The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving is perfect Halloween lore even if it may cause nightmares. Irving’s Ichabod Crane is a less than attractive, gangly schoolteacher smitten with the beautiful Katrina Van Tassel. One night, Crane encounters the ghost of a Headless Horseman skulking the night and becomes one of the Horseman’s victims.
The television network Fox took a different spin on this tale with its series Sleepy Hollow. Here Ichabod Crane is not a homely schoolteacher but is a handsome, swashbuckling hero in the same vein as Winston Graham’s Ross Poldark. Portrayed by actor Tom Mison, Ichabod Crane exudes charm and strength. But rather than pining for Katrina, this Ichabod is married to her.
An exciting wrinkle for our television protagonist is that he is a Revolutionary war soldier and spy working for General George Washington. After a deadly encounter with the Headless Horseman, Ichabod succumbs on the battlefield and is later resurrected and reemerges in modern-day Sleepy Hollow, New York. Of course, humorous scenarios abound as this Ichabod must adjust to the 21st century with the help of Lieutenant Abigail Mills, played by the very talented Nikki Beharie.
Sleepy Hollow succeeds in combining two genres: the police procedural with the supernatural. Viewers get to watch Ichabod and Abbie fight modern-day perpetrators while confronting the Horseman of the Apocalypse. Such plots provide the recipe for endless excitement.
Sleepy Hollow returns on October 1 for its third season.