Archive for September, 2009

Sneak Peek At This Week’s Ghost Hunters – 09 – 30 – 09

September 30, 2009
Legendary rocker Meatloaf (third in from left) joins Grant Wilson and Jason Hawes along with the rest of their team on this week's Ghost Hunters. Photo copyright of The Syfy Channel

Legendary rocker Meatloaf (third in from left) joins Grant Wilson and Jason Hawes along with the rest of their team on this week's Ghost Hunters. Photo copyright of The Syfy Channel

MUSICAL legend and diehard Ghost Hunters fan Meatloaf accompanies the TAPS team on an investigation at one of the finalist locales from last year’s “Great American Ghost Hunt” search, a haunted private island in Thousand Islands, New York. Stretching over four acres, the island boasts a towering 10-bedroom mansion and boathouse. The area was formerly part of the Underground Railroad and was also used as a monastery. The Claudia family has owned the premises for the past 50 years; however, they may not be the only ones inhabiting the island. Floating heads, phantom music and glowing figures have scared the Claudias and their houseguests senseless. It’s up to the Ghost Hunters to flush out the spooks and stop them from disturbing the peace. Will the team solve the riddle of America’s most haunted island? A Bat Out of Hell airs Wednesday, September 30th @ 9 p.m. EST on The Syfy Channel.

Click on the following link to view a preview clip from this episode – 

https://rcpt.yousendit.com/745440603/6683eb6524bc6360b9ad042ce98c30c5

As noted above, the photo is courtesy of and copyright of The Syfy Channel, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!

The Hit British TV Series Primeval Returns From Extinction

September 29, 2009
Abby (Hannah Spearritt), Danny (Jason Flemyng) and Connor (Andrew Lee Potts) will be back for more adventures on Primeval. Photo copyright of Touchstone Pictures

Abby (Hannah Spearritt), Danny (Jason Flemyng) and Connor (Andrew Lee Potts) will be back for more adventures on Primeval. Photo copyright of Impossible Pictures Limited

IT was announced this morning by BBC America that a unique collaboration has guaranteed the return of the hit ITV series Primeval to BBC America and TV screens across the globe. The groundbreaking deal between Impossible Pictures Limited (IPL), BBC Worldwide (BBCW) and ITV will deliver 13 new episodes n 2011. It will also ensure that the spectacular effects that have made Primeval such a huge success will continue throughout the new season.

Original co-production partners ITV, ProSieben and BBC Worldwide return to co-fund the new series, with BBC Worldwide becoming the majority funding partner. BBC America takes on a full co-production credit for the first time and UKTV becomes a first-time investor. Jonathan Drake, Managing Director of Impossible Pictures Limited says, “The dramatic changes in the business of broadcasting in the last 12 months have meant we have had to completely rethink how we put the funding together for a top-end series like Primeval. The fact that the series is so well-established and loved both in the UK and overseas has meant that everyone has been willing to do their best to give us the backing we needed. With the continued enthusiasm of co-producers such as ProSieben and the fantastic support of the team at BBC Worldwide we have stitched together a ground-breaking clutch of deals that will guarantee Primeval‘s ongoing success.

Helen Jackson, BBC Worldwide’s Director of Independents added, “There was a real desire between Impossible Pictures, ITV, ProSieben and BBC Worldwide to make this project succeed and to bring Primeval back from the brink of extinction. Our increased investment in the title is a reflection of our belief in the quality of the whole production and its international appeal.”

Richard de Croce, SVP Programming at BBC America adds, “Primeval is one of BBC America’s all-time top 10 shows and we’re thrilled to be co-producing the new season. It’s an innovative deal securing the future of an innovative show – and we can’t wait to bring it back to U.S. fans.”

The new series will be show run once again by Adrian Hodges and will feature the return of stars from the previous series, including Hannah Spearritt, Andrew Lee Potts and Jason Flemyng, alongside special effects created by the award-winning team at Framestore CFC. Primeval is one of BBC Worldwide’s most successful drama exports and has been sold to over 45 counties, including Australia, America, Singapore and South Korea. In the UK, the show, which broadcast on ITV1, reached audiences of over 5.5 millon every week.

Sneak Peek At This Week’s Destination Truth – 09 – 30 – 09

September 29, 2009
Destination Truth's Josh Gates takes viewers on another global mystery tour this week. Photo courtesy and copyright of The Syfy Channel

Destination Truth's Josh Gates takes viewers on another global mystery tour this week. Photo courtesy and copyright of The Syfy Channel

IN this chilling episode of Destination Truth, entitled Ghosts of Chernobyl/Sal’awa, the team embarks on a paranormal investigation at the desolate site of the world’s worst nuclear accident, the Chernobyl power plant, located in what is now the Ukraine. The tragic disaster in 1986 resulted in numerous deaths, and today, some locals living on the edge of the disaster zone tell stories about apparitions of the deceased still present among the affected towns, particularly in the abandoned town of Pripyat, the former home for the Chernobyl workers. Ghosts of Chernobyl/Sal’awa airs Wednesday, September 30th @ 10 p.m. EST on The Syfy Channel.

