|Syfy will air “Morlocks,” a brand new Saturday Original Movie, on September 24. The movie is an insane action, science-fiction film about a ferocious creature from the past that comes to the future to devours humans. The film stars legendary actor Robert Picardo (“The Howling,” “Star Trek: Voyager 1995), David Hewlett (“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”) Christina Cole (“Casino Royale”), and Marem Hassler (“Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life 2003).
Robert Picardo and David Hewlett recently took part in a conference call to discuss “Morlock” and their characters. Hewlett knew he was going to do the film the minute he heard that Robert was involved. Robert had other reasons for taking on this project. He jokes that there is nothing like shooting a movie in Bulgaria on an unheated soundstage in the middle of winter. His wit and sense of humor is always spot on. Hewlett believes they are “gluttons for punishment.” The two stayed warm with laughter. Picardo said laughing between takes generated a tiny bit of heat.
Picardo said he got involved because of the Syfy channel. There is a list of well-known actors among the science fiction community, and these two are definitely at the top of the science fiction ladder. He knew Hewlett was the lead in the movie, and when he received the phone call stating that he would be able to co-star with one of his “Stargate” cast mates, he was very excited. Additionally, when Picardo does a Syfy movie he says he usually casts as the ruthless business man so it was it was a nice change for him to play a “macho character.”
Hewlett plays a fiction writer and a “jumpy scientist” who has discovered a way to jump through time, but there is a catch with all his crazy inventions. His character does realize the project actually works and believes he has failed at this mission. His character nearly killed the last team that tried to attempt jumping through time. He believes he brought a bit of humor to his character and he hopes that comes through to the audience. He does not enjoy science-fiction that is too serious.
Picardo, who can play any role with such panache, plays a rather cantankerous commander, once again reminding us of how great he truly is. His character is very “old military” and is the commander of a base. He discovers that his onscreen son, who is also in the military, is dying of cancer. Picardo’s character is slowly going mad. He becomes rather irrational and decides to try and save his son’s life with the help of DNA from these super powerful creatures in the future. He creates a time paradox and opens Pandora’s Box, so to speak, by stealing genetic information from the future to save his son in the present.
Picardo delved into the character and found him similar, and yet somehow different, because his character is a hardass military man who has lost complete control of his judgment due to an emotional reason. Picardo is known for always being the stern one who is in control in his films and television projects. He also loves to go to Europe ,and he never made a movie in Bulgaria, so it was a lot of fun for him.
Hewlett added that Picardo’s presence also will intrigue viewers; he plays a wonderful mad military type. Picardo spent a lot of time in front of the green screen so it is always interesting to watch him work no matter what he is doing. Hewlett believes the Morlocks resemble “evil chickens.” It is always a good basis for a Syfy movie when there are evil chicken like creatures involved. There is also the idea of what the world is becoming and how it is slowly disintegrating into chaos and disorder.
They filmed the movie right before Christmas, so Picardo spent some time Christmas shopping with his wife. Hewlett on the other hand has worked in Bulgaria before doing several television shows. He has a love for filming in Bulgaria because it is a very unique experience. It is unlike anything you will ever experience in North America.
Picardo joked that he knows this stuff inside and out. We all have a “Star Trek” moment in life. Morlocks is actually a re-make, and the creators maintained an association with the original time machine. Picardo said it would be easier for H.G. Wells to recognize a television than recognize his own story here, because Syfy could make a re-made film seem original.
Christina Cole, who plays Hewlett’s ex-wife in the movie, is someone who stands out for both actors. She is an amazing actress Hewlett said. She is very talented, Picardo echoed. The two actors said the entire cast and crew were terrific to work with. Picardo said that each actor was very unique and strong considering the conditions they had to work in. His main recollection of everyone was they all laughed together throughout the entire process of filming. They all had to endure a lot for the movie; they had to stand in front a “blood cannon” which shoots them in the face with about 40 buckets worth of chuck meat.
Their experience in the science fiction genre has definitely helped Picardo and Hewlett with this movie. Considering Picardo was in the one of the most legendary horror films, performing one of the most legendary transformations in history in “The Howling,” he can tolerate a lot in the horror, science-fiction genres.
With any science-fiction movie there are challenges. Hewlett pointed to “staying alive” and the smoke from the Bulgarians as being challenging for him. Picardo said they were transported to the set in very old vehicles and the terrain was rough and a little scary. He did a lot of praying in the back seat of the vehicles. Hewlett agreed that it was quite a challenge just to get to and from the set. The cast and crew often fought over who sits in the back seat just so they did not have to sit up front during the rough ride.
Picardo believes the sci-fi viewers will want to watch “Morlocks” because it is very loosely based upon H.G. Wells and some of the concepts were taken from a classic novel. The Morlocks are very fearsome creatures that were created in a classic novel many years ago. The hook is that people will be interested in watching a movie about creatures that have been reduced either by a toxic society or a weird natural selection in the future so they become incredibly vicious.
Hewlett said there is a lot of artistic value and incredible scenes in the movie that will draw viewers in. It is non-stop fun, and there is a lot of science-fiction value in the movie. The Morlocks are fascinating to watch. It is a nice movie to kick back with some popcorn and just enjoy the ride. Hewlett added he likes a little extra kick to his rides, so he added a little hot sauce that sums up the movie.
Both actors have immense respect for one another and their sense of humor makes them unique compared to other science-fiction actors. They also appreciate their fans. While Hewlett enjoys the conventions, Picardo shared a story about a fan that carved tombstones for a living and made him a marble tombstone with a carving of his face in his and it weighed about forty pounds. The tombstone sits in his garden till this day.