Sleepy Hollow hooked scads of viewers with its balls-to-the-wall crazy pilot episode, which established in quick succession that a) American Revolutionary War hero Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) was Rip Van Winkle’d into a 200+ year slumber, then b) awoken to fight the evil Headless Horseman, who c) happens to be one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Also, his wife’s a witch. Also also, he’s destined to team up with Sleepy Hollow cop Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie), who herself is still haunted by a demon she spotted when she was just a girl. Oh, and then there’s Zombie John Cho…
Clearly, Sleepy has a lot of balls in the air — but so far, it has managed to keep juggling them all. (It’ll continue to do so well into 2014, as Fox made Sleepy the first new show to earn a second season way back in October.) Even better, the show has proven that it’s just as adept at humor as it is at supernatural action/adventure. Witness, for example, Ichabod’s flabbergasted reaction to present-day New York’s mammoth sales tax, or the way he describes a package Abbie’s received (“treasures from the Amazon”) — or the opening of season 1’s fourth episode, which finds Crane delivering a swoonworthy monologue about his lost love Katrina, who’s currently caught in purgatory. The punchline: He’s sitting in a car… and telling this tale to Yolanda, an OnStar customer service rep.
Who dreamed up this already classic scene? That’d be Sleepy staffer Damian Kindler, a sci-fi vet who loves to write twists on American history — especially given his Canadian upbringing. (“There was something cheeky about the Canadian dude going, ‘The Boston Tea Party was a ruse, man!'” he tells EW with a laugh.) Read on to see how Kindler created one of the show’s standout moments — and to learn the show’s general approaches to writing both Ichabod and Abbie.
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