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Exclusive interview: Amanda Tapping answers your burning questions about Sanctuary

Helen Magnus in a scene from "Warriors"

Amanda Tapping discusses recent developments on Sanctuary and reflects on all things abnormal: Ashley’s death, Helen’s relationships with Druitt and Tesla (and Olaf!), the epic season two finale, story arcs for season three, Robin Dunne’s embarrassing habit, and more. She also answers many of the great questions submitted by CliqueClack readers. Here’s the interview — enjoy!

Ruby T.: With the death of Ashley, are you playing Helen differently? How has Ashley’s death changed her?

Amanda Tapping: It’s changed her drastically. I think you’re not going to see a huge outward change because that’s not Helen, but you’ll see moments where it’s revealed just how deeply she’s hurting about this. But she’s such a tightly wound character, and she plays her cards so close to the chest that it’s very rare, except in the first three episodes, where you’ll actually see her struggle. And then, of course, in episode five, which has already aired, she talks about trying to find a cure for her longevity because she just doesn’t see the point of being around any longer now that she’s lost Ashley. So it’s moments like that that are revealed. And then she just sinks back down and gets back to business. And then in “Next Tuesday” she talks about the fact that Ashley’s birthday is coming up and she can’t handle it. And then she sinks back down to business. So it comes in waves for the audience. For Helen, it’s a constant, but for the audience, you’ll just see it revealed in little moments. Definitely, I mean, it’s a massive impact because she decided to have this child in the first place and bring her into this environment, and of course the consequential guilt that she feels is huge.

RT: So with the loss of Ashley we have a new character in Kate Freelander. What do you think that she brings to the show, and what does Helen see in her—why does Helen ask her to be a part of the team?

AT: It’s what she does. Like she collects these abnormals, and she brings them into the Sanctuary, protects them and nurtures them. And then, in a lot of ways, in Kate she sees a wounded bird who, given the chance, can just blossom beautifully. She doesn’t trust her off the top, … but I think that after a while Helen goes, “Wait a second, there’s huge potential with this girl,” and decides to take her under her wing. And the thing with Kate that I love is that you don’t like her off the top. We wanted her to be revealed to the audience organically. We wanted her to slowly become something that the audience could trust—to go on the journey with us, essentially. Nobody in the Sanctuary network likes her off the top. They’re like, she’s—there’s something wrong with her, and she’s wily, she’s up to something, and then slowly we start to trust her and then start to like her, and then genuinely embrace her. So we’re hoping that that’s the journey that the audience goes on too.

And in terms of casting her, we did a huge search for her, and we saw hundreds of actresses. And Agam came in, and right off the top I said, “She’s Kate.” And the guys were like, “Well, we got a lot of people to look at,” and she was shortlisted and shortlisted. There was just something about Agam’s energy for me that I knew would fit in beautifully with the Sanctuary cast. Not that she—you know, she’s a phenomenal actress, and I think she did a great job with the audition. She nailed it. But there was also something about her energy as a human being that just jelled so beautifully with the rest of the cast and with the show. So, as much as I know there’s a lot of derision on the Internet about whether or not she’s the right character for the show, I think she’s absolutely perfect.

RT: You mentioned “Next Tuesday,” which is one of my favorite episodes because it shows a different side to Helen and also to Will. How would you describe the relationship that’s grown between Will and Helen?

AT: I love this relationship because it’s so much more honest this year than last year. And you know, it has to be. Will was still trying to find his feet last year, and he didn’t have the confidence that he has now. … That’s how it feels like everything has rolled out with this show in terms of the relationships, so organically. He’s now really comfortable, and now he’s calling Helen out, and he’s not gonna let her get away with stuff. … So it’s actually interesting for me though because Helen’s so uptight and knowing that she’s dealing with this and she’s not dealing with it well because she doesn’t deal with emotions well. She comes across almost—when I read it I was like, uh, it seems like Helen’s jealous that Will might have this booty call! [Laughs] And I don’t think it’s that so much as she just didn’t know how to say, “I need your help.” And that’s because he’s the closest thing to her. It’s even harder. So he says, “I don’t know why you’re acting this way. This is weird!” But I think it’s a really interesting dynamic, and the two of us really enjoyed playing it, but there were moments where we would call Damian and go, “What did you mean by this? Why would she say it like this?” Cause you read it, and it’s weird. It’s a weird dynamic between the two of them, but ultimately what it shows is how comfortable they are with each other.

RT: In “Next Tuesday,” we met a guy named Olaf. Will we be seeing more of him?

AT: I don’t know. I don’t know whether we will or not. [Laughing] I think he’s just so—he was so great, the actor was wonderful—but he was just so schmarmy. Initially we were trying to get … Chris Sarandon, which was our original thought. Wouldn’t that be funny? You know, from The Princess Bride, but I don’t know … I mean, I can never see [Olaf and Helen] together. He’s just too—you know, he might be fun for a weekend, but for the long haul I think he’d drive her crazy.

