Sleepy Hollow – S01E01

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is one of my favorite stories and although it may come as a bit of a surprise, I think the Disney 1949 cartoon rendition is quite a wonderful telling of the story. Sadly, the Johnny Depp version quite the steamy pile and other renditions try to go to far with the horror and gore and lose the core of the story. Let’s not forget, it’s a mystery – what happened to Ichabod?

But here comes Fox with a new telling of this tale, and by the first episode, I think they may be on the right track. It appears Sleepy Hollow is bringing a lot of elements into the story, both from the story and from the surrounding time period. Ichabod isn’t a gangly school teacher scared of his own shadow. Far from it. He worked with George Washington on convert missions for the revolutionary war. Like some other stories (Once Upon a Time, Lost) this one is told both from the past and in the present.

We first find Ichabod on the battlefield and he may in fact be responsible for the Headless Horseman. Washington sent Ichabod to hunt him down. When engaged in battle, Ichabod delivers the fatal blow that takes off his head. But then, the world changes and Ichabod wakes up in present day Sleepy Hollow. The Headless Horseman is riding again and we learn there may be more to his story than a simple specter. He may in fact be Death himself.

We learn that Ichabod actually married Katrina, but that she was tried and killed for witchcraft. And speaking of witchcraft, we have Sheriff Corbin who sounds oh so similar to the Sheriff Corwin of Salem Witch Trial fame.

But that was all in the past, Ichabod is now in the present. Somehow, through the magical weavings of his wife Katrina, he has been slumbering and recovering from his wounds and has been awakened to once again fight the Hessian. According to the legend, Ichabod needs to keep the severed head away from the body or the Horseman will become even more powerful. We also hear tale of two witch covens, one good, one evil, working to suppress and control the Horseman.

A lot of pieces comes at us, but overall I think it blended together pretty nicely. We have modern Sleepy Hollow with Old School Ichabod looking for the Headless Horseman will dark forces try to stop their efforts. These dark forces are more than likely tied to witchcraft and I have no doubt the events of the Salem Witch Trials will come to light. There is a TON of material to work with here and it looks like the writers will delve into that subject at will to make the story more intriguing without going over the top on useless grisly details.

I like what I see and look forward to the next episode. There is a lot of pieces to this puzzle and while they might take some liberties, I think a lot of historical information is going to come to light and some interesting twists on the old theories will come along for the ride. This is another attempt at making Ichabod a "detective", but I think this time around they might have gotten it right.

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