“There are things that go bump in the night, and we are the ones who bump back!”
Now I know what you’re thinking, ‘holy crap they made Hellboy the TV show!’, but believe me…you’re completely wrong! No, this quote is from the series Sanctuary, but it may as well be Heckchild: the rip-off series. The brain child of Damian Kindler, this Canadian show, shown in America on what is now the utterly stupid spelling of the SyFy channel, takes a revoltingly soft, PC look at what it means to be a real monster in today’s society.
Following a young chap named Dr. Will Zimmerman (played by Robin Dunne, who doesn’t look a day over 18 years old), this so called doctor is stalked, pursued, and finally won over by Dr. Helen Magnus (played by Amanda Tapping), who shows him this huge gallery of freaks, whom she corrects his calling them a mermaid, a giant lizard, a guy with two faces, and a big foot, even though she keeps them in prison cells…complete bullshit.
Then he has some tea and strumpets before agreeing to join the ranks of the freaks, to protect them from society, exploit them for good, and fight the evil Mr. Clean aka Jack the Ripper. But I digress.
The series does have some fun action, and some rather remarkable use of green screen technology to create virtually all the sets and world the characters inhabit, which does help to explain how the show is able to do as much as it does given its fairly small budget. Of course, that is not to say that technology should ever replace good story telling, which the show could certainly use a lesson or two in.
The DVD set is a pretty sweet package, for those fans of the show. Spread across four discs, the first thirteen episodes of the series look as crisp and clean as you’d expect from a recently made television show, with 5.1 audio to boot. In the special features department there are quite a healthy selection including audio commentary by the creator, director, cast, and crew on every episode, the original Webisodes which feature the extended pilot, three making of featurettes, bloopers, a photo gallery, and a sneak peek at the second season.
While certainly not the best show in the ‘SyFy’ cannon, Sanctuary shows potential for being a cult favorite in the years to come. I think I’ll let your nightmares speak for themselves.