SLEEPY HOLLOW: Alex Kurtzman on Unmasking the Headless Horseman and What Comes Next - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

SLEEPY HOLLOW: Alex Kurtzman on Unmasking the Headless Horseman and What Comes Next

November 20, 2013 by  


SLEEPY HOLLOW has consistently raised the stakes with every episode, but this past Monday’s hour, “Necromancer,” took things to a whole new level: while Ichabod and Abbie had the Headless Horseman captured, Ichabod realized, to his horror, that the man/creature that had been tormenting him over the centuries was really his presumed dead best friend, Abraham…who also just happened to be the ex-fiance of Katrina (Ichabod’s wife).

And while other shows might have waited at least a full season before they made that game-changing reveal, SLEEPY HOLLOW co-creator Alex Kurtzman shared that the writers knew from the start that they wanted to play that card early in the series’ run.

“We decided that early on in the story-breaking [process], actually,” Kurtzman told me. “Once we started realizing that flashbacks were going to become a paradigm of the show, and they would allow us to find insights into our characters in really new and interesting ways, we put everybody under a microscope, and said, ‘Okay, who can we do this with?’ And the idea of doing this with Headless was particularly exciting, because we know — and knew — that people would have a lot of questions about who he is and and who he was. In the short story [“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”], it’s sort of a question about whether or not he’s a ghost, whether or not he’s a fiction of Crane’s mind, it’s unclear. But because he’s such a character on our show, we knew we needed to dedicate a real story to him.”

Kurtzman also noted that actually being able to interrogate Headless was something the creative team had been looking for the right venue to do for some time.

“When we were doing the pilot, one of the ideas we had that we weren’t able to do [in that first hour] was to do an interrogation scene with the Horseman,” he laughed. “We just thought, ‘My God, how amazing would that be? How could you do that? How would you interrogate a man with no head?’ And it didn’t fit organically into the pilot, but it was one of those ideas we knew was going to come back because it was too juicy. And when we finally found a way to do it, and to use John [Cho (Andy)] as the Horseman’s voice, it felt like a perfect click of a way to put those characters together and make the story very purposeful in design.”

As Ichabod struggles to accept his personal tie to the Horseman, the truth of what Abraham has become will continue to rock Ichabod (and Abbie) for the foreseeable future as they try and prevent the end of the world as we know it.

“I think both Abbie and Ichabod have come to realize the world is far bigger than they ever understood it to be,” Kurtzman noted. “And that their connections to each other and the [events of the]show are far deeper than they could ever have imagined. And that’s something we’re going to play out more and more for the rest of the season. And I think the way we feel most invested in our characters is to make their stories as personal as possible. And it seemed like audiences are feeling the same way. It’s certainly the best way to invest an audience in storytelling: to make it as personal as it can be. Because they’re so invested in our characters.”

And like Ichabod speculated, the Katrina of it all will be very important to the final stretch of episodes of the season, as she remains both Ichabod and Abraham’s key weakness.

“Katrina will become extraordinarily pivotal to many, many things on the show,” Kurtzman previewed. “And now that the audience is invested in her through the flashbacks — where, really, we’ve gotten more time understanding her character and knowing she isn’t just throwing out half-baked riddles every week for them to run in circles — she’s really a woman who loves her husband and has a fiery personality that a lot of people, we’re gratified to see, are starting to really like. And the more we invest in her, the higher the stakes become. So over the course of the next couple of episodes, what you’ll see is the characters starting to operate in new ways, with their eyes opening more and more in every show, leading to the big question, which is, ‘Is Crane going to be able to free her from purgatory? And if so, at what cost?’ All of our characters are pulling together in the same direction, because the stakes are getting higher and higher as we reach our finale this year.”

But while Katrina has been dispensing some wisdom about how to handle Ichabod’s troubles in 2013 from her place in purgatory, does she know what her ex-fiance has become?

“We may be [discovering what she does or doesn’t know about him soon], yes,” Kurtzman teased.


SLEEPY HOLLOW airs Mondays at 9 PM on Fox.


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7 Responses to “SLEEPY HOLLOW: Alex Kurtzman on Unmasking the Headless Horseman and What Comes Next”

  1. Jessica K on November 23rd, 2013 6:04 pm


  2. Olivia on November 23rd, 2013 6:11 pm

    This is one of my favorite new shows of the season and the pace of it is perfect! Everything from the storyline, characters, writing, camera movement is in harmony and makes the show great entertainment! I can’t wait to watch more!

  3. Karen S on November 23rd, 2013 6:15 pm

    This show is absolutely AMAZING! Truly one of the best shows on telly in a very, very long time. The cast is phenomenal! All the characters are so believable, sometimes you forget they’re just acting. Very happy they’ve been picked up for a second season. I really hope they continue picking this show up.

  4. Evette on November 23rd, 2013 6:57 pm

    The horseman is actually my favorite character. I’m not sure yet how I feel about the big “reveal”. I thought myself something like this usually doesn’t come along until maybe the 3rd season. I had my own ideas of who I thought the horseman was. I was wrong! He was so mysterious I hope knowing his identity doesn’t affect the show (for me) in a negative way. I’ll have to wait and see….at least he’s still hot!!

  5. Melissa S on November 23rd, 2013 10:37 pm

    I love this show… I can’t wait for monday!

  6. Anne El-Habre on November 24th, 2013 4:12 pm

    Did everyone see the same episode I did? I thought this last episode was the weakest one. Giving the headless horseman an identity totally unraveled the mythos of the character and makes the Apocalypse seem not so scary or threatening. It really did nothing to progress the story.

    I am fearful that this show has been ruined for me, and I will watch the upcoming episode with trepidation and a certain amount of dread.

  7. mary on November 25th, 2013 12:09 am

    Love this show. Favorite show this season. Creative,fascinating writers. Great cast.chemistry in cast right on.