RT: Are we going to see more of Helen’s relationships with John Druitt and Tesla?

AT: Oh definitely. Definitely. That’s something that has to be explained. I don’t know if “Haunted” has aired yet in the States, but it’s an episode that reveals a lot about John Druitt, and you see why in some ways Helen fell in love with him in the first place. Because he wasn’t Jack the Ripper when she fell in love with him. So that relationship is the quintessential relationship in Helen’s life. He is her paramour. It’s just incredibly screwed up. [Laughs] Because of what he does subsequent to their [relationship]—because you see why she would fall in love with this man … with his intelligence and his passion … Also, you know, I talked to the guys about doing more history with Helen. I mean, what informs this woman? …. Wouldn’t it be great if we actually showed what the Sanctuary was all about in the early days?

RT: “Sleepers” was a really fun episode. At the end, it looked like Helen was softening toward Tesla. How would you describe her feelings for Tesla, especially after what happened to him in that episode?

AT: It’s again, you know, it’s this 100+ year old friendship. So there’s such a history there that, I mean—it’s the same with friends that we’ve had for a long time. It’s just that, when you know so much about them, there’s a level of comfort there. Inasmuch as he drives her crazy, she absolutely adores him. And so the softening is sadness really, that this incredible pain-in-the-ass guy that had this crazy gift is suddenly forced to face his own mortality and his own normalcy, if you will, and I think that there’s a real sadness for her. It’s like, wow, I knew I had to deal with the thorn in my side, and now he’s not gonna be one at all. And it’s also that one of the Five has gone down again—although at the end, of course, we find out that he has other powers which could be quite fun to play with. But I think that there’s a massive amount of—she absolutely adores him and loves him; he just drives her nuts. You know, that crazy guy from college that everyone still knows, but he’s like—ugh, that crazy guy from college. [Laughs]

RT: And we’ll see more of Tesla this season and next season?

AT: Oh, definitely. Definitely. Jonathan’s a huge part of the family, so we want to bring him back as often as possible. He’s such a wonderful actor, and the character—he’s such a great antagonist. So, definitely.

Photo Credit: Syfy

Categories: | Clack | Features | General | Interviews | Sanctuary | TV Shows |

53 Responses to “Exclusive interview: Amanda Tapping answers your burning questions about Sanctuary”

December 30, 2009 at 3:22 PM

Thanks for the read. Was quite interesting. I’ve really started to fall in love with this show this season.

December 30, 2009 at 10:21 PM

greatly enjoyed the interview! :D

December 30, 2009 at 10:33 PM

OMG! I can’t believe she answered me and said such sweet things about me. :D:D:D

December 31, 2009 at 12:01 AM

She immediately recognized your name – isn’t that awesome? :-)

December 31, 2009 at 10:28 AM

I am most definitely jealous, Rocky! Having her recognize you by name is almost better than meeting her in person. I’ve always loved Amanda Tapping and watch anything I know she’s in, so it’s good to know she reflects some of that love back!

December 30, 2009 at 10:36 PM

Thanks for the lovely interview. I’m impatiently waiting for the return of Sanctuary on January 8th.

December 31, 2009 at 9:01 AM

Loved the Amanda Tapping interview. Such a funny, nice person. The show is great.

December 31, 2009 at 10:03 AM

The show has gone downhill since they killed off Ashley. It is clear that no one is listening to the fans. New fans still cannot log onto Sanctuaryforall.com so it is apparent that they don’t want to know how the fans feel. Kate is not accepted by most fans. I will watch the Druitt episode and then I’m done with the show. The show had so much potential and then it was wasted.

December 31, 2009 at 10:38 AM

I find it surprising that AT says Helen Magnus takes in people who sell human beings for medical experiments, which Kate did. Kate is the antithesis of everything the Sanctuary stood for in season 1. We have already seen the pathetic excuse the writers gave for Kate’s actions in the episode Penance. Having a bad childhood is not an excuse for sending someone to their death so you can make a buck. I have lost a lot of respect for AT this season. Having your show support a total scumbag character sets a horrible example for young viewers. The upside is I have my Friday nights back, no need to watch Sanctuary anymore.

December 31, 2009 at 10:39 AM

Since Ashley was never the main reason I watched the show, the character swap (although I didn’t like it) is not a deal breaker for me. I watch the show primarily because I like Helen, Henry, Will, and Tesla, and now I’m really excited about the fact that they’re going to do a big story arc for season 3. That’s really what I’ve been waiting for – a long story arc. Season 3 could be a breakthrough year for Sanctuary.

December 31, 2009 at 12:42 PM

Honestly, I’ve got to agree with the sentiment some readers have posted about Kate vs Ashley. I do not like the character of Kate at all and while having her on the show is not a deal breaker for me, it does sour my feelings towards the series.

