Hi, this is Adrian Paul, and you're listening to Highlander Rewatched.
Hello, this is Beatie Edney. I played Heather in the original Highlander film, and you are watching Highlander Rewatched!
This is Andy Armstrong. I was the 2nd Unit Director directing the action units in New York on the original Highlander, and you're listening to Highlander Rewatched.
Hi, this is Anthony De Longis, also known as Ottavio Consone from the Duende episode of Highlander, and you are listening to Highlander Rewatched.
Hi, I'm Elizabeth Gracen. I played Amanda on Highlander the Series, and the spinoff called Highlander: The Raven, and you are listening to Highlander Rewatched!
Everybody involved with Highlander has stories; and they're great, great stories! This is John Mosby, the author of Fearful Symmetry: The Essential Guide to All Things Highlander, and you're listening to Highlander Rewatched.
This is Ken Gord, producer of the Highlander Series, and you are listening to the podcast Highlander Rewatched.
1:27 Welcome to Highlander Rewatched! The podcast where each and every week we take a look at another facet of the Highlander universe! This week is a very special episode. Welcome to one of our Chronicle episodes, where we talk to the people behind the scenes: the actors, the directors, the producers, the writers... of the Highlander series and movies! We have a very special guest today. I'm one of your hosts, I'm Keith!
This is Kyle!
This is Eamon.
Keith: And today we are joined by Producer of the Highlander series, Ken Gord! Welcome to the show, Ken!
2:02 Kyle: Just so you know, we tend to keep it pretty light. We try to have a good time. *****We've got like, an explicit tag; we actually swear kind of often on our show. So if you care to do that, don't feel like, the need to censor yourself! Uh... hah!
Ken: Well that's good to know. Since I'm a Canadian, you know, we swear quite a lot, so... *laughter*
Kyle: Yeah. This is a perfectly safe space for that! *laughing*
Ken: I listen to your show um--
Keith: Oh, cool!
Kyle: Oh, great!
Ken: --a lot. I listen to the shows. It's very, very good. Very well done.
Eamon: Thank you!
Kyle: Thanks! We appreciate that! *laughter*
Keith: Thank you! Yeah! Yeah. *laughter*
2:30 Ken: I myself... I'm in Venice. Venice, Italy, not California.
Kyle then Keith: Oh wow!
Kyle: Ssso, so... big vacation, or considering a new venue?
Ken: No, I don't do vacations. I mean, I... I only go somewhere if someone pays me, so, uh... *laughter*
Kyle: That's not a bad place to go, if you're getting paid.
2:48 Ken: Yeah. Or, I've gotten a little spoiled since, you know I... I kind of started off on... in the early 1990s uh, going to some uh, strange places to do series like the... The first place I... We did a series that was supposed to be set in the Florida Keys, and we shot it in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It was called "Sweating Bullets"; it was like a CBS late-night show at that time. It had some like a... I think it was called "Crime Time After Prime Time" or something.
Keith: That's good.
3:14 Ken: And then the executive producer told us, at the end of that cycle, "Oh by the way, we're going to be shooting this show in um, Israel next year, in a place called Eilat," which... I didn't even know about. And I thought they were--I thought he was joking, and uh... we ended up shooting it in Israel! So, we were shooting like, you know, palm trees 'n stuff and, and about 50 yards to our right are like, camels, and 50 yards to our left is like the Jordanian Border with like, barbed wire 'n stuff, and they were at war. And we're telling people we're in uh, Florida! So--
Kyle: *snickering* Did you ever find a way to sneak that stuff into the show?
3:48 Ken: No. *laughter* The thing about--the thing about-*laughs*-the thing about TV or, or movies is that: the camera sees only what you want it to see, so... That's what's called cheating. *laughter* We call it cheating.
Kyle: It's like: Alright! Let's get a real close-up here, we can cut out the camel, that'll... *laughs with Eamon*
4:05 Ken: Hahahahahah! So I got--So I sort of became like a go-to guy for going to places, so I... you know, I kind of enjoyed it because I like... I like uh, being a pioneer in places 'n... You know, I did this uh, series in Spain called "Queen of Swords", uh after Highlander and um, we were in the desert where all the Spaghetti Westerns were shot, and that was like, really amazing because uh... You have to bring everything in, you're basically--basically in the middle of nowhere. It's like one of the only deserts in Europe. And the Western, you know, freak shows... I was like a fan on the weekend. I, I got this book and, I drive around to all these locas--locations like, "Oh! That's where Claudia Cardinale came into the house when Henry Fonda came and--*snickers heard*--and you know, that's the place where uh... what's the guy's name from um, Deathwish? Yeah, Charles Bronson was like cutting his uh--(harmonica)
Keith: Oh, Charles Bronson!
