Sanctuary

by

I have watched the first few episodes of the fantasy series Sanctuary on ITV4. Regretably, I won’t be watching any more.

It’s a shame as the series had possibilities. It has a former FBI agent encounter an attractive but mysterious woman (yeah yeah, cliche, I know) and finish up working for her to rescue beings (sometimes human, sometimes not) with paranormal powers. There were also opponants of the woman who could be a tad violent in their opposition.

Trouble is, the script-writers are obviously fairly ignorant about science and history and appear to make up both as they go along.

The first episode involved a boy from the Chernobyl region of the Ukraine who had a fifth limb – an extendable tentacle growing out of his lower rib cage. The implication was that radiation from the burnt out reactor ad caused the mutation. Trouble is, this would require a large number of mutations in just the right place:

1. To have the extra limb

2. To make it a non-mammalian – indeed a non-vertebrate – limb

3. To create the biomechanism that made it extendable

4. To make his brain/nervous system able to control the limb.

I am sure there are many more but I am not a biologist. However I can see the utter implausibility of it. The whole concept resembles a Creationist idea of how evolutionists think evolution occurs.

Despite this, I decided to persist. They are not the first script writers to misunderstand mutations so I cut them some slack.

The most recent episode finished it for me though. I did not even bother watching it to the end.

Three mysterious comatose women are rescued from a crypt in Scotland. Somehow they are taken across tha Atlantic and brought into the US without Immigration or Homeland Security noticing.

They are awakened and speak of a disease afflicting their village and its neighbours. Our hero says the disease sounds like bubonic plague but “the last outbreak in Scotland was 800 AD”

No it was not! The fourteenth century Eurasion pandemic reached Scotland in 1350 so even assuming there were no later ones, he’s out by five and a half centuries. One could argue that either way the three women were impossibly old so there was something weird going on but it would not have hurt to check.

Later our Heroine quotes from a book describing them killing soldiers at Badon Hill and this is what sent me reaching for the “Off” button. According to British tradition, Badon Hill is where King Arthur and his army defeated a Saxon army. Neither Celtic nor Anglo-Saxon sources mention three witches. I have no problem with script-writers putting a fantastic interpretation of historical events (and let’s face it, some odd things have happened in history) but in this case the scritwriter was simply inventing the reference. The whole thing is lazy and ill-thought out. It could have been so much better.

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