While her character depth was never really addressed, or at least not much, I would very much like to see Ashley back and Kate gone. If not that then at least lose Kate, I just can’t stand the character. She grates on my nerves and knowing her background will keep me from changing my opinion of her.

December 31, 2009 at 12:50 PM

I love Amanda Tapping and always will, but S2 has been a colossal disappointment for me. I have been a fan of this show since the webisodes, and I was very excited about S2. What I didn’t expect is a totally different show from the one that I had grown to love. The death of Ashley was intended to be a huge character growth opportunity for the other characters, but in my opinion they have not successfully pulled that off. To me, that makes the death and loss of a great character that much more of a waste. I’ve never been a fan of killing off main characters unless the actors were ready to leave the show, and especially in this case where I felt that the show’s most important relationship was the mother/daughter, and potentially father/daughter.

From other interviews and statements from AT and DK mentioning the huge fan reaction to the changes, I had hoped that Ashley would be brought back in a significant way in S3. After reading this interview I have now lost hope for that. Ashley wasn’t the only reason I watched, but she was a huge part of the dynamic and tone of the show. The loss of Ashley along with the addition of Kate, has succeeded in driving me away. This interview tells me that even though fan reaction has been acknowledged, it will also be ignored and we can expect more of the same for S3. Some fans will be fine with that but not me, and as the ratings have shown, I’m not the only one.

December 31, 2009 at 1:25 PM

As much as I love Amanda, I have to wonder why in this super tight knit family, it was so easy to kick Emilie Ullerup to the curb. That aside, I have not been thrilled with much of season 2, especially Freelander. I hate the character and was truly disheartened to read how much Amanda still loves her and hopes we will too. In my humble opinion, they need Ashley back in a bad way. Get rid of the criminal, get back to the original team, and for goodness sake, please re-vamp Tesla and get rid of super Will. Super motorcycle stunt guy Will is really not believable at all and adds to the over abundance of plot holes in season 2.

December 31, 2009 at 2:35 PM

I have to agree with a lot of others on this. Yeah love Amanda but something has happened. I find myself being so disappointed in some of S2’s episodes that I go back to the webisodes and rewatch them and think “wow, this is brilliant!” The catalyst? Freelander. She is killing the show. AT says they expected this fan reaction – to hate her at first, then slowly warm up to her. Well I can tell you – for most of us – that is NOT going to happen. While Agam is probably a super nice person and AT feels she was superbly cast, I totally disagree. Either she’s not a good actress, she was poorly written for, or poorly directed. AT, DK and MW seemed to have lost sight of something – yeah they all think things are great, but a lot of the fans don’t. The decision to off Ashley was really really poor – who came up with that? I cannot believe it was AT or DK – must’ve been someone else – and they had to figure a way out of it – but Freelander was NOT the way to go). I am hanging in there for several reasons – I think AT, DK and MW have so much potential and are very talented and can find a way out of this hole. Also – TESLA – is brilliant. That character carries whatever storyline he is in and the actor is phenomenal – he truly is. So while I am frustrated with S2 and this whole Freelander thing – I am still a fan and will hang in there to see how S2 wraps up and S3 comes along.

January 1, 2010 at 3:58 AM

I agree with you RiaDejaVu except for the part about staying with the show. No Ashley, then I am gone.

It was obvious that RT was had to play nice, if RT ever wants another interview. I don’t fault AT either. Syfy closely watches everything she says. You can bet that this interview is on file back at NBC’s legal department.

That is why the questions about Emilie Ullerup returning for S3 was not asked nor was the answer voluteered.

January 1, 2010 at 10:02 AM

I think it’s fairly obvious that Ashley will be returning in some way, because there was no body in “Eulogy” – they left the door wide open. The show-runners know that the Kate experiment backfired, and despite anything they may say, they are probably thinking of how to fix the damage and bring Ashley back in a believable way. Damian Kindler has already indicated elsewhere that Ashley will be in season 3. The question is how and for how long.

January 1, 2010 at 2:21 PM

I think the character is interesting. As for the comments about her being shallow, I disagree. Watch the episodes carefully. You’re missing out.

January 1, 2010 at 2:27 PM

I loved the interview.I am not on the hate Kate band wagon. I like the character and I see what the writers are doing with the character and I am enjoying it. As for Will being more able to do things like ride a motor bike and shoot a gun this season well good for him it means his character grew some and did not stay helpless. I miss Ashley and would love to see her back but it is not a deal breaker for me the only way I would ever stop watching this show is if Amanda left.

