Giving "Sanctuary" seven more episodes to work with than normal has made a difference for both the cast and crew of the popular Syfy series, whether it be stories, acting or special effects. And fans will get their first chance to see that renewed vigor Friday when the show premieres its third season.
Robin Dunne, who plays Dr. Will Zimmerman in the series, told reporters during the recent Syfy Digital Press Tour in Orlando, Fla., that "Sanctuary" is practically an all-new series, refreshing for veteran viewers, and enticing for new ones.
"The change from 13 episodes to 20 episodes is really amazing this year because there's these really beautiful story arcs that go in and out of the series," Dunne said. "You're going to see things that happen to the characters that sort of have impact throughout the entire series. Twenty episodes is kind of like -- it feels more of a puzzle this year, like a jigsaw puzzle."
It also allows more room for guest stars, like Polly Walker, best known to genre fans as Sister Clarice Willow in the "Battlestar Galactica" spinoff series "Caprica."
With stronger integration between the virtuality and reality, "Sanctuary" is slowly adopting more real sets and not just CGI creations, which has been the staple of the show from the start.
"We talk about the visual effects on the show a lot, and rightfully so," Dunne said. "But I'm always blown away by what the practical sets are on the show, the set [decoration] people, what they do. You saw it last season with turning our tiny little parking lot at our studio into the slums of Mumbai. And this year, it's -- I mean, right now, we're working on that new set, and it's amazing."
Dunne is part of a series that took a much different approach to getting a cable channel's attention. Instead of taking the usual pilot route, the series from executive producers Amanda Tapping, Damian Kindler and Martin Wood set out on its own, and started growing its audience with shorter episode clips online. While that hasn't opened the floodgates to more shows launching that way, it definitely will become an alternative for some televisions series developers in the future, Dunne said.
About the Author