by Jay in Television at 08:05 PM on 2007.09.11 NBC introduces its new, upcoming television series "Bionic Woman" premiering September 26, 2007. Here is a transcript of a recent telephone press conference. Coordinator: I would like to welcome you to the Bionic Woman Press Conference. At the request of NBC, this conference is being recorded for instant replay purposes. Along with Michelle Ryan and executive producer, David Eick, on today’s conference are Grace Niu and Carol Janson of NBC. I’d like to turn the conference over to your host, Ms. Carol Janson. Ma’am, you may begin. Carol Janson: Good morning everybody -- at least morning here in California -- and welcome to the Bionic Woman Press Conference. The Bionic Woman will premiere on NBC on Wednesday, September 20 - Grace, it’s the 26th. Grace Niu: It’s Wednesday, September 26, at... Carol Janson: At 9:00 pm. Grace Niu: Yes. Carol Janson: I just wanted to make sure I had my date right. On the call today are Michelle Ryan, the star of Bionic Woman -- the Bionic Woman, and David Eick, the executive producer. We have a lot of people on the call, so please limit yourself to one question and then we’ll try to come back and get a follow-up question from you. That’s it for now. If you haven’t received your copy of Bionic Woman by Monday, contact (Marcus Ranky). It’s on your email invitation and ask him to send you a copy of the show. Michelle? Michelle Ryan: Yes? Carol Janson: Why don’t you say hi to everybody? And David. Michelle Ryan: Good morning everyone. David Eick: Hello. Hello. Carol Janson: And we are good to go. To ask a question, please press star 1 on your touchtone phone. That’s star 1. And (Jennifer)? Coordinator: Your first question is from Fred Topel of Crave Online. Sir, your line is open. Fred Topel: Hi. Michelle, I was just wondering since you’re a few episodes in now if you could tell us about some of the crazy action stunts you’ve had to do so far. Michelle Ryan: Wow, I’ve had so many incredible action sequences. We’re using a Krav Maga style of fighting and the stunt coordinator, (Dean), and Will have been coming up with some really dynamic moves for Jaime. So it’s lots of sort of flying spinning kicks. They had me up in a harness yesterday and then I’m on another harness today doing these sort of crazy stunts. So yeah, I’m a real adrenaline junkie, so I absolutely love doing it and as much as possible I’ll do my own stunts. So there’s lots of punches. There’s a whole big sequence with Antonio Pope and Jaime where he tries to bring out the animal instinct in Jaime and that’s a really dynamic, really sort of hardcore fight. David Eick: And Isaiah Washington is the actor who portrays Antonio Pope. Fred Topel: How about some of the fast running and high jumping stuff? Michelle Ryan: Sorry? Can’t quite hear you. Fred Topel: Super running and super jumping, are you doing any of that? Michelle Ryan: Yes. There’s lots of sort of high-speed running and lots of jumping, lots of - I think my dance training comes in very handy because I have good flexibility and we’re sort of doing all these sort of big flying spinning kicks and I think they’re looking really dynamic and sharp on screen. And yeah, I’m just sort of learning the fight before I go on set and quickly preparing and then we’re shooting it. It’s moving very fast. Fred Topel: Thank you. Coordinator: Matt Mitovich of TV Guide.com, your line is open. Matt Mitovich: Hello everybody. Thanks for your time today. Michelle Ryan: Thank you. Matt Mitovich: Michelle, I’m looking at this great picture of you taking a swing at Isaiah Washington’s character. Can you preview what the dynamic is between their two characters when they first meet and where it goes from there? Michelle Ryan: Initially Antonio Pope sort of comes in and he’s sort of quite threatening towards Jaime and quite abrupt, and there’s this whole triangle... Coordinator: Thank you. A coordinator will assist you momentarily. Matt Mitovich: Hello? Michelle Ryan: Hello? Matt Mitovich: Let’s just ignore that. Michelle Ryan: There’s this sort of triangle between Jae, Jaime and Antonio. And Jae is trying to keep Jaime in touch with the human side and the spiritual side of herself so she doesn’t lose her identity as a human being, whereas Antonio Pope is saying that you need to give in to the machine and bring out the animal instinct otherwise, you know, your human side is your weak side. And then that’s sort of where the fight comes in where him and Jae are trying to train Jaime and they have very different styles of training her. And then Antonio Pope crosses the line and he does something that really offends Jaime and she completely flips out and that’s where the fight - this really intense fight comes out and he does bring out the animal instinct in Jaime. Matt Mitovich: Excellent. Thank you very much. Michelle Ryan: Thank