Did Fox jump the gun, green-lighting the supernatural thriller series Sleepy Hollow for a second season after only a few weeks of strong ratings?
This is a show built around a secret - namely, what is it about the sleepy New England town of Sleepy Hollow that has earmarked it for centuries as ground zero for the Apocalypse?
Now you may not find out until at least 2015. It's reminiscent of CBS granting a second season to Under The Dome, which necessitated the inconceivable - having to pad a Stephen King story.
At the same time, though, this series from Underworld director Len Wiseman and golden boys Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Alias, Fringe, J.J. Abrams' Star Trek movies) is spilling its storyline at a pretty hectic pace after only four episodes. They may need to reboot (a la Fringe) to squeeze a second season.
To recap: a Revolutionary War soldier named Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison), under the command of George Washington no less, wakes up from a spell in the year 2013 after being assigned to head off the Apocalypse (and here you thought that war was about taxation or representation or something).
After briefly being treated like a nut, he finds himself teamed with a local cop, Lieut. Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie), to get to the bottom of a series of beheadings that are somehow-or-other related to the book of Revelation. Seems Ichabod's experiences dovetail with a demonic encounter Abbie and her sister Jennie (Lyndie Greenwood) experienced as children.
There are grace-notes of the Nic Cage movie National Treasure, with the Founding Fathers having been up to arcane conspiracies (apparently, the Boston Tea Party was a ruse). Also Supernatural and Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
There are Hessian (what they used to call German) demonologists in town, and even a name for the king demon who's calling up the Four Horsemen - Moloch (go ahead, Google it, the writers obviously have).
Quibbles: Ichabod - 250 years out of time - has adapted to the 21st Century with astonishing speed (in the last episode, he was even using OnStar). His clothes are always clean and he's well-groomed. Does he have an apartment? Did someone give him fake ID? And how did he go from being a nutcase to being allowed to wander the police station with Abbie interrogating suspects?
Also, Sleepy Hollow - with a population of just over 100,000 (somewhat more than a Hollow) - has now had at least six decapitation murders. In real life, that would be a national story.
The town is on its way to becoming the Cabot Cove of the 21st Century (for youngsters, that was the sleepy village in Murder, She Wrote, that helpfully supplied detective novelist Jessica Fletcher with an actual murder to solve weekly).
Not that it necessarily matters to the millions who've been tuning it in. The show's audience has dropped from 10 million for Ep. 1, to 7.7 million for Ep. 4 (albeit against The Voice).
Those are still pretty good numbers, but it's an audience hungry for "reveals" that had better keep coming.