Eight days after "Intelligence" kicked off as the most watched new series premiere this season, the cast and crew answered questions at the Television Critics Association Panel on Wednesday morning. What immediately stood out was the chemistry between stars Josh Holloway (Gabriel) and Meghan Ory (Riley) as the questions started rolling in. Holloway joked, "Meghan is terrible to work with...;" the two laughed and Holloway added how lucky the show was to find her.
The second episode had fans wondering why the show chose to kill off Gabriel's wife after just being introduced to the character. Executive Producer Michael Seitzman revealed, "We wanted to surprise the audience. That's what you should do, surprise the audience and make them lean in." Seitzman also went on to say that there was a practical reason for killing off Gabriel's wife - they did not want to have him chasing her for the whole first season.
If you have wondered how the show does the amazing "Cyber Render" scenes, Holloway explained, "It's becoming easier; It's hard on the extras who have to freeze (during shooting). They have to freeze for a while with the same expression on their face; it can get spooky." Seitzman added, "We can see things on the monitors. We shoot on a smart stage that lets us see the synthetic environment. We can say, 'Hey Josh, you're standing in the middle of a Buick.'"
All three of the actors in attendance, Marg Helgenberger (Lillian), Josh Holloway and Meghan Ory, were part of very successful shows before stepping into "Intelligence," and each had something to say about it. Holloway commented on "Lost" and being back on network television, "Careful what you wish for; It's a bear of a schedule. We average 65 to 70 hour weeks." Meghan Ory compared her "Once Upon a Time" role, "On this show I get to run around with a gun. I'm not gone from [Once Upon a Time],'Red Riding Hood' just disappeared into the mist and I'm told she will be back." Seitzman explained how Helgenberger was cast from CSI, "When we were looking to cast the roles we saw that the audience trusts her; people couldn't wait for her to come back to TV. There was a built-in trust and familiarity with Marg."
One of the lighter moments of the discussion was when one reporter asked about Holloway's familiarity with current technology and if he still doesn't have his own email address. Holloway admitted, "That's changed but I'm not the one answering it. It's still my wife that you're talking to. I'm tech savvy-ish. I can do your basic things (jokingly)... pull up moviefone[.com], look up restaurants."
The panel concluded the discussion by addressing the political issues the show faces and whether they are trying to make a statement. Executive Producer Tripp Vinson commented, "The show is not meant to be political. We were focusing on trying to make something topical and fun. We have not gone into all the moral complications."
Holloway on the other hand explained why that appealed to him when deciding to join the show and said, "That's one of the reasons I took this project. I really liked the questions that it posed about technology and our own humanity. How do we communicate with each other? Do we need a gadget? You can't even say 'Hi' without texting. What comes first humanity or technology?
Seitzman summed up the conversation by saying, "We don't think of it as our responsibility to argue the morality of the issues, although we are aware of them and we think about them. We try really hard to give you a ride for an hour." Seitzman then added humorously, "If you really think about it, Gabriel is surveilling everyone at any given time and he never has a warrant."
Tune into Intelligence Mondays at 10/9c!