Sanctuary: “Tempus” Turn the Lights On Because This Is Getting Dark!


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Sanctuary season four begins with Adam Worth (Ian Tracey), obsessed with getting his daughter back, having created and used a time machine to escape the twenty first century and the chaos he caused there to mask his real plans.

When Adam turns it on, it creates a portal to his past. He dashes through, followed by Helen Magnus (Amanda Tapping). They end up in Victorian England.

Sanctuary S4x01 - Tempus in Victorian England
Magnus chases after him as he runs away, shooting a gun at him. Adam is a tortured, but still brilliant personality, who does not seem to want to kill Magnus. He shoots at the corner of a building, bringing it down on top of her, knocking her unconscious. Fortunately for her, Dr. James Watson (Peter Wingfield), comes to her rescue. She has, we assume, been treated and jailed. Watson, having his own very special relationship with the London police, has her freed.

Sanctuary S4x01 - Watson frees Helen Magnus

Returning to the Sanctuary in Victorian London, things appear a little different. Magnus comes across crates of things that are familiar to her, likely emphasizing the fact that she is now in her past.

Sanctuary S4x01 - Magnus with familiar items

Watson examines the modern conveniences that she has brought with her. Her cell phone, initially, is a complete mystery to him. Magnus, worried that he should not know too much about the future, attempts to discourage his curiosity.

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But Watson is a pretty smart cookie, himself, and he puts it all together fairly quickly. Magnus is not from his time line. So, she explains, “if I fail, everything that is meant to be, everything until my present, could be destroyed”. Offering to help, because he knows the truth, Watson convinces Magnus that she has no choice but to let him into her plans.

Sanctuary S4x01 - Watson and 21st century Magnus
Watson, although he has pieced together the truth, still seems to be having trouble grasping the reality of his situation. He remarks, “Time travel is actually possible. H.G. would be ecstatic.” For anyone familiar with science fiction novels, the reference to H.G. refers to Herbert George Wells, known for his novel, “The Time Machine”. Interestingly, H.G Wells is also a character in another sci-fi series, “Warehouse 13”, although it is unlikely that the reference in this episode has anything to do with the other series.

Sanctuary S4x01 - Items from the future

Magnus heads upstairs to change into more appropriate Victorian period clothing and, in the process, nearly runs into herself. Fortunately, her other past self does not see her.

Sanctuary S4x01 - Helen and Helen together
Magnus quickly changes and heads down into the basement to what I assume is a nineteenth century furnace, or wood fire heater for the Sanctuary. Watson is tossing her identification into the fire.

Sanctuary S4x01 - The future into the fire
He pauses to examine her cell phone again, and reasons that it is a communication device. Magnus reminds him, “no questions”, so he will not learn too much about the future. As she does so, she tosses the cell phone into the fire. My first thought was, ‘uh, Helen, don’t forget about the battery…batteries, when they come into contact with fire, often explode’.

Meanwhile, the Adam from the proper time line is with his daughter, Imogene (Margot Berner). He ducks out for a trip to the apothecary (pharmacist) and our twenty first century Adam enters. Delighted to see his daughter again, he tells her he has found a cure for her condition. He has brought two suitcases with him but, unfortunately, one has a hole through it caused by the gun fire earlier between Adam and Magnus. But Adam reassures his daughter that the instrument within can be repaired.

Sanctuary S4x01 - Father and daughter

Sanctuary S4x01 - Helen with Watson and the revolver

Back at the Sanctuary Magnus reaches for a revolver in her dresser drawer. As she does so, there is a disturbance outside the room. It is the Victorian era, nineteenth century Adam. He is seeking help. It turns out that Adam’s daughter is missing. Someone has taken her. It really is not hard to figure out who took the young lady. In this case,

Sanctuary S4x01 - 21st century Adam will kidnap his daughter

it is himself from the twenty-first century Adam who is the guilty party. But, where would he go with his daughter? Magnus and Watson head outside the building to question nineteenth century Adam further. Helen takes it a bit too far, virtually berating the man. Watson has to reign her in, reminding her that, as of yet, he has done nothing wrong.

