By Curt Wagner
6:28 PM CST, December 22, 2011
When Amanda Tapping saw the final mix for the Season 4 finale of "Sanctuary," she cried.
"I wept and then I punched Damian [Kindler] in the arm and said, 'Why did you do that?'" Tapping told me Tuesday during a phone chat from Vancouver.
The finale, "Sanctuary for None," will air in two hour-long parts at 9 p.m. Dec. 23 and 30 on Syfy. Written by James Thorpe and directed by Damian Kindler, the first part has Helen Magnus (Tapping) teaming with Hollow Earth rebel leader Caleb (guest star Gil Bellows) to build a new homeland for displaced abnormals in the Fifth Ward. Magnus wants to broker a peace deal between the insurgents, SCIU and the other government agencies, but SCIU director Greg Addison (Brian Markinson) has other ideas.
A lot goes down in that first episode involving Addison, Will (Robin Dunne), Bigfoot (Christopher Heyerdahl) and Tesla (Jonathon Young), leading Magnus to take desperate action. But I'll leave it at that and let Tapping give the tease for both eps.
"I would say it is the culmination of 113 years of work and it is the final reckoning for the team," she said. "It's a complete game changer."
That word "game-changer" gets bandied about a lot, but I think it is a fitting description of this finale. It opens up inifinite avenues of storytelling for the cast and crew if Syfy grants them a fifth season (which has not been decided yet).
Tapping and I discussed where the story could go, which I will write in a post for after Part 2 of the finale airs Dec. 30. In the meantime, we talked about other non-spoilery things and I asked her some questions from Twitter followers. Enjoy and happy holidays!
What were some of your favorite moments from the season?
I think that some of the moments that we found in "The Depths," in terms of acting were some of my favorite moments. But oh gosh, that is a huge question Curt. I don't know because I thought this season we really hit it out of the park just in terms of developing the characters that much further, in terms of developing the technology, in terms of the mythology of the show. I think this season really resonated on a lot of levels. I loved the interplay with Jonathan Young this year and the relationship between Tesla and Magnus being much more flirtatious and fun. Yes, he is a pain in the ass, but he's a genius and nobody understands what it's like to live as long as Helen, but she's the closest.
Have you heard anything about a fifth season?
We have not. We haven't heard anything. It's completely frustrating because normally we would know by now, but we don't, soo. I think it's fueling a lot of angst amongst the fans that we haven't heard and therefore, we've been cancelled, but that's not the case. We just don't know yet.
Everybody wants an answer.
I know and I would love to give them a definitive. Believe me.
What would you do if there wasn't a Season 5? What does that mean for you? What would you do without "Sanctuary"?
I don't know. I have another series I'd like to pitch. I'd like to do more directing, so I would pursue that and other shows. ... It's a hard question to answer because it's a really shitty scenario for me. I love playing Helen Magnus. I love working on the show. If I were to be told today that the show was not coming back that would be a big body blow.
Would you take it back to the web?
I don't know actually. I mean if Syfy said no, we're not bringing you back I think there are still other possibilities for us. Certainly the people that own the IP that is Sanctuary, I think, would still want to do something with it, so I don't know.
I did a quick tweet right before we started talking and asked for questions. Eddie McClintock tweeted, "Ask her if she misses Eddie McClintock. Tell her I think she is the coolest."
Tell him not a day goes by where I don't think of him with a love in my heart that is hard to describe.
Tell me more about "Space Milkshake." I laugh every time I see the trailer. When is that coming out?
Hopefully April. It's a comedy. We had an absolute blast making it, but part of the fun of the tease of "Space Milkshake" is everything that we've sent out in terms of twitpics and this teaser doesn't tell you a thing about the movie and I actually think that that's brilliant. When we filmed this teaser I thought, "This is awesome. You still have no idea who these people are."
So people can assume they're on a spaceship and they don't get along, but that may not be it at all is what you're saying.
Right. I think we have put it out there that we are crew members on an orbital sanitation station, not even a spaceship. It's a sanitation spaceship, which is just worse in so many ways. And I think it's pretty clear from the teaser that we may not necessarily all be getting along at this point in time.
