False alarm! He’s okay! He’s okay!
Pictured above: actor Marc Bendavid out for sushi with Akemi and I after shooting “Episode 14: Welcome To Your New Home”. Love this guy. Super kind, super talented. He was in Van a couple of weeks ago and he took us out for brunch – and spent some quality time with the dogs…
Staring longingly into each others eyes…
After that final scene, many of you are asking: “What is up? Is this the last we’ll see of him?”
Well, all I can say is that if and when the crew do escape from Hyperion-8, they’re going to have some unfinished business with THIS guy –
Triggerman Jace Corso.
In the first draft of the script, the new inmates undergo a three-stage decontamination process. First, they’re blasted with the gas, then, they’re hit with an electric charge that builds up from their feet, arcing over their bodies, and lastly, they are hit with the lights. The second stage, the arcing, was lost in the edit because this episode came in 6 minutes and 11 seconds over.
Also lost for time was the line: “Welcome to your new home”, uttered by Durand, the head guard, when the new prisoners first step into Gen. Pop. When Syfy requested episode titles for season 2, I was of two minds. On the one hand, I was okay with it. The fact that the first season episodes had no episode titles made sense given its thematic connection to the ideas of amnesia and loss of identity that played through the show’s first year. In the show’s second season, we would continue exploring those ideas but, given the fact our characters were on firmer fitting with regard to their backstories, it made sense to add a little clarity. On the other hand, I’ve always hated coming up with episode titles. And so, I came up with what I thought was brilliant solution: have the fans choose it! But how to do it without actually telling them anything about the episode? I thought about it and came up with the perfect solution, selecting three on-point lines of dialogue from the show and inviting the fans to choose from among them. “Welcome To Your New Home” was the win. The Runners up: “Most Noobs Try It” was uttered by Nyx to TWO in their sim yard discussion while “Maximum Time For Minimum Pain” is the mantra Charlie, the older infirmary patient, delivers to THREE as he advises him on how to scam the system.
I’ve had this series – it’s various character and story arcs – planned out for years now. One of the key moments I’d envisioned well before we even sat down to spin stories for season 1 was the shots of the G.A. guards sweeping in and taking the ship followed by the final shot of our incapacitated crew being led out, one by one, with the traitor in their midst – SIX – bringing up the rear, walking alongside Lt. Anders. The how’s and why’s of SIX seeming turn will be made clear over the course of season 2’s first couple of episodes.
Once the truth is revealed, you can go back over those last few episodes of season 1 and pick up the subtle hints laid out: SIX’s encounter with Lt. Anders at the end of Episode 8 – an encounter that ends with Anders bizarre disappearance by the time ONE and FOUR arrive, SIX’s reaction to the destruction of the Mikkei research facility, his emotional conversation with FIVE soon after, his insistence that the crew “stay together” when they discover the shock stick missing from the vault.
Roger steps up BIG time in these first two episodes, delivering one of his best (of many great) performances.
Roger Cross (SIX) and Jeff Teravainen (Lt. Anders).
Also delivering a terrific performance in this episode is actor Jeff Teravainen who plays the role of Lieutenant Anders. The character was named after my friend and author Lou Anders (http://www.louanders.com).
So many oft-unnoticed details go into a production, contributions made by a myriad of people in various productions. Like for instance, the Galactic Authority badge that SIX sports in this episode. Although not featured, it’s a thing of beauty, created by our props department overseen by the wonderful Victoria Klein.
In one of this episode’s early scenes, SIX pays a visit to Warden Treihan. If you look closely, you can make out adorable pictures adorning his rather sleek office. A couple were featured in the director’s, part of an opening exchange that was also lost for time. Here’s a script excerpt of the deleted exchange:
SIX stands in the warden’s office, brow furrowed, checking out a collage of pictures on one wall – crude children’s drawings of prisoners behind bars, guards, or the warden himself with messages like: “Lok up the bad guys”, “Thanks for keping us safe”, and “My dad stole thingz and in your jail now. Say hi from Timmy”.
WARDEN TREIHAN: Those are from a bunch of first graders over at Admiral Farragut Elementary on Torren-5’s third moon.
SIX glances over as WARDEN TREIHAN walks in – mid forties, sly and calculating.
WARDEN TREIHAN: School figures it helps establish clear ethical boundaries at an early age. But who’re we kidding?
He walks over, pours himself a drink at his desk.
WARDEN TREIHAN: Where they’re being raised – poor little bastards – half those kids’ll eventually wind up in here. Best they can hope for is ending up as guards instead of prisoners.
He knocks back his drink, grimaces.
SIX: You always drink alone in your office?
WARDEN TREIHAN: I’m not drinking. I’m treating a throat condition. (clears his throat) There. Better.
The role of Warden Treihan is played with masterful aplomb by veteran actor (24, World Without End, Jane the Virgin, Stargate: Universe) and culinary expert Carlo Rota. Between scenes, we’d discuss food more than the actual script.
The part of Darius der Hoeven was played by actor Doug MacLeod who delivers a delightfully devious performance as the standing CEO of Corelactic Industries. And he does so sporting MY pocket handkerchief. Yes, just before his scene was to shoot, Dark Matter costume designer Noreen Landry snagged the handkerchief right out of my suit pocket and tucked it into Doug’s. I have, thus, been immortalized onscreen!
Plenty more behind-the-scenes insights to offer, but I’ll leave it there for now. Tomorrow, I continue our look at “Episode 14: Welcome To Your New Home”.