The Destination Truth crew is the first film crew ever to obtain permits and film inside the Chernobyl reactor zone overnight. After gathering their research, Josh Gates and his team use high-tech anti-radiation suits and travel through several remote checkpoints before entering the abandoned towns. Armed with state-of-the-art dosimeters and Geiger counters to measure radiation, the team beings a nail-biting investigation of one of the world’s most devastated destinations. Ghost Hunters Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson make a guest-appearance to help analyze the team’s footage.

The team then heads to the blistering sands of Cairo, Egypt, where locals claim to have been attacked by a monstrous creature thirsty for human blood – the Sal’awa.

Click on the following line to view a clip from this episode – https://download.yousendit.com/Y1RvclVLeFh6RS92Wmc9PQ

As noted above, photo courtesy and copyright of The Syfy Channel, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!

It’s A Boy For The Ghost Whisperer’s Melinda and Jim

September 28, 2009

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ON last week’s season premiere of Ghost Whisperer, Birthday Presence, Melinda (Jennifer Love Hewitt) and Jim (David Conrad) welcomed their little boy, Aiden, into the world. As fans of the series already know, this little bundle of joy has inherited his mother’s gift for seeing spirits as prophesied in the Book of Changes, but with one important difference, which will have far-reaching consequences. To get a look at the official “birth announcement,” check out the following link – http://gwfansite.com/baby/?x=mailer

For Ghost Whisperer news on the go (ghostly updates and spooky content), check out the Ghost Whisperer Super Fan TWITTER page – http://twitter.com/ghostwhisperer/

Because of the response to the show by fans around the world with questions about how things work at the intersection of the living and the dead, CBS has launched an online site featuring Ghost Whisperer‘s real-life ghost whisperer, Mary Ann Winkowski. On this site – Ask Mary Ann – http://ghostwhisperer.tumblr.com/– she will answer fan questions about the ghost world. In addition to being a consultant on the series, Mary Ann Winkowski authored When Ghosts Speak: Understanding the World of Earthbound Spirits, and her new novel, The Book of Illumination: A Novel from the Ghost Files, hits bookstores on October 6th, 2009. Book tour dates are still being locked in.

Legacy Interactive, CBS and Ghost Whisperer are producing the first-ever Ghost Whisperer video game, Ghost Whisperer: Shadowlands, which will debut on the PC and include characters and themes from the hit TV series. The video game, written by Emmy Award-winning TV writer Lance Gentile, is scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2010. Check out http://www.legacyinteractive.com

Finally, IDW has printed a new limited edition special collectors version of the Ghost Whisperer graphic novel The Muse. Check out http://www.idwpublishing.com/catalog/series/414

Defying Gravity’s Paula Garces – Act Of Faith

September 27, 2009
Paula Garces as Paula Morales on Defying Gravity. Photo by Kharen Hill and copyright of Fox Studios and ABC

Paula Garces as Paula Morales on Defying Gravity. Photo by Kharen Hill and copyright of Fox Studios and ABC

If you have to go to work, it helps if you like your job, and that is definitely true of Defying Gravity‘s Paula Garces. It is only the middle of what looks to be a long day on the show’s Vancouver set, but the actess is still full of energy and eager to talk about her involvement in the series. Her character of Paula Morales is part of an international team of eight astronauts who, after five years of intense training, set off in 2052 on a six-year journey to explore our solar system onboard the spaceship Antares. Besides her duties as mission payload specialist, Paula is also transmitting daily status reports back to school classrooms on Earth. It goes without saying that she wears a lot of proverbial hats, and Morales could not wait to try on every single one of them.

“My character is obviously of Latin descent, although we haven’t specified exactly from where,” notes the actress, who is back in her trailer after a quick visit to make-up in preparation for her next scene. “Paula is also a scientist and a pilot as well as extremely religious and conservative, so she’s constantly having to deal with conflicts between her faith and science as well as religion. On top of that, Paula is experiencing the various difficulties that I think anyone in real life would be faced with if they were travelling in space and separated from their family and friends for an extended period of time. She’s in charge of a space classroom as well, and when you lump all that together, Paula can occasionally be a little bit off-putting because she’s quite misunderstood by those around her.

“So she needs to be a number of different people at the same time. Paula has to be bubbly and smart along with cute and charming so that the kids back on Earth will listen and actually learn something from her. At the same time, she has some dark issues to deal with and, again, is conflicted, which sometimes ticks off the people she works with. So it’s been really interesting to see her develop, and I’ve been very lucky as far as the writing. The show’s producers/writers have given me a great storyline that I can wrap myself around and lose myself in. It’s a lot to do, but I love it and I hope I’m doing a good job.

“This part is full of layers and, again, I’m thrilled with the fact that my character is not only a scientist and astronaut, but also someone of faith. At the beginning I was wondering how that would work, but in researching the role I discovered that several astronauts are religious, specifically Catholic, and have even taken communion up in space and things of that nature. There is so much I can play with as Paula, including the fact that she’s petite and cute and sometimes doesn’t get taken very seriously. Yes, there are still stereotypes that she has to fight against, even in the not-so-distant future. It only goes to show that everything changes, and yet some things remain the same.”