you. Coordinator: One moment for the next question, please. Alice Chapman-Newgen from Comingsoon.net. Alice Chapman-Newgen: Hi Michelle. Michelle Ryan: Hello. Alice Chapman-Newgen: I was wondering since you are such an adrenaline junkie you say, is that what attracted you to do this - to have this role? And what would you like to do in the future that you haven’t done as far as a stunt or something you haven’t tackled yet? Michelle Ryan: Well, yeah, I love - answer to your first question, it absolutely drew me to the role. I think - I love - when I read the script I just felt I connected with Jaime on every level; the fact that she has this strength and feistiness and she’s smart but she also has this vulnerable side. And I felt like with the script, it’s like this ebb and flow of Jaime taking 10 steps forward and then two steps back and I love the fact that I get to do all these stunts. It sort of gives you a real buzz as you go through the week. And what I haven’t done, which is what I think is coming up, are some water sequences. I sort of had a chat with the writers and I thought wouldn’t it be great if Jaime had this sort of falls into the water and I think that’s coming up so I think I should be careful what I wish for, really. Alice Chapman-Newgen: That’s great. Okay, well, thank you. Michelle Ryan: Thank you. Coordinator: David Martindale, Hearst Newspapers. David Martindale: Hi. Thanks for doing the call. Michelle, you’re really quite wonderful in this. Michelle Ryan: Thank you. David Martindale: My question is for David and for Michelle. What do you make of the fact that since the first Bionic Woman show was on TV decades ago, a lot of the science fiction in this premise has become simply science; that there is not science fiction any more? David Eick: Well, there’s actually a line in the script about that, about how science fiction isn’t fiction any more. There’s - you know we constantly struggle, to be honest, in the writers’ room to stay current. Seems that more and more when you come up with a crazy idea, you realize the reality is even crazier and that you were actually being too tame. And the risk you run, of course, is that some things are just so hard to believe, even if they’re true, they don’t play as true. And so striking a balance between not just what is scientifically possible but what’s still scientifically believable is part of the challenge, and, you know, we continue to kind of walk that line. I think it’s a really interesting problem to try to tackle in the genre. Coordinator: The next question is from Dana Gee of Vancouver Province Newspaper. Dana Gee: Hi there Michelle. Thanks for doing this today. I’m in Vancouver with you which I’m assuming you are right now, right? Michelle Ryan: Yes, I am. Dana Gee: The first thing I wanted to ask you -- I mean, you grew up in England, did you have any contact with The Bionic Woman, the original series, or know anything about it or… Michelle Ryan: I remember seeing a couple of clips as a child and thinking that Lindsey Wagner seemed like a very nice, very pretty lady. But that’s really all I sort of - the only memories I have of it, really. Coordinator: Mike Hughes of Gannett News Service. Mike Hughes: Hey, we’re getting a real Michelle Ryan film festival over here now because they just showed Jekyll in August on BBC America. They’re going to show Mansfield Park in January on PBS and now Bionic Woman at the same time. So for us it will look like you’re this newcomer who just does everything, you know. Michelle Ryan: I know. Mike Hughes: So just give us a little idea. What was the time range of when you did those three projects and how weird was it to go back and forth between three such different things? And did, like, Jekyll give you an audience with sci-fi people back in England or are you already a star with them? Michelle Ryan: Well, I got started in a soap when I was 16 so I spent five years there which I was sort of very well known for doing. Then I left two years ago and sort of worked non-stop in lots of different roles. I sort of seeked out lots of different characters just because I like to keep the variety and have a challenge. And Jekyll I think was my first sort of showing to the sci-fi fans and then it just happened that Bionic Woman came up, which again, has a huge sci-fi element. So I think Jekyll was my introduction to the sci-fi fans really. Coordinator: The next question is from Rita Sherrow of Tulsa World. Rita Sherrow: Michelle and David, thanks for taking the call. Michelle, my question is, okay, Bionic Woman is an action, adventure, etcetera, but what’s at the heart of Jaime that made you want to play her? I mean do you want her to be all science or is there more a human being there that attracted you and what was it about her individually; taking care of her sister, you know, falling in love, being