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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 17 December 2014
Ichabod Crane, a British soldier who switches sides during the American revolution, is killed in battle in the 17th century. He is revived and brought back to life in present day Sleepy Hollow along with the headless horseman who he killed in the battle, and helps local police to hunt the horseman who wants to end the world. At first glance this seemed like an unnecessary remake of Tim Burton's film but as it turns out, it's a very enjoyable if a bit mad modern update of the classic story Sleepy Hollow which sees Ichabod Crane team up and form an unlikely partnership with police officer Abbie Mills and trying to get used to the 21st century including modern technology like computers and mobile phones and the issue of slavery is addressed through his partner Abbie and police captain Frank Irving. Good effects with a lot of good twists and a continuing plot leading up to a shock revelation and twist and cliffhanger in the final feature length episode leading into season 2. If you enjoy shows like Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Supernatural and Grimm, you will especially enjoy this fun series.
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on 26 January 2014
What a great show this is. I started out thinking it would be another mediocre American horror -fest but I was hooked after the first episode and have not been disappointed since (except with how long a break the show took over Christmas 2013 and how long its taking for the DVD to appear that is) Tom Mison is brilliant as Crane and I think a lot of viewers have warmed to his 'old worlde' charm. I'm old enough to remember 'Adam Adament', who was a Victorian gent back in the 60's who was similarly restored to life out of his time- and who can resist a few home truths about some of the crazier aspects of 21st century life? There is great chemistry too, and some really good special effects and storylines. I'm so pleased there will be a second series and hope one of the prophecies in the show comes true and that our heroes have a seven year period in which to save the world.
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on 23 December 2013
I highly recommend watching this show - If you enjoy Supernatural, but cant stand all the teenage girly angst and emo mood swings...this is the show for you.

Its funny, the cast are great, the CGI/special effects are excellent and the story line is exciting. so far, the pace of the story has been perfect, with very little procrastinating. although the basic idea of the show is just a re-hash of the legend of sleepy hollow, it still manages to keep very original.

cant recommend it enough.
spooky, funny, exciting and sexy. it will keep you hooked.
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on 20 October 2014
The acting is very good across the board but Tom Mison is simply outstanding in what could be an awkward role. He balances the absurdity and humor beautifully and is the reason I watch this show. Thank you Tom !!
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on 8 February 2015
Given the huge success of NBC’s Grimm and WB’s Supernatural, the chaps at Fox had to get in on the act. They’ve taken Washington Irving’s 1820 short story ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’ and thrown the paranormal metaphorical kitchen sink at it You name it, it’s in there; bits of Dante, lots of Old Testament, freemasonry, general occultism, Hindu mythology, European & American folk law, shades of Buffy and more than a passing nod to Grimm.

It is a splendid hodgepodge of nonsense but it really works well thanks to good casting, excellent writing and, I suspect, a generous budget. Tom Mison makes a superb Ichabod Crane; turncoat spy for George Washington, killed in 1781 by the headless horseman only to be resurrected in the present day. His essential Englishness, bearing, and antiquated language lend the show a light yet classy feel. It’s nice to see a real Englishman playing the part too, so often we have Antipodean accents pretending to be British on American TV (I suspect they’re cheaper and that Americans can’t tell the difference). While on the subject of Antipodeans, it’s great to see Walter Bishop crop up as sin eater Henry Parish.

Set, like Grimm, in a police department, this Season sees Crane slowly make sense of Modern America while he and police lieutenant (delightfully pronounced ‘leftenant’ by Crane) Abbie Mills investigate many strange goings-on in and around Sleepy Hollow. It could easily have been repetitively episodic were it not for the development of a strong underlying plot holding the whole thing together. The dialogue is light and witty, there’s plenty of character development without the usual slackening of pace and it’s, well, just great fun. The traditional double episode season finale is suitably suspenseful and not without a few surprises: “Always leave them wanting more “as Walt Disney or PT Barnham so wisely said.

Sleepy Hollow is, of course, all very silly but is very well put together, there is never a dull moment and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Excellent stuff and Season two (due for release in October 2015) is already on our wish list.
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Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote about Ichabod Crane and his encounter with the Headless Horseman... and apparently forgot to mention the witches, George Washington, the demon Moloch, and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Yes, there's not much about "Sleepy Hollow Season 1" that resembles the original story, except a handful of names and the idea of a supernatural horseman with no head. But it does have the Horseman firing machine guns, so that's something -- a grim yet imaginative supernatural thriller, where a small New York city becomes the stage for a battle between the forces of evil... and a cop/guy-out-of-time duo.

