Star gets in Ichabod Crane’s head

“He thinks he’s the only sane person in the room,’’ actor Tom Mison says of Ichabod Crane, the character he plays on “Sleepy Hollow.’’
Kent Smith/FOX
“He thinks he’s the only sane person in the room,’’ actor Tom Mison says of Ichabod Crane, the character he plays on “Sleepy Hollow.’’

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — “Everything you thought you know about the way our country was founded is completely blown apart," says producer Mark Goffman of the new Fox drama “Sleepy Hollow.”

The series takes the classic “headless horseman” tale and turns it on its ear, or lack thereof, by pulling Ichabod Crane into the present day to help a police detective, played by Nicole Beharie, unravel mysteries dating back to the Founding Fathers. He’s also trying to figure out how he got to this newfangled modern world and how to reconnect with his wife, who seems to exist on yet another plane.

British actor Tom Mison, who plays Crane, chatted with reporters at the summer edition of the Television Critics Association press tour about this quirky supernatural update of the Washington Irving story.


Q. You’ve worked primarily in England, can you equate in any way the weirdness of being on American television, on a genre show, with Ichabod’s experience?

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A. Yes. None of what you see from Ichabod is acting. I’m genuinely that baffled constantly. I think even more than it being different from British television, it seems to be different from any television. Being on this is much more like being on a film set. And I think you can see from the results that it looks much more like a feature film than something on television. At the moment, we in England are looking over here and seeing amazing television being made. And it’s nice to be part of something that is taking that and just ramping it even further and really testing everything that you can do in this medium.

Q. Ichabod teams up with a female cop to help figure out his predicament. They make something of an odd couple.

A. I’ve always thought of Ichabod as he thinks he’s the only sane person in the room. Everyone around him is a maniac. And then he finds this one girl who has a similar secret to him, so they kind of have to bond with each other very quickly. And I think that’s going to be really interesting to follow throughout the season, that you see people who are put together out of necessity and then they start working for a common aim, even though they’re 250 years apart.

Q. Which supernatural element or mystery from the pilot are you most interested in seeing explored?


A. I’m looking forward to the quest to try and rescue my wife from her purgatorial netherworld, which is something I’ve never done in my career to date. And, you know, you’ve got that one aim, but then suddenly there’s the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse trying to get in your way. That’s exciting. I can’t wait to find out how you bring someone back from the afterlife.

Interview has been edited and condensed. Sarah Rodman
can be reached at srodman@
. Follow her on Twitter @GlobeRodman.