In an interview, Damian Kindler mentions that, in order to get the effect of a rain storm in nineteenth century London, they used a rain machine. During this particular moment, as Helen Magnus talks to Dr. Watson, she is getting quite soaked. Amanda Tapping pulls off the sexy soaked look very well.

Sanctuary S4x01 - Sexy wet look Amanda
Magnus returns to the Sanctuary just in time to encounter John Druitt (Christopher Heyerdahl) giving her other self a hard time. This Helen Magnus has accused Druitt of being Jack the Ripper. This particular moment gets very complicated. It makes sense that twenty first century Magnus would want to stop Druitt from harming her nineteenth century self. In preparation to do just that, she pulls out the revolver she has been holding on to as she carefully stays out of sight. Christopher Heyerdahl does a wonderful job of being the tortured soul who seems to need to kill Helen, yet cannot bring himself to do so because he loves her.

Sanctuary S4x01 - Druitt and Magnes together again

Sanctuary S4x01 - Poor John Druitt
Downstairs, twenty first century Helen tells Watson that Druitt was upstairs, terrorizing her nineteenth century self. Watson is naturally concerned, and, although she tells him he cannot interfere, he reminds her that she has made a point to tell him about it. Adam Worth, continues Watson, will be at the Pall Mall Club that evening, although he does not know which version of Worth will show up.

Sanctuary S4x01 - Adam and Helen at the club

At the sound of a door opening, twenty first century Magnus dashes away, so that nineteenth century Magnus does not bump into herself. Why did Helen Magnus tell Watson about Druitt? Writer Damian Kindler seems to have tossed a “red herring”, or information that diverts the attention of the audience away from the main story, into this episode.

At the Pall Mall club, where it is made quite plain that this is a gentleman’s club and women are not welcome, Twenty first Century Helen has a chat with her future counterpart Adam. We can tell it’s him because he doesn’t have the longer side burns of nineteenth century Adam. Clever, no? Helen is so ticked at him, she is on quite prepared to shoot him.

Sanctuary S4x01 - Adam taunts Helen

But Adam reminds her that would not be a good idea since it could alter the future in unimaginable ways, not to mention the scandal it would cause for her other self. There is still the underground city of Praxis to consider as well. This Adam is the one who has created all the chaos that Magnus will have to deal with in the future. But they are not there yet. None of it has happened. Adam is quite willing to change the future and says as much to Helen. But, while he is distracting her, she reasons that he is hanging around for a reason that has nothing to do with experiencing the pleasures of the past. She reasons that he is looking for money from the gentlemen at his club to fund his daughter’s cure.

As Magnus leaves the club, we see that twenty first century Helen secretly observes nineteenth century Magnus as she examines the dead body of another female Ripper victim. What this has to do with the current story is a bit of a mystery. But it seems that there will be more that will be revealed later on.

Sanctuary S4x01 - Magnus observes the past

One thing we do learn about twenty first century Magnus is that she is so determined not to interfere with the timeline that she is considering poisoning Imogene if Adam is successful with his cure for her. This is a bit of a surprise. Helen Magnus did not seem to be this dark in previous episodes of Sanctuary. Did Amanda Tapping, Damian Kindler and Martin Wood get together and decide to take the series in an entirely new direction for season four?

Of course, it is only a matter of time before twenty first century Magnus comes across John Druitt in an alley. The rain is still coming down in buckets and everyone is still getting drenched. Druitt has a knife and he seems prepared to use it on Helen. Fortunately, she is quite adept at taking care of herself. She manages to get him against a wall and demands, “How does it feel to have cold steel against your jugular, in the hands of someone who knows how to kill you slowly and is prepared to do it?”

