Sanctuary: The Complete Series A Fitting Final Release For Show’s Fans

Courtesy:  Entertainment One

Courtesy: Entertainment One

Sanctuary was one of the most extraordinary shows that Syfy had during its four seasons on the air.  It was obviously also one of the network’s least appreciated and most underrated shows as it seemed that network heads kept moving it from time slot to time slot, never really giving it a full chance.  But thanks to EOne, fans of this hybrid sci-fi/fantasy drama have the opportunity to enjoy the show whenever they want as it has finally been released in a full four-season box set complete with bonus features included in all four seasons.

Right from the moment that they open this eighteen-disc set, fans are awarded for their loyalty.  They are rewarded with a companion booklet that does more than just list episodes.  The companion booklet in any box set is far too often overlooked as just another addition to box sets.  But in the case of Sanctuary, it’s also an in depth guide for fans both new and old.  For all intents and purposes, it serves as a Playbill of sorts.  It starts by including descriptions on the show’s primary characters, explaining the role that each one plays in the show.  Also noted in the character guide section is the name of the actor in each role.  From there, audiences are treated to an episode by episode guide of all four seasons, complete with listing of bonus features included with each season.

The episodes that made up Sanctuary’s four seasons had so much going for them; so much so that it’s impossible to entirely put into words.  The first thing that audiences catch about each episode is the balance of live action and CG.  From the sets to the characters, the mix of the two elements was very well balanced.  That balance of live action and CG based special effects is a small part of the success of the show’s episodes.  On a more subtle, but equally impressive note, the people in the show’s make-up department are to be commended for the work done to transform star Christopher Heyerdahl into Bigfoot.  Were one watching Sanctuary for the first time, they would not even know that both Druett and Bigfoot were played by the same actor.  Perhaps the only similarity between the two would be the characters’ chins.  Other than that, the show’s make-up department did an outstanding job turning Heyerdahl into the gentle giant that was Bigfoot.

So much work went into making the world of Sanctuary believable.  Just as important as the sets and costumes was the writing for each episode.  And even in just four seasons, Sanctuary offered more than its share of enjoyable episodes.  The entire season opens expertly with a two-part series premiere that wastes no time introducing the show’s cast of characters.  From there, the mix of multi-part story arcs and standalone episodes make for more than their share of entertainment.  One of the best of the standalone episodes comes from the series’ first season.  “Requiem” sees Will and Magnus answer a distress call from the Bermuda Triangle from a society of undersea beings.  They take Magnus’ submarine, “Nautilus”, to investigate the call.  The result is a life or death struggle for Will after Magnus is infected by a parasite that took over the beings that lived in the Bermuda Triangle.  This plot line may sound familiar.  As familiar as it is, the way in which the story line was executed makes it entirely original.  It’s just one of the many great episodes from this underrated series.

Another of the series’ standout episodes is another of its stand-alone episodes.  It too, comes from the series’ first season.  “Instinct” sees the team having to chase down a pair of rather unruly insects which are merely trying to protect their young.  The catch is that it’s all caught on tape by a far too overzealous young woman hoping to get her big break as a reporter.  The multi-pronged “story here is what makes it so enjoyable.  On the one hand, it serves to show just how over the top and too far the news media is willing to go for a story.  There’s a lot of truth to how the young lady and her camera man handle capturing the team’s actions.  On the other hand, it also helps to point out just how secret Magnus and her fellow associates at the Sanctuary are.  Not only that, but as secret as the Sanctuary network is, it helps to illustrate how misunderstood the unknown is.

Sanctuary offers fans plenty of great episodes through the course of its four seasons.  But one of the most important and enjoyable is the series finale.  How the series ends won’t be given away for the sake of those who have yet to see it.  But it leaves the door wide open for the series to be revisited and rebooted should any company ever have the interest in doing so.  Even if this doesn’t happen, it serves as a fitting end to what was and is one of the most underrated and underappreciated dramas to ever come to television.

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Season Four Is A Bittersweet Sendoff For Sanctuary

Courtesy: Entertainment One

Sanctuary’s end is here, fans.  It was announced earlier this year that after the hit show’s fourth season came to an end, Syfy was not going to renew it for a fifth season.  That being the case, the show has done a good job wrapping up some of the loose ends from its first season.  In season four, fans finally see the conflict between Adam and Helen come to its conclusion.  And the conflict between SCIU and the abnormals finally comes to a head in what can only be described as a bittersweet ending for the series. 

 

Courtesy: Entertainment One

Season four opens with the episode, “Tempus.”  In this episode, Helen travels back to London, 1898 to hunt down Adam.  She has to find him because he had jumped back to save his daughter, Imogen.  This is where things get dicey.  In the process of trying to find Adam, she also encounters the old Adam.  It later turns out after that encounter that the future Adam has taken Imogen, thus changing the future.  However in what she believes to be a final conflict, Helen kills Adam and saves the future.  The problem is that Imogen is inadvertently killed by Adam in the conflict.  As a result of everything, Magnus is stuck in 1898, and has to live there in seclusion until 2011, so that she can resurface.

Magnus bides her time, finally able to resurface in 2011.  But it would turn out that while she may have killed Adam in 1898, he pops up, so to speak in the episode, “Chimera.”  Magnus and Tesla run into a digital copy of Adam in a manner of speaking when they enter the Sanctuary’s computer system in order to quarantine a virus that threatens to basically shut down all of the Sanctuary’s systems, and even go global.  When they go into the computer, who should they run into but Adam, or a digital copy of his being.  The digital Adam ends up trapping Helen and Tesla, leading to a game of cat and mouse that ends with Adam being the one who gets trapped in the digital world.

After dealing with the issue of Adam once and for all, Helen has another obstacle to face in rising tensions from the abnormals.  Beginning with “Acolyte”, audiences get a hint that something very big is coming between the abnormals and the humans.  Thanks to abnormal leader, Caleb, an all out war with the humans nearly happens.  Thanks to efforts by Will, Magnus, and Tesla, that war is averted.  But it’s at a high price.  For those who haven’t seen how the series comes to an end, that won’t be given away.  As a hint though, the very end of everything is actually happy.  Though it does leave viewers wondering “what if.”  What if Syfy had picked up the show for a fifth season?  Either way, it can be said that at least it leaves viewers feeling like everything was wrapped up nicely.

Sanctuary Season 4 is available now on DVD and blu-ray.  It can be purchased in store or ordered online.  It can be ordered online via Syfy’s store, http://www.nbcuniversalstore.com/?v=syfy&ecid=PRF-TV2-100025&PA=PRF-TV2-100025.

To keep up with all the latest entertainment reviews and news, go to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with all the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.