Well thankfully 2001 and the long drought of new episodes are both over. While 2001 started off great, the terrible things that happened in the second half seemed to erase any gains made and then some. So I greet 2002 and these new episodes with a happy heart.
It does suck that I now have to post renegade files away from the website. The publicist for I-Man contacted me recently and wanted to know if I and the cast wanted to do online chats before or after the final episode. Vinny left it up to me and I'm kinda torn on it. I have no desire to help Sci-fi and the fact that now that we're going off the air is when they're finally advertising miffs me to no end. And yet the cast is fully aware that we owe you whatever we can give and want to get the word out to as many of you as possible. Plus, while we are all still bitter towards Sci-Fi, they ultimately control the future fate of I-man and ticking them off just for spite's sake is burning a bridge we may need later. Post on the Bboard what you think I should do.
So let's talk about "The Invisible Woman". I'm so glad Dean brought the Chinese back. They were a neat adversary and the story was a fun and thrilling one. While I admit I liked the story better on paper than the way it ultimately ended up, it was a great addition to I-man.
So let's jump into some little facts and notes about the episode that I like to call "tidbits"
* Ebertses: Every agency has a head guy and a toady right-hand man. This was first written into "The Devil You know" and then later written out. I always knew that there were others like me and in fact am fairly convinced that there exists some 'lackey' school somewhere to teach us the proper art of grovelling. Last episode it was Barney, this one, Wang! Dean came up with the fun idea of the agency having counterparts and they then re-wrote "Exposed" to make No-Names henchman more Eberts-like. It was fun seeing how the director and producers envisioned us as Chinese agents.
* The only bad thing about the Chinese counterparts was that none of the actors had ever seen the show! Sheesh, how embarassing.
* The Nuclear Plant was actually a somewhat smelly water treatment plant in northern San Diego. They turn storm drain water into water suitable for watering plants, but not drinking. The towers were computer generated, but the base of each was actually a water holding tank.
* Nit-picky: This show cost $1,050,000.00 to make each episode. And yet the invisibility device still looked like a backpack from K-mart. Oh well, it seemed to have the ability to slip underneath clothes when necessary ;-)
* The head of the Chinese Agency got mad at me when I was ad-libbing too much. He didn't know when I was done with my sentence and after the take said "How do I know when you're done?". He evidentally never worked with Paul...
* ...But I did ad-lib a lot. I mean more than I ever did. Paul was into sticking to the script for the last few episodes (I'll explain why some day) and for some reason I decided that I should carry the banner of the I-Man madlibs. For my troubles, EVERY SINGLE ONE was cut from the final version. so for those of you scoring at home...
* When the Chinese Official tells me to continue I reply in Chinese "Shay shay"..."Yes Sir".
* When My Official tells me to shut up it's "Doy Pu Chi"..."Sorry sir". Both of these were courtesy of my counterpart, Wang who spoke fluent Chinese.
* After I compliment Wang on the printouts we do the fist touch a la me and Barney in "Exposed". This is the secret handshake.
* When we emerge from the Agency and I say "Saddle Up", on every single take after the first I instead said, "Ladies and Gentleman, it's clobbering time." a Fantastic Four reference.
* The wildest one was when the Official holds his stomach in pain and tells me that he'll be down in five minutes. After he leaves I call someone and had about five different lines alluding to the fact that The Official had some major intestinal distress coming up. Lines like "Hazmat team to level Five." and "Big man has thunder down under" made director Adam Davidson roar. I guess TPTB were less impressed.
* Once again our hardest working location is Balboa Park. This time it subbed in for Haskell Park.
* Originally the Chinese had the thermal sunglasses when searching for Darien. Evidentially they reshot the scene to make it clearer what they were doing
* The I-man reference in Chronicle is totally harmless as stated by Javier on he Sci-Fi BBoard. I was actually excited for a crossover episode and thought this would start the ball rolling when I read the Chronicle script. The last episode, Craig wrote in a scene with a generic tabloid featured in it. I asked Craig why he didn't simply make it the Chronicle and he said that he offered to change it but the network never got back to him. It seemed odd back then but now it's a little more clear.
* The actor who needs a hair cut according to the Official is not a stunt-man or trainer driver. Still, when we all pulled out of the alleyway, Adam wanted him to go faster. The poor guys was trying, but navigating those huge cars through the tiny alley was was daunting. Feeling 'impish', I kept telling him to 'gun it' and really go for the gusto. The last take the guy took my advice. Putting the pedal to the metal, our "boat's" 6 cylinder engine burned rubber and roared through the alleyway. Eddie was stunned and a little scared by this guy's new found confidence. We barely made it through the alley way and when we stopped Eddie kind got a little mad at the driver. I had to explain that I had egged him on, but Eddie swore he wouldn't do another take with that guy driving. I feel bad for the guy but tip my hat to him for having the 'chutzpah' to break 3 G's in an Oldsombile.
* O/T but while I remember it: In November I shot an episode of "Six Feet Under" (fourth of the upcoming season). The watch I wore was Eberts' watch. I-Man lives! BTW, I ran into George Huwang, Dir. of "Germ Theory" on the set and he was floored that the show was cancelled. That is the general feeling with everyone I talk to in the industry.
* Our janitor in the Agency is none other than Raoul, our Asst. Cameraman!
The hardest thing about watching this episode was watching Vinny's performance. Vinny knew before us that the show was leaving Sci-Fi (the NY times article tipped him off then conversations with the network sort of confirmed it) and looking at him in this episode now I can see it. It's notthat he gave up or did anything obvious, I can just see the sadness to him.
So that's it for me for now. I'll be back next week to keep you informed. Until then, thanks.