Friday, February 08, 2008

Sanctuary and the Secrets of Evolution

Sanctuary is no ordinary online science fiction series. Its creator is Damian Kindler, a writer and producer for both Stargate SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis, and stars Stargate's Amanda Tapping. Tapping is joined by costars Robin Dunne, Emilie Ullerup, and Christopher Heyerdahl and a guest stars from many other British Columbia-filmed science fiction series, including the Stargates, Battlestar Galactica, The Dead Zone, Smallville and The 4400. The plot is a mash-up of horror and science fiction:

Moving from Victorian England to present day, Sanctuary’s story takes place in a world that is different from our own, yet feels familiar – like the X-Files meets Van Helsing. In Sanctuary, monsters move secretly throughout the world, both threatening and threatened, while one woman and her team search them out.

Sanctuary tracks the adventures of Dr. Helen Magnus, a 157-year old physician who studies monsters. She is aided in her work by her reluctant protégé, psychiatrist Will Zimmerman, and her fearless daughter Ashley. Together they seek to find and help the strange and often frightening creatures that populate their world.

Dr. Magnus is on a mission to finish her father’s work and unlock the secrets behind human evolution using a unique combination of science, medicine and her own knowledge of the supernatural. After becoming entangled in a relationship with a time-travelling murderer and bearing his child, Magnus’s story fast-forwards to the present day where she and her daughter Ashley now operate an underground sanctuary and scientific laboratory that houses the monsters and creatures they capture and study.

What makes it SF rather than fantasy to me is that it's set on an alternate Earth where the monsters are more biological than supernatural.

Eight available-for-purchase episodes are available online, and you can watch low-res versions of the first four episodes for free. If you enjoy those, you'll be pleased to know that the SciFi channel has committed to a 13-episode season.

I'm looking forward to it!

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