I seem to be on a roll. I found Meta4orce a couple of days ago, and now I found another show on the web, that has me impressed. And there are some interesting parallels which may not seem apparent, but as this is a place to simply indulge myself, that is what I shall do.
In much the same way as I found Meta4orce without actually looking for it, I found Sanctuary. I wasn't actually looking for it, but the internet can lead you anywhere. All I was doing was browsing Newsarama. Yes, I was. No, not the message boards(I wouldn't dare), just the site. As I mentioned before, I like to browse around to possibly find interviews, news items or anything in general on comics that catches my eye. So, while I was looking for anything in general I found an interview that had nothing to do with comics but I saw the line "innovative new Sci-Fi series". That intrigued me, as I am a sucker for Sci-Fi and who isn't one for "innovative". The interview was basically about the actor sharing his experiences while working on the show, and the line where it says that it was launched on the internet is where I went for Google, my trusty sidekick.
It seems that the show was originally meant for the internet and that there were 8 episodes, 4 of which were available for free, and if you liked them, you would have to pay to watch the rest. Now this was back in July 2007, or thereabouts. Since then, this show has been picked up by Sci-Fi for 13 episodes, because of its "cult following"(Boy, is that term overused or what, I could say my blog here has a cult following, cause I am the only reader, but I follow it religiously, but I digress). But I like to think that it had more to do with the show actually being good.
Now, the show isn't available on the site anymore. But if you use my trusty sidekick, you'll inevitably find places where you can watch it. And I did watch the episodes, all 8 of them. While the show's low budget is immediately apparent in the graphics, its obviously ambitious as the entirety of the show is done on green screen. While not a new concept, it does seem to be new for a show launched on the internet. Lead by Amanda Tapping, who people may recall from another Sci-Fi show, the show is based on a concept that comic book fans may not be new to. I would say its a mix between BPRD, and X-Men. Amanda Tapping is an immortal woman who roams the world finding freaks, urban myths, and giving them shelter. She has an entirely cliched daughter,played by Emilie Ullerup, who seems to remind me of Alba's role from Dark Angel for some reason, but she's obviously modeled after Buffy, Xena and the ilk. She's the one character in the show that doesn't sit right with me, but that may change. Robin Dunne plays the new recruit. And he's recruited as a psychologist, and at other times as the damsel in distress, or empathizing angel of kindness, as the situation demands.
The first four episodes deal with Dunne getting recruited, and Emilie finding out about her EVIL father. In the meantime we have flashbacks dealing with the good Doctor's (Tapping) role as "----ist" and "-----ist" and "Xenobiologist"(Fill up the blanks if you want to). She's apparently immortal, 157 years of age, but sexy as hell in those black trenchcoats. She actually wears a tie later in the show. Whats with that? And we go into flashbacks to look at the father - mother relationship. In short it all sounds very cliched. Well, atleast as much as I can make it feel like one. But its handled in great manner. The acting, especially from Tapping, and the shrink guy, as well as the EVIL father, is excellent, and while the show obviously look cheap, its darkened enough so that you may not even notice it. But the actual presence of a shrink is what intrigues me the most. It can lead to plenty of possibilities beyond the familiar psycho-babble bits, and episodes 5 - 8 hint at actually using those possibilities. Obviously its used to a limited extent, but hopefully its used as plot devices, instead of a kinda plot twist as is used in those episodes.
All in all, I think this show is promising. And hopefully the Sci-Fi deal will mean that the show runners can really run with the concept. I am looking forward to October when it starts airing.
By the way, a warning. If you do find episodes 5 to 8, episode 8 was left on a cliffhanger. And the website provides no information. So if you don't like your shows incomplete, you may want to watch only upto episode 4.