The pilot for the new “Sleepy Hollow” TV show premiered on Fox Monday night and attracted various responses to its Book of Revelation-inspired retelling of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman.
A description from Fox on the new show:
After being resurrected and pulled two and a half centuries through time, ICHABOD CRANE (Tom Mison) finds himself in modern-day Sleepy Hollow, where he quickly realizes that evil has awoken with him. When Sheriff August Corbin (guest star Clancy Brown) is killed by the infamous Headless Horseman, Ichabod forms an unlikely bond with Detective ABBIE MILLS (Nicole Beharie), a young cop who has her own childhood supernatural experiences. Together, the two embark on a mission to stop evil and uncover mysteries dating back to the founding of our country. Captain FRANK IRVING (Orlando Jones) hesitates to believe Ichabod’s tales of supernatural evil. But when Ichabod’s former wife, KATRINA (Katia Winter), provides clues about impending evil, they all begin to realize that this town is anything but sleepy …
Top in viewer responses to “Sleepy Hollow” involved characters’ constant plural reference to the final book of the New Testament:
#sleepyhollow every time you say ‘revelations’ i lose my own head. it’s revelation. tell your writers!
— Jim West (@drjewest) September 17, 2013
Ok #sleepyhollow it is Revelation not revelations. If you are going to quote it so much, read the title first!
— Sara McManus (@theothersara) September 17, 2013
Some viewers were less than thrilled that “Sleepy Hollow” writers incorporated the four horsemen of the Apocalypse noted in Revelation 6:
FOX co-opts The Legend of Sleepy Hollow for Christian Bible Prophecy. I’m shocked to find that christian propaganda is going on in here! — Kerry Maxwell (@KerryMaxwell) September 17, 2013
Others also found it a turnoff that the priest featured in the premiere was a part of a witch coven, apparently fighting “the darkness” of evil:
TV Guide interviewed producers of “Sleepy Hollow” to discuss the Bible link.
TV Guide: Since the storyline has a connection to the Bible, what stories are you being inspired by from that?
Kurtzman: I think we gravitated toward the Bible as being really relevant to our storytelling once it became about the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse.
Orci: There are a lot of characters that we are inspired by in The Bible. There are a lot of characters that play into coming in and out of the apocalypse — The Seven Signs, what’s our version of that and who can we adapt that that’s not so obvious? Even the population of Sleepy Hollow is 144,000 — that’s a number from the Bible. There are a lot of details from the Bible, but we’re not trying to do the Bible literally. But the Bible in a more general sense as a marker for American history; we’re being inspired by American history and the legends of our cultures. The Bible is the starting point, but we want to visit various cultures’ interpretations of religion and posit the idea of any bible in any culture is, in a way, a description and an impressionistic interpretation of the one true world religion that we must all be somehow apart of.
Kurtzman: Everyone has different interpretations of the Bible and what it means. Ultimately, whether you believe the stories literally or you think they’re allegory or metaphor, they are about how we live our lives and they are a search of meaning of why we’re here on the planet and what our purpose is as a species. Each story raises a question about how we live our lives, so in that sense, it’s the best and the first drama. It really is. It’s an endless well that we can draw from.
What do you think? Will “Sleepy Hollow” make it past its pilot episodes and become a mainstay of the season? And, are the writers doing too much with the Bible, the horsemen, witchcraft, and everything else going on with the plot?