Paula Morales holding "virtual class" with her students back on Earth. Photo by Sergei Bachlakov and copyright of Fox Studios and ABC

Paula Morales holding "virtual class" with her students back on Earth. Photo by Sergei Bachlakov and copyright of Fox Studios and ABC

Like most acting opportunities, Garces was sent the pilot script for Defying Gravity by her manager, and as soon as she began reading it, she became enamored of the Paula Morales character. “That can sometimes be the kiss of death for an actor,” she says. “We get sent so many scripts, a lot of which aren’t very good. So when a good script does come along, you fall in love with it, but you don’t want to deal with the heartbreak in case things don’t work out.

“I actually flew to Toronto to audition for the role with Michael Edelstein [series executive producer] and David Straiton, who directed our first episode. I was very nervous, but David read with me and said, ‘Don’t worry, you’re totally rocking it.’ As soon as I heard that, it kind of gave me the confidence that I think the role needed. I also feel that was something that James Parriott [series creator/executive producer] needed to subsequently see from me in-person, too, because prior to this they had just watched a tape of my work. Once that saw that confidence, though, I think that’s what made them decide, ‘OK, maybe we should give Paula Garces a shot at this role.’ So I really have to thank David for saying what he did to me during my audition, which is not typical. You usually don’t know that early on whether or not they like you. Sometimes I think I’m totally awesome during an audition, but I guess I stink because I don’t get the job,” jokes the actress. “Other times, I think I blew it and I get hired. It’s a crazy business, but in this case I’m delighted that things worked out the way they did.”

Although Garces’ audition jitters soon became a distant memory, those butterflies in her stomach returned, albeit briefly, when filming began on Defying Gravity‘s opening episode. “I think we were all terrified because it’s such a big show,” she says. “We had to establish the ship and the outer space elements as well as our characters’ training and them being astronauts and so forth. Then there were the technical elements, including getting to know the sets, dealing with green screen and the wire work, the latter of which is necessary with any scene where there is zero gravity and our characters have to ‘float.’

“So that was all pretty daunting simply because there was so much foundation for us to lay, and if you don’t do it right away and grab your audience’s attention, then they won’t give the series a chance. Having said that, I think our first episode stands on its own and hooks you into our story and all its wonder, which includes hope for the future and finding answers to the unknown.

All smiles inside the Antares' lab. Photo by Sergei Bachlakov and copyright of Fox Studios and ABC

All smiles inside the Antares' lab. Photo by Sergei Bachlakov and copyright of Fox Studios and ABC

“The thing is, I see this show as being less Science Fiction and more Science Fact. It deals with things that are happening now in the real world with regard to space travel and how it’s likely to change or improve over the next 40 or 50 years. That’s a huge undertaking because you have to keep things real. You can’t be like, ‘OK, we’re going to magically teleport ourselves to that planet.’ Everything has to be thought out and make sense. So our first story really gives you a taste of what the relationships between these people are like and what they’ll be facing in their next six years together on this extraordinary mission that I believe humankind would one day want to take.”

When it comes to relationships, perhaps the oddest one onboard the Antares is between Paula and theoretical physicist Steve Wassenfelder (Dylan Taylor). The two formed an unexpected bond during training, specifically during medical training when a man under the influence of an unusual drug died in front of them. Since leaving Earth orbit, “Wass” has taken pot shots at Paula’s religious beliefs, and at one point even accidentally injured her, but despite this there remains a connection between them.

“Now that I’ve watched some of the footage, I find Paula and Wass to be the ‘youth vote’ on the ship if you will,” muses Garces. “As for the actual reason why she feels connected to him, I believe it’s because she finds Wass brilliant. At first he comes across as a slacker, and I think Paula sees him as a waste of talent. My character is someone who works hard and is very disciplined, so she doesn’t quite get the whole slacker mentality. However, what Paula eventually comes to realize is that this is just Wass’ way of dealing with the isolation of space and being on this mission, which is actually a pretty smart way of looking at things.

“As these two characters have their conversations and debates, because they have quite a few debates on science and religion, Paula sees that underneath all that information and ‘I don’t care’ attitude, Wass has a huge heart. And I think vice versa, he admires how disciplined she is. He begins to realize that maybe he should worry about Paula and try to give her certain [scientific] information that perhaps she’s a little too stubborn to see because of her faith.”

Moments before an unfortunate accident that nearly ended Paula's involvement in the Antares mission. Photo by Sergei Bachlakov and copyright of Fox Studios and ABC

Moments before an unfortunate accident that nearly ended Paula's involvement in the Antares mission. Photo by Sergei Bachlakov and copyright of Fox Studios and ABC

Coincidentally, one of Garces’ favorite Defying Gravity moments is with her and Dylan Taylor. “I love doing wire work, and there’s a scene between Paula and Wass where a section of the ship loses gravity,” says the actress. “As tricky as it was doing the wire work, there was a great deal of humor in that scene. I don’t want to spoil it for those who might not have seen the episode yet, but one of these two characters isn’t a very good astronaut when it comes to floating, but I’m not going to tell you who,” she teases.

“That scene was so funny and realistic, because if you stop and think about it, astronauts are human beings, right, and not robots. Once they finish whatever tasks they’re supposed to do in a day when they’re up there in space, they have to live their lives. So they’re working out, eating, sleeping, reading, acting silly, whatever, and I think this particular scene with Paula and Wass helped bring out the human side of what could happen to someone up in space who’s not accustomed to being in zero gravity. The special effects in the scene are incredible and how we shot it was really cool. It was done in a very different style and we used a bunch of tricks that I didn’t even know about, so it was a great learning experience as well.”

