Did Sleepy Hollow Make You Lose Your Head?

Sleepy Hollow Season 1 PremiereFox’s Sleepy Hollow premiered Monday (9/8c) — did the new series awaken your interest?

Loosely based on Washington Irving’s short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” the new drama follows Ichabod Crane, a British soldier fighting for George Washington’s colonial forces in the Revolutionary War.

The action opens with Crane (played by Tom Mison, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) engaged in close combat with a large, sinister-looking, masked man with a unique brand on the back of his hand. Crane beheads the behemoth but is mortally wounded himself in the process. He loses consciousness in an army hospital… then inexplicably wakes up 250 years later in present-day Sleepy Hollow, NY.

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Even odder: The now-headless soldier is also awake, and he begins a killing spree by murdering a local man, beheading the town’s sheriff and making off with a white steed – voila! The Headless Horseman! Young Detective Abbie Mills (42‘s Nicole Beharie) witnesses the faceless fiend in action but is hesitant to recount what she saw thanks to an eerie, traumatic event in her childhood that caused a lot of trouble for her and her sister.

But when a shell-shocked Ichabod is picked up as a suspect and knows details about the horseman that no one else does, Abbie is curious/wary.

“When was the last time you saw him?” she demands.

“When I cut off his head,” Crane replies.

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As it turns out, the horseman would really like his noggin back – but that would bring many bad things upon humanity — so Abbie and Ichabod (who seems less crazy by the minute) team up to make sure the villain stays incomplete… much to the chagrin of her captain (played by Orlando Jones, Rules of Engagement) and coworker Andy (John Cho, Go On).

Along the way, Abbie and Ichabod become the key players in a mythology that encompasses witchcraft (and, on a related note, Crane’s trapped-in-demonic-limbo wife) and the Bible’s Book of Revelation. And if that isn’t enough, there’s also a conspiracy that involves a corrupt cop, a seemingly immortal priest and some historical X-files.

The pilot features a very evocative score and some neat camera work (the perspective shot from one victim’s lobbed-off skull is grisly fun), as well as two leads who work very well off each other – and who play a huge part in selling the series’ silly, suck-you-in premise. (The headless horseman wielding a gun? Really?)

Overall, the show takes itself juuuust seriously enough; if it can keep its dense backstory straight for the rest of its run, creators Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (Fringe) just may have a spooky hit on their hands.

But enough about what we thought: What was your take on Sleepy Hollow? Grade the episode via the poll below, then hit the comments to back up your choice!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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161 Comments
    • Kim R says:

      I really liked Tom Mison but the rest was not that great, in my opinion. Ichabod was so good but it was like he was stuck in a really bad movie. I stopped watching about 40 minutes in. Not my cup of tea. :)

    • Mary griffin says:

      Completely, utterly sucked in! So much fun! Poor husband had to listen to my rambling recapping while I was fresh off the show. And, to boot, scared the beejesus outta me with all the demon/scary tree action in the mirror. Watched that scene four times, and yep, scared the beejesus outta me each time. Nice. Bring it on.

  1. Cate says:

    Really hate that Sleepy Hollow is using someones relgion as a plot device. How many movies and shows have revolded around revalations? Too many, was hoping they would take it in a different direction.

    • James says:

      What is a relgion? Also, what is a revalations?

      • David4 says:

        Also Revelations was the last part of the Bible to be written, it wasn’t written by god or based on god. It was written by King James to make the British fearful and make sure to pay taxes or they would burn in hell. A hell that even the catholic church says does not exist.

        Also some people will be bad that there is a black person aloud on TV. People are stupid and believe stupid things, you can’t please everyone.

        • what! says:

          Sorry but Revelations was not written by king James. I don’t know where you got that from. And it’s about Jesus Christ, son of God.

          • Kayla says:

            It’s all one Revelation. There’s no S at the end.

          • elf says:

            All of the bible is fiction written by men to keep the populace fearful and controllable.

          • On behalf of everyone else with secular beliefs, I would like to apologize for the behavior of noisy atheists. They’re young, they don’t know better.

