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
  1. Radha says:

    Loved it. The secret to watching this show is not to take it too seriously. It’s all fun, scary and campy guilty pleasure. :D I hope the writers continue to stay on point, but we’ll know after a few weeks if the show has staying power or not by the ratings.

    My only nitpicks were that I wanted the writers to have Ichabod show a little grief over learning his wife was dead. Also, he seems to be transitioning into the modern world a bit too easily. I bet you that they’ll “forget” that EVERYTHING should be new and weird to him 250 years later a couple of episodes in, and he’ll be using a cell phone like a pro or something by November sweeps. And one last thing…I love the chemistry between the leads, but I wished that the writers had Abby more determined to leave for Quantico for a while longer. One statement from Ichabod that “she can’t leave…their fates are now connected” and Abby was practically like: “Oh sure. No problem.” I just wish they had her character in denial about her fate for at least a few more episodes. Or they gave her character a good reason why she CAN’T leave instead of making it a choice. Like she gets cursed or something. But overall, I will be tuning into the show each week. It was a decent premiere. :D

    • Marcella says:

      I wondered about how the writers were going to convince Abbie to stay in Sleepy Hollow at the end of the episode, but I think that by having her share her horrible experience with seeing the demon helped. Obviously she was looking for a way to escape from that experience and the FBI was her ticket, but now through discovering that what she saw was real and there’s an explanation for it, practically pushed all thoughts of Quantico from her mind.

    • Cynthia says:

      I agree Radha. It’s entertainment and that’s all. Same reason I like Walking Dead. Better than another crappy reality series!!

  2. DavidSask says:

    I wanted to like it but I don’t see how this can be something different every week for a series, also Orlando is very hard to look at!

  3. Eli says:

    I’ll mirror what everyone else is saying, it was a lot better than I expected. Not great, but definitely good and worth another look.

  4. BTM says:

    To those worried about lack of historical accuracy, I must point out that Ichabod Crane in the original story was a cowardly schoolteacher who was chased out of town by a romantic rival. Once that bit was thrown out, pretty much anything became possible, up to and including Ichabod’s non sequitur dance to Istanbul, Not Constantinople, a la Bunheads.

    So …., on its merits for solid fun, I gave it an A.

    • Sara says:

      Look…they’ve already said this is not a literal translation of the orginal story. So get over it!! Stop looking for something to complain about when it’s been well established that this is not going to be a Disney remake!

  5. JeffDJ says:

    I loved it and can’t wait till next week! I’m glad the review mentioned the “very evocative score” because that’s something I took note of throughout the episode. I missed who did the music though.

    If there was one thing that was a little hokey, it was equipping the Horseman with a shotgun & assault rifle – that just didn’t feel right to me. Otherwise, I’m there till the end!

  6. Jill R says:

    Did anyone else scream at the end when that creature (Satan??) rushed back and the mirror cracked? Okay, just me then, LOL :-). My husband and I were reminded of the movie Prince of Darkness with that mirror scene…..always creeps me out.

    • Marcella says:

      I was grinning my head off throughout the episode because I was so pleasantly surprised that I was enjoying the show so much UNTIL that scene which I found to be beyond creepy but awesome at the same time. The jerky movement and obscure image of the goat looking demon/ devil thing gave me the creeps.

    • Cynthia says:

      LOL Jill! It definitely held my attention!

  7. Sara says:

    Thought it was great!! Liked that they killed off 2 of the most recognizable faces in the 1st episode. That demon thing at the end really freaked me out!!

  8. Boiler says:

    Hope it does well as we need good scripted shows. However I already have 6 shows I watch on Monday!!

  9. Sherri Dorbritz says:

    I enjoyed the show! I agree if they can keep the mythology straight they will have a hit. I watch tv to be entertained and I was pleasantly surprised by this new show. I will be tuning in again.

  10. jennifer says:

    Was really and truly pleasantly surprised by how much i liked this show and the pilot no less, which is always a questionable mis-mash of a story line. Am excited to see what lies ahead.

  11. Jake says:

    I enjoyed it. I like good story telling. So sick of reality crap that is forced down our throats.

  12. Bob says:

    I smell an ‘Elementary’-style crime procedural with a bit of the supernatural thrown in for excitement.

  13. RichieS says:

    Ichabod’s otherworldly wife is the proverbial riddle wrapped in an enigma….with the added visual pleasure of a tightly laced bodice.

  14. Mike says:

    Good start, but feels like it may be to heavy with backstory. Also, it feels likel Sleepy Hollow be the next Hellmouth with a demon of the week storyline.