Sanctuary S4x01 - Magnus and John Druitt

Sanctuary S4x01 - John Druitt transporting

Poor Druitt is completely taken aback. This is not the Helen Magnus that he knows and has bullied for so long. It looks like, regardless how much Magnus wants to avoid changing the future, she already has done so through her new behaviour toward her friends from the past.

Sanctuary S4x01 - Spring Heeled Jack

A new character is introduced at this point. A creature that Helen knows as “Spring-Heeled Jack” (Fraser Aitcheson) jumps down from a rooftop. He knows her and is very familiar with her background. She attempts to convince him that she can protect him in her Sanctuary. All he has to do is stop killing and she will protect him. But Jack is defiant. He states that “Humans hunt Jack, so Jack hunts humans”. It looks as though John Druitt as Jack the Ripper may now be called into question. The real Ripper is the creature called Jack!

Sanctuary S4x01 - 20th century Dad with Imogene

Sanctuary S4x01 - Confronting 20th century Adam

Helen finally finds Adam and his daughter in a makeshift lab. It seems that he has finally found a cure for Imogene. Helen is determined to stop him for destroying Praxis and altering the timeline. Adam fires his weapon at Helen. He misses and she escapes the building. He pursues her chasing her into a blind alley with no exit. Helen continues to fight back, throwing a knife at him and stabbing him in the leg. As Helen continues to attempt to get away, Imogene arrives, no doubt looking for answers about what is going on with her father.

Sanctuary S4x01 - 20th century Adam is vaporized
Adam fires his weapon wildly into a brick building, knocking bricks and rubble loose. The material crashes down on Adam’s daughter. He has accidentally killed her. Furious, Adam tries to attack Helen again. She is forced to fire a weapon at him, killing him and turning him to dust. Moments later, the Helen that belongs in this time line arrives and so does the nineteenth century Adam. Distraught, he blames Helen and Watson for his daughter’s death.

Sanctuary S4x01 - 19th century Adam blames Magnus

The episode ends with twenty first century Helen chatting with Watson. She can’t return to the future. This leaves her in a quandary about what to do. Should she commit suicide rather than take the chance that she will accidentally damage the timeline?

Sanctuary S4x01 - Magnus and Watson rooftop meeting

Sanctuary S4x01 - Will Magnus jeopardize the time line

Watson has the answer. She can go somewhere remote and take a 100 year vacation, then rejoin her timeline just after she left it. After 113 years not always staying away from people (Normandy) , Helen Magnus is most likely to become a little eccentric to say the least. I expect that there will be some big surprises in future episodes as a result of this one very pivotal episode where we learned about Helen’s past. What do you think?

Sanctuary S4x01 - Watson tells Magnus to take a vacation

Sanctuary returns on the Space and Syfy channels Friday October 14, 2011 with “Uprising” continuing the story arc of the current timeline with the rebellion of the abnormal population after the disaster caused by Adam Worth. We include the exciting trailer below and hope you make sure to turn in and support science fiction by watching Sanctuary live. Thank you.

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ArcticGoddess1 (Patricia)



2 thoughts on “Sanctuary: “Tempus” Turn the Lights On Because This Is Getting Dark!

  1. “It looks as though John Druitt as Jack the Ripper may now be called into question. The real Ripper is the creature called Jack!”

    Good review, but I do believe that your conclusion here is incorrect. The Ripper killings took place in 1888, while Tempus takes place 10 years later in 1898.

    Helen and Watson are investigating a string of murders that seem to follow Druitt’s MO, hence their suspicion of him. But they were actually done by Spring-Heeled Jack who, perhaps thanks to Future!Helen’s intervention, stopped killing and came to live at the London Sanctuary.

    So Druitt is still Jack the Ripper, he just didn’t commit the murders seen and referenced in Tempus.

  2. Hello Patricia,

    Super analysis and review of the fourth season opener Tempus. The story arc certainly addresses several items the series has left dangling for many years, specifically the remerging of Helen with the current timeline without affecting the present!

    It is a pleasure working with you as the new Sanctuary Team Leader here at WHR.

    Best Regards,


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