pregnant, what was it about that charter? Michelle Ryan: Yeah, I think it’s absolutely the human side. I mean I haven’t read a script like Bionic. After I left the soap, I was like I’m never going to try out for anything with huge options and then I read this script for Bionic and I was like, okay, I take it back. I’m going to because I think it’s like, yes, she has these deeper abilities, but at the core of it, it’s this young woman’s journey of self discovery and her rise to empowerment, and I feel like I’m on that journey and I just felt like an instant connection. And there’s this young character (Vivian) who also has sort of certain abilities and she comes along farther down the series and Jaime sort of takes her under wing immediately. And she’s very compassionate and she questions every step of the way when Jonas and Antonio Pope are saying to her this is what we should be doing; we’re the good guys. She questions everything. And I love that she’s just this very grounded, multi-layered character and person and that’s why I thought, yeah, there’s so much to play with her, aside from the action sequences and the sci-fi element. At the core of it, it’s this human being and I just feel like she’s got so many - so much depth, really, and I think that’s what, you know, the element I wanted to be like. I wanted to find my voice and I want to find my voice and I want to be strong and confident and I feel like playing Jaime is helping me get there. Coordinator: The next question is from Don Kaplan, New York Post. Don Kaplan: Hi David, I guess this is more of a question for you. There’s a ton of sci-fi and fantasy shows coming on network TV this fall, and I was wondering what your thoughts are on that and what might be behind that. Is it because Heroes was such a success and folks were tuning in to Lost or is it just kind of like a backlash against reality shows in general? David Eick: Well I think, certainly in the case of Bionic Woman, I think it’s sort of in its own category because you’re talking about a remake. So in addition to whatever the sci-fi or fantasy elements are to it, it’s also you’re remaking a title and that’s going to kind of put it into its own category and get its own kind of attention for that reason. I have only worked in the last five years, I guess, in what I guess they call genre programming. It’s not the limit of my experience or appetite but it’s just where I’ve been for a while and so you get a little myopic being in that world and it’s hard for me to say, you know, what might motivate other creators or writers or programmers who also move in that direction. It does seem that in the - during troubled times, our storytelling turns to the allegorical and I would characterize these times as troubling, to put it mildly, and I don’t think that that’s any coincidence that you’re seeing a lot more escape and fantasy in storytelling. Coordinator: The next question is from Joe Diliberto, Soap Opera Weekly. Joe Diliberto: Hi Michelle. Hi David. Michelle Ryan: Hi. Joe Diliberto: I’d like to ask both of you, but maybe a little more towards David is to talk about the importance of the relationship between Jaime and her sister. And David, do you think it’s really important to have that human element to contrast those sci-fi elements? David Eick: Yeah, I think that for sure the tone of the show and the goal of the show is a very kind of grounded humanistic story and that it’s about people and that you should be able to feel like you can look out your own window and see these events taking place. So that the Bionic escapist quality becomes sort of a unique thing as opposed to imbedded in the aesthetic of the world that you’re in; sort of the antithesis of something like Buffy or Dark Angel or a show where you’re dealing with a universe that’s altogether unique or different, this is our universe in which this unusual character has suddenly emerged. Coordinator: The next question is from David Zurawik, the Baltimore Sun. David Zurawik: David - this question is for David. David, in looking at the hero - looking at The Bionic Woman from late 1970s to this one, my sense is from the pilot, this is a more complicated, conflicted, interesting hero, let’s put it that way. But do the times require a different kind of hero? Did you try to work with that and say, well, that character who responded - you know, who was a response to the late 1970s might not be the person to have today, but here’s what we can work with, once you said this is the character, you know, that you were going to remake a franchise? Does it take a different kind of hero today - or let me put it this way. Could you take the hero from the late 70s and just put it down today and it would work? David Eick: Well, no, of course not. I think the angle that that show was taking had a lot to do with the different social movements