  15. Stormy says:

    I’m wondering who will be the comic relief [as is Monroe on Grimm]. We have the enemy, the head cop with iffy undertones, the asian cop, the hero, the heroine etc. We need a secondary [sidekick] character who is highly amusing for Ichabod to rely on. JMO

  16. Tracy says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed the first episode. I thought there were some interesting and creative shots throughout. The scene with Ichabod and his wife in the forest was done really well. The writers were able to tell the backstory quickly with out making it complicated. I liked the actors too. I think it’s definitely worth giving a chance.

  17. Bella says:

    I’m intrigued, but think its more convoluted than it needs to be. I like the main characters, so I’ll hang in for a while.

  18. It takes a lot to impress me these days, and this just about to did. Hot british guy, bamf lead actress, writers of Fringe? Yessss please.

  19. kim says:

    loved it!!!

  20. Supernatural says:

    the Show was really good! if you don’t like it then don’t comment and stop watching it.

  21. Alex Kingston says:

    irrespective of the opinions.. all have to agree that the last scene with the mirror was definitely one of the most horrifying scenes in recent tv history. totally not foreseen and completely entertaining.

  22. murley says:

    My husband and I both enjoyed it. This kind of show is right up my alley and he was pleasantly surprised. Ichabod was great, very dynamic and the chemistry between the leads was spot on. I am definitely curious to see what happens next and hope that the more mythology that unfolds, the less suspension

  23. murley says:

    My husband and I both enjoyed it. This kind of show is right up my alley and he was pleasantly surprised. Ichabod was great, very dynamic, and the chemistry between the leads was spot on. I am definitely curious to see what happens next and hope that the more mythology that unfolds, the less suspension of disbelief will be needed.

  24. Cynthia says:

    I really enjoyed it! I will be watching every week! Good entertainment.

  25. chefz774 says:

    It’s like Grimm and Once Upon A Time got together and this is the love child that union. I am really looking forward to seeing where it goes, and hoping and praying it doesn’t suck.

  26. Mary says:

    FINALLY something to watch on a Monday Night!!! I love the original story but I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS SERIES!!! What a great job! I’m IN! Can’t wait for next week! I will start recording these episodes like I do my Scandal episodes! I am amazed.

  27. Yuka says:

    WORTH TAKING A SECOND LOOK. However they have to hook me each week. Not yet hooked for season.

  28. I really loved it and don’t care if they are using religion to tell a story. I think it is a great take on “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. I am definitely interested to see where this goes.

  29. Pleasantly surprised by how good the premier was. I honestly didn’t think I’d like it but wanted to give it a chance. So glad I did, can’t wait to see how this season will play out.

  30. Hodan says:

    I love the show. The last part with the mirror freaked me out but I also love that it did that.

  31. I found it a bit odd that Icabod Crane, after waking up 250 later, had but one concern that being the emancipation of the African- American Female Police Office. He had no reaction toward electric lights, cell phones, cars traffic, massive building, … etc… If I was asleep for 250 years and woke up to a whole new world, it would scare the hell out of me

  32. Mellie says:

    Loved it. Great balance of camp and creep. Strong female lead — and diversity to boot!

  33. Trudy says:

    For someone who rarely watches TV I LOVED Sleepy Hollow – there are NO shows that I “want” to watch and therefore rarely watch TV BUT this show kept my interest the entire hour – people just need to remember this is a “TV” show for entertainment not “real world” PLUS main character is HOT :)

  34. Dug the show says:

    Dig it. Employ of the Stones was genius.

  35. Draven says:

    Not really sure if anyone said it but the book of Revelation was written by John not King James, While I believe in God I don’t believe in organized religion but that’s my opinion. I loved the pilot it had everything you could look for let’s just hope Fox doesn’t pull it to quick

  36. Babygate says:

    I did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did. I think it’s great fun. Sure they take a lot of creative license on the biblical account of Revelation but i don’t mind. It’s interesting. And I could be wrong, but it appears as though young Ms.Beharie is channeling Kerry Washington in her acting. At times Abby becomes very Olivia Pope-like. They even resemble each other physically. I hope the writing and plot remain steady, unlike The Following which lost a lot of steam as the season progressed.