The eldest of two sisters, Garces grew up in New York’s Spanish Harlem and was raised by her mother, who encouraged her interest in the arts. “I had braces when I was 12, and by coincidence I met this agent at a dinner party that my mom gave,” recalls the actress. “She thought I was cute and said to me, ‘Come see me when you get your braces off because I think you can make some money doing TV commercials.’

“A year later that same agent came to our house again and she asked me, ‘Why didn’t you come see me?’ Later on, my mom asked me to at least make an effort to go see this woman because she was her friend, so I did and ended up getting five auditions, including one with [producer/writer/director] Martin Scorsese. Of course, I had no idea who he was, and when I got home from the audition my mom asked how it went. I told her it was OK and that I spoke with some guy whose last name sounded like Spacey. My mom called her friend to find out more, and this woman told her, ‘Well, first of all, your daughter was auditioning for Martin Scorcese, who is directing a public service announcement about drugs, alcohol, teenage sex and AIDS. It’s going to be shown in theaters nationwide and, oh, by the way, she got the job. Paula is super-funny, down-to-Earth and was the only one who was completely honest and kind of told him [Martin] off.’

Having previously worked together on another series, Paula Garces and Malik Yoba (Ted Shaw) are reunited on Defying Gravity. Photo be Sergei Bachlakov and copyright of Fox Studios and ABC

Having previously worked together on another series, Paula Garces and Malik Yoba (Ted Shaw) are reunited on Defying Gravity. Photo be Sergei Bachlakov and copyright of Fox Studios and ABC

“My mom was like, ‘Oh, my God,’ and after hanging up the phone she immediately educated me on who Martin Scorsese was,” laughs Garces. “He’s the reason I got my SAG [Screen Actors Guild] card, and from there I was lucky enough to get work on most of the New York-based TV series including Law and Order as well as New York Undercover with Malik Yoba [Ted Shaw on Defying Gravity], Oz and The Sopranos. I got my big break when Jerry Bruckheimer cast me in Dangerous Minds starring Michelle Pfeiffer. Following that I did a soap opera [The Guiding Light] for three years, then [the feature films] Clockstoppers and Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle, and I just carried on from there.”

On TV, the actress is perhaps best known for her performance as Officer Tina Hanlon on the crticially-acclaimed FX series The Shield. “Every single day on the The Shield was a wonderful challenge,” she says. “I was only supposed to do one episode. From what I remember, the producers were auditioning very muscular women for this particular role, and here I was this tiny little thing. However, I thought, ‘The easy route for a female cop would be a big, muscular, in-shape, tough looking woman. But what about the female cops out there who don’t necessarily look intimidating, but who are still street-smart, know they can kick ass, and have an intuition about them that would be an asset on the streets as far as fighting crime.’

“So that’s how I spun it, and I think they saw in my audition that I would be good next to this big guy, Michael Jace [Officer Julian Lowe], who ended up being my partner on the show, and the dynamic worked. After that first episode, they asked me if I would continue as a recurring character, and the next season they invited me to be part of the regular cast. It was a fantastic program to work on and, of course, after they established my character, they took great pleasure in having this cute little girl run through the streets, beating up bad guys with a baton, and cuffing them,” laughs Garces. “They gave me all this nasty, gritty material, and I think the show’s writers enjoyed seeing the expression on my face when I’d first read the scripts. It’s that quality and high standard of writing that keeps you on your toes and interested in your job. It’s the same on Defying Gravity.”

As the actress approaches her 20th year in the business, Garces has not become at all jaded about the work, and has no intensions of falling into that trap. “I still get a thrill out of booking a job,” she enthuses. “You study your lines, go into the audition room, bear your soul and hope that they like you. I don’t know what it is about us actors, but we’re desperate for other people to like us and reward us for just memorizing our lines. So when I get that phone call from my agent or my manager saying I got the job, it’s such a high for me. It’s the best phone call you can get as an actor.”

Steve Eramo

Defying Gravity is produced by Fox Television Studios and OmniFilm Productions in association with the BBC, Canada’s CTV and Germany’s ProSieben. As noted above, all photos by Sergei Bachlakov or Kharen Hill and copyright of Fox Studios and ABC, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!

This Week On Robin Hood – 09 – 26 – 09

September 26, 2009
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Much (Sam Troughton) and Robin Hood (Jonas Armstrong) plan their next strategy. Photo copyright of Tiger Aspect

SPOILER ALERT!! – While Gisborne (Richard Armitage) is still in London, the Sheriff (Keith Allen) learns that the Abbot of Kirkless (David Hayman, Trial & Retribution) is guilty of an heretical act. Seeing an opportunity, the Sheriff blackmails the religious dignitary and forces him to help bring down Robin Hood. Robin and the outlaws arrive in Locksley to hear the Abbot demanding that the villagers turn Robin in for stealing from the Church. When Tuck is finally able to confront the Abbot about his deal with the Sheriff, he’s amazed to learn that the Abbot’s heresy is that he’s translating the Bible into English – an act which will change the known world. Episode three of season three airs Saturday, September 26th @ 9 p.m. EST/PST on BBC America.