in the culture, whether it was woman’s lib or the ERA. There was a great deal of talk about can a woman do what a man can do; can she be valued the same to the same extent that a man can. And I think while that debate or discussion is hardly over, it’s less of a question now, I think, in the minds of most people than perhaps the question of once a woman has done everything a man can do, do we judge her differently; what does that make us think of her? And that was part of the motivation for this character. In addition, I think I was really curious about whether you could - rather than kind of relying on that tried and true formula of okay, when you have an action girl, she’s got to be a real ass-kicker and real intimidating and in your face and proving to you that she’s not going to be underestimated. And what if you didn’t do that? What if you took the Peter Parker approach which was she’s a girl who - for whom these abilities are as shocking and unusual and difficult to juggle as they would be to you and me and is out of sorts with her powers and is uncertain how to use them and doesn’t know whether to choose being home at dinner with her sister or to go on some crazy mission for this organization. So that became a very unique approach to it as opposed to just the sort of black and white approach. Coordinator: The next question is from Daniel Malen of Thetvaddict.com. Daniel Malen: Hi. Thanks for doing this guys. Michelle, you’re fantastic in the pilot, but my question... Michelle Ryan: Thank you. Daniel Malen: ...is for David. I was wondering if as a producer, do you resent kind of the deal that’s dissipated between NBC and iTunes? Is that something you’re concerned with especially with a show that has a bit of a mythology to it and probably lends itself well to people catching up with past episodes. Is that something you’re concerned with at all? David Eick: You know, unfortunately there’s no crazier time with the possible exception of when your wife is in the delivery room than trying to launch a new television series, and so I am horribly, irresponsibly out of touch with any of that stuff right now. I couldn’t even comment on it. I just - I don’t even know what’s going on with it. Coordinator: The next question is from Troy Rogers of UGO.com. Troy Rogers: Hi Michelle. Hi David. David Eick: Hello. Michelle Ryan: Hi. Troy Rogers: This is actually for Michelle. It’s another stunt question. I was just wondering, what were the challenges of fighting Katee Sackhoff on that rooftop in the rain? Michelle Ryan: Sorry. I didn’t quite hear what you said. It was probably the line. Troy Rogers: Oh, okay. I was just wondering, what were the challenges of fighting Katee Sackhoff on that rooftop in the rain? Michelle Ryan: I think it was the rain. It was freezing cold. I mean, I love working with Katee. I think she is absolutely brilliant. She has so much energy and we just get on so well. And I think the biggest challenge was just purely the rain. I mean, Katee is a very good fighter and I sort of pick up routines very quickly and I think the biggest challenge was just the fact it was freezing cold. In a way, you kind of just use all of that and block it out. And we have some amazing fight sequences coming up in David Eick’s new script. And we just have such a good time working together and there’s such a good dynamic and energy and chemistry, and I think David Eick’s script is really exciting -- the one that he wrote. So I think that will be a good one for viewers. David Eick: Thanks honey. Michelle Ryan: Thanks. Coordinator: The next question is from Ken Gold of Media Boulevard. Ken Gold: Thanks a lot Michelle and David for doing this call with us. Michelle, my question was I was wondering the show is such a high profile series and I was wondering how you’re dealing with just all of the attention it’s getting or if it’s something that you were prepared for? Michelle Ryan: Well having spent five years on EastEnders, I felt like - feel like it was the best apprenticeship because at times the show was watched by 20 million viewers an episode when I joined the show at 16. So I kind of feel like that was the dress rehearsal for this moment. And I’m just kind of in a little cocoon in Vancouver working all hours and I get sort of (generally odd things) and people have emailed me pictures of the big billboards and I feel kind of detached which I think is good because I can just focus purely on the work and then I come over to L.A. and do some press and I’m like wow, this is real and this is happening and it’s huge and it’s everywhere. But I’m just sort of enjoying the ride and sort of trying to focus on doing the best I can do. I feel like I’m giving all of myself and I just absolutely - I’m loving it. It’s like - it’s just like I feel like a kid getting to live out all my childhood fantasies and it’s