One of the shows that quietly did well for itself last year was Sanctuary, which started life as a web series, before being picked up by the Sci-Fi channel for a full first season. Not only did it prove quite popular, but its unique filming style, reliant heavily on green screen and CGI sets also kept its cost right down, making it ripe for a second season in these cash-strapped times.
And so far, the second season has really hit its stride. I had felt the finale last year was very strong, with various elements of the show that had been established (the Cabal, Nikola Tesla and of course John Druitt) coming together. The second season picked up on this, following on from the cliffhanger and gave us a great, exciting wrap-up filled with action and great one-liners from Tesla.
Post the wrap-up, the show’s settled back into its more familiar formula, however I do love the way the show has now built up these strong recurring characters that can drop in and out every so often to spice things up.
There’s also been a slight shake-up in the main cast, with new character Kate Freelander spicing things up as a slightly untrustworthy freelancer who had previously been working for the Cabal before they decided to turn on her.
I guess that’s something I really enjoy with this show, is that once you get outside the core of the main cast, most of the recurring characters operate very much under their own agendas. While the Sanctuary network itself is vast, the show has instead focused more on building up a larger world outside of the Sanctuary by introducing the history of the vampires and the Five. If anything it might be something to build on this series, is the larger story of the Sanctuary network itself, now that the fundamentals of the world and Abnormals are established. With the season opener showing a few other Sanctuaries around the world, it might be interesting to play with the idea of this being a global organisation, as opposed to the one central Sanctuary dealing with its own problems.
Over the last season and a bit, this is show that’s crept up my “to-watch” list and is now one of the small number of shows I actually watch live and wait through the adverts, rather than just using the Sky+, and so far the second season is really showing how much the show has settled and gained confidence in telling big stories alongside the more standalone scripts.