Creator: Damian Kindler
Premise: Supernatural investigators roam the CGI world of who cares where or when, it’s just a show and you should really just relax
Primary audience: Stargate Atlantis fans whose knees go a little wobbly at the thought of Amanda Tapping speaking the Queen’s English
Worth watching: Yes, if you can appreciate visionary stupidity
There’s a line in TV sci-fi, and on one side are those shows that hide their stupidity behind a Serious Mood and Serious Plotlines, and on the other are those that understand that they need to embrace their stupidity in order to be truly unique and visionary. (Genuinely non-stupid hasn’t done since Babylon 5). It’s Battlestar Galactica and Lost vs Doctor Who, Stargate Atlantis – and Sanctuary.
Sanctuary will never be the subject of academic analysis or “omg the mainstream really respects us” press. It’s a stupid show about CGI monsters. Viewers who can’t appreciate that won’t watch beyond the first episode, and good riddance. The reward for the rest of us is an excellent take on the good old Scooby gang tropes. It’s partly visual: Sanctuary is shot extensively against a green screen, and they’ve done what George Lucas couldn’t, and actually turned that into a strength. Even when it looks fake, it feels true, has personality.
The rest is ambition. Respect for the genre. Knowing that just because you’re making a show about CGI monsters is no excuse to be a lazy hack. That’s more than can be said for the writers of certain more prestigious shows.