great. Coordinator: The next question is from Joshua Maloni, Niagara Frontier Publications. Joshua Maloni: Good morning to both of you. Michelle... Michelle Ryan: Good morning. Joshua Maloni: ...any time you redo a television show, any time you redo a character, you always have to win over the fans who are comfortable with the original cast and the original show. So, talk about the challenge of making this character your own. Michelle Ryan: Well I think first of all I would say that I know Lindsey Wagner became an icon for doing it and she was incredible and I’m not trying to be her. I’m just doing my own interpretation. And I love the fact that we’re bringing back this strong, young female character and I think it gives a great message, purely because, as well, I feel like with the character, you’ve got Jaime making scrambled eggs for her sister and she’s breaking the eggs and you know you’ve got her on these missions and really scared before she has to use her bionic abilities. And I feel like I’m just sort of - I just connected with the character when I first read the script, so I’m just doing it from the heart and hope that people identify with Jaime as much as I do, really. I can only sort of just focus on what I need to do and just put it out there and see what happens, really. Coordinator: The next question is from Lynn Barker of Teenhollywood.com. Lynn Barker: Hi Michelle and David. Michelle Ryan: Hi. Lynn Barker: I wanted to ask you if you researched at all people with artificial limbs or talked to people who survived devastating car wrecks or anything like that before you started the part. Michelle Ryan: No, I didn’t. I feel like with Jaime, she’s - I sort of feel like each stage Jaime learns something new, I do. So I specifically sort of not done that because I feel like Jaime, she’s trying to deal with her sister, she’s trying to deal with a boyfriend but wasn’t entirely honest with her. She’s learning as she goes along. So I feel like each new step that’s when I’ll sort of sit down and work out, you know, when Jaime views something new for the first time. There’s in an episode a moment where there’s this flash drive that has a lot of information on, and so my next sort of research will be to sort of, you know, research further the bionics, but I feel like even with the pilot sort of like each stage where Jaime improves, I’m then getting better at fighting. So I feel like I just let it sort of come along organically, you know, as the character evolves and learns more, I do. I am sort of aware of what’s going on in the world and the fact that, you know, technology has advanced so much with cloning and I’m sort of hearing about, you know, a man who had - who has a bionic hand and how it moves as sort of how hands do. And sort of just different bionics. This guy was talking about having like bionic hearing and I think it’s sort of - we’re reading in the media all the time, you know, something that seemed impossible 30 years ago is now actually - it’s not so impossible. So yeah, I just sort of - as we go along I’m learning more all the time. Coordinator: The next question is from Rick Porter of Zap2it.com. Rick Porter: Hi. Thanks to you both for doing this. David, this has - this show has gone through a couple different (release) from what we understand; some revisions and some retoolings and stuff. Can you just talk about the sort of process of getting it to where it is now and where you see it going for the rest of the season? David Eick: Well, one of the things I learned very early in my career when I was running a television company for Sam Raimi was that in the genre, so to speak, and whether it’s horror, science fiction, fantasy, superhero, there are so many permutations of what you’re doing and more of what you’re not doing and people will bring their own perspective to that. And some people come in thinking well, if it’s got, you know, someone with super strength, it must mean it has to be really kind of funny and kooky. And other people come in and say, well, it’s got someone with, you know, a tortured soul who’s had this thing perpetrated on her then it’s got to be very dark and twisted. Other people might say, well, it should be very female and soft. It’s just a whole -- I’m speaking about this show, but I think it applies to all genre material -- finding the show is a very, very tricky thing and having done non-genre shows, you know, cop shows or detective shows or whatever, I just think it’s very, very different exercise. And finding the people, not just people who get “it” but defining what the “it” is that you want everyone to get and then finding those people is its own sort of separate kind of endurance test. So I think this is really no different from frankly most of the genre shows I’ve done in that there’s a lot of turnover in the process. It’s just the way it