January 1, 2010 at 6:00 PM

If they’re going to continue the course for season 3 they’ll just keep losing viewers the way they have been so far this season. Every directional change they have made has been an error:

1) Firing Ashley. Amanda Tapping has said that she fought the decision but lost, and now she’s just part of a “circling the wagons” campaign. The SyFy execs that mandated the cast change are hiding in their offices and forcing the Sanctuary creators and cast to defend an action they didn’t want. The loss of Ashley kills off some of the most interesting character relationships in the show, notably with Helen and Druitt. It also killed off all storylines regarding Ashley’s transformation, which had far more potential than the stories they had in this season.

2) Introducing Kate as a Hero. She isn’t one. She’s an unrepentant kidnapper/murderer/slave trader and has no place in an idealistic group like the Sanctuary team. They could have redeemed her character by making her truly suffer for her sins, but they didn’t do so. They could have endeared her to fans by giving her a primary role in bringing Ashley back, but they didn’t do so. I think the window of opportunity to fix the character is closed for many fans, but as long as they do both of the things I just listed they may regain at least some of the fans that left the show due to her presence.

3) The above posters have explained the mood change and the character changes, so I’ll not repeat that one here.

The ratings for the show are at the lowest they have ever been, and have been falling steadily since the Ashley/Kate switch. By ignoring that the network execs are telling people that they not care about the fan’s opinions. Forcing the cast change on the show indicates clearly that they don’t care what the Sanctuary people want. If they don’t care about anyone’s opinions, they cannot possibly run a television network that depends entirely on public opinion.

Sadly, I’ve lost respect for Amanda Tapping too. Initially her public statements were a mixed bag, supporting the show but stating that she didn’t want the cast change. She seems to have chosen to side with the network execs that she previously said she fought. Instead of standing up for what she herself stated was best for the show, she toes the party line and supports the bosses, just like any of the “yes men” you get in any office. The problem is that “yes men” don’t get any respect, and Amanda has placed herself in that group. She could very easily state publicly that she wants Ashley back full time in season 3, but she’s rather be a mouthpiece for the SyFy execs so that she doesn’t endanger her paycheck.

January 2, 2010 at 2:51 PM

it’s not that, but she can not fight against the directors of the network do not you think? it is simply said that the middle ground ashley would be back .. because it said somewhere that “In SyFy, nobody really dies. so I guess you have to follow AT,because this show was one of the largest audience that had last year, it is important to the show, but that too was upset about the supposed death of Ashley but not the end of the world they knew to put the show in the limelight, and make shows one of the most enthralling and intriguing TV series ever seen, have achieved many victories through the efforts and preservation of the team and the cast, they deserve some respect for that … will continue to see … talk louder someone there to listen-in
is not a criticism, but an appeal to your sense and also those who share the same opinion, Ashley will come back, we just have to hope that it does, in fact some people failed to see and that means a little less audiences then surely they will consider their decision…:)

January 2, 2010 at 1:29 PM

First, I think the Kate vs. Ashley controversy was caused by the network trying to make the Kate character an Ashley replacement. If Ashley hadn’t been killed off there would be no fan backlash against Kate. The Kate Freelander character would have been much more interesting. In fact an Ashley and Kate relationship would have been really interesting.

Kate should have been the reluctant hero, a rascal that ends up doing the right thing inspite of herself. I think that is why Amanda originally cast her. When Kate “the bird that feathers her own nest” ends up reluctantly helping the Sanctuary network we see the inner conflict in her character. Why the writers have so much trouble writing female characters for a show that has a female lead is beyond me. Could it be that they have been forced to turn this character into something that she wasn’t meant to be? They should leave Kate as the rascal that Helen always has to keep an eye only to be pleasantly surprised by Kate coming through in the end.

Bring Emilie back to play Ashley and Let Agam Darshi play Kate Freelander to the hilt. There are many more story lines for a loveable rogue.

Amnada Tapping had three other creative producers; the production company and the jobs of the people that work on the show. Can you imagine the loss of jobs and the legal battles that would have insued if she refused the network.

January 2, 2010 at 9:07 PM

I tend to agree with you, Tim. I think the dynamic between Ashley and Kate could have been quite interesting … I don’t know if there are any DS9 fans out there, but Tim’s comment made me think of the unlikely friendship that developed between Miles O’Brien and Julian Bashir.

On another Star Trek note, this whole situation is reminiscent of Season 2 of the Next Generation, when Dr. Crusher was replaced by Dr. Pulaski.

January 5, 2010 at 10:05 AM

There are DS9 fans just about anywhere quality character development is appreciated.

I remember Siddig El Fadil during season one talking about how he intended Bashir to be callow and annoying at first, and to slowly mature him into a seasoned officer and physician as the show progressed. Since DS9 wasn’t prematurely canceled, we were able to see that happen. Thomas Dekker made similar comments about his John Connor character in T:SCC, but didn’t get the chance to do very much in that regard.

Perhaps we will be fortunate enough to get the same sort of character arc with Kate? There’s still an opportunity to do the Bashir/O’Brien friendship with Kate/Will, should they not go ahead with the romance.

