Amanda Tapping, star and executive producer of the SCI FI Channel original series Sanctuary, told SCI FI Wire that viewers may get a glimpse into the events that helped shape her character, Dr. Helen Magnus the 158-year-old scientist who leads the effort to protect/contain creatures of all kinds when season two commences.
SCI FI Wire spoke with Tapping, dressed head to toe in black and sporting raven hair, at SCI FI Channel's upfront presentation for advertisers and the media last night in New York. Following are edited excerpts from our exclusive interview.
Some people weren't entirely convinced that Sanctuary would work as well as a weekly series as it did as an online series. How confident were you that it would work?
Tapping: I was absolutely convinced, actually, when we were shooting the webisodes that it would make a great TV show. I think, in terms of the way we shot the webisodes, we shot it as if we were shooting for television anyway. So I think the transition was seamless.
How pleased were you with season one of Sanctuary?
Tapping: Very. I'm really proud of it. The thing with Sanctuary is that it's the little show that could. We don't have a major studio backing us. We don't have a huge support network. We sort of struggled to get our feet, and the fact that we were able to produce 13 really good episodes and have the kind of atmosphere we had with the show and the buzz that we're getting, I'm totally stoked.
As you head into season two, what would you like to see for Helen and for the show in general?
Tapping: For Helen, I'd love to see a bit more into her backstory, maybe go back in time a little bit with her and see what shaped her. We're definitely going to be doing more interaction between the characters. We bringing some characters forward a bit more. There's a lot of stuff happening in season two.
You wear several hats on Sanctuary, most important as star and producer. How complicated is it to juggle those responsibilities while doing each one justice?
Tapping: That's the one thing about last year that was the biggest learning curve for me, was how to learn when to take off what hat. As an actor I really needed to focus sometimes, but I was in the middle of conference calls or meetings and then running down to set. I found my balance toward the end. And this year I'm going to be directing as well. It's not like I need to do all these things; it's just sort of falling into place like that.
A Stargate Atlantis DVD movie is in the works. Have you shot that yet?
Tapping: We haven't, actually. And apparently there's an SG-1 movie as well that will be happening.
Really, how much further can you spread yourself?
Tapping: You know what? It's a fine line. I'm hanging by a little tiny thread, but it's all good. And the most is important thing is I'm a mom.
Going back to the Stargate movies, how eager are you to play Carter again?
Tapping: Oh, I love it. It's such a comfortable place to go. We say this all the time with Stargate, but it's such a family, and it's just nice when the family gets back together. It's very easy and it's fun. You fall into that same crazy vibe, and it's great.