Sanctuary Bridges Real, Fantasy

Damian Kindler, creator and executive producer of SCI FI Channel’s upcoming supernatural series Sanctuary, told SCI FI Wire that he strove to make something that bridged the real and the fantastical with a graphic-novel style that hasn’t been seen before.

“I felt there was definitely room for something that bridged the gap between very real … drama shows on the edge, like The X-Files–which took drama to a new place and said, ‘Oh, we can make dramas compelling and character-based, but with a very strange tone to them’–and … the all-out fantasy stuff, like Heroes,” Kindler said in an interview at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills, Calif., over the weekend.

Kindler, a former writer on Stargate SG-1, added: “I feel like Sanctuary has the ability to be like a really cool graphic novel you’ve never seen yet. … It’s got [a] graphic-novel feel and look and tone and attitude and visuals, but you’ve never seen it before. It’s not like, ‘Oh, they did a crap job at adapting it.’ It’s not adapted from anything.”

Sanctuary, which began life as an online series, centers on Dr. Helen Magnus (Amanda Tapping), who tracks the mysterious creatures that live among us, abnormal offshoots of evolution in the fringes of society. She harbors the benign ones in a Sanctuary and protects the world from the dangerous ones. She is joined in this quest by her fearless daughter, Ashley (Emilie Ullerup); quirky tech whiz Henry; and a new recruit, Will (Robin Dunne), a brilliant psychiatrist/profiler with a knack for finding the strange and unusual.

To achieve its signature look, producers are shooting much of Sanctuary’s live action against green screens and digitally inserting backgrounds and environments. The technique allows producers to set the action in any part of the world and in various points in history. It’s a technique pioneered in an early version of the show, which appeared online.

But the SCI FI Channel series takes the show much farther, Kindler said. “I think we were able to get to the first of, like, a hundred levels [in the online version],” he said. “Like, we sort of went, ‘Here’s the show. These are the characters, this is the setting and the feel.’ But, you know, we did not have the time or money–especially the time–to make the show breathe and be as dimensional as we want it to be. And we feel like we’re getting that with season one of Sanctuary … on SCI FI. Because of the TV, it’s gotten bigger, deeper, shinier, cooler.”

News article courtesy of Sci Fi Wire