The unusual premise of the hit Fox series Sleepy Hollow combines supernatural elements with a police drama format. Marketed as a modern-day retelling of the short story, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving, the show takes the same liberties with history as Once Upon a Time does with fairy tales, as facts and myths are tweaked slightly to fit within the show’s universe.
Season 2 begins on September 22nd, and has been bumped up in size from 13 to 18 episodes, so that fans can get even more monsters. Before greeting their fans at the panel, co-stars Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie, along with showrunner Mark Goffman and executive producer Alex Kurtzman, spoke with press about what to expect in the upcoming season. Hit the jump for highlights from those interviews.
ALEX KURTZMAN: We don’t want to give away too much, but what we can tell you is that because we all thought so long and hard about how we wanted to end the season and how we wanted to build it, because we left everybody in such a horrible place, we didn’t want to make getting out of those problems easy or expected. I think what we can promise, certainly in the premiere episode, is that whatever you think is coming next, isn’t really what’s coming next.
Are we going to see more romantic entanglements, this season?
KURTZMAN: I think what we all feel proud of, in terms of the romantic entanglements, is that it’s secondary to what’s really happening. It’s really about the connections these people have because they are so isolated and alone. There are so many more bad guys than there are good guys, so for them to have each other and find each other and hold onto each other is so precious for them. Always with that level of intensity, there’s a question of something, but I don’t think we ever want to push it in the wrong direction just for a gimmick.
TOM MISON: It raises the question of, how do you fight an enemy of a certain level? And when the only option is to create an enemy equally evil or sinister, how do you then control it?
MARK GOFFMAN: I think coming off the heels of everything that happened in the first season, Crane and Abbie are back with a vengeance, and they are willing to go the distance to combat evil. When they hear the Horseman is still around and potentially holding Crane’s wife, they are going to go to any lengths possible. When you’re creating a monster as formidable as the Horseman himself, what are the dangers? What are the costs to us? The other big danger is that they have to use a piece of the Horseman, in order to raise the Kindred. There is only one piece they have, which is incredibly dangerous, and what they know the Horseman has been after for a season. It’s pretty scary.
Is there a historical figure that you’d like to see in the second season?
MISON: I’d like to see some of the English characters from that era.
NICOLE BEHARIE: I’ve been thinking of more modern, diverse monsters, like Santeria or Voodoo. My family is West Indian and there are all these other kinds of things that happen in American history. There’s even things people practice now.
KURTZMAN: Jenny very organically found her way into investigations, in the first season. It’s very much a team now. Part of what we’re excited about is that, at the end of Season 1, War comes to Sleepy Hollow, and it’s a character who is wildly divisive, for all of them, not just because he’s the Horseman of War, but because he has a very personal relationship with a lot of our leads. What that’s going to bring out in everybody is a lot of conflict about how to solve the problem. It’s a lot tougher to come up with solutions when it’s personal. That will affect everybody, and it’s one of the things that we’re most excited about. For example, part of the fun for us in writing Jenny and Abbie last year was that we knew, in the beginning, they would be at odds, and then, by the end, we wanted to bring them together. But just because they are together now doesn’t mean everything is fine. It doesn’t mean they are going to stick together. There are a lot of things that are going to try to pull them apart. They may not always agree or be on the same line about how to solve the problems that come their way.
Tom and Nicole, how are you both with horror? How scared do you get, and which demons in the show did you find the most interesting?
BEHARIE: I’m easily scared. I’m always a little taken aback when we have to do incantations or weird demonic rituals that are based on something that is actually true, historically. It gives me the willies. This year, we have a coin that brings out people’s darker sides and inclinations and, for me, that is a lot scarier than a monster that might cut off your head.
GOFFMAN: That story is based off of a real event about the 30 pieces of silver that Judas was allegedly paid to betray Jesus. We take that and build in our own little Sleepy Hollow mythology, in which that coin is also what turned Benedict Arnold and is now being inserted into the population today.
MISON: That’s the thing I enjoy most about the monsters and incantations. It’s more often than not creatures that we know from other stories and fairy tales, but we take it and give it our own twist. This year, we’ve got the Pied Piper, but he’s not a jaunty man in a red and yellow outfit, frightening children. He’s a really horrible monster who’s frightening children.
GOFFMAN: We created a lore behind him that dates back to Revolutionary times and the quartering of British soldiers in American homes. Borne out of something from the Revolution, it becomes something very creepy and scary that comes back today. I think that’s where the show lives very well in the horror world.