Kyle: Charles Bronson, yeah.
Ken: And all that kind of stuff. So I was like a real fan.
Eamon: That's amazing!
Ken: Crazy Western fan.
Keith: I actually--I actually wanted to ask you about uh, Queen of Swords. Like, that--that obviously has a lot of uh, Highlander alum in it. So how did that show... kind of come about after Highlander?
4:58 Ken: Well, um, you know I'm just--I was a hired hand so I do--I'm not the guy that puts those things together, which is like, you know... miserable brutal business, *laughs* but um... I'm like, uh, you know, production which is just... just brutal. I think a... a company called Fire... Fireworks, which had done um, "Mutant X". And they did, uh, Andromeda. Uh, is it called Andromeda? The one in uh, Vancouver, the uh, one with Kevin Sorbo?
Keith: Yeah! I think so, yeah.
Kyle: That's the one.
5:22 Ken: Yeah. So they uh... They--they... I guess they sold the idea of a female Zorro. Uh, they... I think they sold it to um, uh, the syndicated network at the time 'n... and we were off! And, interestingly enough, so um... So, when we're sitting in the Production Office in the desert of Spain, and we're looking at The Mask of Zorro--you know the uh, Antonio Banderas--
5:43 Ken: --movie, right? We're looking at that as reference, right? "Ohh. So oh! That looks pretty good. That looks pretty good." And then um... Not only did we get sued by Sony--
5:52 Ken: --because of uh, you know, the Zorro uh, connection, which we won because I think, female Zorro was not quite the same as Zorro, but uh... The director I'm working with now on this movie in Venice is a guy called Martin Campbell, and he directed the Mask of Zorro! *laughter*
Kyle: That's funny.
Ken: Female Zorro...
Keith: So, so the new project you're working on is, is that the uh... the Across the River and into the Trees project?
6:14 Ken: Yes it is! The uh, Across the River yeah, and into the Trees, yeah. It's an Ernest Hemingway, um, novel. His w--his last novel. Which uh...
Keith: Oh wow! Can you tell our listeners about uh, this project?
6:24 Ken: Yeah, sure. It um... takes place in 1946; a U.S. Army colonel... you know, after the war and he... he drives from, uh, Trieste, which is uh... I guess in Northern Italy, to Venice, cuz he wants to go duck hunting. And uh, he has--he has a weekend with um, an Italian countess. And it's like, he has some flashbacks to the war and uh... I won't tell you the end in case you go see it, but um... interestingly enough, it's kind of the opposite theme of Highlander. I was actually thinking about that this morning when I was um, sort of prepping myself for this phone call. It's kind of like, you know, Highlander is a study of immortality, and this Hemingway uh, book is a study of mortality; man's mortality. It's kind of interesting; a full 180. You know, people die... in this, in this boo--*clears throat* You know, in this story. *laughter* As opposed to Highlander. Nobody ever dies in Highlander! *more laughter*
Kyle: Yeah. Not a person, ever.
Eamon: Nope! *laughter continues*
Kyle: Well that's as--a good a transition as any into talking about Highlander! Uh... If I understand correctly you came in, kind of right at the beginning of Season 2. We've heard some... colorful stories about what it was like, kind of in the beginning, on Highlander. What was kind of the state of play when... when you hit the board?
Ken: "Colorful". That's good. Um... *Eamon laughs.
Kyle: Yeah! See, I was the one who said that we are allowed to swear on this show, *giggles in background* and I uh, and I used the word, colorful!
7:39 Ken: That's right, hahah! Yeah, that was a real bad word. So um, well, quite frankly um... My agent was called uh, for directors. Bill Panzer and Marla Ginzberg were in Toronto, where I'm from, and they were... they were asking my agent about directors, and my agent said, "You wanna meet a producer?" And, uh, they said, "Well, we already got one." He was actually a friend of mine. And they said, "Well, you know, but... uh... sure, we'll check 'im out." And uh... I was on a... I was on a plane like two days later to Vancouver. And my friend, who's also a director, said, "Well, you know, it couldn't have happened to a better guy! You gonna give me a couple of shows to direct, at least?" I didn't, actually. *laughter* Yes um...
