The long-awaited online science fiction series Sanctuary is set to debut on May 14, and fans-in-waiting can now get a further glimpse inside the series in a five-minute sneak preview released by Stage 3 Media.

Stage 3 Media, a new media company based in Vancouver, British Columbia, has already issued a teaser trailer containing the show’s title sequence, and a two-minute trailer without dialogue. The new preview includes longer clips from the first episode of Sanctuary and reveals the English accent that star Amanda Tapping will use for her character, Dr. Helen Magnus. The Sanctuary universe, it appears, is a dark place, with its Gothic buildings, rain-drenched streets and bizarre creatures. Magnus runs the titular establishment and apparently uses it as a refuge for mutant beings that ‘normal’ members of society persecute or prefer to ignore.

Magnus is aided in her work by her protégé, Will Zimmerman, played by Robin Dunne (Dawson’s Creek, The Big Hit, Species 3). The preview suggests that the premiere episode of Sanctuary will show their first meeting. It also shows Magnus’ adventurous daughter Ashley (Emilie Ullerup), who was introduced as a feisty fighter in the two-minute trailer.

If the preview is any indication, the computer generated landscapes, creatures and effects produced by Ron Martin (Marvel Nemesis, Soft Image) and Todd Van Hulzen (The Girl With The Pearl Earring) will be outstanding. The freedom that CGI gives directors to create impressive sweeping camera moves are evidenced early in the preview as the opening scene with Magnus and Zimmerman gives way to a flight across virtual rooftops to the former’s facility. The atmosphere created by Ian Brown’s music implies that the streets below are no place to be alone at night. The bizarre things that we are shown in Magnus’ lab only reinforce that impression.

The characters are perhaps the main factor that will determine whether Sanctuary succeeds or fails and it is hard to get a sense of them from a five-minute preview. The glimpses we do get, however, indicate that the principles will work well together and have enough charisma to make their fates matter to viewers.

Sanctuary was created by Damian Kindler (Stargate SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis, PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal) and was written by Kindler and another Stargate alumnus, director Martin Wood. Kindler, Wood, Tapping, Marc Aubanel and N. John Smith are credited as executive producers.

The five-minute sneak preview and trailers can be viewed on the official website, www.sanctuaryforall.com.

Sources: Stage 3 Media.

Michael Simpson is the Associate Editor of the Vancouver-based film and TV website CinemaSpy and a freelance writer on a wide range of topics (CinemaSpy; Home).

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