          • Eli says:

            On behalf of everyone else who doesn’t believe, I would like to apologize for the behavior of noisy christians. They’re indoctrinated, they don’t know better.

          • Me says:

            Why can’t people leave out name calling and trying to discredit people when talking about religion? All you are doing is hurting each other. Can’t their be multiple view points on a subject without the mean names coming out? Stop hiding behind a computer bashing someone’s religion. Talk about the show that is what this comment section is for.

        • Babygate says:

          You got your history a little confused there, David. The book of Revelation was written by the Apostle John while he was exiled in the island of Patmos. It is all based on a series of visions that he documented. I take it you have never read the book yourself, otherwise you would refrain from commenting on something you really don’t know anything about. And I would like to believe that people have evolved to the point of race being a non-issue.

          • Connie says:

            Race being a non-issue would be nice. Unfortunately, that’s not true. Just look at the Miss USA pageant and all the things being said because Miss USA is Indian-American. Race is very much an issue today.

      • Bob says:

        Someones. Relgion. Revolded. Revalations. Great educational system we have in America. Or someone just has to get the message typed in as fast as possible to post first. Try this, Cate: Someone’s (apostrophe ‘s’ shows possession), Religion, Revolved, Revelations.

        • Lynnette says:

          Revelation. No s. Think twice before you correct someone, Bob.

          • Francine says:

            Well to be fair- he was just correcting the original posters spelling, not telling them the correct word they should be using. They spelled “revalations” and he noted that it should be “revelations”. I think that was a little unnecessary.

          • JCK says:

            Look at the last 3 words of Bob’s post.

    • Dug the show says:

      Thank you Kayla. That “s” on the end made me cringe!!!! It like when somene says “Psalms 23″ instead of Psalm 23.

  2. Leondre says:

    I REALLY liked it.

  3. Jackie says:

    I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Most definitely has potential. I’m in!

  4. enri says:

    Great pilot episode.

  5. iMember says:

    This was a pretty awesome pilot!! I love the mythology, history, and biblical references the show is mixing into its story. It’s certainly intriguing. The two leads also have fantastic chemistry with me another, and as dark as the show can be, provides some nice humor to the tone of the show. Count me in four the ride!! Loved it very much! I hope the rest of the season can maintain this kind of twists and pace.

    • carrionne says:

      you sumed up perfectly everything I wanted to comment here :P I DO wish they wouldn’t put so many of the jokes into the promos in the future. It keeps from getting a suprised laugh out of me (which is the best kind of laugh)

  6. Eric says:

    Actually far better than I expected. I gave it a B, I was entertained. Might tune in again next week!

  7. Austin says:

    I loved the series premiere. I think that this show has a lot of potential.

  8. Dawn says:

    Good show. Caught my interest

    • Patrick says:

      I liked that it established what it was early on. Lots of shows in this genre have learned from Lost. Don’t slowly dole out the mythology. Lay it out and do a good job from there. It has potential. I hope they focus more on the founding fathers/conspiracy/etc and less on the supernatural aspect. But so be it.

  9. Bri says:

    Really entertaining I liked the dynamic between Ichabod and Abbie.

    I’ll check it out again.

  10. WayneInNYC says:

    I really liked it. I went in thing it was going to be a modern retelling of the legend of the headless horseman. I wasn’t thinking it was going to be a springboard for the apocalypse. The previews looked awesomely creepy.

  11. Jillian says:

    I really enjoyed it and I can’t wait to see how crazy this gets.Just like every other show it’s going to get some backlash but haters are gonna hate.

  12. Yaryna says:

    Has great potential. The plot is a bit silly, but the cinematography is superb and Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie play off each other wonderfully. I’ll be tuning in next week for sure!

    • Alichat says:

      I totally agree! I was pleasantly surprised by the pilot. I also think that while the plot is mythology rich, it’s balanced by the added humor. The crack about Starbucks and the cops yelling for the Horseman to put his hands on his head are two memorable ones. I was also quite surprised that two well-known actors were taken out in the pilot. I wasn’t expecting that.