8:16 Ken: Burn, yeah. For the first uh... So, for a couple of days I um, I just watched all the first, uh, year. The--the first twenty-two episodes. And... *clears throat* Quite frankly I... I didn't think it was that great. *laughter* Like, I thought it was a boring show. I really didn't. I thought it was a little bit cheesy, and um, some of the uh, you know the clothes were a little bit... sort of out there, and uh, I really hated the set; the antique shop with all the cow-walk and all that shit *guys chuckle* and uh... yeah. I didn't--I didn't really the, ah, you know, just the Immortal of the Week was kind of like one-dimensional. And uh--I liked Adrian! I thought he was like, you know, fantastic. So, when I came in uh, the first thing I did was... I... I tried to simplify it because, I kind of felt that the... greatest weakness of the show was that it was um, user-unfriendly. Like, it wasn't like you know, Starsky and Hutch, or like Love Boat, you know... You could just tune in, *someone snickers* you know, twenty minutes in and, you know you're right in the story, right? It's like, it wasn't too hard--not too hard to pick up, right? You know, easy access! But Highlander, you know, it's a mythology, and there's rules and... you kind of have to know what it's about, otherwise you're kind of sitting there and you're like, "What the fuck is this?" You know--*guys laugh* "Wh-wh-what's going on here?" So I... I thought that was its greatest strength; I also--Uh, greatest weakness, but I also thought it was its greatest strength, because... Hey, this is, like, a show that, you know, unlike you know, Hercules, or Xena--which are... not bad shows, I'm not dissing them--but um, you know, it's a little--it's got a little more uh, mythology, a little more sort of... you know, a thinking element to it. My thought-process was: "Because this show is kind of hard to access, and user-unfriendly, I gotta--I gotta ground it. If you know what I mean by ground it. So, everything sort of had... I had that in mind. So... I, I kind of um, took Adrian out of his purple pants, *Kyle laughs* and put him in blue jeans and a white t-shirt. You know? That's grounding, right?
Kyle: That was a good call, yeah!
Keith: Good call!
9:59 Ken: Yeah. And every now and then he would put on some-something crazy and he'd--I'd walk on set and he'd look at me and laugh and--he's a bit of a teaser, right, though? *laughter* Cuz he knew it would just drive me-drive me--drive me crazy, right? He's wearing his like, you know, pink and green, you know, checked pants and uh--*Eamon laughs*
Kyle: You're like, "Alright, we gotta get M.C. Hammer out of here!" *laughter* you're like!
10:17 Ken: Yeah. And uh... and the other thing is like, um... So, we were designing these sets because... the antique shop, uh, I think... You know, uh... Tessa was gonna die, and uh, the idea was to get him, you know, a bachelor pad, and uh, Steve Geaghan the uh, fantastic Production Designer, you know he came into my office with the blueprint for the um, the Dojo. And I remember it was like Snakes & Ladders. He was like, "Oh, yeah! We'll have a stairway here, and we'll have a hallway, and then we'll--" *Kyle laughs* "--you know a little thing down there--" And I was like, *takes a breath* "Steve, get rid of all that shit, and just make it four, square, walls." *laughter*
Kyle: That's good.
10:49 Ken: And he was like, shocked. It's just like, "How can you do this?" *laughs with them* "You're--" you know, "You're killing me!" But, again I thought: You know what? You got to just ground it and simplify it. Because if you can simplify his base; if you can ground it with where--where he lives, and where he... hangs out, and... what he wears, then you can ta--kind of, sort of, you know, get behind the character and sort of follow him into like all the crazy shit that goes on in Highlander, right? So I think--I think that worked pretty well. Well, whether it worked or not it was my idea and I... and I think it worked, so uh... *someone chuckles*
Keith: Oh, it definitely works, yeah! *Kyle & Eamon?: Yeah!
11:18 Ken: Um... let's see uh, yeah and there was a, you know, a tiny bit of a... a learning curve, but... Uh, luckily everybody was very um, onside, it was like a great team and uh, there was no... there was no real, uh, friction uh... David Abramowitz, uh, had been on... I think, I'm not sure how many episodes in... in Year One, so he already sort of an alumni. The first week he was in Vancouver when I was there, and we sat down at a little diner and uh, we said, "We're the guys who are going to be sort of physically making this show." Uh, David from the, you know the Writers' Room, and me in the uh, on---you know, on the ground. And uh, we're just, we're gonna keep our backs to each other. So, we just uh decided at that point to become um, you know, sort of tr--trusty allies, and keep each others' backs, and... if I said I couldn't do something, he knew it wasn't because I was trying to save 10 cents. It was because--really because I couldn't do it. If uh, if I could do something better, like for the-the-the-the example is: The writers would write, you know, um, like a fight location, they would write "warehouse". That was the default. "Warehouse", right? You know... *Eamon laughs*
Kyle: It's always a warehouse, or a construction site. Yeah.
