First up, a brief overview for anyone not familiar with Sanctuary: It began life as an eight episode web series in 2007 that was so successful that it was picked up by an American SciFi TV station and made into a more traditional 13 episode TV show.
It follows the work of Dr. Helen Magnus (Amanda Tapping) who is a good looking and enigmatic scientist who seeks abnormals – creatures and monsters who secretly dwell in our world – to protect them or keep them from harming others. She os aided by a forensic psychiatrist, a computer genius, a con artist, Big Foot and a vampire, all who work out of the Sanctuary – a safe haven for abnormals.
I first discovered Sanctuary back in late 2009 when it was first released on DVD in New Zealand. Whilst it took me a while to get into it, I was pretty much a fan by the end of it. The quirky and often cheesy sci-fi story-lines, reliance on cheap CGI, and making real the things that go bump in the night, all packaged together with a superb collection of (mostly) human characters just worked so well together.
A few years have gone by and I somehow managed to miss out on Season 2 – not that I was going to let that get in the way of me watching Season 3!
Season 3 kicks off with the resolution of a cliff hanger from the end of Season 2 and it’s apparently that somewhere in that second season, one of the key characters has disappeared. It’s also apparently – probably due to having to upgrade my TV since watching Season 1, that most of the show appears to be filmed in front of a green screen. At times this is so glaringly obvious that it’s a distraction, but at other times it just fits the feel of the show.
The Third Season is also a tad longer, which is good for the fans an gives the writers more opportunity to explore the characters and possibilities, which they do, with some episodes looking at the backstory of Magnus and what she’s been involved with – such as securing the safe invasion of France in June 1944.
Apart from the opening episode being a direct continuation of Season Two’s story, It didn’t feel like I had missed anything through not watching Season 2, which means that this third season will be good not only for long time fans, but also for people who’ve never seen the show.
Sanctuary is on the one hand your typical cheesy TV Sci-Fi, but on the other had a good solid drama that should appeal to a wider audience, so long as you’re not scared off by the occasional monster.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read