Thanks for scoring this interview; looking forward to the next one.

January 2, 2010 at 2:57 PM

Abandon hope, all ye Kate-haters.

In that interview, AT thinks that Kate and AD are “absolutely perfect,” so it’s pretty obvious that Kate’s going to be sticking around.

Much wailing and gnashing of teeth here.

OK, got that out of my system.

I’m trying to give up my Kate-hate, and simply accept that she’s there. I’ll never like the character, due to her abysmal remorse-free introduction, but I’ll work on tolerating her presence.

Otherwise I’d have to stop watching the show, and I’m not quite ready to give up my Magnus crush. Kate the unredeemed mercenary murderer has made me a much less enthusiastic Sanctuary fan, however.

January 2, 2010 at 3:48 PM

Thank you Ruby and Lenny, I was very happy to see that she knows who I am. :)

Now on to the task at hand. Thank you to those who are defending Amanda and who believe she isn’t at fault. I don’t see what the problem with the interview is. I mean Amanda didn’t bash anyone, she didn’t say EU isn’t coming back, and she certainly didn’t say anything bad about her, all she did was talk about the fans that *do* Kate and that she thinks she a good actress. Amanda was asked a question about Kate, and she gave her opinion on what she thinks of the character. That’s what I like about Amanda, she knows about the pro and anti fans out there towards everything, but she chooses to acknowledge the good fans and give them credit, and when she does talk about the anti fans she says it in a way that doesn’t upset anyone and shows professionalism.

What I don’t get is, we all know about those interviews where Amanda herself says she’s aware of the huge fan reaction to the loss of Ash, and that she’s trying to get her back in some way, heck I’ve posted like 4 interviews of her saying that. Yet, every time an interview like this comes around, even when it doesn’t say anything back EU, it’s bashed on, all because they didn’t say the right things. I support Amanda, I’ll stand by her no matter what, and I’m happy to see that she likes JY and Tesla, and that she wants him around more often.

I still love the show just as much as when I started watching it last year, if not more. If no one or very little people started care about Ash leaving, than it wouldn’t bother me, what does bother mean is the fans bashing the show and some are making these dumb accusations against Amanda and I hate that. I for one believe she’s trying to get EU, and even if she can’t I want those fans out there to know she’s trying. It pains me that the fans she loves and does what she does for can say this about her. Again, thank you to to those Amanda defenders here.

January 2, 2010 at 4:08 PM

Yes, exactly. Amanda has already answered the “Will you bring back Ashley?” question numerous times, so what’s the point of me asking it again in this interview? We won’t have any new information until the Sanctuary team figures out what’s going to happen in Season 3. If there are new developments with Ashley coming back, I will definitely report it.

January 2, 2010 at 4:07 PM

And btw Adam, Amanda had to substantially cut back her pay, both as an actor and an EP so that the show would have what it needs to be made.

January 2, 2010 at 6:39 PM

If I remember correctly, she gave up pay to get greater creative control over the show. I don’t have a source on that, it’s just what I’ve heard. If that’s true, I don’t think she made the right decision. The fact that she fought losing Ashley and lost indicates that she doesn’t have all that much creative control. Add in the other changes that I and others have complained about, it seems like she has either no control or she supports all the things that many people hate. She apparently supports Kate as she is, so either she agrees with a decision that she knows is driving away fans or she’s being a “yes man” and obeying the network, and either way I lose respect for her.

I think it would go a long way if someone at Sanctuary would tell us that they’re trying to get Ashley back on the show full time. All they’ve said so far is the generic “nobody is gone forever” and that Ashley might be back for “a show” or “a story”. Amanda Tapping herself stated that Ashley won’t be back permanently, and that’s a problem for me and for other (former?) fans of the show. We want the character back permanently. They keep letting us know that won’t happen, no matter how much we want it. We know EU wants to come back, so she isn’t the problem. The problem is the network that forced the decision on the show and the Sanctuary people who caved in and let it happen.

January 2, 2010 at 6:44 PM

Grrr, forgot to close the tag.

One thing I forgot to mention is that the issue with Sanctuaryforall.com is that new users don’t get the confirmation email when they open an account, so they can register but can’t actually log in because their account isn’t confirmed. I’ve been trying for months and have tried emailing the site for assistance and have never received a response. I have to admit that their blocking new members to avoid criticism is one of the things that has caused me to lose respect for the show as a whole.

January 2, 2010 at 8:53 PM

That’s interesting. I wonder if they have anyone keeping that particular site up to date. The official Syfy Sanctuary forum (http://forums.syfy.com/index.php?showforum=162) is open though.

