Monday, September 29, 2008

Sanctuary - SciFi Weekly: Amanda Tapping/Damian Kindler Interview

At SciFi Weekly:

(Please follow the link for the complete interview.)


Executive producers Amanda Tapping and Damian Kindler blaze a new trail with their virtual masterpiece, Sanctuary

By Kathie Huddleston

Actress Amanda Tapping has gotten herself into a pickle that no Stargate teammate can get her out of. As the mysterious Dr. Helen Magnus on Sanctuary, she's not taking orders from anyone as she and her team hunt for "abnormals," strange and often terrifying creatures hiding among the human race. But on her new series she's also tackling something every bit as scary as an Ori mothership ... she's an executive producer on the first primarily virtual series. SCI FI's Sanctuary kicks off in a two-hour premiere on Friday, Oct. 3 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

In Sanctuary, forensic psychiatrist Dr. Will Zimmerman loses his position with the FBI and finds himself working tenuously with a homicide squad. When the things that forced him out of the bureau continue to haunt him, he is recruited by Dr. Magnus, who has a "sanctuary for all," a place where the extraordinary abnormals can be safe. In her sanctuary, they can be protected from the world, or if necessary the world can be protected from them. Now all Zimmerman has to do is "dare to believe in the unbelievable." Sanctuary was created by Damian Kindler.

Beyond starring as Air Force colonel Samantha Carter for 11 years on Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis, Tapping has appeared on SCI FI's Proof Positive, The X-Files, Forever Knight, Millennium, and The Outer Limits. The actress was also a regular on Disney's Flash Forward and appeared in The Vagina Monologues.

Kindler has written or produced numerous television projects, including Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, Earth: Final Conflict, BeastMaster, PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal and both Stargates.

Tapping and Kindler chatted with SCI FI Weekly about moving from the web to television, English accents and virtual trailblazing.

...How is the television series different from the Web series?
Kindler: Well, it's quite different, but quite the same. It is interesting. Conceptually it is identical, and cast-wise it is identical. Basically, a lot of the creative changes were driven by a relationship with the SCI FI Channel in that they wanted a show that was a little bit broader, little bit deeper, little bit more based in reality. Less of a Frank Miller feel and more of an accessible, "this is our world" feel. We welcomed that. We have no [preconceived] artistic feelings about it. I want as many people to see and enjoy the show as possible, because that is what helps shows live long lives. We've spent a lot of time, myself, Martin Wood, Sam Egan, and Amanda, working on reshaping the show and finding different motivators for the characters and different ways into stories. So the show you'll see premiere is very familiar, but very different, deeper in tone and a little bit more mature in its sensibilities. ... But it also creates a real sense of originality and creates more of a special feel for the original eight webisodes, which were kind of their own concept.

Tapping: The characters are fleshed out a lot more than what you see on the Web. The backstories, especially Will's backstory, [are] dived into a lot more. We're repurposing some of the flashbacks and saving them for use throughout the series. In the pilot, for example, I think there is only one flashback, as opposed to the many that we had in the Web series. John Druitt is a bit different. Magnus is a little softer ... a little more approachable. Still mysterious and still sexy in a really intelligent, scary kind of way [laughs]. Her backstory is delved into a lot more. What the Web series allowed us to do is flesh it out. We took a very finite story and expanded it. So the Web series, the webisodes you saw online have now been expanded to a two-hour premiere and almost completely rewritten. We repurposed very little of it. ... We used some scenes. Will's introduction to the Sanctuary and the characters are all the same. The relationships are all the same, still got that dark edgy sort of quality to it, but we fleshed it out a lot more. I actually think it's a better story. It is a better story than it was...

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