Right, which is what is so funny about that.
Yeah, but it was great fun. It was you know to work with Kristen Kreuk and Billy Boyd and of course, my lovely Robin [Dunne], was a blast. It was a really nice shake-up from this very heavy season of "Sanctuary" to go out and just do something completely silly.
What happened to John Druitt (played by Christopher Heyerdahl)?
I don't know.
It's a mystery.
Yeah, right? I heard this other thing, "He is dead. He is dead and how awful is that that you killed John Druitt?" Well it's John Druitt, the guy who had an entity coursing through his body, right? So the last time we see him he's dealing with this huge electrical surge. Who is to say the entity didn't protect him? Just saying. I do not believe that anyone is dead.
Have you seen Christopher in "Hell on Wheels" yet?
Yes. He is creepy.
He is amazing. I love his character.
He is so good and he loves that part. I mean that's part of the reason too that we sort of had to juggle Biggie and we weren't seeing John Druitt. Chris got this amazing part and the producers called us and said, "We really want him. Can you make this work?" And we tried to find a way to make it work, so he was back and forth between sets, but we had to pull him out of a couple of the episodes so he could do "Hell on Wheels." So it's not like we were trying to get rid of Biggie or trying to get rid of Druitt. We were trying to accommodate Chris, so it worked out really well for everyone because he is amazing in it. We love it, so.
One reader asks if you've ever thought about writing a book or an episode of "Sanctuary."
Maybe more so now, yeah. I think for the longest time I said no to it, but yeah, I think I would consider it now.
The book or the episode or both?
The episode. A book, I don't know. What do I have to say?
You have a lot to say.
I do have a lot to say. It would be like what's that guy? Jack Handy [from "Saturday Night Live" sketch]. I'm afraid it would come across as like really sickening platitudes.
You could writer something about your experiences with Sanctuary for Kids.
That's true. I write really good speeches. I have to say that. Like when people ask me to be keynote speaker at things, I write a wicked speech. Maybe I could just put all my speeches together.
There you go. Lucy from the Czech Republic asks, "I'd like to know what the funniest thing that happened to you doing ‘Sanctuary' is this season."
I say watch the blooper reel and you'll see! I don't know. Ours is a set, as you well know, that's kind of goofy. So we laugh a lot and loudly. We belly laugh every day, so I don't know that I could pick the funniest. The practical jokes onset have gotten a lot better. The crew is in on them now too, so it's good. It's a good time.
"What is your favorite Christmas song?"
"Little Drummer Boy."
Really? It's good. It's good.
Yeah. I love that song. I like the claymation special too.
Yeah, [daughter] Olivia has watched that quite a few times. It's really good.
Another fan question: "What is her secret to aging because she clearly is immune?"
Good genes, healthy living. [Laughs.] That is such bullshit. No, it's true. I do actually. My grandmother lived to 103-and-half, so I do have good genes. I have yet to have any work done, not to say that I never would. I think that I'm actually one of those people who have gotten a little bit better as I've gotten older, but now I fear things are on the backwards slide of that.
It's going downhill now, huh?
Yes, but I honestly think that your attitude has a lot of do with it and I'm a pretty happy person. [Laughs.] Again that sounds disgusting, but it's true.
I think people would agree with that. It doesn't sound disgusting coming from you.
People will read that and go, "Oh my God, I'm choking on the sweetness! My teeth hurt!" I think I have enough Pollyanna naivety and a really wicked, dark cynicism that somehow there is balance in there.
Big plans for Christmas?
My twin brother and his wife are arriving today and their two kids. My little house is going to be full of people.
Will you cook?
I love to cook. I'm an amazing cook. OK, I'm a good cook, but I make a wicked turkey dinner. I'm brining my turkey for three days in all these spices.
Anything you want to add before we say goodbye?
The fans have been pretty phenomenal. If I could say one thing, the fan support for Sanctuary for Kids this year has blown me away, amazing ... I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday.
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