The Sentinel

The Sentinel was a cop show with a touch of SF made in the 90s; the premise was that some people are born with the genetic potential for enhanced senses, and that in tribal cultures such people were used as the ultimate sentinel -- and that a cop, Jim Ellison, is a reluctant Sentinel, and an anthropology grad student, Blair Sandburg, is the only one who knows how to help him control these senses.

(For more info look at Sentinel & Guide)

It's About Friendship

One of the themes of The Sentinel was friendship; one of the pivotal quotes of the series is "It's about friendship." Jim and Blair become best friends not because they are alike, but through shared need, adversity, and heroism. So here follow some books which have some best buddies born of adversity.

  • "The Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R. Tolkien (Frodo & Sam and Legolas & Gimli)
  • "The Three Musketeers" by Alexandre Dumas (All for one and one for all!)
  • "Transformation" by Carol Berg (Seyonne and Aleksander)
  • the Sime~Gen series often features strong friendships between Channels and Companions, for example Klyd Farris and Hugh Valleroy in "Unto Zeor Forever" (the first book in the "Unity" trilogy)
  • "The Eagle of the Ninth" by Rosemary Sutcliffe stars a Roman Centurion called Marcus who is invalided out of the Legions, and Esca, a native of Britain who begins as his slave -- but they become good friends.
  • "Kill The Dead" by Tanith Lee. This usually gets mentioned to Blake's 7 fans, because the two lead characters are considered to be avatars of Avon and Vila from Blake's 7 -- but that's one reason why one would like it, since it's the friendship (very prickly but still so) that develops between these two characters (Parl Dro and Myal Lemyal) which is part of the appeal, I think.
  • "Enemy Mine" by Barry B. Longyear and David Gerrold; enemies become friends when stranded on a hostile planet in the middle of a war.


Of course one of the unusual aspects of The Sentinel is the heightened senses.

TV Shows with people with enhanced senses:

  • "The Champions" The heroes were given powers "to the peak of human performance" by a Lost Civilization In Tibet. Made in the late sixties, cheesy but fun.
  • "Dark Angel" Genetically engineered heroine on the run from Evil Government Thugs, some of her enhancements include heightened senses, but there's more emphasis on her speed, strength and agility.

One could also consider that Wolverine, of the X-Men, has a couple of enhanced senses, particularly smell.

One could also consider that Tarzan (of the series of novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs, and the later movies) due to his upbringing, has had his smell and hearing trained to more than the human norm.


If you consider archaeology to be related to anthropology, one can consider a few shows which have an anthropologist or archaeologist as a main character.

  • The Indiana Jones movies had that heroic adventuresome archaeologist, Indiana Jones
  • "Stargate" an SF show set in the current day, where one of the ensemble is Daniel Jackson, brilliant Egyptologist (indeed, a favourite crossover fan fiction idea is that Daniel and Blair know each other)
  • "Relic Hunter" has as its star someone who could probably be described as a female Indiana Jones
  • Lara Croft is even more of a female Indiana Jones, first in computer games, but now in movies.