The Headless Horseman? More like the Headless Terminator.
But I suppose that's what would happen if you dropped the famous character into modern times. The dark decapitated one does get the hang of newfangled weaponry very quickly in the new series Sleepy Hollow, which debuts Monday, Sept. 16 on Fox and Global.
And Ichabod Crane, played by Tom Mison, also adjusts pretty quickly to the 230-year time leap. Can you imagine how freaked out you'd really be had you been trapped in a death/curse limbo for two and a half centuries? It doesn't take Crane long to get cool and quippy.
But that's nit-pickery, as Ichabod Crane might have said in 1781. Or maybe not. Point being, I like Sleepy Hollow. It's pretty spooky in a don't-go-in-there kind of way. Obviously there are some scenes where you'll have to suspend your disbelief. But hey, the starting point is a tale about a Headless Horseman - which dates back to an 1820 short story by Washington Irving - so there's no point in getting too high and mighty about realism.
The first thing you need to do is forget the 1999 Johnny Depp movie of the same name, in which Depp portrayed Ichabod Crane as an 18th-century science nerd. And if you're old enough to remember it, you also might want to forget the famous Disney cartoon, in which Ichabod Crane was a lovable scaredy-cat doofus.
This Ichabod Crane is a noble Revolutionary War hero, and a model-esque handsome one at that. He knew George Washington personally, and Ichabod's face goes green when he sees his general's image on an American one-dollar greenback.
Ichabod has no idea why he has awoken 230 years into the future. But once he learns the Headless Horseman also is here, the realization slowly emerges that their shared history could trigger the end of the world. You know, if things go poorly.
Ichabod almost immediately falls into bed - philosophically, not literally, where is your mind at? - with a police lieutenant named Abbie Mills, played by Nicole Beharie. It turns out Abbie is predisposed to believing some of the bizarre information spewing from Ichabod's mouth about the Headless Horseman.
"When's the last time you saw him?" Abbie asks Ichabod.
"When I cut off his head," Ichabod answers.
And yet, here he is, riding around unencumbered by noggin and nuance.
I previously have pointed out that scary shows don't tend to do well on the big networks, as opposed to cable channels, where creators really can go for it. The most recent comparison I can make is to another Fox show called Alcatraz, which was spooky and had a time-travel element, and ultimately lasted only one season.
But you know, I was a fan of Alcatraz. And I'm a fan of Sleepy Hollow, too. If any spooky time-travel show has a chance to succeed, this might be it. And that would make headlines, pun fully intended.