Sanctuary: Ashley Is Dead

Published 5 years ago by , Updated May 13th, 2013 at 7:37 am,

sanctuary ashley is dead Sanctuary: Ashley Is Dead

After watching the first few episodes of the 2nd season of Sanctuary, we all started to wonder if Ashley was dead, as in “dead dead”, or dead as in, “for dramatic ratings and she’ll be back dead.”

Yet the clues were obvious – even before our confirmation.

Though they drew out Ashley’s (Emilie Ullerup) death out for 2 episodes, she is dead.  And she’s been replaced by one of the most dead-pan characterizations of a character I’ve ever seen, in the form of Kate Freelander (Agam Darshi).

In an interview with ÜberSciFiGeek, Emilie confirmed that she was let go due to a network decision and was not expecting her character’s death. As far as that network decision is concerned, Damian Kindler, the executive producer of Sanctuary, said that,

“… it was a decision we arrived at with our two major networks in the U.S. and Canada creatively, and we really felt it would have the deepest, most dramatic impact on the series and the characters… “

I’m guessing the studios have heard the backlash regarding Ashley dying.  In a sort of back pedaling kind of statement, Kindler added in the article that, “people don’t necessarily have to die in sci-fi…” and if Sanctuary actually makes it to a 3rd season, there is a story they’re developing involving Ashley.

It might be a challange to get a 3rd season if viewers bail because Ashley and the mother / daughter / father relationship was their appeal to the show. I’m really not sure what the reasoning was behind it.  Sure, she took some time to grow on me, but she eventually did. I won’t even go into how Freelander gets on my nerves in so many ways.

Like many, I’m not too motivated to watch the show any more.  If I’m around, I’ll turn it on.  If not, well, whatever.  Please be kind and constructive in your comments gang!  We already have a good idea how you may feel.

Sources: ÜberSciFiGeek, Sci Fi Wire

TAGS: Sanctuary
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  1. Never mind killing off Ashley, the fools killed off the amazing, naked invisible girl!

  2. Actually the show is getting better and better, I found Ashley to be grating on the nerves and I much prefer the way it’s going now. I prefer Friedlander in so many more ways, watching to see her escape from the mercenary role yet still have to cope with past connections which come to haunt her, it makes for a far more interesting dynamic than the mother/daughter/father ever did.

  3. At first, I didn’t like Ashley either, but her last few scenes with Amanda Tapping hit it out of the park for me.

  4. I still watch Sanctuary every week, I find Kate to be very boring, but with Ashley she had some Abnormal Power to her as well

  5. Ashley was my favorite character and her relationship with Helen was one of the most important elements of the show for me. The show now has no appeal to me. I don’t care about the relationship between Helen and Will that they keep pushing and I can’t stand the new character of Kate. The logic behind this decision escapes me. I hope they come to their senses and bring Ashley back while they still have a show to bring her back to.

  6. I’m one of the people who stopped watching the show because of this, and given that the last show is down 23.2% in ratings compared to the first episode, I know I’m not the only one. Please bring Ashley back before the ratings get so low that the show can’t be saved!

  7. I agree with everything this article says!! couldn’t explain it better!! Ashley is a great and amazing character that needs to be brought back!!! kate is very annoying, season two is heading down because of this decision. and neither will I watch the show if Ashley doesn’t return!!! SASS

  8. You’re doing better than I am, Bruce. I want to watch Sanctuary, but will not, because of this. I find myself not watching any Syfy shows now. The network move was as arrogant as it was nonsensical. They removed a popular character in the most offensive way, and then replaced her with one that, according to Kindler, we are supposed to hate (at first). Did the network want to kill the show?

  9. I miss Ashley and the mother/daughter/father dynamic the show once had. I was never a tried and true Ashley fan but she was a necessary part of the show. I’d go as far to say that she was the heart of Sanctuary. She fought for her mother’s believes with unbridled passion.

    I find Kate Freelander intolerable. The character is the epitome of the played out “bad girl” with a secret soft side clique. I don’t feel that KF has more growth potential than Ashley did.

    All in all I don’t like the direction season 2 has taken thus far. The show has lost that special something that used to make it utterly brilliant.

  10. I have to say I was shocked when I heard Emilie Ullerup was off the show. I view Ashley as an integral character to Sanctuary because it had the unusual premise of a powerful daughter/mother team. After the first season, I had begun watching season 2 with the assumption that the show would have Helen, John, and the team rescuing Ashley, and then they would rehabilitate her. I loved the idea of Helen and John working together to help their daughter. Boy, was I taken by surprise when I discovered that the show wasn’t pursuing this story at all. I’m disappointed and am disinclined to continue watching.

