuaries … (sighs) That global panic thing, that's a bitch, let me tell you. Then they started deploying tactical nukes.

    • (Magnus insists on treating the infected girl)
      Will: This is all a very bad idea … which means you really must be you.

    • Will: Deviations? (scoffs) They've become the dominant species on the planet. They're like locusts … that turn other life forms into more locusts.
      Helen: But the contagion had to have started somewhere. Someone must have been the first to contract it.
      Will: Let's do the time warp again - typhus, smallpox, cholera, yellow fever, scarlet fever, malaria. They all bear no relation to this disease. Have you caught up yet?

    • Helen: This doesn't make any sense. There has to be a way to stop it …
      Will: (yelling) You've already done this! You tried every single, waking moment until the very end.
      Helen: You kept going. You're still fighting.
      Will: "Life without purpose isn't … life." I learned that from you.

    • (Will arrives with batteries)
      Will: A couple of storerooms on the garage level I missed when we evacuated, though we were in kind of a rush. I rigged this up with one of our one-hits (weapons), it should keep you in computerland for a while. Oh, and I hate to break it to you, but the internet's down - has been for about five years.
      Helen: I'll survive.

    • Helen: Defenses?
      Will: Nonexistent. It's just me and you against thousands of inhuman cannibals.
      Helen: Ah! Well then, we should be fine. (pauses) There was a time you would have laughed at that.
      Will: Yeah, I'm sure there was.

    • Helen: Will … the others?
      Will: Henry … made weapons for the government - until it finally fell. He kept finding newer, better ways to stop them, to kill them - then his number finally came up.
      Helen: I saw the photos.
      Will: The Big Guy refused to leave after we pulled up stakes, even though there was nothing here left to protect. I'm guessing he took more than a few with him when he finally went.
      Helen: And Kate?
      Will: She died … in the fighting. She was a good fighter, a good leader. Druitt … he took a tactical nuke and teleported into the middle of a high-density infection area. He took most of Boston with him. That was two weeks after we thought you were dead.

    • Will: I respect you tryin' to save this girl, it's even kinda nostalgic - but, come on, this is all just more stuff for the archaeologists to find in the future after we're long gone.

    • Will: I'll help out as long as I can.
      Helen: We can do this, Will. I'm sure you've been through worse.
      Will: No, I haven't. That last skirmish didn't go so well for me. (shows where he was bitten) We kill as many as possible, and then when it's my turn, you don't hesitate - not for one second.

  • NOTES (2)


    • Title:

      Pavor Nocturnus means night terror and is a sleeping disorder sometimes suffered by children.

    • Will: Let's do the time warp again - typhus, smallpox, cholera, yellow fever, scarlet fever, malaria. They all bear no relation to this disease. Have you caught up yet?

      "Let's do the time warp again" is a line from the song "Time Warp" in the film The Rocky Horror Picture Show.