12:21 Ken: Yeah. Because it's an easy location; you know, they're easy to find. Uh, they got all kinds of shit in them and, you know, they're, they're textured. But, you know, I-I-I... I sort of took it upon myself to try to find like all kinds of, you know, interesting places so instead of warehouses, like tho---the... The best example of that is that um, in France, exchange the word warehouse for chateau. *laughter* So, you know, the bad guy's in a chateau, there's gonna be like a fight there. And Adrian and I were scouting Bordeaux, you know for the beginning of that uh, cycle? With um, the F--The Four Horsemen? *Keith: Mmhm.* And um, we were looking around for a chateau, locations guy that we were travelling with said, "There's like a... You know, there's an old sub--WWII um, German submarine base." We're like, WHAT? *laughter* We went to see it: It was like... It's like... That's fucking amazing, right! You remember that location?
Kyle: Yeah! It's incredible!
13:11 Ken: It was like... it was incredible! And you couldn't write that! So, so I'm just, illustrating the point that, you know, being th--They could write something, because they g--uh-un... generic because they knew we would, uh, we would try our hardest to... you know, to, to make it better. And conversely, if they wrote... wrote something crazy like, "and uh, in this scene we're gonna have uh, fifteen dancing elephants," *Eamon laughs* we would say... If we said we... if we said we couldn't do it, maybe we could have like a, a Great Dane... *Kyle laughs* then, they believed us. So there was trust between us.
Keith: Uh... was there ever any tension on the set? Cuz, I mean... At the end of the day I guess you were kind of the final say on a lot of these creative elements. Like, did you ever have to... kind of go toe-to-toe with any directors over some of these creative differences?
13:52 Ken: Yeah. I think the uh... Most-most of our directors were... you know, they're... Directors are basically like... the guest stars on a TV show, like. You know, the producer's... you know kind of, kind of the final word, and the director's like a guest. Cuz you know he comes in, he shoots, and he goes home. We had a few House directors, like Clay Borris and um, you know Paolo Barzman... We--we had, cuz... we had guys we liked and we stuck with them.*thoughtfully* I guess the only real creative thing, and it wasn't really between ME and the director; it was between Abramowitz and the director, was the famous... I think what was the show--Mortal Sins, uh, show, where it turned into an international religious war. Because uh... um... *Kyle is chuckling* the script had um... the French actor who... who's dead now um... played the priest, and he had to... he had a gun. *Keith: Yeah.* And uh, the director--Mario Azzopardi who's... who's a really good friend of mine, The Maltese Falcon... Ah, he's got a bit of a temper, he's a very passionate man, and he says um... "You know, my brother's a priest, and there's NO WAY, EVER, a priest is gonna have a gun! I can't shoot that!" *laughter* And uh, the m--the memo wars, and the phone calls, between Abramowitz and Mario Azzopardi, he--Mario was like, "Well, well what if it's a RABBI and he's... and he's gone for a real..." *Eamon laughs* "...a stick of bacon and uh! And you know--!"
Kyle: *laughing* Oh, God!
15:03 Ken: "You gonna let THAT go?!" And it... it became really kind of intense, and at the end of the day he shot the, you know, the priest with the gun. *laughter* Apart from that--
Kyle: Wh--How did you weigh in on that dispute? Did you uh... or was it just your job to find the gun?
15:14 Ken: Well I was, um... I think I was just trying to keep the peace. *laughter* That's what Canadians do.
Kyle: Yeah, there you go! I was actually really curious, because I--you mentioned Clay Borris, Six-Day-Clay, they always refer to him as--in some of the interviews I've seen about him. What was it like working on... these really compressed shooting schedules? Cuz I heard that, he's the guy they brought in when they really wanted ta... you know, grind something out under a... sh--a compressed timeframe.
15:35 Ken: That's right. I'm impressed, you knew that. Yeah!
Kyle: Hahah. We're doing our--we're doing our homework for you!
15:40 Ken: Yeah. That's pretty good! *Eamon laughs* Yeah, really! Yeah, most of the shows were uh, seven days, which is um, you know, very uh... it was kind of ordinary back then. Now, shows are shot in like, you know, twelve and fourteen days. I mean the, you know, TV's... TV's gone wild, but... You know back then, especially for in an... what was called an industrial action show like, like Highlander, a syndicated show, seven days was kind of like the norm. Well we were doing some shows in six and a half days, and we'd start the other show on the second half of the day, so both shows would be like six and a half days; Clay could do shows in six days! He just was very efficient. Unfortunately, your greatest strength becomes your weakness. Um... He got sort of this reputation as being a guy who shoots to schedule. So, he had a hard time working after, in the coming years, cuz uh... you know. Producers wanted, you know, someone who tells a story and... it's all, it's all kind of bullshit. It's kind of like the--the impression. The guy busted his balls for us 'n, a total--a total soldier. If you said shoot it in six, he'd shoot it in six. He was a good guy.
