Season 1 Episode 2

Sanctuary for All (2)

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Oct 03, 2008 on Syfy

Episode Fan Reviews (7)

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  • Interesting beginning if somewhat uneven. But, still okay for a "pilot" episode.

    Interesting beginning if somewhat uneven. But, still okay for a "pilot" episode.

    The first two parts of this "new" series were aired on SciFi as a two hour episode. It's apparently meant to be taken as a brand new show and previous incarnations are to be ignored.

    I found it to be rather uneven although that's largely to be expected from any "pilot" film which is busily trying to set its own dimensions for genre, character, pacing, and texture. That's a lot to do in a couple of hours and often takes several episodes before all of those elements start to merge together. We get the basics here. This will be a "fantasy" series. "Sanctuary" is a place where "freaks and monsters" can be protected, studied, and have a place to call home. The term "freaks and monsters" should be taken literally and not just a perception of someone out of alignment with the mainstream. These are going to be some pretty bizarre "folks."

    Amanda Tapping plays Dr. Helen Magnus who runs the "Sanctuary." This is actually the best developed character in the series. And, Amanda Tapping does an exceptional job of shedding her blond hair from the various "Stargate" series to adopt a decidedly darker level of performance. The character is quite focused on her goals to run the "Sanctuary" as well as to who she'd like to help run it and how. We also given a pretty good "back story" on her character which helps shape decisions she's made later on. Not so with the character of Dr. Will Zimmerman, played by Robin Dunne. We get to "see" this doctor doing his job, whatever it is. Frankly, I don't see exactly what his job is supposed to be. He's a called a "profiler" of some kind and his skills are such that Magnus wants to him to join her Sanctuary group. But, I don't see his skills as being that good other than some other character telling us they were that good. Also, Robin Dunne looks way too young to be a "doctor" much less a great one. Get some character lines on that "baby face" of his. Finally, I accept the idea that a character should resist the "call to adventure" but Magnus continual attempts to recruit him become too repetitive and drawn out. Perhaps, it would have worked better if there was something current in his life/job that would have helped compel him to eventually agreeing to this "career change." I have a similar problem with Ashley Magnus, played by Emilie Ullerup. She's the young daughter of Helen Magnus. She's way to "Charlie's Angels." She's exceptionally beautiful but also exceptionally good with her martial arts, weapons, and rebellion. Yet, nothing really explained all of it other than possible "genetics." Clearly, there is ample room for expansion here.

    There were two "plots" running through the two-hour episode. First involved a young Russian immigrant (Alexi) who had a "Sanctuary"-qualifying-deformity. The plot ultimately resolved itself rather quickly without a great deal of effort or satisfaction. The second involved John Druitt, played by Christopher Heyerdahl, who had a history with Magnus and her daughter. This resolved itself in a rather complicated way which seemed to "pad" the episode. Nevertheless, the fight scene with Ashley was intense and interesting. I won't go beyond those comments as the series is too new to want to give everything away.

    Three characters then? I would hope they would introduce more characters and spend more time exploring character background rather to devolve into simply a "monster of the week" format. Time will tell.
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