I am back again, this time reporting on a wonderful opportunity I was afforded.
To say that it was a dream come true for me, is well frankly an understatement of the universe. It was a great interview with about 20-25 journalists all there to get a glimpse into the mysterious world of the weird and unexplained.
We were instructed not to ask Mr. Noble about the ‘other’ show he was on, but that did not stop one of the journalists (not me!) from wearing the t-shirt and hat of that said show. Mr. Noble himself made reference indirectly and directly to it, so I guess it was okay.
John’s charming personality shined through in everything he did, he answered our questions, with the same wonderful nature that we expect from such a consummate professional.
One question that I was interested to hear about was if he had ever been, prior to the show, ever intrigued by the darker side of human nature. Naturally his answer was yes…how could you not be, it is precisely one of the reasons why he was interested in participating in such an educational show. As odd as that may sound, Dark Matters IS educational, just not the normal definition of the word.
The purpose of Dark Matters, when it was first conceived was to have a show that really made you think, smart and edgy entertainment. The producers wanted to find ways to tell stories that guaranteed that you are completely engrossed in the subject matter…no matter how dark, weird and unbelievable it may seem. The producers saw a rough cut of the show and knew that only one person on the planet could do the job of host.
Only one man in their eyes could guide viewers through the maze of the macabre and that man is John Noble. Surprised? I certainly am not. John is not only an exquisite actor, but his voice lends itself to the series perfectly. John had said that some of the episodes can be a little tongue in cheek but that he also is fascinated by what the show has revealed. He had no idea of all the weird facts that were discovered during the research for the show.
John had mentioned one of the episodes that fascinated him was the episode they did on the suicide song. He said how music has such a powerful strong hold on people, how it can help heal or hurt people in the case of the killer song. It is some of the most fascinating stuff you will ever discover.
A reporter asked him if he had ever come across an episode that shocked him the most, that he said to himself “ We are doing an episode about that?” his answer was yes. The episode was about an experiment that had gone on for 40 years in the United States and it involved men in Alabama and syphilis…do I need to go on? I think not, you get the gist.
It was such a pleasure to hear all the wonderful answers that John had given us because they were always with enthusiasm and wonder. He was just as fascinated as we were and that did not seem to dissipate anytime soon.
As much as I found this question ironic that it was being asked of John, given his character in that ‘other’ show, it was a question I had wanted to hear the answer to.
John had went on to say that the great thing about The Science Channel is that it is not afraid to delve into the unexplained. It is one of the best channels on TV (and I agree), because it dares to ask those questions, it dares to use science in the manner it was meant to be used. He mentioned that sometimes they leave questions opened, or the question of “how would you respond in that circumstance?” was asked of the viewer as well.
John had made the point that this show is not high brow, but it is accessible to everyman. The show explains the science in a way that even if you are not science minded (like me!) you are still able to get the fascination of what they were speaking about. You were able to follow along and understand what was being said and not tune out because it was too intellectual for you.
The point was made that back in the bygone era, science was not accessible to people. You had a core of people that loved science, with others it was too weird or mathematical or just plain out of their league. Again, it is a testament to this wonderful show that Dark Matters is the everyman of science shows. It doesn’t dumb it down it just makes it a little more comprehensible. It doesn’t hurt having an actor that is known for his wild character of Walter Bishop (yes I said it…I had to), to be the ringmaster, they are wanting to broaden the horizons of science and those that may be intrigued by it.
Rocky Collins was also part of the interview as well, he is the executive producer of this extraordinary show. He was able to give us some insight as well into what the goal of Dark Matters is and the significance this show has to the masses at large.
