What if you suddenly woke up from the throes of death 250 years in the future to find the world is on the brink of destruction, caused by unimaginable events, and you are humanity’s last hope? Welcome to SLEEPY HOLLOW, the thrilling new mystery-adventure drama from co-creators/executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (“Star Trek” and “Transformers” franchises, “Fringe”). In this modern-day retelling of Washington Irving’s classic, ICHABOD CRANE (Tom Mison, “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”) is resurrected and pulled two and a half centuries through time to unravel a mystery that dates all the way back to the founding fathers. Revived alongside Ichabod is the infamous Headless Horseman who is on a murderous rampage in present-day Sleepy Hollow. Bound to the Headless Horseman by a blood spell cast on the battlefield of the American Revolution, Ichabod quickly realizes that stopping Headless is just the beginning, as the resurrected rider is but the first of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. As this re-invented Ichabod finds himself in present-day Sleepy Hollow, he discovers a town and a world he no longer recognizes. All that is brutally familiar are Headless and Ichabod’s determination to annihilate this immortal being. It’s a mission he must complete quickly, as Headless already has viciously slain Sheriff AUGUST CORBIN (guest star Clancy Brown, “Cowboys & Aliens,” “Carnivale”). Grey served both as mentor and father figure to Detective ABBIE MILLS (Nicole Beharie, “Shame,” “American Violet”), a young cop whose own supernatural experiences help her form an unlikely bond with Ichabod. But Sleepy Hollow’s head of police, Captain FRANK IRVING (Orlando Jones, “The Chicago 8,” “Drumline”), isn’t buying any of this. In fact, the only person who is on Abbie’s side is Ichabod. His extensive first-hand knowledge of our secret American history, coupled with her superior profiling and modern threat assessment skills, will make them a formidable duo as they work together to triumph over evil. The complex pasts of Ichabod and Abbie, from Ichabod’s inclusion in the powerful and secretive Freemasons Society and the ghostly appearance of his late wife, KATRINA (Katia Winter, "Dexter"), to Abbie’s childhood visions, will help them solve the intricate puzzles of Sleepy Hollow in order to protect its future. As history repeats itself, the oddly-linked pair will draw on the real stories and hallowed secrets this nation was founded on in their quest to stop an increasingly vicious cycle of evil. SLEEPY HOLLOW is from K/O Paper Products in association with 20th Century Fox Television. The series is co-created by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Phillip Iscove and Len Wiseman ("Hawaii-50" “Underworld” and “Total Recall”). The series is executive-produced by Kurtzman, Orci, Wiseman and Heather Kadin. Iscove serves as supervising producer. Wiseman directed the pilot.
The trailer from upfront week is here.
It looks utterly and completely daft, but I'm rooting hard for it.
Kurtzman and Orci usually know what they're doing and the two leads have good buddy cop chemistry (in fact, they remind me of a sci-fi version of the leads on Elementary, with a ridiculous Englishman and his more normal female partner). There's plenty of plot here, but also potential for procedural elements. Most importantly, everyone seems to be having a pretty good time and a sense of humour; I think what often kills high-concept shows like this is an overabundance of angst and mythology at the expense of entertainment and character bonding. Also, (apart from the attractive Colonial flashbacks, which I doubt they'll have in every episode), I got the feeling that this show could withstand the budget/production value decrease between the pilot and the subsequent episodes, since most of it is this enjoyable dynamic between Ichabod and the cops.
I think the real challenge will be the marketing. I don't know how they'll make it appealing without seeming overwhelming. Maybe if they just focus on the main duo, with bonus machine gun-wielding headless man, and keep quiet about Washington's Bible and the dream witches and whatnot for a little while.