Sanctuary Season 1-4 DVD Box Set
Cast and Crew
Creator: Damian Kindler
Leading Role: Amanda Tapping,Robin Dunne,Ryan Robbins,Christopher Heyerdahl,Agam Darshi,Emilie Ullerup
Summary of Sanctuary Season 1-4 DVD Box Set
Sanctuary is a Canadian science fiction-Fantasy television series, created by Damian Kindler and funded largely by the Beedie Development Group. The show is an expansion of an eight-webisode series that was released at no cost through the Internet in early 2007. Seeing the success of the web series, Syfy decided to pick up the series for a more traditional television-based 13-episode season.
Sanctuary follows the exploits of Dr. Helen Magnus (Amanda Tapping) and her quest to protect various cryptids, legends, and abnormal animals/people with certain extraordinary powers and abilities – what most people would consider monsters. "The Sanctuary" serves as a safe haven for these "Abnormals". She is initially aided in her quest by her reluctant protégé Will Zimmerman (Robin Dunne); her intrepid, if somewhat reckless, daughter Ashley (Emilie Ullerup); the talkative lycanthrope geek Henry Foss (Ryan Robbins), a computer and security expert; and her taciturn, Homo heidelbergensis-like assistant, played by Christopher Heyerdahl (unnamed, but listed as Bigfoot in the show's credits).
The history of Dr. Magnus is gradually revealed. In her youth she was trained by her father, a gifted Victorian-era scientist, to study the world and protect the unusual. Helen was a member of a group of experimental scientists known as "The Five", which included also Nikola Tesla (Jonathon Young), Nigel Griffin, Dr. James Watson (Peter Wingfield), and Magnus's lover John Druitt (Heyerdahl again), who wanted to push the boundaries of their understanding of the physical world through unconventional means. At some point during their partnership, Magnus acquired a vial of untainted vampire blood and used it in a serum that "The Five" injected into themselves. After the injection, they each developed Abnormal traits: Magnus experienced drastically slowed aging, and longevity with no clear limit; Nigel Griffin acquired the power to become invisible at will; Dr. James Watson's intellect was tremendously heightened; Nikola Tesla underwent transformation into a vampire, with the additional power of electrical manipulation; John Druitt developed longevity and the ability to teleport through time and space, but, already unstable and soon possessed by a malevolent energy creature (explained Season 2 Episode 11), he was driven to give in to his dark impulses, and becomes Jack the Ripper. Episode Three introduces "The Cabal", a powerful shadow organization that captures, studies, and experiments on Abnormals, in the belief that the Abnormal population is a threat to the human species. During the first season finale, "Revelations", they test a small amount of a biological weapon named Lazarus that causes all types of Abnormals to become extremely violent, attacking anyone nearby and then dying painfully. This is part of The Cabal's overall plan to incite humanity against the Abnormals so that they can wipe out the entire Abnormal population and gain greater influence over humanity. They brainwash Ashley, and in season two, convert her into a vampiric supersoldier, using her as a template for a small army which attacks the Sanctuary network. Against all odds, Magnus and her teams stop them at the Old City Sanctuary, and Ashley, in a moment of clarity, apparently sacrifices herself. Her father, Druitt, hunts down and kills the heads of the Cabal, which seems to disband.
As season two progresses, Magnus grapples with denial, then grief, and finally accepts the loss of Ashley. Meanwhile, the team adjusts to newcomer Kate Freelander (Agam Darshi), a former freelance Cabal operative. They also deal with their relationships (Magnus's in particular) to the remaining members of the Five, and increased international coordination in the wake of the Cabal's attacks on the Global Sanctuary Network that Magnus had established. It emerges that an enormous marine Abnormal, Big Bertha, had been preserved rather than euthanized by Magnus, and that Bertha is, somehow, a sapient being named Kali existing on a psychic or spirit plane, intricately tied to nature and Abnormals around the world. At the end of the second season and beginning of the third, a man named Edward Forsythe (Callum Blue) tries to take control of Bertha, and NY Sanctuary House Head Terrence Wexford (Paul McGillion) goes rogue trying to destroy her, even attempting to depose and kill Helen.
Ultimately, Bertha/Kali is saved and Wexford is ousted, but more questions are raised than answered. Will visits the spirit plane via induced cardiac arrest, and while there he sees two other powerful beings in addition to Kali; encounters Helen's father, who gives Will a message for her; and then spontaneously returns to life with no brain damage after an unprecedented length of time. The Sanctuary team speculate that the beings are avatars of Abnormals as powerful as Big Bertha, one of which may have been the source of the earthquake that stopped a destructive tidal wave started by Kali's wrath. Meanwhile, Gregory Magnus's message leads the Sanctuary team to old birthday gifts that he had given to Helen years before, which in conjunction produce a tangible holographic map or miniature representing an unknown steampunk-style city. This is eventually revealed to be Praxis, an advanced underground civilization of humans and Abnormals. After an initial period of mistrust (exacerbated by the antics of Adam Worth (Ian Tracey), an old enemy of Helen's who inspired Jekyll and Hyde), Helen and her team save the world and reach an entente, with Gregory acting as ambassador. However, the peace does not last long. Worth, who escaped, manipulated unhappy Abnormals in Praxis while experimenting with a dangerously unstable energy source to power a time machine. The end results of his machinations were the destruction of Praxis, several armies of displaced Abnormals marching on the upper world, and his escape to the past to attempt to save his daughter, with Magnus hot on his heels.
Magnus is able to thwart Worth and prevent any major changes to the timeline, then returns to the present by living through the intervening years again. She and her team manage to end the Abnormal assault on humanity without too much bloodshed, but still must contend with increasing persecution from the Special Counter-Insurgency Unit (SCIU), an anti-Abnormal agency. Magnus is forced to cut the Sanctuary network's ties to the UN, reputable banking institutions, etc. in order to maintain independence, a move made possible by her extensive preparations during her second trip through the twentieth century. Additionally, a number of Hollow Earth Abnormals refuse to remain quietly underground and engage in terrorist activities against humans. Matters come to a head when a contingent of these Abnormals, led by Caleb, agree to cease their violent activities in exchange for Magnus' help in establishing a homeland in Old City. She agrees, but SCIU is highly suspicious due to the group's former attacks. This skepticism proves justified, since Caleb plans to release a substance that would bring out latent Abnormal traits in normal humans, effectively eradicating the species. Magnus is also prepared for this betrayal, taking Caleb out with a massive explosion that destroys the Sanctuary. Now presumed dead, she is free to begin anew in an Edenic underground city based on the work of Buckminster Fuller and Albert Einstein, one last secret from her repeated century.