Rocky said that the attitude that people have toward science is “The answers are wrong or a scientist told me something that turned out to be wrong”, one of the things that the show wants to drive home is that science is a process. Every story is about a process…somebody was wrong, someone was right or they didn’t know they were right…that is why the Science Channels motto is Question Everything…
My question of were you always interested in the ‘dark matters’ before the show and what aspect were you most fascinated with? John’s answer was that he was always interested in reading, especially science, fascinated by mystery. He didn’t particularly seek out the dark elements of science, but he had pointed out in science everything is constantly changing, mutating if you will. He told a funny story about how his wife had said that one week were eating this and now with the research that is out this other thing is better for you and so we are changing to that.
Always a charmer, his enthusiasm was constant in every answer John put forth. He had mentioned that a science friend of his, a ‘contemporary’ with Stephen Hawking rang him up and said he just really discovered the physics of the interior of a black hole.
He said that even though he is not a mathematician or scientist (he just plays one on tv) he understands the enormous significance that discovery has. That is what he wanted to emphasize about the show was that you do not need to be Einstein or Stephen Hawking or Galileo to understand the science of it. He extolled on how we do need the geniuses in the world to have the wisdom to take the idea that much further, to really show us what the idea can become.
One of the themes that is reoccurring in this interview as well as in the series is the ethics that are explored in each episode, what would you do in that situation? Sometimes the ethics did get blurred, but they had to be sometimes in order to get the results it needed. John had brought up the controversial issue of stem cell research…and what the pros and cons of that debate are. The ethics of science will always be in question.
It was also such a pleasure for me to hear all the different questions by all the different journalists that happen to be in the room with me. I speak for myself (but I hope that I am not alone) when I say that not only was this interview a dream come true for me, but it was also educational. As the daughter of an engineer with three degrees, science and math always alluded me.
My father always was and still is fascinated with science, he never stops learning even at the age of 82. He is always educating me on the wonders that he has read about in the Scientific American, which I remember him reading when I was a child.
I do not have the intelligence to really understand science, but as John has mentioned I can relate to it, I can understand the fundamentals of it. That is why I love Dark Matters, it makes you question the world around you, it helps you relate to the things that you have always heard whispered about science, but never had the courage to explore, the show does that for you.
John did mention that Fringe will be shown in reruns starting November 21, 2012 on the Science Channel, so if you have not seen it (shame on you!) then now is your opportunity to do so. I do suggest you do, because if you want to see some of the best shows on TV as well as John being the mad scientist of all mad scientists then I suggest you tune in. Fringe is the very embodiment of weird science and questionable ethics…you’ll see.
I actually had the chance to ask him if he had changed the cadence to his voice for this particular series.One last comment I had for John was that his voice was suited perfectly to the series. I had said listening to him reminded me of another fantastic character actor, Vincent Price. John was flattered that I had said that and was humbled by the comparison. A compliment well deserved as far as I am concerned.
He had mentioned that he had been approached to redo or revamp some of Price’s work…what better actor would be perfect but John! I myself am waiting for that and will be thrilled when it does happen. It was mentioned that John is a storyteller and that is one of the most crucial elements of being a host.
John’s ability to be a perfect craftsman of storytelling lends itself tenfold to the series, it makes it that much more enjoyable. It wouldn’t have worked if he were not a good raconteur. He uses his incredible craft to convey the emotion behind the narration, to breathe life into it and make it leap off the small screen.
The viewers are also part of the show as well, the blog that the channel has “The Inscider” often has suggestions from viewers about certain stories that might fit into the world of Dark Matters. One of the last great things that John had mentioned is that people come up to him and say that they watch the show as a family.
It is great when you can have a family sit down together and really enjoy a show and educate themselves with what is unfolding in front of them. The goal is to hook the science minded folks and keep them interested and hopefully that will trickle down to the kids and we can get them interested young in the wonders of science. This is a show that you do not tune out you watch and you stay watching.
It was and still is one of my favorite interview experiences that I had during my time at Comic-Con 2012, I will always treasure the time I had in the Dark Matters press room.
I want to thank everyone who allowed me to take part in this amazing experience and most importantly I want thank John Noble for his charm, his wit, his wisdom and his humanity. You are truly a Noble man.
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Until next time,