Once again, this year, SciFi Vision was lucky enough to be invited to a press day for NBC’s Midnight, Texas
. The NBC series, which premieres next Friday, follows a group of supernaturals that live in the town of Midnight, hiding from the outside world. This season trouble comes when a married couple, Kai (Nestor Carbonell) and Patience (Jaime Ray Newman), come to town and open the Crystal Desert Hotel and Spa, letting the outside world in.
The schedule this year was a bit different than last time. On Wednesday night, after arriving at the Hotel Parque Central in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the other journalists and I were driven to Stage 9 at Albuquerque Studios, which would serve as our “basecamp.”
There we did round table interviews with some of the cast. Each of them talked about their characters and the new season.
Nestor Carbonell, the newcomer of the group, discussed his character of Kai Lucero.
“I’m introduced in the first episode of the season, so you’ll see me right away, as healer Kai.
“...I read the material, and I thought, “Wow this is out there; this is great; what a great thing for an actor to take.” It’s sort of a complete departure from what I’ve been doing recently, and so I grounded the character. I wanted to ground him as much as I could with the healing aspect.
“So, I started Reiki Healing and just went online and just scoured the Internet for as much information [as I could get], and now I’m hooked.”
“...I’ve been trying to ground my character into that as much as I could and sort of take a big swing, because, I mean, as you know, it’s a big world, and you kind of can’t go halfway. You have to dive in. And at the same time, you want to make it as truthful as you can so that the audience can suspend its disbelief.”
He also talked about his relationship with Patience on the show.
“Patience is the love of his life, and I’ll tell you what I can say. We met twelve years ago, when I was healing people down the east coast, and we’ve moved now to Midnight, because we knew the energy here was different, and we knew that there were a lot of people coming here.
“And we knew that it was just a lot easier for me to operate, because of the energy and the number of people I could heal here. So that’s what brought us here. Yeah, she is everything to me. I don’t think I have any other roots outside of Patience. She’s my world.”
Next up was Peter Mensah, who plays Lem. He talked about his character’s reaction to the newcomers.
“Lem has always been sort of the more cerebral. He tends to sit back and sort of watch, and as a result of his night hours, he tends to actually see things that most people don’t. So, he’s not inherently suspicious, but you’re sort of not really in until you’re proven. And that sort of that still maintains, where as his wife just doesn’t like anybody [laughs]
He also talked about his evolving relationship with Olivia since they were married at the end of the season, among other things.
“I don’t think there’s an intention [to bite her], but I think there’s a desire to have a relationship that would last forever...The only way they can be together is if that happens, or it will end, and that’s really the issue. The relationship has an end date, and that’s what he really doesn’t want, but there’s not part of him that wants to do that without her consent, because then what kind of relationship do you have? So, we’ll see. I’m not telling you what’s going to happen!”
Arielle Kebbel also weighed in and talked about some of Olivia’s issues.
“[Our] psychic connection is very exciting for Olivia for about two seconds and then takes a quick turn, because marriage is a big enough deal for her, and then you’ve got someone who can literally feel her every move. It’s a real struggle between them of like how do you find your independence in this new relationship when you have a psychic connection [laughs]
and you can know anything at any time?”
Kebbel also discussed how Olivia feels about the newcomers.
“Olivia doesn’t like them, obviously. She doesn’t like anyone at first. So, they come to town and everybody is shocked by their arrival, because they’re building this hotel next to Home Cooking. The whole town is ours, but especially Home Cooking; that’s our hangout. So, it’s shocking to all of us, and especially me, because half the Midnighters are trying to embrace them, half are not really sure, and I’m sitting here’s going, “This guy’s a scam. What is he doing here? What do they want from us? What’s he doing with her? I’m going to get to the bottom of this.”
Next was Jason Lewis, who plays Joe, the angel, who has quite a different reaction to the newcomers.
“They come in and they bring a natural conundrum. We’re a secular community and we didn’t really want outside influences coming into us, and here comes not only an outside influence, but they’re inviting people into the world. They’ve opened a hotel, and you have Kai inviting people from all over to come in and check us out. We’re not really wanting to be a tourist destination. We all have varying opinions about what that means, and those opinions get tested as we go along and learn more about them.
“I think Joe is wary at the start, but he’s a little more neutral than some of the other characters, because I think he holds out to find out. He's the angel guy, but I don’t think of him as like a cherub you put on top of a Christmas tree. I think of him more as like a really powerful entity and a force of nature. And I think that that allows you a certain amount of room to not be laissez-faire about things, but not jump to a quick judgement, because you don’t have to protect yourself in the same way. You don’t have to jump to see, whereas you can give people a chance.”
He also talked about where Joe is at the start of the season, now that his secret is out.
“I think that if you were to discover that you had a creature that powerful around you who’s been hiding that, it would make you wonder where your place is. But Joe is very much a protector of others. I think not being able to realize his purpose of fighting and slaying evil, that energy was poured into anyway and towards protecting others. Now that he doesn’t have to hide that, he can lean in and embrace that and who he is. I think people are down for Joe, because he’s an angel.”
We then walked around the backlot on our own and got to see the town of Midnight. Most of the buildings are just facades.
The street was for the most part the same as last season, with the church, Bobo’s pawn shop, Joe’s tattoo shop, Strong Angel, Manfred's home, and more. I made sure this time, however, to get photos of what I missed last year, such as Fiji's home/The Inquiring Mind exterior.
The main difference on backlot was the addition of the Crystal Desert Hotel and Spa, which will play a part in the new season.
During our visit, we also went into press media village at the Cartoon Saloon to watch a scene being filmed on the monitors. The Cartoon Saloon is also an interior set for the bar in the town of Davey on the show, which includes a bar, places to eat, a game room, and more.
Outside at one point, we talked a bit to François Arnaud, who remembered some of us from last time, and Jason Lewis.
After watching the scene a few times and wandering around on our own for a while, it was time to head back to the hotel. **Be sure to check out day two when it becomes available and more from the event, and stay tuned for much more, including full individual interviews and more set photos.**