works. Coordinator: The next question is from Mike Spitalieri of Laptop Magazine. Mike Spitalieri: Hi guys. Good morning. Michelle Ryan: Hi. Mike Spitalieri: My question, David, you mentioned that yourself and the writers are constantly striving to balance between science fiction and science facts, and I was just wondering if you guys ever took a look at any medical technology headlines and if there were any things that sort of stuck out and sparked some story ideas in the writers’ room. David Eick: Well, the answer is yes, although, I’ve got a small group of guys on the writing staff who do that. By the time it gets to the writers’ room, it’s just an idea. I don’t know the specifics of where it came from or what idea came from there versus didn’t. So I couldn’t give you chapter and verse. What we’ve sort of been inspired by other than the fact that there are -- boy, I wish I had a copy here but I don’t -- is a book we made everyone read all about groundbreaking technology. One of the examples was, you know, that some group had figured out a way how to inject a nano computer chip into the larva of a moth so that when the moth became a moth, you could use a little joystick and control where it went. And I asked if they could make that for a seven-year-old because I have a son who is a little rambunctious but they’ve got, you know, certainly a great number of stories like that that kind of gives you inspiration in one direction or another and it might hatch, you know, a completely different idea and we use them for sure. Coordinator: The next question is from Herve Tropea of TV Week. Herve Tropea: This is a question for Michelle. Michelle Ryan: Hello. Herve Tropea: Hello. Hi. This is a question for Michelle. Michelle Ryan: Yes. Herve Tropea: Michelle, I was wondering, do you think being English brings you anything different to the role? And have you met Lindsey Wagner or heard from her since you got this role? Michelle Ryan: I haven’t heard from Lindsey Wagner. Everyone is sort of have you met her, and I’m like I would like to. She’s seems like a very nice lady. I did share a lift with Jennifer Garner which I thought was an interesting omen. I didn’t say anything, though. And yeah, I think - sorry, what was your other question? Herve Tropea: My other question was do you think being English brings you anything different to the role? Michelle Ryan: I don’t necessarily think it does. I think, you know, I just identified with Jaime as a young woman and I think that goes sort of universally so it doesn’t sort of matter where you’re from. There’s this strength that she has in this inner steel - steeliness mixed with this sort of soft side, and I just feel that that’s something as a young woman I identified with. So I don’t know if it necessarily brings anything different being English. I’d have to ask David if he thinks I bring anything different. I don’t know. David Eick: Absolutely nothing; nothing different whatsoever. No, not Michelle. No, no, no. Coordinator: The next question is from Nadine Rajabi of Tvgasm.com. Nadine Rajabi: Hey Michelle. Hey David. I’m calling - I want to find out, moving out from the UK, has it been - do you find your life parallel to your character like being out here on your own? Michelle Ryan: Yeah, I feel definitely a connection. It’s sort of like I feel like I’m on this journey of self-discovery. I moved out of home and I’m away - you know, my parents are actually here this week, but I’ve had two and a half months on my own and I do feel like I’m learning all the time as Jaime is. And yeah, I definitely feel like it’s sort of helpful being away from home. There are no distractions and I can just be fully focused on the work and I think it’s - yeah, I feel like I’m at the same sort of turning point as Jaime is, really. Coordinator: The next question is from Eric Goldman of Ign.com. Eric Goldman: Hi guys. This is kind of a follow-up, I guess, to the question about (sameness) of the show. I was wondering if you could comment about Glen Morgan leaving and how that will change things for you day-to-day of variety. I also suspect you guys that you guys might take a short break, sort of figure things out in the process. David Eick: We don’t have a short break planned yet, although you always look for opportunities to give yourself time to catch up on scripts, even if they’re surprises. I mean, I think on just about every show I’ve ever done, we’ve taken a week that was unplanned and unbudgeted. You get the studio to pay for it, you know, to sort of shut things down and keep everyone on hold just to catch up or adjust your navigation a bit. So that I don’t know yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we did. I would just say it would hardly be unusual if we did. As for Glen, you know, things will change because he is a very specific personality with a great