Welcome MCM Expo, Sanctuary and Eureka fans!
MCM Expo has always been a popular convention for fans, and this year was no different. The queues stretched on into the distance and the atmosphere was buzzing.
Agam Darshi and Jonathon Young of Sanctuary were definitely major players at this year’s event, judging by the size of the queue’s at the ExCel Center in London. They were beyond lovely though, kindly taking the time to sign both personal and charitable requests.
When we reached the front, it was hard to resist making a crack about Jonathon’s previous slip-up (see interview) but he took it graciously and continued to crank up the anticipation with teasing comments. Agam also was very welcoming and I do not think she stopped smiling for a second!
The first panel up was for ‘Eureka’, with Jaime Paglia, Salli Richardson-Whitfield and Matt Frewer. They were asked what the hardest scene they’ve done on the show was. Salli’s is yet to come, so she couldn’t say much without spoiling it, but suffice it to say that her hardest scene involves her being in water.
Apparently Salli spent the whole filming of the scene wondering if she was going to die because of the sheer amount of lights also in the water! Matt could not resist commenting at this point, that water is never good to film in as it also causes “shrinkage”.
This gave a nice lead in to his answer however, because Matt reckoned that every scene he was naked was the hardest…then decided that was actually the easiest!
The script writing was up next, especially the twist with the timeline shake-up. Jaime believes it gave the show new life and gave them a chance to head in new directions with the show and the characters as well and that ultimately, it was a good thing for the show. Matt and Salli both agreed that the script is always spot on because even though there’s a great deal of science, it still maintains a normal feel and the relationships on the show are developed naturally and not rushed.
Obviously, we have seen the crossover episodes between ‘Eureka’ and ‘Warehouse 13’ but the question was answered that there will be no more crossovers on Eureka’s end, however they have no idea whether Warehouse 13 will borrow Fargo again, or maybe other characters. That decision is left up to the Warehouse producers.
Next up was the ever tough question of who they will miss the most now filming has finished for good on set. There was a moment’s thought, but then predictably Salli said she’ll miss Jaime and Matt the most and vice versa for all of them. Look at them all playing nice!
Now, Sheriff Carter is known for having an old style jeep and just as well known for frequently wrecking it. At first, Jaime described how they thought it fit the Carter character better and they would only wreck it once, however it quickly became a running theme and it has ended up costing them around $7,000 for a new car each time!
The final question was what they’re looking forward to now that filming for the final season has ended. The general answer was that they’re all definitely looking forward to spending more time with their families, though Salli’s kids do not yet realise it means “Mommy does not have a job now!”
Our next experience was of course the Sanctuary panel. One of the first questions up was about the musical episode “Fugue” that we’ve all heard so much about. Unfortunately neither Agam or Jonathon are in the musical, so they could not talk much about it. However, they decided that to make up for it, they were going to do their own musical with Jonathon singing and Agam dancing. Although Jonathon was eyeing the catwalk, and reckoned he was a model before Tesla!
Back on topic, crossovers seem to be a popular device as it was asked which shows they would like Sanctuary to crossover with. The question stumped them though, and to be fair, it was a hard one! They said they would get back to us on that…at some point.
Next up was whether their own personalities are at all similar to their character’s personality? Of course, it came out that Jonathon is super human and has a thirst for blood, though not human! Eventually, he decided he is like Tesla in the fact that he likes ideas and creativity. Agam said the outer strength but inner vulnerability is where she can best relate to Kate with things that have happened in both their lives.
The following question was aimed at their audition processes. For Jonathon, it all started when Chris Heyerdahl mentioned it at a party and he then went to audition. At first, he played the character as the proper Tesla before being stopped and told “No, this Tesla is less human, more vampire and more fun” at which point he re-auditioned and luckily got the part.
Agam had three auditions in total, two with the casting director and one with Martin Wood, Damian Kindler and Amanda Tapping. Just before Agam went in for the final audition, Amanda took her to one side and told Agam that she was rooting for her and to just to have fun. Apparently that made the audition much easier.
