The Vancouver-based company Stage 3 Media recently launched the first full length trailer for its upcoming web-based science fiction series Sanctuary. The two-minute trailer features locations, creatures and action sequences from the new show, which is scheduled to debut online in May.

Sanctuary stars Stargate‘s Amanda Tapping as a 157-year old scientist who pursues strange and terrifying mutant creatures. The trailer gives a brief glimpse of Magnus’s lab, the Gotham-like city in which the series takes place, the Sanctuary of the title, and the two characters that are assisting her in her mission. These are her most recent protégé, Will Zimmerman, and her gung-ho daughter, Ashley. Zimmerman is played by Robin Dunne (Dawson’s Creek, The Big Hit, Species 3) and Emilie Ullerup (Battlestar Galactica, Blood Ties) plays Ashley. The supporting cast includes Christopher Heyerdahl (Masters of Horror, Stargate: Atlantis, The Dead Zone), who plays a character called John Druitt. The real life Montague John Druitt was suspected of being Jack the Ripper. In the back-story to Sanctuary, Magnus was once engaged to Jack the Ripper.

The pilot for Sanctuary will be shown online as a series of eight episodes. Each will be around 15 minutes in length. Thereafter, most stories are expected to consist of three episodes. Guest starring in the pilot will be other Stargate alumni, including David Hewlett (Stargate SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis), Paul McGillion (Stargate: Atlantis), Ryan Robbins (Stargate: Atlantis, Battlestar Galactica, Blade: The Series) and Laura Mennell (Stargate: Atlantis, Dead Like Me, Andromeda).

Actors are not the only staff working on the series who have Stargate pedigree. The show was created by Damian Kindler, who worked as a writer and producer on Stargate SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis. Kindler was born in Melbourne, Australia and now lives in Vancouver. His resume is dominated by genre and adventure series. These include Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal, Relic Hunter and Earth: Final Conflict.

Sanctuary‘s pilot was written by Kindler and director Martin Wood, who also worked on both SG-1 and Atlantis. Kindler, Wood, Tapping, Marc Aubanel (from Electronic Arts) and N. John Smith are the executive producers of Sanctuary (Smith has been a co-executive producer on Stargate SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis). The creature effects are being produced by Todd Masters, who won an Emmy in 2002 for his work on Six Feet Under. Masters was also nominated as part of the make-up team that worked on the series Tales from the Crypt and the movie Hiroshima: Out of the Ashes. Music for Sanctuary is being composed by Ian Browne.

The makers of Sanctuary say that it is the first broadcast quality, High Definition dramatic series designed specifically for the internet. Once the show begins, viewers will have chance to use interactive features that include flash gaming and social networking. Computer technology is also an integral part of the behind-the-scenes production process. The series will be shot directly to digital media and almost entirely against green screens. In addition to the special effects, some creatures and most of the backgrounds will be created in a computer. New state-of-the-art software had to be designed for the post-production process and directing has also involved innovative computer programs. In an interview on the website Gateworld, Kindler explained that the actors will be able to see themselves interacting with pre-visualizations of virtual sets in real-time while they shoot.

The new trailer for Sanctuary and the teaser, which was released earlier this year, can be viewed or downloaded from the website The teaser features the visuals that will accompany the opening credits. Stage 3 Media has designed a special media player on which the series will be shown online. The trailer can be downloaded in QuickTime, WMV and MPG-4 formats.

Stage 3 Media was founded in 2006. According to the company’s website, its goal is to be the first media producer to bring to market high quality, interactive online entertainment. Kindler, Aubanel and Martin Palacios are the senior executives.

Sources: Stage 3 Media, Gateworld.

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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