January 2, 2010 at 7:49 PM

i’m really surprised by some of the statements i’ve read here and other places. i liked ashley, i really like the mother/daughter relationship, but when it was shown that ashley was dead and not coming back, i just felt a loss for the mother/child ‘potential’ more than losing the character herself.

where i always play (gateworld), i never saw much ashley love or admiration. nothing really anti, just bla about the character. i find it kind of odd that suddenly this character is so wonderful and cherished… but i’ve always been suspicious about out of the blue behaviors…

and kate? i like the character. i don’t love her – that’s prob because i focus the most on my fave character helen magnus – but after having to deal with the vala maldoran character from stargate sg1, kate is very light weight.

i’ll admit, i watch sanctuary because of how much i love amanda tapping. if helen was gone or killed off, that’s when i’d quit watching. so losing other characters or bringing ones on is alright with me. yes i’m biased, but there you go.

January 2, 2010 at 8:46 PM

I posted earlier, but neglected to say thank you to Ruby for the interview. Even though I was upset about no mention of Ashley returning and what appears to be the hanging on of Freelander, it was a very good interview.

I think I’ve already addressed this with Majorsal on the GW Forum, but I’ll say it again. I’ve always loved the character of Ashley, I started watching the show because of AT but Ashley soon became my favorite. I was never much for posting on forums but started doing so mainly because of my concerns about rumors I started hearing about her not being a full time character in S2. I suspect that was the case for a lot of her fans. I don’t really understand why you would find that suspicious. What would we have to gain by suddenly making a fuss (and stopped watching) over this one character if we weren’t sincerely upset about her departure?

And the fact that you’ve said you would stop watching if AT left the show has really made my point for me. If you’ll stop watching over one character, isn’t that the same thing that I (we Ashley fans) have been saying all along? The only difference seems to be which character is the deal breaker.

January 2, 2010 at 9:41 PM

i’m sorry, lisa. i’ve come across some fans that have shown no bounds in their sole quest to just bash amanda tapping. i guess i’ve thought some of the fans that have been complaining about ashley’s departure are one and the same, even though ‘you’ might not be one of them. that’s partly where i’m coming from.

January 2, 2010 at 10:51 PM

I, like Lisa, started watching the show because of AT but soon found Ashley to be my favorite character. I was not in the habit of posting to forums so it did not occur to me to post about Ashley. As far as bashing AT goes, there is a difference between criticism and bashing. With all the spinning AT has been doing I think it is legitimate to question what is really going on and why. I mean we have heard about “ballsy” moves and then her fight to keep Ashley. That sort of thing opens one up to questions.

January 2, 2010 at 11:20 PM

i’m not quoting amanda exactly, but i remember her saying something about there being reasons for the (ashley) decision that we, the fans, know, and some we’ll never know. so maybe we’ll never know everything…

January 2, 2010 at 11:21 PM

First, thank you to Majorsal, Ruby and those who are defending Amanda. Mark Stern, has a terrible reputation of interfering in their scripted shows. Look at the history of the mess he caused with BSG (back articles in industry periodicals). If not for him BSG would have fared better. Who do you think was the originator of some of the stupid moves with the SG franchise? I don’t really know who Mark Stern is, but it seems like he doesn’t know what he’s doing, and you’re right about the position he put Amanda in, he did basically give her an ultimatum, an if she hadn’t thing would have turned out worse for more people. So then now it seems that she’s trying to clean up his mess.

Amanda had a choice. She had to do what Stern wanted or no renewal. There are three other creative producers; the production company and the jobs of the people that work on the show. Like Tim said, can you imagine the loss of jobs and the legal battles that would have insured if she refused. People who blame Amanda are just not knowledgeable about how the crappy industry works. I never met Amanda; I wish I had that privilege. I can tell from her interviews and what fans have said about her that she is a wonderful person.

Again, I don’t think much of Kate, I feel sorry for her and AD because of the fans take on her, but my main concern is to Amanda, I’m on her side. Always. I’m glad those pro Amanda fans see the position Amanda was put in, and I truly do want Ash to come back, but out of concern for Amanda and the show, I do like Ask, but no where near as my fandom for Amanda. I can you such wonderful stories, they’ve made gain much more respect for her than I had 2 years ago. I support Amanda, and believe in her, and I’ll continue to do so even if EU doesn’t come back.

It pains me that the fans Amanda loves, and who she does so much for can say things like this about her.

January 3, 2010 at 2:56 AM

For one thing, when someone gives a reason for a decision other people can decide how much merit that reason has. If the reasons are kept hidden, people are left with a missing portion of the equation that led to the decision. All we can do is evaluate the reasons that are given, and to at least some of us the reasons are highly insufficient. The choice not to make the reasons public just makes people wonder if there was a less than honorable motive, which has spawned the rumors of Amanda Tapping getting her fired out of jealousy. Personally I don’t think that’s the case at all, but AT saying that Ashley won’t be coming back permanently isn’t helping her case. We already know she’s spinning on behalf of the network, so her credibility isn’t the best. Once you start spinning like that, people have every reason to question what you say.