  13. Ever says:

    I liked it alright. The lead male isn’t incredibly attractive though, so that’s a bummer. The Horseman has personality. He has no face, yet somehow you always know what he’s thinking. It’s a maybe for me.

  14. Mare says:

    I would have given it a A, however they claimed that the war ended almost 250 years ago.
    The war ended 230 years ago.
    So instead I gave it a very high B+.
    Can’t wait to see more :)

    • Kaye Dacus says:

      I am so glad to know I’m not the only person bothered by this inaccuracy. Other than that, and the fact that he doesn’t react to anyone cursing (damn it, what the hell, etc.) on the show, I love it so far.

  15. I was pleasantly surprised as i didn’t expect it to be as compelling as it was. I am just a little leery that it was created by J.J. Abrams’s partners from Fringe. That show went way off the rails, so i hope that doesn’t happen with this.

    • Doug H says:

      Fringe was great for 4 seasons… 5th was eh…. except that Peter and Liv got together at the end… I too enjoyed the pilot…

      • I was on again off again with Fringe until they brought in the other universe and then i was just off. i didn’t like Bolivia or any of the stories from that world. Don’t get me started on Walternate. ugh.

        • Olivia says:

          Wow, I really disagree with you if you think the Altverse was bad on Fringe. It was hands down the best part of it and its characters were just as compelling as OurVerse’s, I think they did an amazing job with it.

        • liddad says:

          Season 3 of Fringe is arguably one of the best single seasons of network TV there is.

    • Patrick says:

      Don’t forget Lost. Maybe the best pilot ever, followed by a fantastic first year. Then, off the rails. They had no idea where they were going.

  16. Patrick Maloney says:

    Thought it was better than most critics gave it credit for

  17. Amy says:

    Just finished watching the premiere, and it bugs me that they call the last book of the Bible “Revelations” instead of “Revelation.” There is no “S.” It’s a simple thing to fact-check, and they missed it. Glad to see TVLine got it right!

    • DarkDefender says:

      Well since Icabod was in a cave for a couple hundred years.. Maybe his eyes haven’t adjusted and he needs glasses. That could explain it… Or you could just go with the flow and not take the historical references so seriously. It’s not a documentary… Just a really cool, fun, creepy mystery show. Relax and try to just enjoy it. :D

      • Stormy says:

        Abbie pronounced it with an s at the end, too. And she wasn’t time traveling.

      • Maryann says:

        I think it is partly a dialectical thing, common usage if you will. When I was growing up in a fundamentalist church people called it “Revelations” or “The Book of Revelation.”

    • Curly Girly says:

      I know, that totally drove me crazy every time they said it! Other than that, I was really impressed with the pilot, so much better than I thought it would be!

    • Didi says:

      I am guessing it’s on purpose, a subtle hint.

    • the girl says:

      Interestingly enough, MOST people refer to it as “Revelations” with the S on the end. So I think that was just a matter of vernacular.

  18. Vanka says:

    Better than I expected

  19. Cheryl says:

    I loved it! What a fun Supernatural mystery tied in with Icabod Crane and the headless horsemen story and one of my favorite places Sleepy Hollow

  20. Was fun, hard to take it seriously and I hope they realize that. I especially can’t have Orlando Jones on screen without thinking of “Make 7 Up Yours”.

  21. Lindsey says:

    LOVED IT!!! I had high hopes for this show and really didn’t expect it to meet them… Was very pleasantly surprised when it exceeded them!! Loved the casting for the leads! Ichabod was perfection!!!

  22. David7118 says:

    Interesting premise but if they have the head, and it’s daylight, why not open the container and destroy the head? Did I miss something?

    • Didi says:

      I am guessing the sunlight thing only works on the “living” part of him, on the demon or whatever you would call it. The head only came “alive” and opened it’s eyes when the rest of the body was nearby.
      Let’s hope they dig deeper into the mythology and explain these things in the next episodes to avoid plot hole possibilities like this.

