Howdy folks -
Well, I'm a little late with this installment of the EF, but I figure that prolonging the inevitable is exactly what we all need right about now. Anything we can possibly do to take away the mind-numb fact that yes, we only have three more episodes to go. I'll say it again, man this sucks.
But one thing that didn't suck was this episode. Hats off to Steve Binder for coming back and really making his last eppie count. You need an episode like this for these kinds of shows. Our hero loses his powers and discovers how much he really needed them. I'm just surprised we got this far without it. All in all, this episode really shaped up to be a good one. But you're not here to hear what I think of the finished product! You want the backstory, what went on behind the scenes. So, let¹s take a gander...
* I thought it was odd that Michael G. directed this one and the next one. According to my script, MM is supposed to be episode 18. I believe that they were switched because their underlying themes were more compatible with the last episode's...but I've said too much.
* Adieu France! According to my French contacts, I-Man has wrapped already in France. I couldn't understand why they were telling me how much they like the shoe-shine sequence since it hadn't aired. Then I remembered that Sci-fi wisely breaks up the rhythm of the season and scatters it over the course of the year (22 episodes over 52 weeks?).
* Speaking of French, bone up on yours and purchase the thus-far only official merchandise of I-man, the French DVD. You can get it at Amazon.fr, pay for it in dollars and they ship it here! I was amazed at the care and attention they put into the dvd. The menu selection is all CGI and has all sorts of little goodies. The downside (Warning!) Is that it will not play on American DVD players. Set your computer's DVD player to the European region (My Mac G4 did it automatically) and Viola, you can see what I'm talking about. Watch the show in French, then enjoy it in English with the French subtitles (oh crap=merde!)
* The “Babes of Baywatch” was an obvious poke of fun at Brandy¹s former job. I was wrong when I thought that she wasn't in any more episodes, but this one is her last one. Funny, after all the controversy, she really seemed to be finding the niche in this show.
* '222 Eberts road' was an ad-lib by Paul.
* The Hotel St. James is located in downtown San Diego.
* In the script, I¹m giving the Official a manicure. None of us like that, so Michael came up with the shining of the shoe. Eddie suggested that he be stretched out, naked on the desk with only a towel covering him and I¹m giving him a back massage. He was joking, of course.
* The blah, blah, blah scenes. I always remember how the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation would complain about having to recite all that mindless technobabble. I couldn¹t believe how jaded they were; they were on a hit TV show and yet they were complaining. This episode made both Shannon and I retract that thought. Hitchcock called it the “Mcguffin”, the thing that drives the plot. It really didn't matter what it was, stolen diamonds, dangerous virus, plans for the death star, all that mattered is that it put our heroes into harms way and made it cool to watch. Well, Shannon and I were responsible for various “Mcguffins” on the show over the last two seasons, and this one kind of did us in. Mind you, it wasn¹t that it was stupid or anything, far from it. Rather, it was a wordy, complicated scene that we weren¹t entirely ready for. Shannon had the brunt of the pain, her remedy was her clip-board with a strategically placed script. I paraphrased to save myself, taking full credit for introducing the word “Oshimmy” into the I-Man lexicon. While it¹s true that this episode broke us, we will both miss those scenes.
* Steve was so happy to finally get
one of his story ideas accepted so that he could finally write me in. If
(I certainly did!) both of Steve's first season scripts were sans Eberts. He explained that out of the eight pitches he gave to the producers, the only two they bought didn't have Eberts in them. I had remained sceptical until I got this script. When Steve was on set he made a point of honestly asking if I had enough to do in the script. He felt bad about the previous scripts and wanted to make up for it.
* Steve wrote me in so many scenes that I actually voluntarily left one. When the Official, Hobbes and Alex are talking about getting Darien back, I was supposed to be there. Well, we had been shooting a lot of stuff that day and I was dead tired. Michael G's camera work called for a three person scene and then a shot of me somewhere. We both just looked at each other and decided that since I had no lines, maybe I could just go home. I suppose you can chalk that up to being jaded too, because I would have killed to be in any extra scene in the first year.
* The miniature golf place has an arcade that was seen in “Exposed”.
* The coolest shot this show or any in SD has ever had: the Coronado Bridge connects downtown San Diego to the island of Coronado (actually, they created a strait in the early 20th century to connect the island with SSD, but that¹s another story.). Over 2 miles long and 200 feet above water, the bungie jump took place here. The only bad thing was that the actor who played the bungie instructor had 66% of his lines cut (“..2...1!”). Of course Vinny did not perform that jump and his scene actually took place on Stu's backlot. But it was cool.
As you have noticed by now, I did indeed decide to do the chat. After laying into the publicist about how poorly I was treated by the network on this show I realized that I would only be doing a disservice to you guys by not chatting one last official time. I tried to get Sci-fi to pay for a wrap party for us, but that had predictable results. Vinny is aware of the time difference problem with his Friday chat and will try to instruct the moderator not to let any spoiling questions happen.
So I guess that's it. I'm so behind that I'm already due for a “Possessed” file. As always, thanks for tuning in!