set of leadership skills and a real clear vision of the show. And to the extent some of that is going to be - undergo some adjustment, he’s going to be missed because I think we all agreed that the template he was helping to build for what the show was become was quite good and valuable and we’ll be using a great deal of it. Coordinator: The next question is from Tenley Woodman of the Boston Herald. Tenley Woodman: Hi Michelle. Michelle Ryan: Hi. Tenley Woodman: I guess my question is having been a part of such an iconic show back home in Britain, do you feel like you’re relaunching yourself here with an American audience? And also, which was harder to learn, a Cockney accent or an American accent? Michelle Ryan: I think accent-wise, the American accent is definitely something I had to work on. The Cockney accent, just having been in and around London, I did very easily. And now I feel like, you know, the further we’ve gotten into the series, the easier and easier it becomes. But I think also - it does feel like it’s a fresh start over here. And I get to sort of - I’m sort of so well-known in England for playing Zoe, who was actually quite a soft, even, slightly weak character, so I love the fact that if the show works, I’ll be sort of known as a very strong feisty character, and I think it’s a nice progression for me. And yeah, it’s exciting. I mean what better way to be launched to an American audience than by playing, you know, Bionic Woman. I do feel so lucky to have got this job. Coordinator: Your next question is from Richard Tinoco of Daily Titan. Richard Tinoco: Hello guys, how’s it going? Michelle Ryan: Hi. Good, thank you. Richard Tinoco: I was just wondering what kind of template this show will be like. Like will it just be like a bad guy per episode or will there be stories like that run through the entire season? David Eick: Well, it’s a hybrid in this form which is to say every episode has a beginning, middle and end but there is a serialized element to it so that you can ideally, you know, pop into the series midway through, get a sense of a clear story that is enjoyable in a narrative context. But also for those fans following the show week to week, there’s a larger story arc being unraveled as the episodes continue. The bad guys, as it were, are of a variety that include what we call black science -- people in kind of a classic science fiction context looking to take advantage of advanced technology for ill-will -- and this organization, The Burket Group, has been created to thwart that specifically. But as often as not, Jaime will go on a mission that’s altogether her own, where she’s perhaps trying to investigate something that might reveal a mystery about her new way of being, her bionics, her life expectancy, her - whether or not she’s going to be able to live a normal life and to what extent. And, you know, so those stories will dovetail into the so-called mission stories. And also even in a mission story sometimes the organization will tell Jaime, “Here’s your mission,” and she’ll say, “No,” or she’ll say, “Okay, I like that aspect of it but not that,” or she’ll say, “Okay, I’ll take it but only if I can do it my way.” And so it’s unorthodox in the sort of Mission: Impossible construct in that she is going to be receiving missions and going on them but not necessarily in a straightforward way. Carol Janson: (Jennifer), how many more questions do we have in queue? Coordinator: We have three follow-up questions. Carol Janson: Oh, great. Okay. I think we can handle all of those. Coordinator: The next question is from Dana Gee of Vancouver Province Newspaper. Dana Gee: Hi again. Just a couple of quick things. I wanted - you touched briefly on it earlier, but so often today the women - young women portrayed in media and pop culture are usually, you know, overtly sexualized or they’re murder victims on dramas. Can you talk a little bit about the responsibility or maybe even pride you get from playing a character that’s so different than what we’re seeing? And just a quick follow-up is just tell me a little bit about what you’ve been doing to entertain yourself while in Vancouver. Michelle Ryan: Well entertainment-wise, I’m working pretty much all hours, so I’ve been out a couple of times. I went up to Grouse Grind, but that wasn’t really relaxing. That was climbing up a mountain. But I just sort of go around to the restaurants and we go out with the ADs or some of the cast and just hang out. I love Vancouver. I think it’s such a lovely place. And I just hang out in my apartment if I’m not working, I guess. And with the responsibility, I feel I just love this character. I mean, I feel like of all the parts I’ve ever played, this is the favorite. And I feel like it’s great. I love the fact Jaime is a tomboy. She’s in her trousers and her jackets and yes, she’s sexy and yes, you