Weird, Wrinkled and Wordy

April 2, 2007

Sanctuary – The Shape of Things to Come?

Filed under: Sanctuary,science fiction — Valorie Hoye @ 4:25 pm

Helen MagnusThere’s something new on the horizon in terms of sci-fi programming and if you believe the hype, it could herald the start of a new era. It’s a show called Sanctuary. It stars Amanda Tapping (Stargate: SG-1) as Dr. Helen Magnus, an immortal woman who searches the globe for “Abnormals” like herself. She offers refuge to those with unusual and frightening abilities. The show promises dark adventures in a stunning visual world. What’s different is that this show won’t air on your TV. Sanctuary will be available only on the internet. It’s being created by utilizing video game technology and advanced web design to bring about a new type of experience for fans.

The show is being produced by a company called Stage 3 Media, and the company’s motto is “The Future of Media is Convergence.” They stress that this new venture will bring together the show’s creators and fans by offering “multiple High Definition resolutions, immersive interaction and direct communication between the viewer and the Sanctuary creative team.” The current plan appears to be for the first four episodes to be available free of charge but you’ll have to pay for the rest, either individually or in bundles. Looks like they are planning to have the first episode up in May.

You can view a short trailer for the show at www.sanctuaryforall.com, but you will have to register to view the longer version. Registering also gives you access to the forums and additional website content. Of course there is a blog.

I’m intrigued. The content looks like it could be a pretty standard mix of sci-fi and gothic horror, but it is whether or not they will succeed as a venture that has me wondering. Are fans willing to pay to watch a sci-fi show? Right now, I would say “no.” But someone more inclined towards gaming or being part of a forum community would be. I’ll be watching, and I’m sure a number of television industry executives will be too. Success for Sanctuary could open up a whole new avenue of competition for traditional sci-fi TV.

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