‘Angelic Vision’SCI-FI Magazine
"Dark Angel's Producer and Costar Shed Light on the Exciting New Series"
by Melissa Perenson

(The entire article can be found at


    Joining with Logan (a former journalist who's using his personal fortune and high-tech know-how to uncover     truths about society in untraceable broadcasts throughout the city) has given Max a new direction and purpose--even though at the mid-year point of season 1, she's still very much the reluctant heroine not used to working with others after years of fending for herself. "It's interesting to see how the relationships evolve between characters. It's not something that you can just will on the page," observes Eglee.

    Fortunately for Dark Angel, the series was always envisioned to have Max as the lead, tangoing in heart and mind with wheelchair-bound Logan. "The design of the characters was such that yes, I wanted a kind of complex of emotions between these two people. But with the show, this was never really conceived as a relationship show specifically, or a romance. We've all worked on those shows where you have a leading man and a leading lady and the connection between them, but then good luck if that works. But in our show it seems to be working wonderfully," Eglee says, knowing all too well from his Moonlighting days the elusive dance that gets played out on a screen between two characters. "I remember when Michael [Weatherly] came in to audition, and it was just so clear, just the way that Jessica would determine the sparks between the two of them as actors: it was just so very real. What was interesting about this show was putting a real impediment--both the physical and emotional one--between the two of them, to try and keep some sort of stasis in that relationship--keep things from completing."

    When he first read the script for Dark Angel, Weatherly never envisioned himself as the male lead. When his agent told him which role he was up for, his first response was, "But I'm not Logan," he laughs. "I saw it in a much grander scale, as a $100-million movie script. So from the very get-go, it's been a fantasy ride. And the show's a lot of fun to do."

    There's a lot of work, though, too, but Weatherly is up front about who wears the pants in that department: "I just sit around and type at the computer," he says with a self-deprecating laugh.

    And perhaps compared with Jessica Alba's martial arts-styled action antics, Logan Cale's contribution to the show's action series status is tame, at best. But his character's techie know-how has proven invaluable for bailing Max out of the most improbable situations. An accident in the pilot episode may have been confined him to a wheelchair--for now--but Logan's real asset is his underground knowledge base, the crux of which are his mysterious Eyes Only broadcasts that tell the truth about what's going on in the New World Order.

    Still, Weatherly adds, speaking on his cell phone while traveling to a location shoot, "It's amazing to me that we get the show done, because it's huge. And it's not on a back lot--we're shooting up in Vancouver, and we're really putting in 140-, 150-plus hours a show. That's something, and I think it shows. Every department is really keyed in and involved and wants to make it as true as it can be. Because in a way it's an odd 20 years in the future, so how much do you Sci-Fi it up? How much of a statement do you want to make about different set designs and wardrobe and lighting? It's kind of subtle, because I don't think that you necessarily realize that you're watching a show that takes place in the future all the time. It plays kind of current. But at the same time, you have the freedom of that specific Sci-Fi element, [which] gives you a little wiggle room."

    That wiggle room also means that the show isn't confined to any specific, prescribed formula. "Every week we're making a completely different kind of show. We don't sit there and just make a repeat of last week's episode, which a show like this could become," he observes candidly. "Every week, Logan could give Max the mission, and she could go off and come back in a Charlie's Angels kind of thing. But it's really not like that at all."

    Even though the structure of the episodes might be different each week, the characters themselves don't suddenly sprout new personalities. "It's always consistent, character-wise, " he says. "So it's not like every week we come in and it's like, 'Who's Logan this week.'

    "The real challenge," Weatherly adds laughing, "is trying to keep a straight face while I give the exposition. I occasionally have these long sequences of telling the backstory on the bad guy or something like that. That's not the easiest stuff in the world to do."

    Logan isn't a one-note character, though--and Weatherly is enjoying the opportunity to explore his character, in spite of his crack-of-dawn set calls. "It's a lot of fun. When we first started doing these episodes, the interesting game that was going on between Logan and Max is that she is someone who is searching to find out who she is. She's a cat burglar at night so she can make this money to pay a private investigator to find out who is behind her [existence]. But she's not interested at all in the world in which she actually lives; she's only interested in the world which has long since disappeared behind her. And Logan is only interested in the world that exists around him, and fighting that system. But you know next to nothing about Logan's personal mythology. He has almost no interest in who he is; he only has an interest in the society, and trying to effect some kind of positive change on that society." Weatherly pauses. "So the two of them have this sort of positive and negative charge; and obviously, those opposites attract, in some ways."

    Chemistry between the two actors on screen isn't something that can be forced: It's either there, or it isn't. However, in the case of Alba and Weatherly, it quickly became clear that the only problem would be preventing the actors' chemistry from spontaneously combusting. "Whether it's written for it or not--and sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't--Jessica and I always have a lot of fun with the scenes when they unfold," Weatherly says with a chuckle. "In every scene, you're always trying to play not just what's on the page, but you're also trying to make it interesting and expand it and push outside of it as much as possible. And I think the show is built for that. It's always fun. She's not too hard on the eyes, either."

    While it's easy to draw broad assumptions, though, Weatherly is quick to dispel such thoughts. "One of the criticisms of the show that I'm aware of," he notes, "is that there are these post modern, archetypal characters like the empowered Powder Puff Babe and the Brainiac in the wheelchair, and I'd like to think that the show is a little more than just these over-simplified cartoon characters."

    The burgeoning deeper friendship between Logan and Max also means the personal stakes are getting higher. "They each hold a secret of the other, and as they expand that into a deeper understanding with each other, it's fun. But it can get a little dangerous--they're both pretty willful characters, and neither one of them seems to be suffering from a deficit of intellect."

    And the emotional bond between these two characters is going to come more into focus as the second half of the season rolls out. "The more that he develops this friendship and relationship with her, the more he cares about the outcome of each situation, and it gets more and more complicated for both of them," says Weatherly.

    Working with Alba is a treat--but there's more to it than just having "the best view in North America," jokes Weatherly, whose character is usually found in his wheelchair looking up at Alba. "When the buzzer goes off and the red light starts blinking, you have to be ready--she's not someone who will forgive you too easily if you're sloppy or lazy or not getting your lines or not hitting your mark," he says. "And when the shot is finished, she usually goes for some kind of a sucker-punch."

    No matter how you slice it, working on Dark Angel is unlike any of Weatherly's past experiences, which include roles in The Last Days of Disco, The Specials, Gun Shy, and the TV series Jesse. "This is completely different. I've done plenty of pilots: I've been a lawyer, a doctor, a boat captain, [and] a construction worker. But underground pirate cyber-journalist in the year 2020 with the genetically engineered super babe as your friend, that's the job. That's the one you want. I'd trade the rest in."