know, she’s smart, but she’s very much sort of a modern woman in that she doesn’t need to flaunt that. You know, she gives the guys as good as she gets and she doesn’t flirt to get what she wants. She’s direct and she’s smart and I feel it’s just great. I feel like it’s - you know, I’m always drawn to strong characters when I watch Angelina Jolie on Tomb Raider, I feel good about myself. I feel like I want to be like that and I want to be strong. So I hope that’s what, you know, young girls sort of feel when they watch Jaime. And I love the fact, you know, that she can’t cook and the fact that, you know, she has man troubles like everybody else and, you know, she has body images issues like most women do. And I feel like, you know, she has all these bionic abilities, but, you know, she’s very real and she’s trying her best when she’s going in and arguing with Jonas. She puts on this sort of bravado but underneath, she’s scared. And when she goes on this mission with Antonio Pope, he’s sort of pushing her all the time and there are certain moments when she’s like - she’s really scared and then she has to dig deep and find herself and find her inner strength. And I feel like that’s what I’m doing, as well. I feel like it’s a really great reasonability and I think it’s very much in the writing, you know, how she sort of is this strong empowered young woman, and yeah, I think it’s just great. Coordinator: The next question is from Fred Topel of Crave Online. Fred Topel: Hi again. I was just wondering if there was anything you could take from the original Bionic Woman series. Michelle Ryan: That I could take? Fred Topel: Yes. I’m sorry, yes, Michelle, because I know you’re doing your own interpretation and it’s very different. But was there any element that you could take from the original? Michelle Ryan: Well I haven’t actually - apart from the two clips I remember seeing as a child, I haven’t really seen it. But, you know, from what I can gather, you know, it was a strong female character and the fact that she has this vulnerability and strength. I think that’s very much the theme of the original. And I guess, you know, that’s sort of what I can take from it, really. Coordinator: Troy Rogers of UGO.com. Troy Rogers: David, this is a question for you. I was just wondering, what was the decision process behind the effects? Like was there ever any talk of incorporating that slow motion look or that distinctive sound when she moves? David Eick: Sure, yeah, yeah, we talked a lot about the slow motion thing in terms of what we knew we didn’t want to do. I think the goal is always to when you do a remake you try to look for the details to reinvent. Because, you know, oftentimes, it’s the larger purpose or the larger themes aren’t that different - in our case they’re, I would say, evolved past where they were in the late 70s, but by and large it’s still about a female point of view, female perspective into an action adventure drama, and so that aspect of it remains. But I think you’re always looking for, you know, details to sort of spin in different ways. On Battlestar Galactica, you know, we got a kick out of the fact that we were all keeping the fighter pilot ships almost identical to what they were in the 70s show, but making the Battlestar Galactica itself a complete departure. So that kind of thing is fun to do. You pick places where you want to pay homage and where you really want to reinvent. Carol Janson: And I think that that was the last question, correct, (Jennifer)? Coordinator: We’ve had one more follow-up queued up. It’s Joshua Maloni of Niagara Frontier Publications. Carol Janson: Okay, then this is the last one. Joshua Maloni: David, in terms of acquiring Isaiah Washington for the cast, I mean if it’s true that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, this has to be quite a coup for the show. David Eick: Sure, I didn’t realize it was bad publicity, but it’s certainly good for the show. I mean he’s a tremendous actor and just in watching the dailies and a couple of the early cuts, he’s really sensational, just kind of elevates everything around him and brings a level of, you know, I guess you would say, gravitas to the show generally and I think it’s all good. Couldn’t be happier. Carol Janson: Thanks everybody very much. Thank you, David. Thank you, Michelle. I know that you both have to go off to your jobs. And thanks everybody for being here. Your questions were terrific. The answers were interesting.
Have a great day and a great weekend everybody, and until next week when we will be talking to the stars of two of our other upcoming shows, Life and Chuck, so looking forward to those, too. Thanks everybody. Grace Niu: Thanks everyone. Michelle Ryan: Thank you. Grace Niu: Bye. David Eick: Bye. Carol Janson: Bye-bye.
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