The Saturday Horseman Arc Commentaries.
I missed most of the songvids.
When VP & PW came in they started off with a short songvid to "Bonanza" with the horseman arc. (Of course). We all had a good laugh. And Valentine made the comment that Richard looked a lot like Hoss.
Then the tapes started.
Some jokes were made about Chubby Checker and Wheel of History. At MacLeod's line "Maybe it's your Fan Club" Peter says "Spot the ad lib line." Then Peter grabs the remote and rewinds. Then he pauses and says "Look. You got billing over me?" We all look at the screen and sure enough. VP is listed first. Big smile from him.
Peter jokes to Valentine "Here it comes....your first time on camera" Then makes a comment about the steam like "you never wash your socks." This may or may not have been a comment regarding VP's apparel Thursday night when he had to go to the front desk wearing nothing but his pajama bottoms, bathrobe and socks.For the opening sequence Peter made a remark about Valentine having a short jacket. This being a dead giveaway they you are new to Highlander and you are going to die.
(I guess like the red shirts on Star Trek).
There were also comments made by PW to VP regarding a ratty beard. (Earlier in a panel VP had made a big point of the fact that he doesn't like to spend a lot of time in make-up and so had grown his own beard [" a neat Norman number"] for Ivanhoe because he knew everyone else would look stupid with a big bushy fake beard.) Peter did an American cop imitation with "I'm obliged to put you under arrest for having a ratty beard."
More rewinding for VP's line " I like it right here; Saloons....women....whisky." Then Peter pops up "It's a Highlander convention!"
During the shoot out they rewound and made comments like "Look....This is a French actor dying!" "Another French actor dies." When MacLeod goes in the barn and points his gun around VP says "Where does he think I've gone?" because MacLeod immediately goes into the barn and points his gun at the ceiling. Then when MacLeod is on the ground and Kronos grabs the scythe everyone is chanting "Do it. Do it." There were many "aw"s from the audience when Kronos is shot and buried but VP says, "Don't worry...I come back."
For the Bronze age riding over the sand dune scene....VP said that the actors were doubled for safety reasons because they were in masks except for him. He talked Adrian into letting him ride because "I hadn't had a good gallop in years." To which Peter replied "This from a man whose baby is due in October." VP said he had had doubts about whether they could pull off this scene with the impact needed to make it look like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. But Adrian showed him the scene in a rough edit with some music to help and he was very impressed and reassured.
This is were the audience kept yelling to the French Actor "Run!" and then "Drop the sticks!"
Then VP grabs the remote and rewinds for a continuity problem. He said "I think I draw my sword twice." We go through the tape again said "No sword, no sword, no sword...sword...sword...sword....No sword.... THERE! I draw my sword again. " When we found the spot were he does it the second time he said something about knowing he'd get a good closeup. And he supposes he could have put it away again.
Every time we saw Cassie's claws people shouted "Nails!". They both seem to be delighted when the audience kept prompting them to fast forward through the MacLeod and Cassandra parts. By the end we even had Peter shouting "NAILS" whenever they showed Tracy's hands.
Then for the lines "Who are they?" "The horsemen." Peter says "I guess the horses gave it away."
VP said that filming the village scene with the horses was not at easy shot to get as the animals didn't take direction that well.
There was a comment when Kronos removes his mask but I can't remember that either.
Next there's the car scene. Peter rewound this and told us that when he's coming out of the building he's already got the knife in his chest. He's holding the bag up to cover it. (They later recreated this scene at the Sun. Q&A when VP was asked to do "Greetings, Brother." [more jokes about that later])
At a panel VP had said that since actor's are always looking for things to do with their hands and to improve the scene he had asked Gerard the director if he could hold the chains. A silent but implied threat. (I believe this was the first scene he and Peter filmed together.) He also said that he almost hit his head in exiting this scene. He was going to give one last look but there was something in the way so had to check. They laughed over the "It's what *I* do best." line. VP said it was his favorite.
They also made disparaging remarks about Duncan and the book he was reading at the beginning of the Dojo scene. Duncan trying to look educated. Peter said that he didn't have to act much to look bad because he and Jim Byrnes had been out drinking the night before.