Kyle: So as... kind of the... the guy on the ground, having to manage a lot of this stuff... What did that end up meaning for you, in your role? Were you... going crazy on these six-day shoots, or was it just more of the same for you?
16:48 Ken: Well, it's kind of more of the same because basically, the show--shows are made in prep. They're made in prep and post, believe it or not. So, prep is where, you know, the schedule is um, created and built and uh, if a, if a six-day show looked like it was, you know, needed to be shot in eight days, then you do what's called fixes. Which means um you know, working with the writing department and uh, taking things down, or taking... two locations and putting them into one, or taking like an exterior night, which is uh... takes much longer cuz you have to light and all that stuff and making it an exterior day. So there's all kinds of like, you know, tricks used to um, to save time. So uh wh-wa--So once it's prepped and everybody's, you know, reason-reasonably assured that now it's DOable, then you know the director just uh, does it. He's like a traffic cop. He, you know, he just makes it-makes it happen, so... There's not really a--not really a... a lot of emergencies on-set. You know, apart from, you know, strange things. Other than that, the directors... and the ADs, the assistant directors, are just, you know, very very good and efficient. They know what they're doing. So th--they just make it happen. Th-there were things--
Kyle: What was the strangest surprise, that--that would have come up like that?
17:49 Ken: Well the biggest surprise was, uh, I mean there was a few, but like... Uh, the one that comes to mind is the uh, Sheena Eason show, we're shooting at this light house, and all of a sudden some... I don't know what it was. Some mmm... I don't know if it was Canadian Navy, or American Navy... Some ordinance washed up on the beach. *Kyle laughs gleefully* So, righ--Yeah! I--I--I don't know, it was like, unexploded you know, mines, or some shit, I don't really remember exactly what it was, but it was something that you didn't want to explode while you were shooting! So um, we had to, you know, call the uh, Canadian army and uh... evacuate and let them do what they did, which... took about a half a day and... So, you know. You lose half a day! That's it. Nothing you can do about it. You just have to just sort of make it work.
Kyle: With the added security of not--with the added security of not blowing up the actors!
18:33 Ken: You don't wanna blow up the actors, no. *laughs*
Kyle: Yeah. It's a good day's work!
Eamon: Or you could blow--blow those up for a Quickening!
Kyle: Yeah. *moment, laughter* Yeah, we've already got this ordinance, let's just uh--
Eamon: Just blow that up!
Kyle: Well I guess Sheena Easton lived. *Ken laughs* She's one of the--she's one of the lucky few!
Eamon: Oh that's right. There was no Quickening in that episode.
Keith: That's right.
Eamon: Never mind! *Kyle laughs*
19:50 Ken: *laughs* Well amazingly um... You know, what happens in an action show is, I mean... Adrian is doing all his own shit, right? I mean, he's--he's doing all his own sword-stuff. He only got hurt like, around two or three times--I say "only", you know. You don't want to see anybody ever get hurt, but Rrr--Rowdy Roddy Piper, who's like the strongest man you've ever seen in your life... he hit Adrian's sword so hard like, broke the hilt and like, really hurt uh, Adrian's finger. You know about that, probably. *inhales* And um, uh...
Kyle: Oh, yeah! Wasn't he like bleeding out during the... during the final shots?
19:20 Ken: Yeah. It was in the um... like the Exhibition Grounds, or the--the whatever it's called, the Fairgrounds. *inhales* And he got hurt two other times. So, you know when that happens, you know it's kind of a bummer for the actor, obviously, because he's hurt... but also... usually it means, like you know, an hour or two um... where you gotta go, you know, check him out at the hospital, and... You know, Tex Cobb got hit by a beer truck. *Kyle laughs* You know, it's like... crossing the street cuz he wasn't wearing his glasses, and you know, that kind of... that kind of stuff happens. You just have to uh, cope with it. We were doing the um, the Quickening with uh, David Robb uh, under the Bastille, where he finally got his. And uh, the Quickening, there's a piece of uh, plastic or something, that hit him JUST below the eye. I mean, I was there, like, holy shit! To his credit, he stayed in character, and he finished the Quickening. And when the director said cut... Man oh man! You wanna talk about cursing! He was livid! *Kyle chuckles* So I...
Eamon: Oh boy.
20:14 Ken: I fired... Cuz that, that's not supposed to happen. So, I fired the special effects guy--
Eamon: Oh! Hah.
20:20 Ken: --and uh, we went back to our, our other guy who was re--also very, very good, and um... You know, you just sort of carry on.
Eamon: I had a question about like uh, you were mentioning the cool locations you--you found in France. Was it easier to find like, cool locations in Vancouver, or France? Or was it kind of six of one, half a dozen of the other?