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Poor Robin finds himself in more hot water. Photo copyright of Tiger Aspect

 

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Tuck (David Harewood) uncovers some interesting facts during his chat with the Abbot of Kirkless (David Hayman). Photo copyright of Tiger Aspect

 

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Kate (Joanne Froggatt) and Rebecca (Teresa Bonham) end up in the midst of some irate villagers. Photo copyright of Tiger Aspect

As noted above, all photos copyright of Tiger Aspect, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!

Children Of The Corn On Syfy

September 25, 2009

TUNE-IN ALERT!! – One of the most famous cult films of the 1980’s, Children of the Corn, is coming back as The Syfy Channel presents the newest version of the spine-tingling tale premiering Saturday, September 26th @ 9 p.m. EST/PST. Based on the popular Stephen King novella of the same name, Syfy’s Children of the Corn is sure to terrorize the millions of fans who will welcome back the nefarious Isaac and the rest of his young worshipers. Starring Kandyse McClure (Battlestar Galactica) and David Anders (Heroes), Children of the Corn breathes new life into one of Hollywood’s most recognized film franchises, creating a new legacy of nail-biting drama.

Burton (David Anders) and Vicki (Kandyse McClure) have no idea what is ahead of them in Children of the Corn. Photo by Ben Easter and copyright of The Syfy Channel

Burton (David Anders) and Vicki (Kandyse McClure) have no idea what is ahead of them in Children of the Corn. Photo by Ben Easter and copyright of The Syfy Channel

Children of the Corn tells the story of a couple on the verge of divorce who, while traveling down the desolate roads of Nebraska, hit and kill a child who runs out from a cornfield. Taking the body into the nearest town, they find a place inhabited only by religious fanatic children, descendants of a generation that murdered their sinful parents. The couple is stalked by the children, who kill anyone over 18 so the town can remain pure.

Burton (David Anders) meets up with some not-so-friendly locals. Photo by Ben Easter and copyright of The Syfy Channel

Burton (David Anders) meets up with some not-so-friendly locals. Photo by Ben Easter and copyright of The Syfy Channel

Click on the following link to get a sneak peek at the movie – http://download.yousendit.com/Y1Rwd0VKY3lrUmxjR0E9PQ

As noted above, all photos by Ben Easter and copyright of The Syfy Channel, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!

Ghost Hunters International’s Barry FitzGerald and Dustin Pari – Kindred Spirits

September 24, 2009
Ghost Huners International teammembers (L-R): Barry FitzGerald, Brandy Green, Robb Demerest, Angela Alderman, Dustin Pari and Joe Chin from the fifth season Ghost Hunters episode "Crossing Over." Photo by Cheryl Senter and copyright of The Syfy Channel

Ghost Hunters International teammembers (L-R): Barry FitzGerald, Brandy Green, Robb Demarest, Angela Alderman, Dustin Pari and Joe Chin from the fifth season Ghost Hunters episode "Crossing Over." Photo by Cheryl Senter and copyright of The Syfy Channel

Before The National Enquirer became a trashy supermarket tabloid, it used to run a variety of stories, including those about haunted houses, castles and other properties in foreign countries, typically England. Whether or not there was any truth to such stories, they made for interesting reading. After all, there is nothing quite like a good ghost story to get your blood flowing and send a chill up your spine.

These days there are plenty of TV shows that investigate paranormal phenomenon around the world. Not many, though, employ the latest high-tech know-how to not only try to prove the possible existence of ghosts, but in some cases debunk legends and stories. Ghost Hunters International is one such show. A spin-off of the hugely popular Syfy Channel series Ghost Hunters, its hosts have traveled to exotic, strange and remote places to try to communicate with spirits, both good and evil. Two of GHI‘s familiar faces, Barry FitzGerald (lead investigator/tech manager) and Dustin Pari (investigator), actually began their TV paranormal careers on the original GH.

“I had been involved with paranormal research within Ireland, and when the Ghost Hunters team came across the pond [for the season three episode Attack of the Irish Elemental], they needed someone native to the area to help them with their work,” says FitzGerald. “So for me, it was a case of being in the right place at the right time and it took off from there. Dustin is very different, though. He has a greater story than I have and with lots of bells and whistles.”

Says Pari, “I was living back in Rhode Island and was actually up late one night watching TV when I caught an episode from the first season of Ghost Hunters. At that time I had no idea that the show was actually based not even 15 minutes from my house. Having been interested in the [paranormal] field since I was about 16 years old, I sought these guys out and, interestingly enough, they gave me an interview at a Starbucks. After that, I joined the home team and worked off-camera, and then they gave me a chance to be on the show.

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(L-R): Robb Demarest, Dustin Pari and Barry FitzGerald from the season one GHI episode "Restless Souls of Sweden." Photo by Mikael Pilstrand and copyright of The Syfy Channel

“The first time I shot an episode it was absolutely fascinating because I’d never had access to the type of equipment that they were using. Having previously done this sort of investigating with a couple of my high school buddies, we just used tape recorders along with still cameras and lots of flash photography. So to all of a sudden be using this kind of equipment was really interesting. And then to be where I am now, it’s mind-blowing to be travelling the world, seeing incredible historic sites, and having the chance to investigate places that I would never have dreamed I’d ever have access to. It’s a long way from doing the supposed haunted house on the outskirts of town that people tell stories about, to being in these huge castles and homes all across Europe.”

