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Set visits reveal ghosts of Defying Gravity set destruction

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Oct 22nd 2009 4:05PM
The cast of Defying Gravity crashed and burned this year.It's a rare, disturbing sight to watch a television show torn to pieces -- literally.

While on my set visit for Stargate Universe at Bridge Studios in Vancouver, I stayed with the main press tour. It took us from the main stage holding the massive set of the starship Destiny across the expansive lot to a series off small office buildings housing the show's costume shop and editing bays.

The route took us past the sound stage that once housed the production for ABC's Defying Gravity. Of course, the ambitious prime time sci-fi drama was canceled early this fall season. So, the cast and crew were long gone.

The sounds coming out of that distant sound stage were strangely tragic. There was the grinding of band saws, the pounding of sledgehammers and the growling of large cranes -- all working together to tear the show's elaborate sets to pieces.

The workmen engaged in destroying the sets were just doing their job without ceremony. But it was sad watching the end result of a lot of human imagination and hard work turning to debris. When the crane raised a claw-full of wood and Styrofoam out of the sound stage over to a waiting dumpster, I could clearly make out elaborately detailed set dressing ripped to tangled strips of wasted effort.

It just served to remind me that every time you see a show canceled amongst the TV Squad headlines, that's people out of work and dreams of steady work destroyed.

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DavidJWBailey

A tragic loss of a brilliant set of talents: script, acting, lighting, cameras, and effects were all A1, first class, brilliant.

I loved it. My wife loved it. We will miss it.

Just for once. JUST ONCE. Could commissioning morons give something a chance to grow.

Bring it back!

December 24 2009 at 4:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
zita

We live in a world used to instant gratification and it shows in some of the comments. Why should we get to know NOW everything? Episode by episode, they give us clues about what and why things are happening, and it's enough for me, at least. It keeps me hanging and looking forward to the following episodes. Or it did, anyway, since it seems that it's bye-bye...

November 04 2009 at 3:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Henry

Defying Gravity has only just started to air in GB, episode 3 is coming up next week, maybe there is some money left from there... Unfortunately I'm not holding out hope.

October 29 2009 at 2:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ken

I've always been very big on sci-fi, and have found DG appealing but very frustrating. I've now seen the whole season (via downloads from others), and I have two big problems with it: The ground crew never explains their almost religious devotion to doing "what Beta wants us to do". Why are they so sure that Beta is one of the Good Guys? Second, the ground crew never explains why they're keeping it secret from the astronauts. I've put too much emotional energy into this show. I forced myself to watch all the available episodes, and now I'm not sorry that they're all used up.

October 28 2009 at 10:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
EB

BAH! I'm so bummed about this. I really, really like this show a lot and want to see it continue. I want to know what happens next!! Plus, the actors are REALLY good... despite the cheesetastic cheap music the producers used, these actors knocked it out of the ballpark. Really annoyed at ABC for not giving it more of a chance and actually marketing this awesome TV show.

October 28 2009 at 10:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michelle

This article has spelling errors and the information is actually incorrect. I don't know if anybody caught that statement above about it having been cancelled earlier in the fall. On September 15 the rep for DG stated that the show was very much alive and was not intended to be cancelled at that time so if it was cancelled since then I think we should look for more conclusive evidence than this poorly written article. Secondly of all the reporter did not see the set being torn down, it could have just been an addition or the uselessness of a particular part of the set or even them doing what they all seem to do, move. They said in an article back in September that they were working in cramped settings and even if this had not been uttered, shows move from location to the next all the time. Sets are not trasported magically from one location to the next so it is possible that this article is based on pure assumption and theory. Also note there is no quotes or confirmation by any other source. I need a more sound confirmation than this. Secondly of all it's not done airing in most locations to get all the rankings and it's still active on ABC site. It just let me share it's initial DG ad on facebook two days ago.

October 27 2009 at 5:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Michelle's comment
Jim

The information regarding the show being cancelled is correct. The publicist that stated the show was not cancelled and that ABC is looking for a time slot has not responded to numerous requests amplifying her statement. She might be looking for another job.

James Parriott gave the impression to an interviewer from cliqueclack.com that he does not see the show coming back on television (ABC) and that they do not have any intention of running future episodes.

You are correct in stating that since there is nothing to document this story, then we should assume nothing. There is evidence from the actors' responses on their fb pages that they believe that the show is done. People know when they need to look for another job- I will accept the actors' positions and actions as verification that the sets have been torn down and that the show has been cancelled.

The show is now slated for DVD release January 19, 2010. It is a great story and my hope is that someone out there is actually paying attention that there is an audience that wants more than 13 episodes. Fox Television (Fox Home Entertainment for the DVD) is the U.S. based production company part of the production companies associated with DG. Maybe by spring of 2010 we will actually know if there is a future for DG.

November 03 2009 at 8:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sara

I love this show, I recorded it on my tivo and saved to my computer and I'm finally getting to watch it. Right now I'm on the last episode aired in the US, "Love, Honor, Obey" and know I'm finding that there are more episodes. Does anyone know where I can get them? I looked on youtube, hulu, any other sites out there?

October 27 2009 at 3:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tim

So it was first aired in the UK 21st October. I watched the first episode on iPlayer (BBC online service) yesterday, quite liked it, googled it, and it's already been cancelled?!!

Way to give it a fair chance...you might think they would have let some people watch it and see if they liked it before tearing the sets apart (especially when those people helped pay for it). Thank you Fox. And BBC, please don't get into bed with Fox again (in space or elsewhere).

October 27 2009 at 11:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kamita

ABC didn't cancel the series, as they stated:

http://thefutoncritic.com/news.aspx?id=8293

I think it's too early to tell that the series is dead, even in the official forums on ABC there is a statement from the series publicist about that:

http://abc.go.com/shows/defying-gravity/discuss?cat=252939&tid=718769&tsn=1

October 27 2009 at 5:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris Frandsen

What a waste! This was a great show! Thought provoking and near term hard sci-fi with a bit of mysticism. I am certain that there would have been buyers out there for parts of this set. Did they try to ebay it or even craigslist it?
What a waste!

October 26 2009 at 10:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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