In 1781, Revolutionary spy/soldier Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) is mortally wounded when fighting the supernatural Headless Horseman, and his witch wife Katrina (Katia Winters) bespells him into a magical sleep. Over two hundred years later, he emerges from the grave, since his life is now bound to the unlife of the Horseman. A local cop, Lt. Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) is understandably skeptical of the man claiming to have served under George Washington and raving about the Headless Horseman killing her mentor.

But she soon discovers that the Headless Horseman is very real -- and he's actually one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, serving the demon Moloch. Hang on, there's a lot of supernatural backstory in this story, mostly related to stopping the end of the world.

As two "witnesses" foretold in the Bible, Abbie and Ichabod find themselves bound together, and dealing with some weird, weird stuff -- a cult of evil witches, some evil Hessians, the lost colony of Roanoke, an angry dream spirit, a haunted house, a demonic possession, a golem, and the ongoing quest to keep a doorway to Hell from being opened. The key to it all may lie in Abbie's past, and Ichabod's very messed-up family.

"Sleepy Hollow Season 1" has a rather ridiculous premise, and sometimes it isn't afraid to just run with the absurdity (usually by Abbie sarcastically questioning something). But most of the time, it takes itself pretty seriously, spinning up a complex mythology that has a large number of plot twists, such as pretty much everything about Ichabod and Katrina's son. Seriously, nothing about him is untwisted. There's something fascinating and oddly admirable about a show so wholeheartedly embracing its weird side.

And don't worry: there isn't constant comedy about Ichabod being a fish out of water. Yes, there are some gags based on Ichabod being from the late 1700s (he refuses to get rid of his ratty coat for fear someone will "wear it ironically" and rages about sales tax and skinny jeans), but it's not too annoying. Instead, the story relies on lots of decapitations, "Evil Dead" tree roots, gloomy brick catacombs and misty forests where demons rise between bone-white trees.

The core of the show is the relationship between Abbie and Ichabod -- she a no-nonsense cop who initially doesn't buy into all this supernatural hooey, and he an occult expert who hobnobbed with the Founding Fathers. Beharie seems rather stiff in the first few episodes, until it gradually becomes clear that she's playing a very repressed, walled-up woman. And the sublimely beautiful Mison is excellent as a VERY open-minded Englishman who defected to the American side, and now finds himself afloat in an alien world.

There's also some solid side performances by Orlando Jones as Abbie's long-suffering boss, who reluctantly finds himself enmeshed in the world of the supernatural; John Noble as a reclusive "sin-eater"; Lyndie Greenwood as Abbie's scrappy sister; and John Cho as a weak-willed witch who serves Moloch.

The weak point? Katrina. She's effectively a passive, paper-thin damsel who just sits around looking sad and saying Important Things in a wispy yet melodramatic voice. And quite honestly, Winter's chemistry with Mison is so nonexistent that it almost forms a black hole.

Despite that one major flaw, "Sleepy Hollow Season 1" is a solid, serious supernatural thriller, with plenty of violence and weird demonic goings-on. Just grit your teeth through Katrina's presence.
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on 21 October 2014
I was a little dubious about it as a series before I started watching, as I loved the film, but WOW! It had me hooked from the first episode. It's got a great cast of actors, the scripts are well-written and developed and it's captivated me from start to finish. I want the second series as soon as possible. I really hope Fox invest in this.
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on 15 May 2016
Very disappointed. Abandoned after 5 episodes. The thing is -- is it is farfetched -- by definition (no problem there, I like farfetched). But even farfetched has to be self consistent. So having someone from 20 years ago speak the lingo, sort-of understand how stuff works without realistic surprise (and so on) was just irritating and not internally realistic. There is a difference between crazily good scripting (as in the first half of Lost for example) and plain silly. This bordered too much on the edge of silly. Not terrible, but not something I want to waste another several dozen hours on.
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on 8 January 2015
Sleepy Hollow, the series is for everyone who enjoyed Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow, series like Supernatural, Constantine and Grimm. It's an addictive supernatural thriller with an impressive storyline and great acting.

The Legend of the Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle are from Washington Irving's collection of essays and short stories published serially between 1819 and 1820 and then in 1824 (as single volume) titled as The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. (Geoffrey Crayon was Irving's pseudonym.)

The Legend of the Sleepy Hollow introduced Ichabod Crane as a superstitious schoolmaster who competes with Abraham Van Brunt for the love of Katrina, the daughter of a wealthy noble Baltus Van Tassel. The Yankee Crane, the local Van Brunt and the lovely Katrina come together at Van Tassel's farmstead during a harvest feast where Van Brunt and his friends have their share of ghostly legends and myths. After having failed to betroth Katrina, Ichabod leaves disappointed but on the way he meets a headless horseman with his head on the saddle.

