The four horsemen are upon us, and only one man can save the quiet town of Sleepy Hollow from a fate of torment and despair . . . Professor Ichabod Crane.
Issues with Ichabod Crane:
He is buff, handsome, and British instead of the scrawny, frightened nerd we are familiar with.
He is married to Katrina Van Tassel, who is a witch in a powerful coven. I don’t like this for several reasons. 1. Part of the charm of the original story is that scholarly, wimpy Ichabod had to compete with the brutish Brom Bones for the love of Katrina. Fighting for love is one of the most powerful and interesting themes a story can have and this show chose to eliminate it. 2. Brom’s character could have added more spice to these otherwise bland character interactions. 3. If Ichabod is confident, attractive, and won Katrina’s heart, the show’s creators are robbing the viewer of the opportunity to root for the underdog.
He is a time traveler. Ichabod fought in the American Revolutionary War under General George Washington and was frozen by his wife, Katrina. In the pilot episode, Ichabod wakes up 250 years later to help Lt. Abbie Mills fight against the upcoming apocalypse. Honestly, if I wanted a story about time travel I’d pop in my Back to the Future Blu-ray disc.
Issues with Lt. Abbie Mills
She is a coward. I’m guessing her character was written this way to make up for the fact that Ichabod is now a hero. Her backstory is that when she was a little girl, she and her sister encountered a demon in the woods and went missing for four days. When the girls were found, Abbie lied to police claiming she didn’t see anything and let her sister be dragged off to a mental institution. Then she turned to a life of bad decisions until Sheriff August Corbin intervened and helped her turn her life around. Eventually she finds her way on to the police force, but does she attempt to help her sister get released from the asylum? No. Instead, she applies for a new position and plans to flee Sleepy Hollow for good. Only after meeting Ichabod Crane and losing her partner does she decide to stay.
Issues with the Show:
Killing Sheriff August Corbin off in the first episode. I really liked his character. He was a good influence on Abbie and was an excellent police officer. I wish they kept his character alive; there are plenty of less developed characters that nobody would miss. I understand they want Abbie to partner with Ichabod but he is not law enforcement. I wish Sleepy Hollow had gone the route of the Sherlock Holmes inspired television show Elementary and just made Ichabod a police consultant. I believe the sheriff could have help balance out the flatness of other characters.
The biblical references of the four horseman marking the end of the world. This just seems like an unneeded element to the story. Why isn’t fighting against the Headless Horseman enough? And once again let me remind the creators of Sleepy Hollow that Ichabod is not a hero! In Washington Irving’s story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Ichabod not only loses Katrina to Brom, but the ending implies he either ran away from Sleepy Hollow out of fear or that he was killed by the Headless Horseman.
I like a fresh twist on a classic as much as the next person, but the television show Sleepy Hollow has so many new elements competing for attention that the entire show falls flat. I wish the creators had chosen just one element and developed that further. Time travel, witches, demons, and a dashing Ichabod who becomes a brave crime fighter is straying too far from the original story.
Rating 1: Locked in the Dungeon For an excellent adaptation of this timeless classic, look no further than Tim Burton’s film Sleepy Hollow starring Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci.