Sanctuary on The Sci Fi Channel


Sanctuary is an odd show, even for the Sci Fi Channel. We have a Harry Potter look alike, who does not have an English accent and Samantha Carter from Stargate, who does have an English accent. Also from Stargate-the Atlantis brand-is a Caveman/Bigfoot/Who Knows What He Is who speaks with the exact same voice he uses when he plays Todd the Wraith. I keep expecting him to make some joke about Gieco.

Sanctuary is one of those new style shows where they don’t bother with things like sets-its all shot on a green screen and the massive buildings and mountain tops are dropped in later. The CGI is about what you would expect from a Sci Fi cable show, not quite as good as Stargate, but a bit better than Eureka. The Sanctuary is a kind of Zenoboilogical Zoo, where mermaids and monsters of one sort or another are kept in cages-for their own safety.

The head of The Sanctuary is Dr Magnus, an apparently immortal woman with a crisp English accent and a decided hatred of coffee. Dr Magnus is a pure stereotype English woman, all proper manners and stiff upper lip. I keep expecting her to say Jolly Good or Righto. She had a love affair with Jack The Ripper, a recurring character who was killed in the first episode. Jack and Magnus’s daughter is also a star of show. She is a kind of Buffy The Vampire Slayer/Dark Angel type of girl who loves weapons and killing things. I am not sure if the Harry Potter clone is the only human in the Sanctuary, but it does appear that he is. He used to work for the FBI or the CIA or somebody like that. He is a kind CSI Shrink who spends all of his time looking shocked and baffled.

Among the many oddities of Sanctuary is the fact that there seems to be a giant Medieval Castle/Fortress in the middle of New York City-and no one seems to know about it. Rouge monsters of one sort or another are everywhere and are even organized into mob like gangs. Money is no object and our heroes jet around the world tracking down this or that Special who needs their help-or needs to be killed. Like the Humane Society, killing seems to be at the top of the list of services provided by The Sanctuary. And they wonder why Specials are not lining up at the doors.

Sanctuary is a fun show. Amanda Tapping is a bit over the top, but no more so than when she was Know It All Samantha Carter on Stargate SG-1. It’s sort of like the BBC’s Torchwood, only without all the sex or the end of the world alien attacks. Ok, it’s not much like Torchwood at all. Expect that the story is about a group of people doing secret stuff who recruit someone new to the team.

Sanctuary is one more show that has too much CGI for my taste. The stories all seem to be excuses to show off some neat computer imagine or one more silly monster. Of course, it is a Sci Fi Channel show-so that is pretty much par for the course. I think Sanctuary has some potential and I will keep watching it, if only for all the regulars from Stargate that keep showing up.

Jon Herrera

Jon Herrera

Writer, Photographer, Blogger.
Jon Herrera

Latest posts by Jon Herrera (see all)

Writer, Photographer, Blogger.

Posted in sanctuary, sci fi, sci fi channel, sci fi tv show, tv review
2 comments on “Sanctuary on The Sci Fi Channel
  1. WYATTE says:

    The person that wrote this article is a moron. Your big problem is with CGI. Get with the program. CGI is what allows a business like SCIFI to elaborate on things of the fantastic, and as we know not particularly real events to play out for our entertainment given certain budget restrictions which would be obvious to someone with a business background. I like the show. I like the Scifi channel. I find this article a bit crass. The writer in my opinion seems to lack imagination. It’s Science Fiction. Meaning it is not supposed to be real. You sometimes have to just accept plots for what they are and if you can’t do that you should maybe think about writing about football games maybe.

  2. DESCARTES says:

    Always good to find some willing to express an opinion.

    I am well aware of The Suspension of Disbelief and have been a big fan of such shows as Star Trek, Dr Who, and Red Dwarf-shows were were great on very low budgets and very bad special effects.

    The difference with CGI is that most modern shows WANT to look like a big budget Spielberg blockbuster and don’t quite pull it off.

    ELi Stone and Terminator The Sarah Connor Chronicals both have very high production values without looking cartoony and silly.

    Stargate had plenty of bad CGI but still worked most of the time. Most of the horrid Sci FI Channel movies about dragion, valcanos, giant rats, and the like look horrible.

    I also think the addition of such programs as wrestling and ghost hunters has helped steer the Sci Fi Channel down the MTV path-where they can make money but have very little to do with the format that make the channel work in the first place.

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