The cast and crew of Fox‘s supernatural drama Sleepy Hollow materialized Wednesday evening at PaleyFest to tease the fates of the show’s characters going into fall’s second season. Although January’s S1 finale left the cast in various states of distress and spaces between spaces — Purgatory being one such locale — cast member John Cho‘s presence was testament to the fact that on Sleepy Hollow, as EP Mark Goffman noted, “You can be dead but that doesn’t mean you’re gone.”
The show’s producers promised the return of John Noble as Henry Parrish aka Jeremy Crane aka The Horseman of War in Season 2. And he won’t be alone. “There are a lot of amazing foot soldiers coming, familiar and also original,” teased co-creator/EP Bob Orci. Fellow co-creator and EP Len Wiseman hinted that a new creature will be introduced that confronts Headless, “possibly with his own face.” He then wondered, “How do you create a character as evil and scary as Headless?” Quipped Alex Kurtzman, yet another of Sleepy Hollow‘s co-creator and EP: “Dick Cheney.”
Hope and redemption were the buzzwords as the panel looked toward next season, particularly given S1’s big reveals of hidden relationships between Ichabod, Katrina, and War. The show’s diversity both onscreen and behind the camera was praised by an audience member, prompting Orci to give props to the show’s cast and writers for “not simply making it invisible.”
Wiseman recalled the search for an actor to play Ichabod Crane, the 18th century British expat whose fate — tied to that of the Headless Horseman — brings him back to life in present-day Sleepy Hollow. The character started off written as American, “but it quickly became clear we do not manufacture men in the United States,” quipped Kurtzman. “We had written it with a British cadence so he sounded like Ichabod Crane from the Valley.” The producers knew they found their Ichabod when they noticed the women in Sleepy Hollow‘s production office fawning over Brit Tom Mison’s audition tape.
They were onto something: One of the driving forces of Sleepy Hollow‘s fandom is viewer obsession over the chemistry between Mison and Nicole Beharie, who plays modern-day cop Lt. Abbie Mills. “I’d never heard of ‘shipping’ before,” said Mison of the trend in pop culture fandom to pair two fictional characters together romantically. “I heard someone talk about shipping and Ichabbie – it’s a good thing, apparently.” Searching the web for Ichabod and Abbie shipitude, “there’s lots of really nice pictures, mainly of her carrying me,” Mison said. “It’s like me as Yoda.”
“You should Google ‘slash’ just for fun,” added Orlando Jones. (Really! Try it.)
Speaking of fantasy: One fan asked, “What other show past or present would you like to do a crossover with?” “The Walking Dead — I’d like it if Crane started falling apart and started chasing after Carl,” Mison replied. Beharie had a novel answer: “What if Sleepy Hollow crossed over with The Wire and people in prison had occult powers?” A roll call of the panelist’s dream guest stars yielded the best idea of the night, in addition to the possible hint that someone on the PaleyFest could pop up onscreen: Tilda Swinton as one of the remaining Horsemen. Now there’s a twist nobody would see coming.