  11. I have to say that I’m so disappointed in this season. Sanctuary was my favorite show, I never missed an episode and had very high hopes for season 2. By killing off one of the main characters you have changed the very heart of what made Sanctuary so good. The relationship of Helen and Ashley was vital. They’ve swapped that for Helen and Will getting closer, which personally I don’t care about. Helen saved this embryo for over 100 years and Ashley just found out that she’s the child of Jack the Ripper. Then they just kill off the character and all that storyline potential? Not a smart decision. I would also like to comment on the sudden ability of Will to shoot guns and ride motorcycles. It’s a lame attempt to make him appear more manly. It’s ridiculous and doesn’t work. The new character of Kate is like nails on a chalkboard and the way the other characters have just accepted her is so unrealistic. They’ve stooped to changing the current character personalities that we’ve come to know just to force this new girl into the group. Well it won’t work on this viewer and I’m going to have to pass on the rest of the season. I hope they come to their senses and hire Emilie Ullerup back before she moves on to another project.

  12. In the geek interview, Amanda said “may” and who knows, something may still happen to change EU’s mind, or the networks. We need to keep doing what were doing to change the networks mind. We’ve done so much to get our point across, isn’t there a more direct way to contact the network.

    The one thing I can take comfort in knowing is that Amanda fought the decision and that she was overruled. I read some things where people said Amanda was in on it, and that it was her idea and what not, but I’m happy to hear that Amanda was/is on EU’s side and that she fought for her because that’s who Amanda is.

    Just because we’ve read this doesn’t mean we stop, all it means is that we keep pushing harder, we now know that Amanda’s on our/EU’s side, so lets keep pushing. We need to send in more letters/e-mails/petitions and raise our voices. I think we should support Amanda now and help her get EU back, so this means we’re fighting for two now. It’s simple, Amanda wants EU back full time, EU doesn’t want to come back part time but full time, OK let’s get her there.

  13. I must say that with the loss of Ashley and the addition of Kate the whole show is ruined for me.

  14. I cannot believe this…I loved Ashley! And demand to see her back. This show is one of the best I’ve seen in a long time. One of the main points I loved was Ashley and Helens mother daughter dynamic. Ashley was my favorite character on the show and that hasn’t changed. BRING ASHLEY BACK!!!!!

  15. The woman playing Kate is the worst actress I have ever seen and to waste an episode focused on her and her brother (an even worse actor) was pathetic.

    The dynamic between Ashley and her parents was one of the reasons I watched the show, and to kill her off (and the invisible girl who was pretty good too) was to me a bad decision.

    I DVR the show, and I have not watched it lately, because Ashley’s father and the vampire (two other great characters) are also MIA. They took the best characters off the show for Kate? Not a smart idea at all.

  16. I think I understand why they killed her off. With her gone they can create a triangle between Kate and Magnus, this allows for a typical story/character arc. I admit the show was better without Kate. But give it time,the show was never great in my opinion and I’m sure it will still perform well enough. Good to see some diversity on the show though.

  17. I have to say that i liked Ashley. I like the attitude and I liked the look she had. I watched the pilot and i watched the show when it was web based. If A.T. wanted her in the web version why would she not want her now? This is what happens when a network gets control over something good, they ruin it. I still watch the show but I don’t like it as well. I am a A.T. fan from the Stargate days and that’s the sole reason I watch the show now. I don’t look forward to the program as much as i used to and if i happen to miss an episode no big deal. I hope that the decision makers read these posts and come to their senses.

  18. I can’t see how Tapping had anything to do with this. It seems plausible, but why upset the apple cart of a successful equation? I am reading between the lines with the statement Kindler made:

    “it was a decision we arrived at with our two major networks in the U.S. and Canada creatively,”

    I smell network interference… but that’s just me.

  19. that was a dumb thing to do getting rid of Ashley

  20. At first I was seriously pissed when hearing that Ashley’s demise was not a creative choice, but driven by the networks. That being said…stuff happens. I’m ecstatic that Sanctuary even got to a second season (it often seems that if I like a show, it won’t last more than the first season!)

    It is still one of the most original series on television, this season is most definitely stronger than the last, and I hope we’ll continue to see the show evolve and be renewed for a third season.