  23. Andy says:

    Loved it! I agree about the great camera work and chemistry of the leads. Also, just the right amount of humor. “Put your hands on your…. Can he even hear us?”

  24. Badpenny says:

    I gave it a B. It has some potential. I felt like the pilot was a little too rushed. Everything that transpired should have been a little more spread out over 2 episodes. It just went too quickly from “he’s crazy” to “OK, we believe him and accept there’s a headless guy killing people.” I thought it was a little odd that the two best-known actors were offed in the pilot, though.

    • Patrick says:

      I agree. If Fox had been willing to do a 2 hour pilot, it would have been superb. But that is a very risky gambit on a net that only does 2 hours of programing. They obviously wanted a lead in, which means it had to be 1 hour long.

    • Znachki says:

      Not surprised it was only one-hour. It’s what they (Fox) do. See the 2nd Firefly “pilot”, which they ordered because the 2 hour pilot was too slow.

      Had a good time with this – solid B. I’ll be back.

  25. Tori says:

    I enjoyed the show. The chemistry between the two main actors is good and strong. The mythology of the show has me hook and I hope we get more of the backstory on Crane’wife’s orgin with her coven.

  26. Carol says:

    Sucked me right in…loved it!!!

  27. David4 says:

    I thought this show would be stupid and limited and just kind of an “ehh” because nothing else is on.

    I love the show! It’s insane fun and over the top.

  28. Austin T. says:

    Whoever wrote in the comments above that Revelation was written during the time of King James, seriously hasn’t studied Christian history. Revelation was written at the end of the first century by a man named John the Apostle (manuscript evidence heavily supports this). The book was referenced shortly after in early writings, including those by theologians who lived before the time of King James. Just wanted to clear that up. The pilot hasn’t aired yet in my time zone! Glad to see that people liked it. Can’t wait!

  29. Meghan says:

    Yes, yes please.

  30. James says:

    Fantastic dynamic between Ichabod and Abbie. The show was ok (C), but because of the enertaining relationships in the pilot, I’ll give it a B.

  31. lori says:

    Thought it was great! I’ll be watching.

  32. I give Sleepy Hollow a grade of B. OK start but I don’t know how the rest of the episodes is going to fare and it’s too early to tell depending on ratings if Sleepy Hollow is going to survive or not and when the season or series is over, the new season of The Following takes over the 9 p.m. Monday night time slot when it debuts during mid-season.

    • Esta says:

      What? No, really. What?

    • Farley Ong says:

      Well, it’s already a given that if this show survives this season it will go to the Friday Night Death Slot. Sleepy Hollow or Almost Human are contenders for the Fringe slot this season.

    • Nicholas Nickelby says:

      I don’t get why people like the Following. I thought the first season was terrible. The FBI failed at every attempt to get the bad guy, after awhile it was just silly and then they kept the short haired girl alive, she was the least interesting character. The two bi guys were more interesting than her. IT was just stupid. At least this show is fun.

    • Lola says:

      The Following started with a pretty good pilot episode, and then it became a ridiculous mess. I liked the Sleepy Hollow premier and I hope they maintain the quality of the premier throughout the season.

  33. sandy says:

    I enjoyed it looking forward to the next
    Episode..

  34. Davey Elmer says:

    I think I just found the new Once Upon a Time; if this thing gets even half the support from FOX that Once has from ABC, it has the potential to take off faster than lightning.

    Orci and Kurtzman have channeled their inner Tim Burton and mashed together his takes on Dark Shadows and Sleepy Hollow to create what is seriously the coolest thing I’ve seen on TV since the premiere of the aforementioned Once Upon a Time.

  35. Miss Priss says:

    It was a busy hour, lots of info and myth thrown at us but fun and creepy. Ichabod really didn’t seem too torn up about his wife being not only long dead but burnt at the stake to boot. He’s cracking wise, cutting up within hours of finding out his wife is ashes.
    It’s all good though, the wife’s Revolutionary War nursing seems to involve heaving her bosoms and spouting dream exposition. It was very Grimm in that the previous champion leaves a virtual Sunnydale library of research behind to help the new heroes continue to fight evil. Not sure where it’s going but it was fun to watch.

