Sci-Fi Storm

Syfy Digital Press Tour: Lost Girl comes to the U.S.

by on Oct.18, 2011, under Television

Our last panel on scripted programming was about Lost Girl, a Canadian show currently in its second season that Syfy has acquired and will join Being Human on Monday nights beginning January 16th at 10pm ET.

Lost Girl follows the story of Bo (Anna Silk), who discovers as a teen that she isn’t human, but instead she’s a succubus, one of the Fae who can drain life energy from others after she kills her love. She later learns of the Fae would, and is told she must choose between the light or the dark Fae – she rebels and considers herself neutral in their conflicts and she tries to protect the humans.

Stars Anna Silk and Zoie Palmer (Lauren, a human doctor for the light Fae) along with Mark Stern joined us to discuss the show. Anna first describes the show:

Anna: “‘Lost Girl’ follows the story of Bo, which is the character that I play, and Bo grew up thinking that she was human and like your every girl. And when she became a teenager, she had, you know, urges, sexual urges that went beyond normal teenage urges. She discovers at the beginning of the series, in Season 1, that she’s not human, that she’s actually a succubus and part of a whole Fae underworld that live and feed among humans. So, you know, the adventure unfolds from there. And Bo gets to learn about — in one sense, it was a great relief for her to find out that — you know, what she is, but at the same time, it opened the door to a lot of questions. And those questions get answered and challenged and answered and challenged throughout the season.”

Mark (to Zoie): “And so give us a little bit of your character, and what do you do in this show?”

Zoie: “I play Dr. Lauren Lewis, and what’s interesting a little bit about her is that she’s one of the few humans that work directly with the Fae. And I work — in the beginning, Bo and Lauren meet up, and there’s a few sparks perhaps maybe. And we have a bit of a triangle with another character on the show, Dyson played by Kris Holden-Ried. And I sort of help Bo control the urges scientifically. So she comes for periodic injections and the like. And, yeah, so Lauren sort of — and she works for the Fae, and you never, sort of, learn — well, the season sort of opens with you are not sure why she’s working for the Fae and why there’s a human doctor and not a Fae doctor, and so that’s where the story sort of unravels, and the season does, too.”

Mark: “It’s a really interesting character because you definitely want someone like that in this kind of show because it’s like, as a viewer, it’s like, ‘What the hell is going on?’”

Zoie: “There’s a lot of questions around that character and why she’s there and why she’s so indebted to that group, the live Fae.”

Mark: “I think this show very nicely is able to get through a lot of that expositional how it works, all of the different types of Fae in a very organic way.”

Anna: “I think Bo has all of those questions. You know, she just learned that she’s not human, that she’s a succubus and about the Fae and that they exist, you know. So that sort of — those questions are asked by her and by the audience as well.”

Zoie: “Yeah. You guys sort of have the same questions — the audience and Bo.”

Anna: “And something else I’ll say about the show, too, because Zoie just brought up the light Fae is that the other thing that Bo learns is the Fae are divided amongst light and dark, and what that sets up in our show is this very interesting political system and divide. And that creates a lot of conflict on the show and is just a really — another really interesting thing about ‘Lost Girl.’”

Mark: “That’s absolutely right. Especially the second season, it really does seem to kind of take off in that way. How did you get involved in the show?”

Anna: “Well, I live — I’m Canadian, and I lived in Toronto for quite a few years. That’s where our show shoots. And I live in Los Angeles now, and I — the script came my way, and I saw, you know, females, sex sci-fi babe. I thought –”

Zoie: “She came running.”

Anna: “Right. I came running. I said, ‘That’s for me.’ I think I actually came into the process a little late in the game. And, you know, I loved what I read because, you know, Bo, she’s a sexual creature. She’s a sexual being. So right away I thought, ‘Okay. What’s going on here? What is this about?’ But it was — what I loved is that it’s Bo’s greatest sense of shame grows into her greatest strength. And that’s something that appealed to me, and I think as a — you know, I think it appeals to young women watching the show. Our audience is so broad. I mean, we are in our second season in Canada. We are airing in the U.K. and Australia, and the people I meet that watch the show are such a broad audience, you know. We have different generations, and all different kinds of people are really drawn to our show.”