20:39 Ken: That's an interesting question. I think uh... I think probably uh, Vancouver. Uh, cuz I think Vancouver has a... a little more diversity. It was... it was... It's amazing that you can go to Vancouver and shoot, you know, for India, for you know, Mongolia, for Mexico, for all these places. You know, it's just unbelievable when you think about it. There's always something, you know, a place. It doesn't even have to be that big, it's just... something that gives you the uh, the feeling of the place, or gives you a place to start building, you know like, a village or something so... I don't know. I think Vancouver was a... was probably easier for locations. Don't forget in France you're um, you're not allowed to shoot inside the... the periphery. Like, you know, the circle? Uh, without a permit, obviously, and uh... because they're snobs, um, they don't give permits--*Keith laughs*--except to um, films. And you have to give them the script, like, you know, two weeks in advance, minimum. And we're getting scripts like, seven days before we start shooting, right? And, so, we could never get a permit, so... we had one sort of full-time permit at the uh... where the barge was. And that's also like the stupidest thing in the world! Every year it's like, "You know, we're shooting our standing--standing set--" That's called a Standing Set, right? Yeah? *affirming noise* Like the dojo, the uh... you know, his uh... his loft. That's where you're supposed to go home, and the lights are ready, and you just like, shoot the shit out of it right, because it's... it's easy. Cuz you're not on location like, you know, outside somewhere. And, um, it's well known in the industry, that the hardest thing to shoot is a boat! *laughter* So, our standing set in France was... was a BOAT! *louder laughter* Every time another boat went by, you know, the thing was going up and down, and how do you light the other side, 'n... it was just like... It was a fuckin' nightmare! But, every year we tried to uh, find a better place, and um... you know. It was too expensive, or, you know, this and that. And so, *wearily* every year we're on the barge. *laughter*
Kyle: Can't wait to sell this thing!
Keith: I had a question about like, just kind of producing in general. Like, in your early career, you had done some like, low budget movies, like Dream on the Run, or Starship Invasions... *Ken: Yeah.* How does producing like, low budget sci-fi movies compare to... you know, either like, the movies you're working on today, or a... syndicated television show? Is it like, kind of the same shit but just with more money? Or're there really... like, was your job really different working on those early projects than it is, let's say today?
22:52 Ken: I could be hired for any number of things, like... Highlander, I was hired as a creative producer, so I had what's called a Line Producer, uh, with me. Or, Line Producers over the years. On those... on those other movies, uh, I mean th--They were so low budget... we didn't know what the hell we were doing! We were basically you know, "Hey, let's make a movie!" You know?
23:10 Ken: Those guys got some money, so... I would say they were kind of, you know, amateur affairs, quite frankly. I guess I just... I started off in the business just like, bluffing? Because I had no idea what I was doing, and uh *someone snort-laughs* there was no like, film schools back then, so you just sort of, you know, did it. And uh, you didn't get paid, and y'know, you worked uh for six months 'n... for a thousand bucks, 'n then you starved for six months 'n, you just really wanted to do it. So, you were just sort of, you know, living your dream. And little by little I kind of got to actually know what the job was, I guess just, you know, just by bluffing enough and, you know, actually having--having to do it. So um... by the time Highlander came along I was... I think I was pretty good at, um, doing it. And Highlander, you know, is the real thing. As opposed to those other movies you mentioned, which were not. *Eamon? snort-laughs* That's, that's the difference.
Kyle: *laughs* But you got to met peop--meet people like Christopher Lee and whatnot, doing some of these movies, right?
24:00 Ken: That's true! Yeah. I think I--I posted a Christopher Lee story, um, when he died, but in case you've never read it, um, I'll tell ya, it's really--It's a quick story. So um, Christopher Lee. So, um, I'm doing a documentary with uh, this guy, uh, Patrick Macnee? I don't know if you remember him from the original Avengers?
Eamon: Oh yeah!
Keith: Oh yeah, yeah!
24:19 Ken: He's the guy with the Bowler hat. *Keith: Yeah!* Yeah. So, his son was a friend of mine. He was directing a documentary and it was Patrick Macnee. And we're shooting uh, at some hotel in India, Jaipur India, and Christopher Lee's at the same hotel, and he's shooting um... It was like a British uh, mini-series, uh... So I went for dinner with uh, Christopher Lee and Patrick Macnee! Over dinner I say to Christopher Lee, "You know um, Christopher, I don't know if you remember, but... I was the producer on um, this movie uh, Starship Invasions?" And he kind of looked at me and he gave that like, Dracula-look for about like, five minutes at me. *laughter* And he didn't say anything. It's not his fondest memory! It was never fondest memory!
Kyle: So he loved it, is what you're saying? *amused*
Eamon: HAH haha!