  37. DG says:

    I really liked the style it was filmed in, wonderful colour palette that really captures the dark nature of the original story and new setting. Acting was fine. My biggest gripe is that I think they gave far too much of the story away at once. In the very first ep they reveal that the horseman is Death, there’s an apocalypse to be stopped, Crane and the horseman are linked through blood, Crane’s wife died after being convicted of witchcraft, George Washington knew some stuff, Crane’s wife is in some weird dimension where she can communicate with him 250 years after they both died, the sheriff was investigating everything in secret, Abbie had a traumatic experience as a child, horseman needs his head, etc. There’s literally a whole season of mystery that they just give away in the pilot. All that at once made me think the show is just silly, if they had of dragged it out I would have been much more interested in sticking with it for the answers being slowly revealed.

  38. Cate Amos says:

    I’m sorry to say that I don’t predict this will last longer than three episodes. FOX has a history of cancelling shows that I find entertaining and unique and just replacing them with whatever the Flavor of the Month is. (I really loved “Lone Star”.)
    With all the quibbling about the “s” used on “Revelation”, I’m kind of surprised no one hit on the more egregious misstatement about Katrina being burned as a witch. No one was ever burned as a witch in the colonies – they were all hanged. Except for poor Giles Corey who was pressed to death by stones. Other than that, I’ll be tuning in for the next couple of weeks and hope that FOX will hang on to it a little while longer. (Dare I hope seven years? Ichabod [former professor] does state that’s how long the battle will last.)

  39. Tom hazel says:

    I think the series will totally depend on how good the writing is. The writing will either make it or break it. To me, Once upon a time was like that where the writing lacked consistency and powers were used only as a plot device. Enough holes to drive a truck though. If Sleepy Hollow has good or great writing and stay consistent then it can make it. For example, if someone says “get in the car” – the right answer might be “this is a car? Are they all called cars? ” etc. and he better be shakes when he sees his first airplane. The whole conversation in jail about her being a black police officer was a great example of what I’m talking about. Loved it. But we also noticed how the book he found sort of just vanished for a while. A lot of things have changes in 250 years. I’m hopeful the writing will hold the series.

    • Mikael says:

      I liked when he was playing with the electric windows in the car, but I was expecting him to be scared being in a vehicle going about 60mph, since he’s used to riding horses & carriages. But it’s a tv show and the plot wouldn’t move forward if he was terrified of everything all the time or kept asking questions about what everything was. I did also like the Starbucks conversation. “Is there a law?”

  40. Shannon says:

    I missed the official airdate, but watched it last night and I really liked it. I don’t mind the religious tone to it, as the concept is not unique to Christianity. Most religions have similar stories, just different players, but it makes sense to use Christianity due to the character’s history and initial setting.

    I will say that the last minute or so creeped me out big time, and I’m really interested to see how this plays out. Hopefully, this will survive because it looks like it has potential.

  41. CAPPY says:

    WISH THE HEADLESS HORSEMAN DIDN’T PICK UP A SEMI AUTOMATIC MACHINE GUN AND KNOW HOW TO USE IT. THAT MADE IT NOT AS BELIEVABLE A HORROR STORY.

  42. Troy says:

    great show I’ll definitely be watching more episodes. Who is the actor that plays a little priest

  43. Michelle says:

    I’m hooked! It was a lot better than I thought it was going to be and I was pleasantly surprised with the chemistry between Abby and Crane — in these “partners solving crime” shows, the chemistry is so so important!

    Unrelated to ‘Sleepy Hollow’ — I know that some people feel very strongly about proper grammar usage while others think that it falls under nitpicking, but I think that making an effort to ensure that our posts are grammatically correct and our words are spelled correctly falls under common courtesy. If your post is made up of misspelled words and grammar violations, it sometimes makes the post difficult to understand. Readers have to spend more time trying to figure out what you’re trying to say and I think that is what causes a lot of the frustration. If you’re wanting to put something out there (i.e., a comment), then part of that should be consideration for your reader by using proper grammar and correctly spelled words.

  44. This show caught me off guard! When I read the premise, I rolled my eyes. The whole time travel element just ruined it for me.

    I tuned in on a whim and was blown away. The devil, witches, time travel and George Washington working to stop the Rapture?! The show is bonkers, but I love it. I really enjoy the two leads, and how they play off each other.

  45. Connie says:

    I liked it! It drew me in, the mythology, the story, the premise, the cast — all of it. Granted, I’m not too familiar with all of the Biblical references since I’m not Christian/have not read the Bible, but I don’t find it to be too big of an issue. Excited to see where they go with the story.

  46. TVDIVA says:

    I was really surprised by this show and the charismatic two leads who have great chemistry. If you want to be entertained, this is a great way to spend an hour. I love the music – obviously scored by the same composer who gave us the Fringe soundtrack each week. I wish they would finally decide to create a series pass we can buy instead of doing one episode for sale at a time.

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