Given GH‘s tremendous success, Syfy decided to cast its paranormal net further afield and GHI was born. Having left the original GH series to start a family, Pari was eventually reunited with Barry FitzGerald and together they joined with lead investigator Robb Demarest and fellow GHI investigators to begin their global exploration into the supernatural world. While the prospect of further ghostly encounters was sure to draw viewers, FitzGerald identifies another aspect that would make the new series interesting to those watching.

“Obviously they decided to set the series around my good looks and wonderful accent,” he jokes. “No, seriously, I think a major plus for GHI is that we’re touching on history throughout the world. You can go onto a site in Ireland and sometimes reach as far back as 900 AD. We have a set of tombs that I keep going on about that predate the Great Pyramids of Giza, so our history goes back a long, long way.

“Of course, once you get to Africa and places like that, the history starts stemming back 30,000 years, which just blows me away. There’s also the opportunity to see the different types of hauntings that can occur both north and south of the hemisphere and discover the commonalities between them. That’s extremely important and it gives us a better understanding when it comes to the question of what happens after death.

(L-R): Robb Demarest, Barry FitzGerald and Shannon Sylvia investigate "Evil Unearthed." Photo by Gareth Phillips and copyright of The Syfy Channel

(L-R): Robb Demarest, Barry FitzGerald and Shannon Sylvia investigate "Evil Unearthed." Photo by Gareth Phillips and copyright of The Syfy Channel

“The first GHI investigation we did was at Chillingham Castle in England. Having been involved in paranormal research in Ireland and the United Kingdom I had heard a lot of reports about the castle, but never had the chance to go there. So to be part of that investigation was wonderful, and the experiences that Donna [LaCroix, case manager] and I had in the underground entrance to the castle were remarkable. The noises that were coming from that location were just tremendous and certainly guiding us along to see what else we could uncover.”

Despite having a proven winner in GH to draw inspiration from, GHI still faced challenges getting started, including trying to establish its own paranormal foundation to build upon. “Getting this show off the ground was difficult as far as finding the first set of locations,” explains FitzGerald. “We were up against [the British series] Most Haunted, especially within the UK, because they had aired, I believe, four seasons in front of us. So it was tough trying to compete with them, but once we got started we soon found our niche and slipped into it. Our show is very different now, even from Ghost Hunters, because we’re focusing a lot on new technology as well as advancing the field and trying to explain it all in an environmental situation that the layman can understand. And the response we’ve received so far has been wonderful.”

Continues Pari, “I really do feel as well that we’re focusing a lot more on the technological aspects with the development of the full-spectrum camera that Barry has brought into the team. We’ve really garnered some incredible results capturing photographs from several locations, and with the episodes that people are seeing this [second] season, we’ve combined that technology with video using the full-spectrum DVR camera and are also seeing results there.

“I think this kind of advancement is very important in the field. When you being to get results using certain tools, there’s a tendency to fall into a familiar routine. Yes, you get some positive results, but there are no advancements being made, and I think what we’re doing now is really pushing those boundaries. And on behalf of Barry and myself, we also have a personal respect for the metaphysical realm and that side of things, which is important to bear in mind during investigations as well. It’s a matter of keeping yourself open and gathering better and better evidence. That’s what sparked Barry and me to put together our new book, which is called The Complete Approach [published in the U.S. on August 7th, 2009]. It combines the metaphysical understanding of this field along with the scientific research and approach to it. It’s something we’re really proud of and it’s already received a great deal of interest, which, again, has come out of advancements we’ve made within the field.”

(L-R): Donna LaCroix, Shannon Sylvia and Barry FitzGerald at Chillingham Castle. Photo by Justin Canning and copyright of The Syfy Channel

(L-R): Donna LaCroix, Shannon Sylvia and Barry FitzGerald at Chillingham Castle. Photo by Justin Canning and copyright of The Syfy Channel

As with most people working abroad, the GHI team faces the occasional hurdle that they must overcome. “I think one of the biggest challenges is getting through customs, because when you have to write down what your occupation is, it’s not easy to explain that you look for ghosts,” says Pari. “That always raises a few eyebrows and you have to spend time trying to explain exactly what you’re doing. Language barriers, obviously, create some interesting situations. My three years of high school Spanish can only get me so far,” he jokes, “but it’s been going OK. One thing that I find fascinating from a sociological point of view is that people in certain countries aren’t always that accepting of the paranormal. The field is viewed quite differently in some parts of the world, France, in particular. The French have had a very hard time admitting that something very conclusive is, in fact, paranormal. Some cultures embrace what we do quite a bit, and others aren’t really into it, so that’s something we need to address and adjust while we’re on the road.”

Says FitzGerald, “Regarding languages, we’ve been finding something extremely unusual when addressing the EVP [electronic voice phenomenon] sessions during filming. The thing is, we knock ourselves out trying to learn the language that is native to where we happen to be, but in the EVP sessions a lot of the responses coming back to us are in English, which, again, is quite unusual. We still don’t know why that’s happening, but it’s part of this field and something we’re further looking into.

