Back in 2007, Sanctuary began life as a series of eight webisodes released one at a time over the Internet. I was among those who purchased the hi-def versions of these 15-20 minute shows and was drawn into the world of Dr. Helen Magnus (Amanda Tapping of Stargate: SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis), a seemingly ageless scientist and researcher investigating the monsters or "abnormals" in the real world and helping them survive and learn to live somewhat normal lives or capturing and studying them if they're too violent to help.
The success of the webisodes led Syfy (formerly the SciFi Channel) to give the series' producers the green light to create a 13-episode season to air in 2008. These episodes expanded on the world of the webisodes in some significant ways, but kept fans entertained (including myself) and intrigued enough that a second season will begin airing in October 2009. And from the sneak peek, it looks like there are some serious changes afoot for the Sanctuary team.
The world of Sanctuary is definitely a dark one, with Magnus' actual sanctuaries providing homes for many different strange, wonderful, and often bizarre species. In some ways, the series is like the BBC's Torchwood, with a slightly different bent. Where the Torchwood group protects the world against alien invasions, the Sanctuary team provides a buffer between the regular world where we live and the realm of abnormals. Sometimes they help people against the Abnormals, but they always have the best interests of this other world at heart.
Among the crew helping Magnus are Dr. Will Zimmerman (Robin Dunne), a forensic psychiatrist with a sense for detail similar to Sherlock Holmes; Magnus' daughter Ashley (Emilie Ullerup), a monster hunter extraordinaire with a knack for finding trouble; Henry Foss (Ryan Robbins), the group's computer and weapons geek who also happens to be an Abnormal himself; Bigfoot (Christopher Heyerdahl), Magnus' butler, chauffeur, and bodyguard; and John Druitt (also Heyerdahl), Magnus' former love interest who can teleport across time and space and may have been Jack the Ripper in an earlier time.