Writer Sera Gamble recalls that they “started with the idea of faith healers as scary creatures. There’s lots you can say about people who twist religion for their own good…” Gamble was surprised that the hot-button topics explored in the episode didn’t raise any red flags with the producers, studio, or network. “I kept expecting someone to say, ‘No, no, no’… but no one did. The put a lot of faith in us.”
Gamble’s co-writer Raelle Tucker had a similar reaction. “It’s so shocking. I am so surprised, I gotta tell you. Sera and I, when we were conceiving of it, were like, 'It’s not gonna happen. Let’s be realistic.’ And this is a mistake that all established writers make: you immediately start to question what you’re allowed to do on television before you really even try to do it. So we end up with kind of safe stories a lot of the time across the board on TV because we’re scared. We almost censored ourselves, but then we didn’t. And everybody seemed really passionate about this idea and wanted to put it on the air and nobody questioned it.”
Excerpted from: Supernatural: The Official Companion Season One. Titan Books, 2007: 72-73.
Maybe it’s just the podcasts I listen to, but I’ve noticed that there tends to be a pretty dramatic shift between the first and second seasons.
Purely speculation here, but I imagine it’s one part that the hiatus between seasons is a good turning point, and a good time for creators to ponder what works and what doesn’t, and to try something different. For creative teams who are relatively new to podcasting, I imagine that by the end of the first season their skills are refined to the point that they’re more willing to push the limits of what they can do. Also the nature of the first season finale seems to often require that at least some of the premise is abandoned, because the story seems to have moved on from there.
Personally, this pleases me– there’s something really nice about creators having the freedom to adapt the story as they go without the threat of executives breathing down their necks to keep rehashing the same thing over and over again.
WTNV had probably a more subtle shift, going from seemingly unconnected daily life in the first season to the very clearly connected Strexcorp plot in the second. Notably with that one, though, the later seasons seemed to go back to more of a middle ground between the two.
The season one finale of Wolf 359 cemented a fairly huge tonal shift in the series, but that was furthered by the format of mission logs and all that jazz being formally abandoned early into season two.
I saw similar in the format and plot of both Tanis and Ars Paradoxica, though I’ll leave the specifics on that one to people who have dedicated more thought and energy to those than I have.
Archive 81 kind of takes the cake for it, to the point where it inspired this post. Listening to the first episode of the second season, I was very much “well… that is not the direction I foresaw this show going.”
All that in mind, the Concierge episode of The Penumbra Podcast seems to be an in-universe segue for the same kind of shift in format and tone. Especially considering how the series was originally intended to be a Twilight Zone-esque anthology show and eventually turned into the Adventures of Juno Steel Plus A Few Side Stories.
Before Beauty and the Beast, there was Gods and Monsters!
The highly anticipated live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast is now playing in theatres! Before Bill Condon directed this adaptation of the beloved Disney classic, he came to the Sundance Film Festival in 1998 with a film that he wrote and directed, Gods and Monsters, about the troubled film director James Whale. Starring Ian McKellen and Brendan Fraser, the film went on to win the Academy Award for best adapted screenplay.
Ian McKellen is unequivocally brilliant in the lead role. With every gesture, every subtle nuance, he brings James to life. Brandon Fraser’s Clayton is the perfect counterpoint to James’s “questionable” sexuality. He is not repulsed but not exactly trusting, either. It is people like Clayton (and the stoic housekeeper, played by Lynn Redgrave) who offer Whale the very inspiration for his creations, his beloved monsters. They are the ones who don’t fit in, metaphors for those marginalized by society. Condon cleverly lets you into the psyche of this artist, but he also opens the door for a more universal theme. In the right light and when judged by those who do not understand us, we may all look a little like monsters. - John Cooper
Click here to watch a trailer for Gods and Monsters.
Bred in 1986 by the late and great Sheila Varian, who owned him right up until his death on January 13th 2014. A legend in his own right, Desperado carried incredible the style and traditions which made Varian Arabians so successful. He was tall, dark and extremely handsome - and he sired it! He sired over 900 foals, and was a leading sire of significance, siring many National Champions in Halter and Performance.