Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Honourable Mentions: Sanctuary - Revelations part 1 and 2

title screenSanctuary is a Canadian series that was originally a series of webisodes that then became a full series. It surrounds the work of Dr Helen Magnus (Amanda Tapping), who runs Sanctuary. We are in a world where supernatural creatures are real, they are referred to as abnormals. Sanctuary is both a safe haven for those abnormals who need it and a prison for those who need to be kept away from humanity – or so I can gather.

I say ‘or so I can gather’ as I completely missed this series, for some reason, it was only when the series finale was airing – the two episodes entitled Revelations – that I was made aware of the series and was told there might be a vampire connection. There was, as a background, hence the honourable mention but what I found was something that reminded me a little of Poltergeist: the Legacy, with a flavour of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen graphics. It was also something that I was most upset at missing and fully intend to get the DVD set when available.

a webisode vampireOf the original webisodes, I understand the first four were converted into the first two season 1 episodes. There was a vampire in webisode 8 – in fact a vampire lawyer, which apparently is not a cliché if you were the first one. However, from what I could gather the series took vampires in a different direction – they are essentially extinct. The webisodes are currently unavailable (but you might find them on YouTube).

SanctuaryThe series finale surrounds the cabal (evil humans) developing a biological weapon in the form of a prion virus that targets abnormals and causes the infected abnormal to become paranoid, enraged and violent and then die. It is released as a test and Sanctuary believe that the cabal will release the full, worldwide, dispersal unit in three days.

Magnus and WatsonNow in the Sanctuary universe there are a group of people known as The Five, a group of Victorians who experimented with source blood (the last remaining vampire blood) and got a variety of gifts through it. Magnus is one of those and gained longevity – she is some 157 years old. Another one who received the blood was Dr James Watson (Peter Wingfield).

Watson and DruittWatson gained superior mental acuity and has preserved his life with steampunk styled medical equipment. Sherlock Holmes was the fictionalised version of Dr Watson (who insisted that he remain as the sidekick in the stories). One case he failed to solve was that of Jack the Ripper. He talked through the case with another of The Five, John Druitt (Christopher Heyerdahl), not realising that Druitt was the Ripper. Druitt received the power of teleportation (through time and space) but it caused him brain damage making him a killer.

Jonathon Young as TeslaThe fourth was Griffin who became photosensitive – in other words the invisible man. He is dead but his legacy was passed on and now his granddaughter Clara (Christine Chatelain) has that power. Finally there is Nikola Tesla (Jonathon Young) who not only gained electrical powers through other means but, from the blood, he recieved the power of an ancient vampire. He is believed to be dead, killed by Druitt, but reappears in part 2. We see nothing that vampiric in Revelations Part 2 though a previous episode, which I missed and entitled The Five, apparently had much more vampiric activity including Tesla able to make vampires by using his own blood and electricity – presumably low level vampires or they wouldn’t be extinct generally.

ruins of the vampire cityThe virus can not infect The Five but they find they cannot develop an anti-viral agent from their own blood and so need to get the remaining Source Blood, hidden in a labyrinth beneath the lost vampire city of Balasalm in the Indian Himalayas by Magnus’ father and only retrievable through 5 keys, themselves only retrievable through each one of The Five’s special gifts. The city itself, they discover, was bombed to rubble 100 years before. A slaughter, proclaims Magnus, as the vampires were so few in number by then that they weren’t a threat.

The only other vampire reference in these two episodes was that Tesla knows he could use the blood to resurrect his ancestors (as he refers to the vampires) as a race. However the episodes themselves were great fun, as I mentioned. The series imdb page is here.


everlost said...

If you install the ITV player here


it has the 12 sanctuary episodes available for watching here...


although one is listed as disappearing off the list tomorrow.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

cheers Everlost. I suspect (as there are 13 episodes) that ep 1 has already vanished. Not to worry, I will catch them at some point. I may try and work out which the Tesla ep is, however.

Moi said...

They were airing this here on Sci-Fi. I'd thought it looked interesting, but I'm not much for sitting down on specific nights each week for T.V. I'll often see things on DVD's if they seem worth it.

Seems this might be worth it! I'd had wondered if they'd have any vampiric elements given the scope of the show.

Thanks for the review.

S. Roit said...

That last comment was me, btw. lol.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

I guessed as much (that it was you) Sherry lol.

Certainly I enjoyed the finale - but it is just like me to start with the finale. Thanks to Everlost I have found the Tesla episode (The Five, episode 7) on the UK channel's catchup service so I'll be looking at that soon.

everlost said...

Bet you wont find time to watch those, mister taliesin...soon as you sign up to ITV player thingie, you'll be compelled to watch Demons again! just in case it was all a bad dream...

Taliesin_ttlg said...

I don't know... I thought that last comment was a bad dream... besides which Ihave Demons on DVD RW, so that I can screenshot the final review.