Title screen from the intro sequence to The Sentinel.
|Creator(s)||Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo|
|Run dates||March 20, 1996 – May 24, 1999|
|Genres||science fiction, action|
|Country of origin||USA|
The Sentinel is a Canadian-produced television series that aired on UPN in the United States from 1996 to 1999.
The eponymous "Sentinel" is Jim Ellison, a former US Army Ranger who spent 18 months in the Peruvian jungle after his unit was killed. During this time, he developed hyperactive senses that came online five years later, when he was a detective in Cascade PD's Major Crimes Department. When he goes to the hospital to see a doctor, he finds instead Blair Sandburg, an anthropologist from Rainier University who tells him that he's a Sentinel, a person with enhanced senses resembling the powers of a superhero. In ancient tribes, such a Sentinel would be the protector of a village: for Jim, it is Cascade that is the "village" he must guard.
Blair has been studying Sentinel mythology for years, but he has never before found a person with all five senses enhanced, a true Sentinel. He helps Jim control his senses, and joins him as a police observer. To the surprise of many people, this unlikely partnership works and together they fight against crime in the streets of Cascade.
Jim's hyperactive senses mean he can see beyond what others see, even in the dark, and with more detail; hear sounds that are farther than normal range or too low for anybody else; sense what nobody else can with taste, touch and smell, in short becoming a walking forensic lab. But Jim's powers have a drawback: if he concentrates too strongly in one sense, he could "zone out", a kind of catatonic state. Part of Blair's job is preventing the zone outs.
For most of the series, the only other person who knows Jim's secret is his captain and friend, Simon Banks. However, in the last half season, a recurring character, Megan Connor, also learns the truth.
- Adapted from the Wikipedia article on The Sentinel.