  21. This article says it all

    The network made the decision

    Networks don’t know what they are doing
    Why do you think TV is so bad

    The show will fail because she is off it

    and as someone said
    Why did they kill the invisible/naked girl
    I loved her

  22. I am a Big Sanctuary fan…or at least I was…

    I thot Season 1 was amazing, and that surprisingly, the original webseries was also quite remarkable. Both versions were aired in their entirety, uncut, commercial -free and in 5.1 Surround on The Movie Network in Canada. Yup, we were spoiled…the high quality broadcast made Sanctuary’s already mature, realistic and gritty storytelling all that much better…it certainly didn’t hurt when TMN ran full season marathons of the webisodes back to back with Season 1.
    All these factors combined to make Sanctuary a very enjoyable adult sci-fi drama

    So here’s the thing…Season 2 has not benefited from any of these features… And the only thing that kept me watching thru the annoying commercials , the flat sound and the even more annoying Kate Freelander…was the excellent Sanctuary storytelling

    Untiil today, when I find that braindead Studio Execs are actually deliberately responsible for the storytelling starting to slip, and worse than that – Emilie’s been fired and her character officially killed off…
    The only reason I’ve been watching S2 is to see Ashely come back and to see the dynamic, character-driven storylines of S1 resume again

    WTF?? Kate Freelander is an interesting addition…a rogueish character in a fixed system always has potential…but it in no way could replace Ashely and all the accomplishments of the first two seasons…

    I think a petition to fire Studio Executives would be a good idea…how many fine pieces of drama have to suffer their menial beancounting ?


  23. I only recently started watching the show. I was really enjoying the first season and received a bit of a shock when the character of Ashley died. I hoped they’d bring her back but, the next episode (Heroes) had her written right out of the show’s opening theme. I am highly disappointed in the elimination of this character. I feel as though Ashley was one of the Sanctuary’s strengths and it would have been interesting to further explore her backstory and her budding relationship with her father. Bring Ashley back!

  24. If they don’t bring Ashley back in some way or form in the future, I am seriously considering just forgoing any English speaking TV shows and just moving to a different language (I mean, I hear Eastern Europe’s doing great things with cameras these days…). Obviously there is some kind of evil conspiracy to kill off anything good on TV and replace it with sheer and utter $%*# .


    DEATH TO ALL NETWORK EXECUTIVES!!!! (and whatever demonic slaves they keep to help them with their evil sadistic plans).

    That’s it. I’ve put it off for long enough. I’m learning Russian.

  25. Before you learn Russian DEADFAKE, check out the web series RIESE the SERIES. Emilie landed a role on that show, going back to the media that got her the gig on SANCTUARY.

  26. I’ll take a wild swing here and ‘guess’ that the network felt that constantly reminding the audience that Amanda Tapping’s character not only is 157-years old… but a MOM would turn off a lot of the 13 year old males who make up the fan base of the show. I’m not saying their logic is correct, but I have noticed that Helen is startin’ to eye the guys on the set. I would kind of expect them to want a lead character with romantic storylines, rather than motherhood storylines.

    I too HATED the killing-off of invisi-girl! Especially when we got the 2D street tough instead.

    The show has potential, but mostly it looks like SyFy’s string of Giant Python, Giant Spider, Giant ____ movies has gone to series. There have been one or two good eps lately. I’ll keep an eye out for more.

  27. I’m a fan of Sanctuary period.

    Even though I’m like “WHY!?!?” when they killed off Ashley and I still wish they didn’t because she awesome. Her character could of really grown. I mean after what she went thru with the Cabel and bring her back into the Sanctuary, so many emotions and relationship between the characters would of have happen.

    Kate Freelander (Agam Darshi) has grown on me but I’m still waiting for Ashley to come up and say “Hi mom, I’m home”. But hey, its the fans that make the show continue. Trust me, I left Stargate behind, Universe didn’t catch my attention or anything at all and I’m a big Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis fan. I think that the networks should listen to the fans before making their own decisions.

  28. I think they made a fatal (pun intended) mistake with this. Not only did they kill off an engaging character, but they replaced her with an extremely unlikable and poorly acted one. It boggles the mind that adults wanting to keep their jobs did this.

  29. Killing off Ashley and the Invisible Girl was really one of the dumbest ideas in recent tv series history.
    The Invisible Girl just started to get interesting, but Ashley is a keeper for crying out loud! She’s always been hot and funny and the Cabal abduction storyline turned her into the most captivating character. BRING ASHLEY BACK!
    (Yes, yes Helen Magnus is cool, too :-)