“I’m still getting used to which side of the road we’re meant to be driving on when we’re travelling. That can be another obstacle because we’re back and forth all the time, and if the roads aren’t marked it can often lead to trouble. Food, of course, can also sometimes be an issue, especially in Italy. I’m not a great lover of pizza and pasta. I’m more the Irish potato kind of guy, and you tend not to get too much of that in Italy. When we were in Peru, I tried guinea pig, which I must admit I don’t think I’d ever try again, and at the moment we’re down here in Australia where I’ve been dining on kangaroo and things of that nature. So sometimes it’s a little hard to get used to, but other times it’s just fine.”

During GHI‘s first season, FitzGerald, Pari and their teammates trekked around the world and visited numerous locales including St. Mary’s Close in Edinburgh, Scotland; Dartmstadt, Germany and Frankenstein’s Castle; the Grande Hotel in Cambuquira, Brazil; and Castillo de la Coracera in Madrid, Spain.

(L-R): Angela Alderman, Robb Demarest, Dustin Pari, Joe Chin, Brandy Green and Barry FitzGerald in the season one GHI episode "Restless Souls of Sweden." Photo by Mikael Pilstrand and copyright of The Syfy Channel

(L-R): Angela Alderman, Robb Demarest, Dustin Pari, Joe Chin, Brandy Green and Barry FitzGerald in the season one GHI episode "Restless Souls of Sweden." Photo by Mikael Pilstrand and copyright of The Syfy Channel

“For me, the scariest place we visited back in season one is Orava Castle [in Slovakia],” recalls Fitzgerald. “Confronting that particular entity in the Octagon Tower was very memorable. I must admit that we did go back and try to confront it again, but the first time it appeared to me, it certainly made me sit up and pay attention and try to get the hell out of there as fast as I could.”

Says Pari, “The [Dunedin] New Zealand trip to visit Larnach Castle is especially memorable for me because it was my first time working with the GHI team. I was reunited with some of my old GH teammates, including Barry, and I met some of the new guys, too. It was the dawn of a new era for me in this field, and I’d never really been out of the country before either, except for Ireland and England. So to fly all the way down to New Zealand was remarkable on its own. It was a good time for me to kind of start things over, and whenever I look at a map I can’t believe how many places I’ve been to just between last season and this one.”

This second season of GHI, the investigators have so far gone back to Ireland to visit an 18th century prison (Wicklow’s Gaol) as well as the Czech Republic and Houska Castle, reputed to have been built over the gates of Hell. They also made a first-time trip to Austria and a 500-year-old torture chamber (Witches Castle). The show’s penultimate mid-season pair of cases, Spirits of Italy, unfolds at the Tuscan castle of Malaspina, former residence of the doomed lover Bianca Maria Alosia, and the Palazzo Ducale, home to Genoa’s doges and their prisoners. GHI‘s mid-season finale, Holy Spirit, finds the team in South America to investigate the El Bosque City Hall in Chile and Santiago Severin Library in Valparaiso.

“I really enjoyed the investigations we did in Italy,” says Pari. “Unlike Barry, I’m a big fan of pizza and pasta, plus I grew up in an Italian household, so being there was good. We also got to see some of the sights, including Rome, the Coliseum and the Vatican. It was a fantastic opportunity, and the cases were really well-put together. I found myself staying at this little castle [Malaspina] on top of a mountain, and in the morning I’d wake up, look out the window and think, ‘God, how did I ever get here?’ There was a particular story about a young girl who was walled up alive, which I’m finding more and more of as I travel through Europe. Apparently, it was a popular thing back then, but I found this story quite touching. And one of our new recruits, Ashley [Godwin] had a personal experience trying to contact that girl. Maybe I’m just a romantic at heart, but those are the moments, when there is a tender story, that really make me appreciated what we do.”

(L-R from second in): Robb Demarest, Dustin Pari and Barry FitzGerald check out some "Skeletons in the Closet." Photo copyright of The Syfy Channel

(L-R from second in): Robb Demarest, Dustin Pari and Barry FitzGerald check out some "Skeletons in the Closet." Photo copyright of The Syfy Channel

Adds Fitzgerald, “I would tend to agree with Dustin that Malaspina was truly memorable. To be able to go up onto the roof of the castle and watch this amazing storm front come over the top of the mountains was a remarkable experience to be had, and the activity going on there was good as well. My pastime is photography, so I got an incredible amount of photographs from that particular location once the sun started to set. Chile was an amazing place, too, and memorable because of the dogs. They have thousands and thousands of dogs that just roam the streets, but the locations themselves were most impressive.”

Unlike most jobs, “ghost hunting” is not your average 9-5 gig with a desk, lunch hour and two weeks vacation a year. It is, however, as FitzGerald and Pari have explained, an occupation filled with exciting, educational, unforgettable and sometimes scary moments. Not many people would have the passion, or the nerves of steel, to make it their line of work. So what first drew these GHI investigators to the paranormal world?