Zoie: “Shy girls, young girls…It really seems to have hit, you know, a good, big group. It’s been lovely for us.”

Anna: “But that’s what drew me to the show was a strong female lead who — and female character who is scared a lot of the time but can’t be. She has to figure it out, and she does. Not always, but for the most part, she does.”

Mark: “And, also, you get a little sense of — I mean, there’s nothing like the ‘fried bitch’ line (referring to part of the preview clip), but you also do get a sense that there’s a certain tongue-and-cheek quality with Lauren, too. It doesn’t take itself too seriously.”

Zoie: “Yeah. There’s great, great humor in this show. I think that’s one of my favorite things about the show is that they have — along with some really intense moments, there’s tons of fun and lots of — sort of — you know, it’s witty. And I think all of the female characters on the show are really interesting written. Kenzi played by the very talented Ksenia Solo, who can be…”

Anna: “Who [said] the ‘fried bitch’ line.”

Zoie: “She’s fantastic on the show. Like, what a great character, you know. She has a good time playing that character.”

Mark: “You can tell. I mean, it is. She gets all of the great lines.”

Zoie: “Well — but she does them — no one else can do them better. She does a great job.”

Mark: “Yeah. We had some experience with that with Claudia on our show. Allison Scagliotti on ‘Warehouse’ is the same way. Like, she just has that zinger that you wish you had said. So are you — and you are now doing nine more episodes, right? You have additional episodes you are shooting?”

Anna: “We did. We got the back nine. So we are actually currently filming Episode 15 of Season 2, and we started airing Season 2 in Canada as well.”

Mark: “It’s funny because I was with Colin yesterday, and he said there’s a point at which you suddenly start to get recognized, and people” — you realize — like, something happens. You reach a threshold where people start to just stop you in the street. Are you at that point now?”

Anna: “Yeah. And it’s great because people want to come up and tell you why they love the show. They don’t just say, ‘Are you that girl?’ They say, like, ‘Oh, my mom watches the show, and this is why she loves it,’ or ‘My brother watches it.’ It’s cool.”

Zoie: “It’s funny, those moments, though, because it never occurs to me anyway that that’s why someone might be looking at me, and so I always have to go, ‘What? Oh, right, sorry.’”

Questions from the floor…

Question: “My question is actually from your fans on Twitter. Did you expect Bo-Lauren relationship to be as popular as it is?”

Zoie: I certainly didn’t, no. That came as a bit of a surprise, yeah. It’s been a great surprise, too, like, what a — but no. That blew up a little bit, didn’t it?”

Anna: “Yeah. I mean, for Zoie and I, it was really important — and we talked about it in the beginning — that this relationship be very real. This was a very, you know — Bo is involved in a love triangle in the show, and we wanted this relationship to be a truthful relationship between these two women. I mean –”

Zoie: “And to stand up…”

Anna: “– if one is not — yeah, exactly. It has a rival, the other love relationship, and it certainly does. And the fan response has been amazing.”

Question: “Two quick ones. One is with the action, the supernatural humor, do you think the show, in a sense, fills a void that’s been there since ‘Buffy, The Vampire Slayer,’ went off the air?”

Zoie: “It certainly comes up, like, as a comparison for sure. So I think perhaps for some people it might.”

Anna: “And I think the humor — it’s funny because, on the weekend, I was watching reruns of ‘Buffy’ all afternoon. But I think that the humor that existed on ‘Buffy’ and the — how much the characters, the central characters cared about each other, that exists on ‘Lost Girl,’ too. I mean, these people and nonpeople really care for each other, and I think that that seems to be the biggest comparison, I think, that we get. So it’s flattering.”

Zoie: “Oh, it’s a huge compliment, I think, yeah, if people feel that way, for sure.”

Question: “You said in the airport people stop you and tell you what they think of the show. What do they think of the show? What are they telling you?”

