Review: Sanctuary – Series Premiere on Sci Fi Channel

Show: Sanctuary (Sci Fi)
Episode: “Sanctuary for All, Part 1 & 2” – Series Premiere (Season 1)
Premiere Date: Friday, October 3rd, 2008
Rating: 2 out of 4 Stars

Quick Synopsis: Sanctuary for all, except the viewer.

Long Synopsis: A doctor tracks dangerous creatures and other oddities that have been spawned, but can’t be explained. She provides any and all sanctuary from the outside world. Also, she locks the most dangerous ones away. But, all are studied to learn more about them and the human race. She attempts to recruit a psychiatric doctor that works for the police, who may have an extraordinary ability to deal with these types of beings.

Review: Sanctuary is based on a web series of the same name that also starred Amanda Tapping (Stargate Atlantis, Stargate SG-1).

I’ve never seen the web version, but maybe this slow moving story works better in shorter segments. When I watched the screener for the two-hour premiere, it seemed like it was never going to get anywhere and where it did go, you pretty much new long before it happened. And, that was watching it without any commercials. With commercial breaks, it’s going to feel excruciatingly long.

The underlying premise is interesting and allows for all kinds of fun and dangerous creatures to be dreamed up, but it needs to pump up the action a bit and get things moving. Which is one of the reasons I gave it two stars.

The other is how the show is filmed. It is completely done with green screen. All the settings and backgrounds are added in with computers. Only things like desks and chairs are real, pretty much everything else is computer generated. It is very cool and very well done. But, you need more than pretty backdrops created with cool technology to have a show.

Overall, I say it has potential, but given the competition in the third hour of primetime, it’s got to improve dramatically to make my viewing list. On the network side, it will be going up against CBS’ Numb3rs and NBC’s Life, both of which are very good. On the cable side, it will be going up against Crash on Starz and The Starter Wife on USA. Haven’t watched Crash yet, but The Starter Wife miniseries was very good, so I’d add it to the two network shows as all being better bets than Sanctuary right now.

Sanctuary premieres tonight, Friday, October 3rd on Sci Fi.

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Jason the TVaholic
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