One of the last questions was about working on the green screen and what that’s like. As has become usual, the answers ended up a little off topic but with such funny moments bouncing between Jonathon and Agam, who can complain?
Apparently it is very funny watching the crew walk around set with little white booties on so as to not dirty the set, as well as other people in green leotards with just their faces showing to help the people doing the CGI afterwards. Then, when Agam mentioned that they have little green balls for the places where the SFX details are going to be added afterwards, it all went downhill, so in Jonathon’s words: “To sum it up, it’s hard working with the green balls.”
We returned for another fun packed day on the Sunday, which started off with Eureka signings and much randomness. We went up to see Salli Richardson-Whitfield first and she was as smiley and lovely as the day before. Then contrary to popular beliefs of women always being late, here it was Matt Frewer who turned up fashionably late. Whilst we were waiting for him, Once Matt had turned up, he was very chatty and was the one to ask for photos at the desk. Never a dull moment when he’s around. Jaime also was an all-round genuine guy and only too happy to talk to the fans.
After that was the Eureka panel, and we found out what Salli and Matt are doing and are planning on doing after Eureka. Matt’s just finished filming two miniseries, one of which was a Stephen King one. Salli commented that she enjoys the family of a TV series over film, so is hoping to find another TV role along the line. Jaime again mentioned that he has sold a show to Syfy, but no other solid plans in the pipeline at the moment – at least none he can share yet! Salli and Matt took the opportunity to ask who he will be casting in the new show and made a big deal of pointing at themselves! Well you never know!
Following on from that, they’ve been shooting for seven years, obviously making the last episode and scene (between Salli and Felicia Day) very sad for both cast and crew. Despite that though, the question was what had they learned over the course of the show? Matt reckons he had learned nothing – cue laughter.
Salli had learned that working hard means she can do anything, especially as she was given the opportunity to direct on the show. And finally, Jaime learnt and liked the production side of things, because it is the first time a TV show of his has gone to air and he would like to do more on the TV side of things as he’s only done films before.
In terms of their favourite episodes, Jaime said the new season episode with Salli in lingerie that we saw on the promo! Quelle surprise! His serious answer was the season one finale. Salli chose a scene instead and said being magnetised and stuck to Jack Carter, also in the opening season. Matt’s answer was once again any episode in which he was naked, because apparently there is “something freeing about running through the woods naked.” Eh, who knew?
The final question was directed at Salli and being a role model to women who watch the show. She was a little overwhelmed by the thought but said she’s very happy to be a role model, especially if it shows her daughter that anyone can do what they want if they work hard, and she hopes that that status inspires women to do what they love.
The Sanctuary panel was straight afterwards and Jonathon and Agam started off with comments on their Saturday night which involved beer (not wine!). Agam then tried to do a London accent that didn’t quite work, though was highly amusing for all of us!
Today’s questions had more of a fun side to them, and we started off with: if the Sanctuary cast were to do a play (not in character), what would they do? Agam said Grease, because she’d be Rizzo and Jonathon could be Sandy. He readily agreed, though asked who that was…oh dear. The question of who would be Danny was raised and it was decided that it would have to be Christopher Heyerdahl as Biggie, in full make-up. Other characters were debated but no concrete decisions were made unfortunately, we’ll leave that up to your imagination! The fun did not stop there though, together they proceeded to sing the opening bars of ‘Summer Lovin’’ and Agam showed off her ‘Grease Lightning’ moves as well.
The next question was solely for Jonathon and was an enquiry as to whether any of his plays will be released on DVD? At the moment, there’s one, called “The Score”, but it is unlikely that any others will be, due to the logistical problems with royalties and actors rights and plus it doe s not always transfer well to the screen because the atmosphere is often lost on the way. Whether Jonathon will tour in the UK with a play again is also unsure. They were in Edinburgh for a play once before, but they do not know when they will get a chance to come back as it is expensive to move the whole production overseas. If anyone knows anyone that can help with that though, feel free to get in touch with Jonathon about it!
The vampire route will always be an interesting one, and aimed at Jonathon again was the idea that vampires should not sparkle and what is Tesla’s take on that? Jonathon agreed, but mused that it would be interesting if Tesla spoke about it on screen.