    • Marcella says:

      That’s what I thought about Ichabob regarding his wife as well. He didn’t seem much too concerned that she or her spirit or whatever was trapped in some other dimension or did he even seem remorseful when he found her grave. I’m hoping that she stays there though since we already have so much going on.

      I thought that it was really funny and obviously, the writers do not want viewers to take the show too seriously. I didn’t find it scary at all either, not until that final screne where the demon with the horn came and killed John Cho’s character and then Abbie saw it walking away in the mirror

    • Morisot says:

      LOL I was thinking Grimm meets Elementary–and then they did throw in the Buffyness. I liked the leads. The setting. The fast pace.

  36. Kat says:

    Me like. The goatman or whatever that thing was freaked me out.

  37. sladewilson says:

    I liked it. I’ll watch it again. Good chemistry between leads and it was just crazy enough for me to enjoy it.

  38. Alex says:

    Meh. It rushed things way too much. I got bored and fell asleep about halfway through, then had to go back and watch my tape of the second half. I was not impressed. This one needs to improve fast or I won’t stick with it for long. Disapponting!

  39. Cory says:

    I’ve wanted FOX to do an apocalyptic supernatural drama since they canceled Point Pleasant, and they gave me a show that not only did that but feels exactly like it was made for me, the only things I’d consider changing would have been to draw out the info we got for a few episodes and take advantage of the small town setting to explore various characters like Twin Peaks, but I loved it nonetheless, this is the coolest show on broadcast TV.

  40. John says:

    Liked it. Fun and creepy can be a great mix.

  41. Reblogged this on thehiltonburnellfiles and commented:
    My toughts aboiut the show was great. Amazing pilot episode. I really loved it though.

  42. Jerry says:

    I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would.

    The one thing bugging me is why it has to exist in a world where the Legend of Sleepy Hollow does not. Just seems.. Weird. Come on, everyone could know about it and we could get a few “really? You can’t be serious” and be on our way. Instead we get WHOEVER HEARD OF SOMETHING SO CRAZY AS A HEADLESS HORSEMAN

    • Davey Elmer says:

      “The one thing bugging me is why it has to exist in a world where the Legend of Sleepy Hollow does not. Just seems.. Weird.”

      To me, that’s part of the show’s genius. It was a freaking stroke of brilliance to make it so that the Legend of Sleepy Hollow itself doesn’t exist within the show’s universe.

      To each their own, though.

    • Lee F. says:

      The reason that they made the legend not exist is the same reason that there was no legend/stories of Batman in Batman movies. In that world there is no legend because the legend is being lived as we watch it. It’s just set in modern times.

  43. DarkDefender says:

    Before the first commercial, I was hooked. Amazing camera work and direction. It had he feel of a super cool and creepy motion picture. The leads are Lso quite an interesting pair together. I loved it!

  44. Max G. says:

    Victor Kruger lost his head… again… (so much for there being only one). Poor Clancy Brown – what is it with his characters and head offing? Talk about typecasting! On the other head, he has come full circle now… and as a sign of career progress – this time he’s not a villain… As for the show – the previews of the upcoming episodes made me think of gothic Buffy, only with adults. I’ll give it a shot… for now.

  45. jacki w says:

    I loved it; although it really is creepy you will find me watching next week!

  46. I gave it a B. It felt rushed. But it does have potential.

  47. Rita says:

    I’m surprised at how much I liked this pilot. I wish they had given it 2 hours because there was a lot of stuff jammed into an hour. Also I’m not sure if anyone else felt this way, but some parts of this pilot scared the crap out of me! Abbie’s four white trees flashback and the ending made me jump. Scared me in a good way though. This show sort of reminds me of the first few seasons of Supernatural. Anyway over all an impressive pilot. Definitely going to keep watching.

  48. Nicole says:

    I liked it a lot! Will definitely be tuning back in. And was it just me or is this horseman a badass?

  49. rk535 says:

    I really enjoyed it! definitely coming back for more!

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