Sanctuary: Pax Romana and Hangover (PREVIEW)


On DVD: 
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
On Blu-Ray: 
Tuesday, June 15, 2010

“Pax Romana” Episode 311 Air Date Friday, April 15 10PM
Dr. Helen Magnus (played by Amanda Tapping) and her team has been able to get into the city of Praxis while hunting down Adam Worth (played by Ian Tracey). However, the team is caught by the leader of Praxis, Ranna (played by Polly Walker) and she has them all sentenced to death. In the meantime, Adam Worth is running around the city unheeded in his quest to get a power source that will allow him to do whatever he wants with unlimited power. Though with the quakes from the tunnels filling with pressure from lava, the underground city of Praxis and the above ground cities might come to a quick and hot end if something is not done to stop the eruptions. The only problem is that it will take Dr. Helen Magnus and her team, who are now dead.

“Hangover” Episode 312 Air Date Friday April 22 10PM
 After Dr. Helen Magnus (played by Amanda Tapping) gets back from going on an overnight trip, she finds the ‘Sanctuary’ in chaos. It looks as if a hurricane has went through the building uprooting all the furniture and then dropping it all scattered around the room. Though the mystery of the mess becomes deeper when she finds Henry Foss (played by Ryan Robbins) unconscious and beat up on the floor. Once he comes to, Henry confesses that he has no memory of losing a full day or why he was chasing the other members of the team around ‘Sanctuary’ with a gun and trying to kill them. In trying to figure out why Henry would do this, Helen finds her other teammates, Dr. Will Zimmerman (played by Robin Dunne), Kate Freelander (played by Agam Darshi), and Bigfoot (played by Christopher Heyerdahl) are all recovering from the same symptoms as well as having no memory of attacking one another. With not knowing how they have lost time or why they had become so aggressive with each other before their gues from the UN Security Team arrives at ‘Sanctuary’.

My Thoughts on Both Episodes:
 Let me start with saying that I have never seen this show before, in fact I didn’t even know it was on air before watching these two episodes. I let that known because I want it to be known that I had no clue what-so-ever as to what was going on in the first episode. Jumping in at the middle of the third season of a show after all the characters have well been developed as well as what the shows main plot line, is not the smartest way to start a show for the first time.
 Regardless, I watched the first two newest episodes, tried to follow along as best as I could with the first one, and when I couldn’t get an understanding as to what was going on, I had the internet. Now with the power of the little bit of information I gathered from my search, the show was about this team that hunts down creatures, both animals and human form, that have abilities and powers. From that point on they take them to the ‘Sanctuary’ to keep them and everyone else safe.
 Now how this has anything to do with what was happening in the episode “Pax Romana” I just don’t know. My first impression was that they were living on another planet or a future of Earth where everyone had to live underground with mutants and other creatures with powers. That was kind of wrong, there is the underground city but it’s not the only place that people can live, there are humans on the surface of the planet and the team lead by Dr. Helen Magnus is part of that surface dwellers.
 I’m still confused as to what is going on, and I don’t see any point to what is going on in the show. However lost as I am with the first episode, watching the second one, “Hangover” kind of makes up for it. Here the cast is back in the ‘Sanctuary’ where they have all lost their memories and must figure out what to do to get them back. This episode was so much easier to follow. I got what was going on, it told what was going on, and the there was no other information really need to watch this one.
 Out of the two I would have to say that the second episode “Hangover” was the one I liked the most but only because I was able to watch it without feeling lost. Though, the show itself is one that I don’t think I would watch to try to figure out what is going on in the first place. Both episodes seemed to last a whole lot longer than their 40+ minute length and I got bored and tired with watching “Pax Romana” half way through it. I might have liked the show more if I had been watching it from the start but I doubt it.


What I liked:
 Sadly there wasn’t much that I did like about the show but there were a few points that I did find entertaining. One being the caveman character aptly named “Bigfoot”, though they never said his name on the two episodes that I watched, the name of “Bigfoot” is given in the credits, was the fun character. He’s not in there much but when he is he made me laugh, though I don’t know if that is the purpose of the character it’s the reaction I got from him. He has decent make up on that makes him look like one of those cavemen from the tv commercials and even does some grunting along the way.
 Another aspect that I liked was the idea of the show. Having a team that hunts down creatures, both animals and people, that have powers of some sort or just are a different race of living being, is interesting. There is a lot of potential to this show that would make it a huge hit, if done right. Even though the members of the team is the stereotypical bunch where there is the strong leader that can always solve any problem, one that is always the smart weird guy, another that is one of them that they hunt, and the one female that seems to mainly be there to be good looking and have one of the male team members flirt with her. This system works for the show, which a lot of times can make the show just seem like a cliché but with “Sanctuary” it actually fits with how I think the team would really be.

What I Didn’t Like:
 What I found that I didn’t like about the show instantly was how much green screen was used in the episode “Pax Romana”. It was like the whole episode was done in green screen with only the actors and their clothing being the sole props being used. Nothing looked real about this episode, which is why when it comes to a television show, this much green screen should not be used. Sure, I understand how it comes in useful and probably a whole lot cheaper, but when it comes down to it, it’s more on the cheaper side that does it. As in, while trying to save money they use the cheapest means possible which also makes the show look just as cheap.
 Not only was the first episode having all the green screen that I didn’t like, they used way too many cuts to hide the flaws of the cheap look of the CGI. Most scenes will stay on a shot for at least 30 seconds before going to a different angle and then will go back to the one previous again. On “Pax Romana” there are so many different angles (which I actually like, it shows that the show can try to be different) that end up being only shown for a few seconds at a time before being cut to a different angle. It was just all this movement with the different camera angles that got on my nerves. Have them, but stay on them longer.
 I also didn’t find any of the acting that appealing. I kept having the thoughts that the actors where there doing the show because it’s the show that hired them when they auditioned for it. Which made me think, are they even having fun with doing the show? My answer was I don’t think they was because it sure didn’t look like it on the episodes. Though they are decent actors and it seems like they have talent to be good actors, only it looks like they are not trying to sell the character. This lack of enjoyment that seems to be coming from the actors only make their characters look they are just going through the motions as the minutes tick by.

Final Thought (Whew, yeah I know this is a long one):
I think the show has a lot of potential and possibility of being a really good show or even possibly a good movie. Though it would take some different actors as well as a better budget to allow for better CGI and sets. Plus, I think I would have had a different feeling about the show if I had seen it from season 1 but as it stands with only these two episodes being seen, I wasn’t impressed enough to want to watch more or to go back from the start to catch up.


Lee Roberts
Review by Lee Roberts
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