24:59 Ken: Yeah, yeah. He loved it. He had a great time, yeah! *laughter* He had no eh... eh, he didn't have any lines, so it was easy. He spoke telepathically.
Kyle: So wait! Did he--Was it him? He spoke telepathically? Did he like--was it all ADR'd? Or... did he just literally not speak in the movie?
25:11 Ken: Yup! He literally didn'... you know it was ADR'd because there was no... there was no uh, lip movement. It was telepathic communications, so it was all voice-over.
Kyle: Oh, okay!
25:20 Ken: It was all him--him talking telepathically, um... with uh... by the magic of the voice-over.
Eamon: Movie magic! I think the mo--the show he was shooting was The Far Pavilions.
25:29 Ken: That's it! Yeah, very good! *Kyle chuckles* Very good.
Eamon: Far Pavilions...
Keith: There you go. Eamon's got the trivia.
Eamon: That's right.
Kyle: Yeah! *laughs* Way better than those near pavilions. They're--
Ken: That's right! That's right!
Eamon: Much better than those near Pavilions.
24:39 Ken: Omar Sharif was there, and uh--*Eamon?: Oh!*--Ben Cross, and Amy Irving, yep, that's right!
Keith: When you were producing Highlander, I imagine with the--the tight shooting schedules and just like... Stuff must go wrong, I'm sure, no matter how much you try to prevent it. Something, you know, must happen day-to-day where you're like, "Ohhhhh, shit!" *Ken: Yep.* Uh, j--what's the like, craziest thing that you had to get done... either yourself, or make sure happened, when you were kind of putting the show together like. Was there ever like, just a disaster and you had to like, scramble to wheel and deal or MAKE the show go on the next day?
26:08 Ken: I can't think of any out-and-out diSASters... Um...
Keith: That means you were doing your job I guess! *laughter*
26:13 Ken: Hahah. Well you know... That's interesting, cuz uh... when people ask me like, "What does a producer do?" I say "Well, if you see me sitting on the set in a director's chair and just like, just watching everybody work, doing fuck-all, I'm the best producer in the world." *laughter*
Kyle: Yeah! It's like one of those things where it's like, if looks easy if you're doing it right?
26:29 Ken: Yeah. I mean you just--The secret is, what is... a producer hires the right people. Because he doesn't know how to do any of those jobs himself, but the other people do, so... if you get good people, you know you're... you're pretty much covered. In a series you know, you're prepping and shooting at the same time, so... Mostly you're prepping, so you know, you can stop by the set at lunch and see how they're doing, and you can drop by maybe at the end of the day. You know, that kind of thing. But, you generally don't have to sit there all day long, because, uh, it's in good hands. If you hired the right people. Queen of Swords had many, many more problems, because, that was pretty crazy like, being in the desert there. Like flash floods, and the lead actress got, you know, food poisoning, once, and there's... It seemed like something happened every single day. *laughter* Uh, I would drive in in the morning and just think, "What's gonna happen today?" It was that kind of a... that kind of a show.
Kyle: Hahah. Yes--that feels like Highlander Season 1! *Ken laughs*
Keith: Now Highlander is kind of back in the news, a little bit, because uh... they're talking about a reboot. Have you... thought about, you know, what this reboot means, or... you know, what's--*Ken inhales*--If-if Ken Gord is producing the reboot, what's--what's the uh, the reboot look like for you?
27:30 Ken: Well you mean the-the feature, or a series?
Keith: Well uh, we've heard that the--they're doing a feature and, in talks to do a series, so...
27:36 Ken: Yeah, I hadn't heard anything about a series, I mean, I--I've heard about the feature for years, I know--I knew someone was--was doing it. I know uh, like Ryan Reynolds was attached and all this kind of stuff, but I--I don't know where that's at now. I don't know. Maybe I'd go uh, uh... you know, a young Duncan MacLeod or something, you know? I don't th--I don't think anybody could play it better than Adrian Paul. I really don't. He--he was perfect. He really was.
Kyle: You mentioned, you know, you had to hire the right people. Did you have a role to play in any of the casting of any of the people we see onscreen? If not the major people, then... you know, our illustrious guest stars 'n whatnot?
28:05 Ken: Oh yeah. I do all the casting, y'know. That's wh--That's creative--I um, I cast every single role except for the uh, you know, the semi-regulars, or the regulars, because that's more of an executive decision. I had--I had my 2 cents, but I would say, probably Bill Panzer had the uh, final say on the regulars and semi-regulars. I never even ran um... cast by those guys, I just did it. Sometimes uh, there would be a choice for a guest star; be like a choice of a few names, and I would call um, you know, Bill and ask what his opinion was, 'n we would talk about it, but uh, apart from that it just... I just ran with it. I got ch--
Kyle: So you single-handedly brought us Roddy Rowdy Piper? Cuz, thank you! *laughter*
28:43 Ken: Yeah. Yeah. He was, he... I brought him. He's great. He, he was such a great guy. What a nice guy.
