Sleepy Hollow may share a name and several characteristics with the fairy tale of the same name, but Fox’s retelling of the story is vastly different.
On Monday night, the show’s pilot debuted, and, unlike the fairy tale of the same name, Icahbod Crane is a strong leading character. Crane is not perceived as a mousy school teacher but rather as a professor at Oxford who came to America to fight for the British army. After falling in love with the idea of what America could become Crane abandons Britain and joins forces with George Washington.
During a special mission at Washington’s bequest, Crane creates the headless horseman when he beheads the menacing character. It turns out that the headless horseman is death himself, and, after slicing open Crane, the men become bonded in a pool of their own combined blood.
Fast forward 250 years later and Crane wakes up in a cave in modern times. Crane, played by Tom Mison, is naturally surprised by his surroundings but seems to take everything in stride, perhaps because he previously watched as a headless horseman nearly killed him.
Crane quickly stumbles upon police officer Abbie Mills, portrayed by the very capable Nicole Beharie. Abbie is a deputy who is about to leave Sleepy Hollow for a stint at the FBI Academy. Abby watches as her friend and sheriff are swiftly beheaded by the headless horseman, and an investigation leads her into the world of Ichabod Crane.
Abbie, like Crane, has a past that allows her to easily believe the unimaginable. Abbie’s quickly referenced past helps keep the pilots storyline on pace. I appreciated how quickly the TV show jumped into action. I’m not one to enjoy forced back stories that muddle the pace of the shows present time. Crane dealt with the supernatural in the past and accepted his current fate, Abbie also dealt with similar strange circumstances and is also ready to move forward and find answers.