Anna: “Oh, gosh. People love the sort of political system, like I talked about a little bit, that exists. They love to kind of get angry at one side or the other. You know, a lot of younger women love to see a character whose sexuality is a big part of who she is but is really strong and empowered by that. So, I mean, people talk about that a lot. People love Kenzi’s one-liners, you know. It’s really mixed. I have to be honest. It’s really, really mixed. There’s not something really specific.”

Zoie: “It’s a pretty passionate audience, too. They have very specific opinions on how they feel, where the story line should go and the characters should be developed in.”

Question: “We haven’t heard much about the Fae/human aspect of Bo and Lauren’s relationship since Season 1. How do you think these dynamic factors affect the relationship itself and your portrayal of it?”

Anna: “Well, it was really addressed in the first season, and it’s a complicated relationship for that reason, for many reasons, but that being the primary one.”

Zoie: “Yeah, because of Lauren being injured originally by …”

Anna: “I mean, Bo drains people to death, is what she can do, which is not something she necessarily wants to do. But I don’t know. I don’t know really how to answer that.”

Zoie: “Well, it kind of got — I mean, because Lauren is the scientist and the whole — part of their whole dynamic, the beginning of it, is that she comes to Lauren for help, and because Bo’s character hasn’t picked a side, that’s a little awkward because Lauren works for specifically the light Fae. So I do begin to kind of help her out a little bit, and because I do, she becomes less of a worry that way.”

Anna: “Yeah. I mean, Bo is so grateful. Someone that can actually help her control these urges, like, this is a new thing for her. So the way that it sort of plays out in Season 1, I mean, I don’t know — they kind of dealt with that, I think, the Fae human aspect of it.”

Question: “I had a question from Facebook, from one of the Facebook followers, who wants to know how do you prepare yourself to be a succubus? What kind of research do you go through, or do you?”

Anna: “Well…”

Zoie: “Do you really want to talk about what you did?”

Anna: “I can’t talk about it. [laughter] No. You know, in terms of research, it’s the human side of Bo that is really sort of the heart of who she is. A succubus is who and what she is as well. In terms of getting ready to play it, I actually knew what a succubus was. And some people asked me that question, too, like, ‘Did you even know what that was?’ And I did because I used to have these recurring nightmares and had read about the incubus/succubus phenomenon. And so, in terms of playing that, I think you play the human side, if that makes any sense. In terms of the succubus, you know, the first episode that we had where I had to do a succubus kiss, that guy got a lot of kissing and air time because we really had to figure out what that kiss was going to look like, what draining someone’s chi meant and how that would play out. And we sort of came up with something that would then be the standard for the succubus kiss on the show. Now I’ve got it down. This is what it is. This is what you do. But in terms of playing a succubus, I think that you played it human side.”

Question: “So we’ve seen ghosts on TV. We’ve seen vampires, werewolves. And this is fairly new, a succubus. So what is it about these supernatural, paranormal creatures that connect with audiences and make something like ‘Lost Girl’ popular? Why do you think that there is a need for it?”

Zoie: “Well, I think it lends itself to the world of play that we all still sort of, — you know, the part of ourselves that likes to fantasize about, sort of, craziness and chaos and all of that. You know, it’s a whole different world that you can really lose yourself in. And so I don’t know if it would be specifically for everyone, but I feel like that’s probably part of the draw of being able to kind of imagine yourself in that world that’s nothing like the one we live in. Do you agree?”

Anna: “And I think that, you know, that supernatural world that Zoie is talking about, what appeals to the audience, too, is the central relationships between the characters. Like I said, they really care about each other. They’re real relationships. It’s real friendships. It’s real heartbreak. It’s real hurt. And then I just happen to fight a headless guy with a sword. And that’s kind of part of our day, and we have to deal with that world as well. And I think that it’s such an imaginative and broad world, which is really cool.”

And there we ended. So it looks like we will get a complimentary show to air with Being Human, with similar themes of supernatural creatures and the politics behind them. Lost Girl premieres on Syfy on January 16th at 10pm ET.

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