Peter said that that was him on the horse but did we really think that was Tracy in the blanket? He also thought he would sound more Bronze Age-y if he lowered his voice. And then broke the audience up with an example. And said when Methos points at the skulls of Cassie's people that some time must have passed. He also talked about taking all this time to put on the blue "sun block" and the camera only got the left side of his face. Then when Cassandra spits at him he says "Sticks and stones may break my bones but spit will never hurt me." They also told us that Marcus already had the dragon tattoo on the side of his head so all the other make-up was influenced by that. Valentine told a story about the cloth cutting scene regarding Richard. On one of the takes Richard had his hand all wrapped up in the cloth so VP couldn't see where it was. When he came down on the cloth with the full power of his body behind the sword swing he hit at the base of Richard's thumb and the web where it meets the hand. Richard being a trooper waited until the director yelled "cut" and then promptly passed out. Then people are chanting "Do it , do it" for the second scene were Methos threatens to kill Cassandra.
Then Peter told us that when Cassandra runs out of the Dojo looking for him of course she can't find him. Because he had run around the set and was standing behind the camera. He made quite a joke out of it while the video was running. "Of course she didn't find me. I was over there, watching."
In the next scene comments were (to Kronos) "Look out behind you" and Peter saying "I have something behind my back" and VP saying "But I know it's coming." Then Valentine says "Why a dozen? That's such an odd number. Why not.....seven?" In the panel a comment was made about the blood oath scene being cut from the US version. But they showed it here. And they made comments like "We really did cut our hands. See? We really did. We had to go to "Casualty."
Peter said he was amazed that they could edit the next scene together because of the lighting. [these were the scenes that Donna and Gillian showed at Manchester and Anaheim.] The entire audience started chanting the speech. Peter had this bewildering look of amazement on his face. At the Q&A the next day he was asked how it felt to watch the episode with us and he said is was like a cross between the Rocky Horror Picture Show and a prayer meeting where he didn't know the responses. There were comments about the 'Canadian Coat Throwing Competition' between Methos and Duncan. VP made fun of it. When Duncan throws his coat Peter goes "You take off your coat and throw it, so I take mine off" "You call that throwing a coat? Let me show you how to throw a coat." By this time Methos is throwing his coat. "There. That's how you throw a coat!" The audience is howling. Peter said that in Highlander the cameras keep rolling so you keep acting.
More comments regarding Kronos reading the book at the Cassandra scene. This scene was cut for time and VP kept saying 'What happened? Where is it? Did they cut it?" He thought it was cut from the US version. The audience told him no, it was just cut for the commentary to save time. For Cassie's 'voice' thing he made a swinging gesture in front of his face and said "Watch the watch." smiling. And "Did she really think she could hypnotize Kronos?"
Then there was a cut. Cheering when Methos knocks Cassandra out. Peter rewound that part three times. Then VP said Now watch this. He'll go out the door in Bordeaux and end up on a bridge in Vancouver. It's Tracy going out of the building and Shelley Winters being dropped off the bridge. And when Peter throws the belt after her VP says "What? Didn't have a coat to throw?"
Peter said that he tried to make Methos smaller and 'deteriorate' in posture and clothing through the arc.
When the weird music plays (basically every time Kronos appears) they made are remark like "there's that damn cat again."
VP makes another coat throwing remark for this fight. Then for the fire alarm sequence he says something like "We're having this *grand* fight with all these big swords and he uses this tiny hammer to sound the alarm..." And he made some gestures for the fire alarm sequence. He also thought the ending scene of this ep was particularly powerful.
At this point it was approaching 10pm and the ACCESS staff were whispering to them about the time. But Peter and Valentine stayed and started the next ep.
Peter said that the dialogue in the forest was all overdubbed. That VP was actually giving him directions on how to ride his horse. The forest is actually outside Bordeaux. When Silas throws the axe Peter paused the tape and said Notice that my horse is smart enough to be standing back behind the tree. Then he says when Silas picks him up that at this point his voice gets higher.
In the scene in the mad house while they are walking through the basement and the 'madman' cries to Kronos "He's here, the dark man in here." VP said he doesn't like to say anything disparaging about another actor's work, but he had never rehearsed this scene or met this actor so the first time they played the scene (and he imitated the man) he said he just lost it and had to turn around. They had to shoot the scene again.
