Syfy’s “Sanctuary” came into its own last season with the episode called “Requiem.”
In it, colleagues and budding friends Helen Magnus and Will Zimmerman were trapped in the tight quarters of a submarine as Helen slowly lost her mind and Will, well, he took cover. It was a tense, claustrophobic episode that traded special effects bells-and-whistles for an acting tour de force. “Requiem” became my favorite episode of the show’s first season.
“Next Tuesday,” airing at 9 p.m. Friday, has a similar feel, stars Amanda Tapping and Robin Dunne told me in separate interviews. [Read on for a video sneak, more about the episode. Be warned, I don't think anything it spoilery, but you might.]
“Magnus and Will are trapped in this defunct oil rig as these two monsters fight it out around them,” Dunne said. “We just try to stay out of the fray.”
But as the pair float helplessly in the water after their helicopter crashes in the Gulf of Mexico, they work each other’s nerves much like any friends who spent too much time together might. The actors say it was an opportunity to explore their characters’ growing but complicated relationship.
“We get a really close look at … the closeness of the two characters and how sometimes if you really care about somebody, you have to tell them what you think even if it’s not necessarily what they want to hear,” Dunne said, echoing Tapping’s comment that the episode explores “the weird dynamic between Will and Magnus.”
“The friendship really deepens but they bicker like an old married couple,” she told me. “It’s funny. There were times when I was like, ‘It sounds like she’s jealous.’”
Magnus isn’t jealous, Tapping said, and “it’s sort of revealed toward the end why they’re acting the way they’re acting.” The reason definitely is not because their friendship is becoming romantic. After all, the 157-year-old, semi-immortal Magnus did actually meet Will when he was a child so, um, eww.
“I love the friendship between the two of them and I think to muddy it with any sexual tension … would just be weird,” Tapping, a producer for the series with Damian Kindler, said. “And I think that the friendship is evolving so organically and so honestly, like a friendship does. Like Robin’s and my friendship has grown. It would just be stupid to do anything else with it.”
Just like “Requiem,” director/producer Martin Wood filmed the episode in sequence, so the growing emotional tension–and fatigue–would be completely real for the actors. It was a lot like doing a play, Tapping said.
“You start the journey in the beginning full of energy and by the end of the journey you really are exhausted and you’re supposed to be in the story,” she said. “You’ve gone through the emotional journey, too.”
Cast and crew spent 14 hours a day in the water to film “Next Tuesday.” “By the end of it, we were all just wiped out, but I think it’s a very cool episode,” Amanda Tapping says.
The shoot was not only emotionally draining for the cast and crew, but physically challenging as well.
“It’s the ‘Damian and Martin got together and decided to torture Amanda and Robin’ episode,” Tapping said. “Just like ‘Requiem.’”
Wood shot the episode in a huge pool that was 14 feet deep at the Vancouver Film Studios. The helicopter was suspended above the pool, but for most of the episode and 14-hour shooting days, the actors, Wood and the camera crew were in the cold, nasty water.
“It was gross, to be honest with you,” Tapping told me. “By the end, our skin was all bleached out. My hair was falling out. None of us felt particularly healthy.”
Both actors said that because of all the challenges and the fact that the shoot wiped them out, they are especially proud of “Next Tuesday.”
“Yes, we were very water-logged when we finished,” Dunne said, “but I think the fans are really going to love it.”
Source: Chicago Now