File: ASoC
Date: 09/10/2001

Hey everyone!

Welcome to an all new, no repeat edition of Ebertsí Files. My name is Mike, I play Eberts on The Invisible Man and Iím here to enlighten and enhance your viewing of TIM! So, now that the introductions are all over with, letís jump into things.

Well, we had a bit of a different turn with the subversive and fun "A Sense of community". I have to hand it to Gabrielle and Harry (the writers/co-producers) in that their scripts always provide us with a distinctively fresh and different look at our show. Like their previous show Farscape, their scripts bend the concept of our show, but never break it. All in all a fun episode with some nice elements to it.

And now for a closer scrutiny of the epÖ

First I have to admit that I havenít seen a finished cut of this episode yet. I was at our wrap party (and Iíll address that whole issue in a moment) and missed both showings! And I forgot to set my VCR! Shame on me! Iím working off of memory so if I say something that makes no sense, itís probably because it was in the directorís cut and not the final broadcast.

Whereís Alex? Well, our five star ĎAí agent was undoubtedly on another top secret assignment. Actually, Brandy was filming an independent film and was unavailable to appear in this episode. During the scene where I tell The Official about all the agents weíve laid off I tried to get us to mention Alex being on an assignment. Unfortunately, it was the last shot of the day and my suggestion was quelled in favor to sticking to the script. But rest assured I was desperately trying to round up all plot bunnies!

Speaking of plot bunnies, werenít we just at BoWaM, not HHS? I had mentioned before that this episode required some extra attention in postproduction. Because of the various special effects and some scenes that needed to be reshot, this episode had to be pushed back a few weeks. The result makes it obvious that it is out of sequence. However I must give credit to the writers and producers for taking chances like moving the agency. Rather than keep the show static, they took a risk and unfortunately got burned. But Iíd rather be part of a show that takes the risk than one that sits on its hands.

The scene where all The Keepers equipment is being moved out was a nightmare that was thankfully avoided. With movers, equipment going out and three people talking, I was sure the scene would take over four hours to film. Credit returning director Jay Tobias with using a steadycam shot on both sides to make this a one-hour scene. The only causality was a potted plant, which a mover dropped while he was exiting during the scene. Shannon added the line about the snake.

The alluring agent that seduces Hobbes was in serious contention for the role of The Keeper. Weíre thrilled that we finally get her on the show (but we love Shannon!).

I afraid they didnít give me my writing credit this episode. In the last scene in the Officialís office were all trying to come up with something for Shannon to say or do. Her presence there was not that important and she didnít have any lines. I came up with the bad pun "You kicked A.S.S.!" and the rest of the cast loved it. We rationalized that maybe the keeper loves bad puns (e.g. Legends "gland-daddy") and it seemed to cap the episode anyway. I eagerly await my writing royalty check.

This episode is a knowing tip of the bowler to British sci-fi show "The Prisoner". A paranoid, fun and confusing short-lived series (17 episodes more info at about a spy trapped in a village where people are only referred to by their number. Patrick McGoohan stars as the rebellious "Number Six", who the boys think they see in the community. I asked Jay if he gave the boys the "Be seeing you!" trademark gesture from the series but Jay replied that they forgot until it was too late.

An omitted scene featured The Official and I in his office. All the furniture had been removed and we were sitting on milk crates. The scene served little purpose but I loved my line "weíve sunk to a new low."

Hobbes throws a chair at Darien and he sits in it perfectly. The other side of that that was cut was Darien offering to catch Hobbesís chair. Hobbes flings the chair and Darien lets it slide by smashing into the wall. Very funny.

At the end you can see us with our drinks in hand. I had the wine bottle and I drink from it a few seconds after the scene goes black.

And now letís all sit down and have a serious talk about what is on everyoneís mind lately. As I said a moment ago, we recently had our wrap party for the second season. Speculation, rumors and panic has begun to sweep the Bboard because of rampant fears of this great show being cancelled. I have been e-mailed by many people and have seen the Bboard and so I thought it would be appropriate to address this now.

First let me say this. To my knowledge NO ONE ON THIS PLANET TRULY KNOWS THE FATE OF I-MAN! From all the evidence Iíve gathered from all the various sources it is clear that no decision has been made. There will come a time when TPTB will sit down (sometime before mid October) and make a decision but until then it is safe to say that nothing is set in stone as of yet.

Now having said that, I would be lying if I did not admit that people are a bit worried. What seemed like an automatic pick-up for the third season has now been whittled down to what may be a 50-50 chance or less. To be sure, the rumors and whispers tend to always land on the grimmer side, but the sheer volume and many directions that they are coming from are making me and all on the cast and crew nervous.

So what can you do? Well if you donít like the show, you donít have to do anything. There are certainly some that feel that the second season hasnít lived up to itís potential. I respect and understand those people and to a point agree that the season has had an occasional low. However I feel that this season has brought us some of the best episodes to date with the best saved for last. I am proud of what weíve done and can tell you that if we do get a third season, the surprises we have in store (with story lines as well as welcome returns of certain creative people to the executive production post.) have truly excited me and are sure to blow you away.

So if I can be bold for a moment and suggest a few things,

Keep this Bboard a positive, panic-free environment. The entertainment industry, like animals, can smell fear. Talk of doom and cancellation can self-fulfill itself if it gets out of hand.

A handwritten or typed snail mail to Barry Diller is never a bad thing. Heís the man behind the green curtain and his word is the final answer. E-mails are easily deleted, but a letter must be opened and read. Maybe bake him cookies ;-) I believe his addy is...

Barry Diller, c/o USA Networks Inc, 152 West 57th St, 42nd Floor, New York NY 10019.

Join the I-Maniacs fan club. There is strength in numbers and they are a fabulous group anyway. They will be at the vanguard of any campaign.

Is this self-serving by asking for your help? Possibly. However we here at I-man truly believe that you are all part of this show. I donít know of a more truly interactive show than this and so it makes perfect sense to let you know whatís going on.

Well, that about does it for me. Iíll be back next week with an another (hopefully lighter in tone) edition. Until then, ĎBe seeing you!í