The news “Sanctuary” fans had feared the most came down the mountain Monday. And it wasn’t good.
After four seasons, Syfy is ending the run of the Amanda Tapping and Robin Dunne series that helped start a movement to put television shows online, and a series that helped pioneer the practice of virtual sets which is now more commonplace than ever in the medium.
“We’re honored to have been part of this incredible series,” Syfy original programming president Mark Stern said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “In addition to garnering unmatched devotion by fans worldwide, ‘Sanctuary’ was a bona fide trailblazer, setting new standards with its highly innovative production techniques — including pioneering green screen and Red camera technology — and Emmy-nominated special effects.”
Stern is referring to the Red One digital camera, produced by the Red Digital Cinema Camera Co. in California, known for its high-quality digital production, all in a camera that could be held with one hand. The camera was first released in 2007, and was quickly picked up by productions like “Sanctuary” as well as the films “Che” and “Red Canvas.”
“Sanctuary” first started in 2007 as a Web-only product of producers Damian Kindler and Martin Wood as well as “Stargate SG-1” actress Tapping. It centered on a group of experts who operate a sanctuary for the extraordinary that not only protected these creatures, but the general public as well.
Syfy, then known as the SciFi Channel, liked what it saw, and picked the show up for a 13-episode series that premiered in 2008. It would go on for four seasons, producing 59 episodes and ending its run last December.
Syfy, however, did not immediately pick the show up for another season, and there was some concern that an audience drop was too much for the cable channel to continue the series. However, both Syfy and “Sanctuary” producers continued to talk the possibility of running a fifth season, but both sides simply could not come to terms to allow it to continue.
Tapping, who played the very old Dr. Helen Magnus in the series, told Twitter fans that they had a lot to be proud of over the years.
“We love and adore you,” she said. “Thank you for the love and support. Now to the long dark tea time of my soul.”
One bright bit of news in the midst of the sad is that the charity foundation, Sanctuary For Kids, will continue, Tapping said, according to Chicago RedEye‘s Curt Wagner, who first broke the “Sanctuary” cancellation news Monday. That charity has raised more than $250,000 over the years.