Ichabod Crane was a tragic character, though in Washington Irving's short story his motivation to marry Katrina was not a pious one. However, Ichabod Crane changed, how many times the story changed through various adaptations. I think the real changes began with the timid character played by Jeff Goldblum in the TV movie Legend of the Sleepy Hollow (1980) and Tim Burton's The Legend of the Sleepy Hollow is probably the first one that made Ichabod Crane a noble hero. The nervous, jumpy school master is a police constable in Burton's adaptation, though still nervous Ichabod has grace, thanks to Johnny Depp's brilliant performance.

The TV series
Now the tv series of Sleepy Hollow took more liberties than Tim Burton, actually the creators Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Phillip Iscove, and Len Wiseman blended the Legend of the Sleepy Hollow with Rip Van Winkle to make it a modern day Ichabod Crane who is a cross between Sherlock Holmes and John Constantine.

Ichabod's Challenges
The modern day Sleepy Hollow is Ichabod's first challenge, the modern technology, the "emancipated" black female lieutenant (he has no qualms or discontent over this, as he was an advocate of abolitionist movement), selling water, polluting natural resources, modern gestures and language, and the modern world's misinterpretations of history (sometimes uncovering the facts his generation failed to understand like Thomas Jefferson's relationship with Sally Hemings) and of course, the darn spellcheck in the smartphone .

However his main challenge was the resurrection of his nemesis, the Hessian mercenary, whose head he had cut off, the terrifying Headless Horseman. Now, an embodiment of death himself, the Headless Horseman represents one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and Ichabod, jittery than before, had to uncover the identity of the Horseman, the mysterious evil behind the schemes, and ultimately what happened to his beloved Katrina.

Ichabod's Adventures
Ichabod's resurrection and his adventures in the modern world linked with Lt. Grace Abigail, a lieutenant in the Sleepy Hollow Sheriff's Department. His keen intellect, photographic memory, expertise in spells and supernatural he is still mystified by his resurrection, and the visions of his wife Katrina. While Ichabod is a valuable asset and greatly assisted the Lieutenant in her investigations, Abigail herself is a good detective, who was looking forward a placement at the FBI Academy in Quantico, and when they are combined they are unstoppable. Their investigations took them from the mythical village to purgatory.

Cast
The series has excellent cast. Tom Mison as Icabod Crane is brilliant, he perfectly resurrected the nervous yet valiant hero. Mison nicely fit into the shoes of Johnny Deep, Jeff Goldblum (1980) as Ichabod Crane. Nicole Beharie's daring Lt. Grace Abbie Mills perfectly matched with Ichabod.
One of the best performances in the series is John Noble's Harry Parish, as a Sin Eater and later identities, Noble gives exceptionally superb performance. Orlando Jones as Captain Frank Irving (homage to Washington Irving?) and Katia Winter as Katrina Crane, though less screen time in the first season, also performed great.

Pros:
Gripping Story
Excellent cast

Cons:
Lacking subtitles and extra features compared to the NTSC edition
--update 26 Jan. 2015 -- User Kalliope commented (see below) that "the BD does have English subtitles (for hard of hearing) several extra features and audiocom. on select episodes"
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1781. At Sleepy Hollow during the War for Independence amongst the carnage two in particular lie dead, their blood intermingling. One is Ichabod Crane, English lecturer converted to the American cause; the other the monstrous horseman he beheaded. Two hundred and fifty years later the two revive, the Horseman with a score to settle. Again the town is their battleground. If Ichabod loses, the way is paved for the Four Horses of the Apocalypse, Armageddon and the end of mankind.

Understandably the local policeforce is a little overwhelmed.

13 episodes contain historical flashbacks and much that is bizarre - ancient prophecies, Bible predictions, witches, shamans, masons, hallucinations, and guarantee more lopped heads will be flying.

Lively scripts (certain aspects very tongue in cheek) are done justice by a fine cast. Palpable is the chemistry between Tom Mison as Ichabod and Nicole Beharie as a cop, she invaluable in helping him to adjust to modern times. Computers pose a problem. (He is not alone there, believe you me.)

Despite all the gore, humour is not far away (including a suggestion The Book of Revelation hints at seven seasons for the series). Jaws may well drop at the finale - a twist very few (if any) see coming. In fact it seems thought up on the spur of the moment, but makers assure viewers it was intended all along, clues carefully planted should any wish to check.

The commentaries contain much of interest. All it seems was achieved on a lower budget than one might expect. Neither Ichabod nor Abbie was as initially imagined, Mison thus yet another British actor to head an ambitious American series. (Their auditions are amongst the bonuses.)

It took me a little while to adjust to the show's wavelength, but from then on every preposterous moment was enjoyed.
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