12:00 AM, 10-NOVEMBER-06
Medium Gets Animated
Glenn Gordon Caron, creator of NBC's hit series Medium, told SCI FI Wire that the upcoming two-hour third-season premiere incorporates original 2-D animation, one of the techniques he's been itching to exploit since his 1980s series Moonlighting. "When I was doing Moonlighting, I would keep this little list of things I wanted to do. A lot of them I didn't get done, by the way. I remember one time saying, on the list, Bruce Willis should strike a match on the edge of the screen and light a cigarette," Caron said with a laugh during a break in filming on the show's Manhattan Beach, Calif., set earlier this week. "Stupid little visual things. And I thought to myself, and I actually said it, I think, to [NBC Entertainment president] Kevin Reilly a year ago, [I] said we should do something involving animation. Because part of ... the trick of our show is, ... we try and present this woman who leads a fairly modest life who has this extraordinary gift. It's in the extraordinary gift that we get to do sort of phantasmagoric things visually."
In the premiere, "Four Dreams," the animation (by Johnny Bravo creator Van Partible) represents the dreams of Bridgette (Maria Lark), the young daughter of psychic Allison Dubois (Patricia Arquette). Done as traditional 2-D hand-drawn animation, the cartoon dreams start out as light comedic bits, but gradually turn darker as they represent Bridgette's premonitions of death. "The more I talked about [animation], the more I was convinced there was a show in it," Caron said.
Caron added: "The cartoon thing was to me also, ... I thought, frankly, ... so much of what we deal in is death. And when I met [the real] Allison Dubois, the thing that struck me and touched me so deeply when she sits down and tells you her stories, you think, 'My God, this woman has Radio Death going on in her head all the time.' She sees ghosts, and most of the ghosts that come to her don't come to her because they've had a good life and a sweet death. They come to her because something awful and violent has happened. She sees a very, very dark vision of the world. ... You're always looking for other ways to ... communicate this. How do I keep it fresh, and, frankly, how do I shock you? Because part of it is I have to shock you in order to impress you with just how awful things are, and you realize at a certain point you can do that with a cartoon, and in some ways, it's more unsettling. You can get away with things in a cartoon, because cartoons are inherently violent." Medium returns to NBC at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Nov. 15 before moving into its regular Wednesday 10 p.m. timeslot the following week. NBC is owned by NBC Universal, which also owns SCIFI.COM. —Patrick Lee, News Editor