Damian Kindler manages to continuously add new twists and turns to his stories and characters, which is why he has had so many hit shows. Season 2 of SyFy Channel’s “Sanctuary” starring Amanda Tapping (Stargate: SG-1) is no exception. The two-part premiere, “End of Nights” has set the stage for an excitement-filled new season.
One thing that SyFy Channel does that differs from network television is allowing creative freedom to the producers. This has paid off in a big way. Many of the new shows have chosen to shake things up as viewers haven’t seen in a long time. How much different is it to watch a show and really truly not know if a main character is going to live or die? From one episode to the next, we are glued to our seats to see what unconventional plot will change the show forever.
At the end of Season One of Sanctuary, it was unclear who would return. A pack of core characters were working together to fight the evil forces that threatened the lives of thousands of “Abnormals”. Most of the group are Abnormals themselves, with the exception of Dr. Zimmerman, the man with whom we discovered the Sanctuary last year.
The group of characters is as different as their cause is the same.
Dr. Helen Magnus, played by Amanda Tapping (who is also one of the Executive Producers) heads the Sanctuary network. This facility is a protected habitat for “Abnormals”, people with mutated powers who are in need of protection. Magnus has her own secrets, including a fountain of youth serum, which has given her abnormally long life with no aging.
Helen’s daughter, Ashley (played by Emilie Ullerup) is a member of the team that works in the Sanctuary. Ashley is headstrong, stubborn and great with weapons of all kinds. The mother-daughter team, who aren’t really that different in age (unless you take into account that Helen is in reality over a century old). Season 1 left us guessing what would happen to Ashley when she was captured by the enemy, the Cabal, and altered with vampire blood for nefarious reasons. Season 2, “End of Nights”, reveals that she has been turned into a super soldier in the campaign to destroy the sanctuaries around the world. Because of her family line, she may have what it takes to overcome her brainwashing. After all, besides being daughter of a brilliant scientist who has had lifetimes of experiences, her father also possesses long life. In fact, John (played by Christopher Heyerdahl) is none other than Jack the Ripper. (Don’t worry…. he’s had a change of heart).
John Druitt came aboard early in Season One and it was then unclear if he would be one of the good guys or not. With the surprising news that he was Ashley’s father (and Ashley’s less than enthusiastic reaction) and Helen’s obvious reluctance to reveal their relationship, it is unclear where he will fit in to the group. He has the ability to disappear and reappear in a split second as well as the gift of long life that he shares with Magnus.
The season two opener revolves around the destruction of each sanctuary as, one by one, 6 super soldiers, led by Ashley, infiltrate them. In what is the only thing that can truly happen at this point, Magnus’ location is intact, although it has been decimated as well. She would have been killed along with everyone else, but Ashley was able to break through her brain washing long enough to spare her mother.
Magnus is not alone in her mission to protect and learn from the “freaks of nature” she protects (or keep locked away due to their dangerous threat to humans). With her are a small group of Abnormals and humans who dedicate their skills to assist.
Henry Foss (played by Ryan Robbins) is on hand as the resident techy. He is pretty much the master of the computers and other advanced gadgets. His character is the quirky smart alec who never quits with the one-liners, even when the time is really not appropriate for such quips. Henry is loyal to Magnus and the team. Oh, and by the way, he is also a werewolf!
Bigfoot (also played by Christopher Heyerdahl) is the most obvious of the Abnormals. He is a large Neanderthal beast (hence the nickname) who has been tamed/cured by Magnus and stays on serving as the “Butler” of sorts. The end of Season one left things unclear as to his fate. He is dying of a disease to which the cure is something he refuses to take. As his condition deteriorates in season 2, he finally takes the antidote just in time to save his colleagues from certain death at the hands of a super soldier.
The newest member of the team is Dr. Will Zimmerman (played by Robin Dunne), a forensic psychiatrist who worked for the police. Prior to being recruited by Helen Magnus, he had no knowledge of the mutants on earth labeled “Abnormals”. He has a hard time processing the information. He finally does take the job of helping to assimilate new refugees and gradually becomes a valuable part of the team. The first season of the series was from Will’s point of view as he had the most in common with the viewers. Will has bonded with each of the team in different ways. His girlfriend, who was also “Invisible Girl”, was killed in the premiere.
The addition of a new character, Kate Freelander (played by Agam Darshi) is the most colorful. She is a con artist who was originally working for the Cabal. She works for the highest bidder. After being injured and captured by Magnus when they were searching for Ashley, she comes to the Sanctuary and reluctantly stays. At this point, she is not trusted but offered a “sanctuary” of her own.
The coming season will offer a long search for Ashley, as Helen refuses to accept that she is dead. John is bent on revenge for what the Cabal did to Ashley. The sanctuary must be rebuilt as hundreds of abnormals from the other locations around the world are shipped to be protected. The possibilities with the new characters are limitless. Freelander will take over Ashley’s duties for the season as the network is rebuilt.
If you haven’t seen Sanctuary, get Season One on Netflix and then join in with the fans of the sophomore SyFy show. You will be glad you did!!!