A lot of things happen behind the scenes at New York Comic Con. Literally, right up to when a panel is set to begin, anything can change. Fans of Sleepy Hollow learned that all too well on October 11th. On schedule for the final Main Stage event, fans were promised appearances by Tom Mison (Ichabod Crane), Lyndie Greenwood (Jenny Mills), Nikki Reed (Betsy Ross), John Noble (Jeremy Crane/Henry Parrish/Horseman of War), and Orlando Jones (Frank Irving). Mison unfortunately cancelled his appearance, which was reflected on the NYCC app, but right before the panel started, the pre-show entertainer couldn’t stop getting people hyped to see these stars. Jones especially was a big selling point for the entire crowd. Attendees were also promised a brand new episode.
Then things went a bit awry. First, the moderator (Kim Roots from TVLine) came up and broke some harsh news: we weren’t watching a new episode. We were watching last week’s episode again. Now, I had missed “Whispers in the Dark” because of Comic Con, so this was all fine for me, but the other attendees weren’t too happy. There was no applause whenever the episode cut to black indicating a commercial, a regular occurrence at a screening, and no one near me seemed particularly thrilled. That’s not exactly a surprise when you consider these individuals paid for Con passes and got up early to get Main Stage wristbands with the promise of a new episode. Not something already shown.
Once the screening was complete, the second bit of bad news came. Orlando Jones and John Noble, promoted right up to the panel’s start time, weren’t there. Instead we got Zach Appelman, recently promoted to main cast after a guest Season 2 appearance as Joe Corbin, and co-executive producer Raven Metzner. Even stranger, only Mison’s absence was acknowledged (hilariously so as he was texting Appelman), but no reason was given as to why Jones and Noble weren’t there.
Credit where credit is due though. Despite these hiccups, it honestly looked like fans enjoyed the panel, and plenty was discussed with the time we had available.
Character Growth and New Additions
Sleepy Hollow, despite slumping a bit in its second season, is still very much a success for Fox. Its history altering story is very “out there” and has generated a devout fan base of Sleepy Heads that keep the show going. Now that we’re at Season 3, returning characters are seeing some changes, and new additions are brought on to keep things fresh. Greenwood first provided a bit of insight into how Jenny’s relationship with Abbie (Nicole Beharie) is different.
“One of the beautiful things is Abbie and Jenny have been through so much together, and now they’re both at the same place personally,” said Greenwood.
One fan couldn’t help but ask Appelman if his character Joe was ready to get into this supernatural world.
“I don’t know if he’s ready, but he wants to learn,” Appelman responded. “He learns this season what he can contribute and if the characters will even let him.
Reed, the newest addition to the cast as a badass Betsy Ross, not the old flagmaker everyone sees her as, definitely felt the pressure and was thankful for the experience.
“There’s nothing more intimidating than jumping into this world that’s been around for years,” Reed told the crowd. “So thank you for welcoming me. Nothing makes Betsy happier than making Ichabod uncomfortable.
Continuing on the topic of Ross, Metzner and Reed were very excited to show this entirely new side to this historical figure. In a show that has twisted famous names like Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin, this is actually part for the course.
“One of the things we love to do is take moments in history and flip it on its ear,” said Metzner. “We’re so glad to have Nikki here to make this new version.”
Reed echoed similar sentiments.
“I love taking on characters that I can take something from,” Reed revealed. “Betsy is so independent and I love going home and knowing that character…I’ve played real people before, but never an historical figure.”
In the first two seasons, the protagonists were constantly harried by none other than the classic Headless Horseman, portrayed in the show as the Horseman of Death. The Horseman was actually one of Moloch’s top figures in bringing the apocalypse on Earth. During the Season 3 premiere however, Pandora (Shannyn Sossamon) sucked the Horseman into her box and has taken over as the next big bad. Metzner had this to say when a fan asked if the Horseman would return.
“This year is the second tribulation, so I’m not going to say yes or no.”
Later, Metzner slightly elaborated on what will make Pandora different from every other representation throughout history, but kept things as hush hush as possible.
“Pandora does have secrets and so do I,” said Metzner. “There are many different versions of Pandora. All I can say is we always try to make something our own and this will be the Sleepy Hollow version of her.”
Discussion about the upcoming season was pretty limited. One, there just wasn’t enough time for everything to be covered, and two, the panelists didn’t want to reveal any huge secrets. Sleepy Hollow prides itself on surprises and not too much can be told without ruining the experience. Metzner was willing to let a few things out though.
“Crane will face a nemesis that he cannot stand. Abbie will come under pretty intense fire. One of our crew will switch sides.”
The crowd was especially responsive to that last point. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s either Joe or Betsy, who I believe will somehow get brought to the present day on the wrong side.
2015 will probably be remembered as the year of crossovers. Adding to the list is the extremely improbable but totally happening combination of Sleepy Hollow and Bones. Both shows are now on Fox’s Thursday night block and at some point in the near future will come together. The problem with this though is fans of Sleepy Hollow are extremely passionate about their show’s characters. The last thing they want is this property ruined. Metzner assured everyone that there’s nothing to be concerned about.
“The Bones room has been really generous and open,” Metzner divulged. “Our characters will be on their show and they will be in ours. Our characters are very protected and it will be fun.”
Taking this cue, another fan couldn’t help but ask if a crossover was possible between Sleepy Hollow and The X-Files, which is coming back this January. Metzner was especially game for this opportunity.
“That would be awesome. We have a lot of genre fans [on staff] and we talk about a lot of shows. X-Files is definitely one of them.
Incorporating New York City
Sleepy Hollow the town is as much a living creature as its characters. Everything evil seems to pop up there, and it’s lately become a hotbed of disaster. It’s also only an hour or so north of New York City. We have yet to see our characters take evil outside this tiny town, but one attendee wanted to know if Ichabod will come to the Big Apple someday. Metzner confirmed that it has been thought of.
“I really badly want to see that too,” said Metzner. “We have places we want our characters to go and that’s at the top.”
A New Base of Operations
A big point so far in Season 3 is that the archives are now set for demolition. Ichabod is doing everything he can to keep their base alive, but the second episode introduced another roadblock in his mission. While it seems like the crew might actually move on, Metzner assured everyone that might not be the case.
“If you think Ichabod is letting that archive go without fighting, you are wrong,” said Metzner.
Should the archive go away though, Appelman had his own idea for a new base.
“I’ll use Jenny’s trailer,” said Appelman to laughter.
Sleepy Hollow is currently airing Season 3 every Thursday night on Fox
Luke Kalamar is Pop-Break.com’s television editor. Every Saturday afternoon you can read his video game column, Remembering the Classics. He covers Game of Thrones, Saturday Night Live and The Walking Dead (amongst others) every week. As for as his career and literary standing goes — take the best parts of Spider-man, Captain America and Luke Skywalker and you will fully understand his origin story.