The argument that AT is doing what she is to save the show would have validity if not for the continuing fan outrage and falling ratings. She’s supporting decisions that are slowly killing the show instead of fighting to put things back the way they were when the show was doing better. She isn’t sacrificing to keep the show going and keep people employed, she’s backing bad decisions that I think will eventually push Sanctuary off the air and put a lot of people out of work.

Supporting someone does not mean supporting every decision that they make. Anyone who has seen someone they care about go back to an abusive relationship (for example) knows what I’m talking about. If you let someone make a mistake without trying to let them know that they’re making a mistake, you’re not supporting them as much as letting them fall. When the whole Ashley being dead was confirmed I initially saw Amanda as being one of “the good guys.” She stated that she fought the decision, which was enough for me then. Now, it isn’t. She just continues to spin things for the network, even though by doing so she is siding against the upset fans, as well as the creators and writers of the show that didn’t want the cast change. She’s siding with the network against pretty much everyone else, so that’s clearly where her priorities lie.

I really used to like AT (especially on Sanctuary), but the longer this goes on the less that is true. I love her charity work, and her acting is great, but as far as I can tell her role as a producer is either completely ineffective or actually harmful to the show, depending on whether or not she’s still supporting the network behind the scenes.

January 3, 2010 at 12:04 PM

Again, it hurts me to think that some of the fans she loves won’t return that love just because she’s saying how someone she works with is a good actress, what, Amanda can’t give praise to a co-star without being bashed for it? I’ve read many interviews from co-stars, guest stars from SG and Sanctuary, and from MANY fans who have met her, and I can’t ever remember reading anything from someone who didn’t have anything but kind words to say about her. I’ve never read anything like “Amanda is fake” or “Amanda as so rude to me and she ignore me” and I’ve never read anything in the news or in magazines where someone wrote something shocking about her. What burns me is that she’s made it clear she wants EU back on the show, and she is aware of the fans reaction to Ash leaving. To me personally, that tells me she hears the fans, and she’s on their (our) side, yet they still chose to bash and blame her, and why? Some people have said she didn’t try hard enough, or that she’s a sell out. That makes me mad.

People have also been saying how could they so easily kick EU to the curb, well rumour I’ve read some threads saying she left due to injury. The other being it was the networks choice. So either way it’s not Amanda’s fault. I know she didn’t leave due to injury, it’s just an example of things I’ve heard. As for people bashing her for liking Kate, well so do I and happen to think there’s a place for both should they go that way. And Sanctuary (unlike SGU) are listening to fans and want to do well by us. And what’s with the comment that AT is spinning stories!?! She is always as honest as commitments will allow. She’s not a sell out, Amanda works harder for her people then most EPs would bother with. Just because the show isn’t going to some fans liking doesn’t mean that it has anything to do with Amanda.

One of the reasons I’ve always believe Amanda wanted to keep EU and why she’s trying to get her back is because being a mom of 1 herself, she probably didn’t want to see Helen lose her only child. Amanda’s talked about how being a mom has changed her, and it changed Helen as well.

January 3, 2010 at 7:58 PM

adam, did it ever occur to you that maybe what’s not being said is to protect ‘emilie’, and not the other way around?

it seems so easy for you to jump to conclusions (and blame amanda). it’s obvious we *aren’t* being told everything, why is that? maybe…

January 3, 2010 at 11:36 PM

Well, absolutely nothing has been said indicating that they’re keeping quiet to protect Emilie, and given the way she was fired (not told until she showed up for filming) it seems unlikely that they’re loyal enough for that. Honestly, I find it more likely that the people blaming Amanda outright are correct, since at least then they’d be protecting the reputation of the show and the network. Should I be suggesting that the silence is to protect Amanda? It is more likely, although it would be a harsh thing to say.

January 3, 2010 at 10:44 PM

Season two has been an unbelievable disappointment for me. It started with the death of Ashley and the subsequent introduction of Kate Freelander. I find Kate intolerable but I’m going to side step the Ashley vs Kate arguments since that dead horse has been beaten enough recently. My main complaint isn’t about the loss of Ashley, it’s about the drastic shift the show has taken this season. That being the choice to move away from the dark intellectual Steampunk feel to something more action based.

I feel that this seasons writing has been weak in comparison. The vast number of glaring plot holes makes it hard for me to get through a full episode.

AT mentions how Helen is handling the lose of her daughter in this interview. I don’t agree that Helen’s grief has been handled well. I think DK and MW should sit down and watch Sons of Anarchy season two and take notes on what Kurt Sutter does with Opie’s grief. Something as drastic as the violent death of a loved one should have equally dramatic consequences on the survivors. Ashley was in her own way was the heart of the US Sanctuary, her death should have been palpable through out the whole season.