“My interest certainly stems from the fact that I grew up in a house which presented such activity,” says FitzGerald. “As a child waking up on Christmas Eve and dying of thirst, I needed to get some water, and seeing an apparition coming up the stairs that I knew wasn’t my parents, frightened the absolute living hell out of me. I thought it was Santa and because I’d been caught awake, I wouldn’t be getting any toys that year. For me, that was my first indication that something more was out there and it sparked the curiosity that has presently led to 10 years of research.”

Recalls Pari, “As a little kid I was always fascinated with Halloween. It was my favorite holiday, even over Christmas. I’m not a big horror movie guy, but I enjoy anything to do with classic ghost stories and stuff like that. When I was younger and living with my parents in a small house in Providence [Rhode Island] I had a nighttime encounter with what we now refer to in the field as a shadow figure. I remember seeing this thing in my room and being terrified, so I threw the covers over my head and, being a good little Catholic schoolboy, prayed and prayed and buried my head in my pillow. Thankfully, that thing went away, but it left a lasting imprint and an interest, which grew inside me.

(L-R): Barry FitzGerald, Dustin Pari and Robb Demarest in the season two GHI episode "Gate to Hell." Photo copyright of The Syfy Channel

(L-R): Barry FitzGerald, Dustin Pari and Robb Demarest in the season two GHI episode "Gate to Hell." Photo copyright of The Syfy Channel

“As I got older, I found myself looking more into books regarding the paranormal, and once I turned 16 and had access to a car, I began investigating local [paranormal] hot spots with my friends. So it was really something that started from way back, and since then it’s taken on an even more spiritual turn for me. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older or whatnot, but I find myself working in this field because I really want to prove to other people out there that there’s something after this life.

“Without being religion specific – I don’t like to become involved in afterlife bureaucracy and such – I do think that there is some accountability for our actions here. And if I can even be an inspiration to the team that makes that final connection with some hard proof, that would be a great accomplishment for me. I think people living today would then look at their lives differently and maybe treat each other a little more respectfully while we’re down here.”

Although the last of six new GHI episodes have aired on Syfy, there are more to come this season. As for what viewers can expect to see, FitzGerald offers up a tidbit or two. “The locations themselves are going to be extremely distant and difficult to get to. Believe it or not, at the moment [August 4th, 2009] Dustin and I are sitting in a forest [in Australia]. We never thought in our lifetimes that we’d be this far away from our homes, but there are wonderful [paranormal] things to be had and seen, including photographic evidence. And I can promise you that it’s going to make people sit up and take notice.”

The Complete Approach – The Scientific and Metaphysical Guide to the Paranormal by Barry FitzGerald and Dustin J. Pari can be ordered on-line from such outlets as Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble. com.

Steve Eramo

As noted above, all photos by Justin Canning, Gareth Phillips, Mikael Pilstrand or Cheryl Senter and copyright of The Syfy Channel, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any form. Thanks!

Sneak Peak At This Week’s Destination Truth – 09 – 23 – 09

September 22, 2009
Josh Gates - Host of Destination Truth. Photo copyright of The Syfy Channel

Josh Gates - Host of Destination Truth. Photo copyright of The Syfy Channel

IN this week’s episode of Destination Truth King Tut’s Curse/Swamp Ape – Josh and his team head to Egypt where they set out to make history as one of the only production crews in the world permitted to investigate inside King Tut’s tomb at night. The dangerous expedition has led to the untimely deaths of many who attempted it in the decades since the tomb’s discovery, and conditions prove to be no easier for the Destination Truth crew, who must battle illnesses and a sandstorm before collecting evidence of the paranormal in the sinister depths of the famed sepulcher. The crew then embarks on another unprecedented journey for the show’s first-ever U.S.-based investigation: the search for a swamp ape living in the Florida Everglades. King Tut’s Curse/Swamp Ape airs Wednesday, September 23rd @ 10 p.m. EST on The Syfy Channel.

Click on the following link to view a clip from this episode – https://rcpt.yousendit.com/741268429/90a622511bb131ddc33944335b127672

As noted above, photo is copyright of The Syfy Channel, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!

This Week On Warehouse 13 – 09 – 22 – 09

September 20, 2009
The cast of Warehouse 13 - Allison Scagliotti (Claudia), Saul Rubenik (Artie), Joanne Kelly (Myka Bering), Genelle Williams (Leena) and Eddie McClintock (Pete Lattimer). Photo copyright of The Syfy Channel

The cast of Warehouse 13 - Allison Scagliotti (Claudia), Saul Rubenik (Artie), Joanne Kelly (Myka Bering), Genelle Williams (Leena) and Eddie McClintock (Pete Lattimer). Photo copyright of The Syfy Channel

WAREHOUSE 13‘s action-packed season finale, MacPherson, features guest-appearances by CCH Pounder and Roger Rees). After a failed attempt to take Artie’s life, MacPherson (Roger Rees) is now selling dangerous artifacts, stolen from the Warehouse shelves, on the black market. Artie and Leena also suspect that there’s a mole in the Warehouse who is secretly aligned with MacPherson – could it be Claudia? Meanwhile, as the team hunts down MacPherson, they realize too late that his capture is a carefully orchestrated trap to destroy them. MacPherson airs Tuesday, September 22nd @ 9 p.m. EST/8 p.m. CT on The Syfy Channel.

As noted above, photo copyright of The Syfy Channel, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!