That kick-started a whole discussion about an episode including a sparkly Tesla which turns Magnus on, and then Druitt would turn up and start taking the mick out of him for being sparkly. Then to top it all off, Tesla’s sparkles would fall off as he moved, and he would get into a fight with Kate because she’d be selling the sparkles for her own profit. At the end of it all, Agam and Jonathon had a whole episode planned out and jokingly made plans to ring Damian later and pitch to him.
As was to be expected, there were plenty of Tesla questions, the next one being that Jonathon’s played Tesla on stage and screen, so what’s next? Agam reckoned performance art, to which Jonathon agreed and said through the medium of dance. It could be interesting…
Sanctuary is known for its revisionist history, but the next question focused on whether there is a particular place or person they would like to go back and see? Jonathon initially decided Samuel Beckett but overthought it and confused them both before asking twice what the question was again.
We finally got their answers though and it was worth the wait! Jonathon decided he’d like to go back to Ancient Egypt and the vampire pharaohs, Paris before WW1 and Berlin before WW2, whilst Agam said the 60s in London so they could all get high and see The Doors. Plus the 60s would have to see Magnus getting stoned with John Lennon, whilst The Monkees actually turn out to be abnormals and actual monkeys.
Agam was then asked about getting Jonathon on twitter. She said he is afraid and he asked why that was the assumption but that yes, he was afraid to become a problem tweeter because he has an addictive personality. He reckoned the peer pressure may work though, so you never know.
The ever popular question of favourite book and movie popped up at this point. Agam said “Before Sunrise” and “Before Sunset” with Ethan Hawkes, as both take place in a day and it is all about love and romance. Her choice of book was “Chronicles of Narnia” as she grew up with it, yet it is a series she can still relate to as an adult. Jonathon said it’s impossible to choose just one for both topics. His films would be “Clockwork Orange”, “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”, “Dr Zhivago” and others similar, to which Agam told him he was a dark man. Books were impossible again, but he’s recently finally finished Ulysses after 20 attempts to start it and that’s an accomplishment he’s proud of.
The penultimate question was about directing and what it is like being directed by Martin Wood and Amanda Tapping. Jonathon has never been directed by Amanda but would like to be. The hall erupted with laughter and he admonished us saying he did not say it like that, although Agam reckons it was like that in his head, so he said it again to appease everyone. Agam said that Amanda makes everyone feel comfortable and as she is an actress she understands. When Martin directs, he really gets the whole picture and has an eye for details. Jonathon added that he always wears shorts and that no-one’s seen him in pants. Robin Dunne calls them boy-pants, but then Robin never wears pants so he can’t judge.
The final question was: who were their favourite guest stars? Agam immediately said Michael Shanks, because she got so many scenes with him due to the episode and also because the nature of the episode makes it stand out in her mind. Jonathon chose Ian Tracey, as it’s nice to have friends on, and also Vincent Gale. He also commented that thankfully no-one’s moved from theatre to TV and become different people. As for guests they would like to have? Daniel Day-Lewis would be a nice start.
During the weekend, we also made the much needed trip to Claire’s stall, where she was once again collecting for Sanctuary For Kids. Claire had brought along Amanda Tapping’s ‘Carter’ jacket from Stargate SG1, the tribal prop from Pavor Nocturnas and much more.
At this point, I would like to let anyone who may be going to or thinking of going to Chevron 7.8 know, that Claire will be bringing the majority of her Carter outfits collection as well as Magnus’ outfit from the opening season of Sanctuary.
As usual, Claire will be allowing people to try certain outfits on and take pictures for just a small donation to Sanctuary For Kids. I hope you will join in supporting her fundraising efforts and stop by her collection at Chevron 7.8!
All in all, we had a wonderful weekend, full of many laughs and lovely people. Thank you to MCM for organising the event, all the actors for being so gracious and for the many fellow fans we met for their friendliness.
As always, thank you for reading my report and for visiting WormholeRiders News Agency Conventions Corner news site.