January 4, 2010 at 12:01 AM

oh, i have no doubt something else is going on behind this decision with ashley, but we’re not going to be told.

and why amanda’s fault? why not damian’s? martin’s? syfy’s? why is it being focused on amanda, adam?

January 4, 2010 at 1:20 AM

I’m not saying it’s entirely her fault, just that she shares some of the blame. The only reason that Amanda is the focus of this thread is that Amanda is the focus of the interview. Personally I think that people were telling the truth when they said it was the networks (SyFy and Space) who forced the decision onto everyone else, as I think I’ve mentioned. The others are guilty, however, of letting it happen and publicly defending the decision.

January 4, 2010 at 3:19 AM

You go Majorsal.

Again, it hurts me to think that some of the fans she loves won’t return that love just because she’s saying how someone she works with is a good actress, what, Amanda can’t give praise to a co-star without being bashed for it? What I don’t get is, we all know about those interviews where Amanda herself says she’s aware of the huge fan reaction to the loss of Ash, and that she’s trying to get her back in some way, heck I’ve posted like 4 interviews of her saying that. Yet, every time an interview like this comes around, even when it doesn’t say anything back EU, it’s bashed on, all because they didn’t say the right things. I support Amanda, I’ll stand by her no matter what, and I’m happy to see that she likes JY and Tesla, and that she wants him around more often.

Yeah, she is trying to shield all involved in the decision so that nobody is blamed. And Amanda thinks very highly of the people she works with, she shouldn’t be vilified for that. It shows she cares about her coworker, that she is able to praise the skills of both EU and AD and feels both characters bring something to the show. She is also fighting to get Ashley back, because she knows how fans feel about the situation and also because she enjoys working with EU. Yeah, I like how she says this is the new character, this is what I like about her and I hope that fans can take that journey with us as we at the Sanctuary come to trust and like Kate. I also like how they are dealing with Ashley’s loss in little moments through Helen like the wanting to stop her longevity and her wanting Will around for her birthday. Amanda is very supportive of those that she works with and what more could you ask for from an employer. People should leave her alone and realise she is a gem in the industry.

January 4, 2010 at 6:46 PM

Re: sanctuaryforall.com

I have also tried to join this website. It is thee official website for the show, it’s the web address given at the end of the episodes when I watch them on DVD.

As you experienced, I joined but never got my account activated. Emails have been ignored. I look through the forum and see that the newest member joined last April. Heck of a long time to ignore new member requests.

They REALLY do not want new members! It’s a very closed group of die-hard fans afraid of input from newer fans, obviously. Which is fine, except that it is being advertised on the DVDs! Surely a professional operation would demand that their official website was a functioning group, open to new fans.

The moderator of the site is Jaclyn MacRae, the script supervisor for Sanctuary. If anyone is on twitter (I’m not), it would be great to ask her why new members are not activated. Here’s her twit: @jaclynmacrae

January 4, 2010 at 7:08 PM

Hey, EU/Ashley fans – since there seems to be a lot of interest, I wanted to let you know that I’ll probably be interviewing Emilie next week. So stay tuned for that.

January 5, 2010 at 4:19 PM

I usually don’t get involved in these debates but couldn’t help myself. First, I should declare that I am a fan of the Ashley character. Also, I I have met EU and she was extremely kind to me so I am a fan of hers as well. Having said that, however, the only people who have the right to make decisions regarding the show are the people who make the show. It is not our call, it’s theirs. As fans we have the right to give our opinions on whether we like a decision or not as long as we do it in a respectful manner. Let’s face it, TPTB are never going to please all of the fans all of the time. What we do NOT have the right to do is cast blame. Again, it is the right of the people who make the show to make the decisions regarding the show. Besides, none of us know all of the facts behind the decision and to rely on rumours or things you read on the internet is a very dangerous practice.

January 5, 2010 at 9:11 PM

I agree that they people who make the show should make the decisions. That isn’t what happened here. The people who broadcast the show forced the creators, writers, and cast of the show to make changes they didn’t want. By supporting the show the way it is you’re actually telling the people who make the show that they don’t have the right to make their own decisions.

January 5, 2010 at 9:23 PM

Ruby, I’m very excited to see that you’re interviewing Emilie next week. Staying tuned…

January 6, 2010 at 1:16 PM

Ruby, I am also excited to see you will be interviewing EU. I look forward to it.

January 13, 2010 at 10:38 PM

Wow, this was really well-written. You asked good questions, and I enjoyed reading Amanda’s responses. Were you nervous?

January 14, 2010 at 12:11 AM

:-) Dawn, you rascal! You don’t even know who Amanda Tapping is, do you?

(Dawn is my buddy from grad school.)

April 12, 2010 at 8:39 PM

hi guys iam new to this nad iam hopefuly that u will be able to help me i want to know if seasion 2 of this cool sereis has been release in Australia

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