The sub base was actually built during WWII by the Germans but never used. The French resistance waited until they were almost done and then dammed the river upstream and lowered the water table enough so it was unusable. It's now a fantastic marine museum. VP also told us the the big disk with the pointy stuff and all the furniture was already there. The man who lives there makes it and it's his furniture. Peter and Valentine also made remarks about the jerky photography and music during that first shot of the base. Another remark when Methos is reading a book.
Then there is the scene walking down the hallway...The Calvin Klein commercial.
The Peter told us a Richard story. He had no lines but whenever Peter would say "What's the first rule of great drama?" Richard would pipe up with something. "What's the first rule of great drama?" "Pretty frocks?" "What's the first rule of great drama?" "Get paid up front?"
Peter said he found the scene between Methos and Silas with the monkeys particularly touching. Because he gave Silas dimension as a character. Valentine told us that the handlers had been prodding the monkeys to get them to climb up the cages for the shot. Adrian stepped in and stopped them and told them that there would be no more of that. They would get the shot their way. And if the handlers prodded the monkeys one more time they were out. (Nothing was said but I wonder if Richard took some time and some treats to work with the monkeys to get them to work in the shot. It's a question I will be sure to ask Richard at Birmingham.)
By this time it is well after 10:30pm . An ACCESS staffer whispers in VP's ear and he talks a bit and shakes his head. From the VPFC meeting previous I had heard that he was leaving the hotel at 10pm for personal reasons. It is commendable that he decided to change his plans and stay until the video ended. He is truly a gracious gentleman.
The transition scene in the church when Peter turns and it transitions into the Bronze age. Peter said that he was told how it would be but had his doubts until he saw it and thought it worked beautifully. (They've both said they are amazed at the quality of of the 14 days of work. How would it have been had they had several months like a real film. And the two eps are being edited together into a "movie" as have the other arcs. There will be more footage as well as a scene previously unaired.)
Peter made a comment about Valentine dragging Cassandra away in daylight and her escaping at night. How much time has elapsed. Then he rewound it and says "I'm not sure exactly where she stabs him?" "I take it back. I know exactly where." Then when Cassandra says "No more." Valentine says "No more what?" And Peter shouted "NAILS!" along with the rest of us. And said that they were a bit much. And Peter said that during Cassandra's escape the shots of him where he's doing voiceovers are actually from one of the takes where Kronos enters the tent and he says "She's no different than all the others." Very versatile shots.
For the cemetery scene Peter says "Now how does Methos know MacLeod only has 24 minutes left? I'm not wearing a watch. I'm just pulling on my sleeve. Good guesser?"
Then after Kronos says "Other wise I'm going to have to improvise" Peter says "Otherwise you're going to have to go out for more Kentucky Fried chicken."
They laughed about the Kronos line "Both".
Peter said the water they splashed through around the cage was really cold.
Regarding the scene on the stairway I think it was VP who said that because of the dialogue no matter if Kronos or Duncan won Methos would still be on top. And when Methos confronts Silas at the cage Peter says "Looks like he's taken sides to me."
Then VP turns to Peter and says "You're right...my hair is longer here." Peter was disappointed that they had edited out his fight with Silas. (Because of time.) Then of course we get to the double quickening (which Pelka never saw because Adrian told him to lie down and close his eyes.) The double quickening was the running gag of the Con. If you want to know Peter's opinion buy Maureen Russell's Highlander: The Complete Watcher's Guide and it's in there. And at the Q&A the next day he finally said he couldn't speak for Adrian but "It was good for me."
Then there was the double quickening. Peter says "Uh,oh. Something bad is going to happen...It's coming for me." He made a disparaging remark regarding the corkscrew special effects, calling them "Dr. Who effects." Then he says when it's over "Now that's not the slightest bit homoerotic....NOT."
Everyone was going "Aw" while Methos is crying over killing Silas. More chanting with Duncan and Cassandra over "I want him to live."
Peter said he particularly liked the line in the cemetery scene at the end "But we were brothers in arms and blood and everything but birth. And if I judged him worthy to die then I judged myself the same way. And I wanted to live. I still do."
There was a standing ovation and they began to leave. But as they were heading out the door another song vid came on with the theme from "The Monkees" and VP ran back in front to watch.
Valentine Pelka Reading