Keith: I, I was wondering. Uh, what was it like working with Bill Panzer? How was he as a, a, a working producer as well?
28:54 Ken: Bill Panzer is--was a... incredible, you know, human being. He was like, generous, 'n smart 'n, you know, very uh, intelligent, an' bull-headed and uh, got things done. You know, he could be funky, and... *laughter*
Keith: Oh yeah? Tell us about that!
Kyle: Yeah! *laughing* Go on!
29:09 Ken: He could be uh... What's that word when you're a little bit um, not abrasive but uh... You know, you resist things um... stubborn, I guess? 'nd uh, you know, he had strong opinions and uh... You could talk to him but when he made up his mind, you know, he was kind of like, uh... intransigent was the word I was looking for.
Eamon: There you go.
29:26 Ken: And he was, and he was better in the morning, uh, before lunch. *Kyle laughs, then Keith* Uh, that, that wa--that was when to hit him if you wanted, you know, you needed to get something good. After lunch he was more difficult. I only had one sort of disagreement with Bill, actually in the entire five years. We were--we were really good friends. Um, we were sitting in the Lutetia Hotel uh, in Paris, and we were talking about uh, something for the show that was coming up, we were in prep with Paolo Barzman. It was just the three of us, and we were talking about like, how we were gonna figure out this um, a device. A device is just something that you do to, you know, get the story playing 'n get on, get on to the next scene and we were trying to figure it out, and he came up with an idea 'n, we had--Uh, Paul and I, some of the other directors you know, that we have shorthands so... Our shorthand for um, something that was kind of, a little cheesy maybe, or cliché? We called it Starsky and Hutch. *Keith chuckles* So, uh... Bill came up with this idea, I don't remember what it was, and I said, "Uh, I don't know, it's kind of Starsky and Hutch..." And Bill got really, really angry! Really, really offended. And he was like, "I don't think that's--" um, you know... sort of la--y'know, gave me a tongue-lashing and uh, then I got sort of, you know, my back up, and I said well you know, "You don't think I'm, y'know, doing it right, y'know, send me fuckin' home! I don't give a shit." *laughter* And I went, I went back to my room, 'n... *Kyle laughs* They came... they came by... He came by half an hour later and he knocked on the door and he was like, "Wanna go downstairs for a drink and a cigar?" Cuz he is a nice guy! But, you know, again like after... as the day went on, you know, he became a little... little more abrasive. But on the whole he was, he was a great guy.
Kyle: Was it because of how much he loved Starsky and Hutch? Or... *Keith cackles*
30:57 Ken: No, no! Actually, *laughter* he thought I was insulting America. He thought--he thought I was insulting America.
Kyle: REALLY? Interesting!
Ken: Yeah. Yeah.
Kyle: Well... as denizens of Trump's America, we're... *laughter* We're not offended. Hahahah.
Ken: Nobody... Nobody could have dreamed about that back then.
Kyle: I, I--I can't even--*laughter* I can't even dream about it NOW! *laughs*
Eamon: I try NOT to dream about it now!
Ken: *laughing* Yeah.
Keith: Actually, I think I may have STOPPED having dreams! *chuckling*
31:27 Ken: Hahahahum. Just nightmares. Yeah.
Eamon: Yeah. Just nightmares. That's right. *Kyle laughs* Well speaking of arguments... We had an argument recently on our show. Kyle, do you wanna field this question?
Kyle: Yeah. Do I wanna set the stage?
Kyle: Speaking of, you know, your standing sets and whatnot: Joe's Bar. We recently had a...
Kyle: ... cartoonishly fierce disagreement *chuckles* about how you enter that space. And if there are multiple entrances or only one!
31:48 Ken: Hahah, that's funny!
Eamon: The episode Courage is what, I think, sparked this, because it looks like Richie comes in from like, the balcony. But we only, ever, other--*Kyle wheezelaughs*--*Ken: Uh-huh.*--This is a crazy question by the way, sorry, but--
Kyle: Yeah, I'm embarra--I'm embarrassed even asking it, BUT...
Eamon: Usually we only see someone come in from the front entrance, but... is there a--an entrance on the balcony?
32:11 Ken: Oh... Do you mean in the interior, or exterior?
32:14 Ken: Ummm... No.
Eamon and Keith: OOOoooooOOOooooh.
Kyle: You've ma--You have made me happier than something this trivial has any business doing. *Ken laughs with Kyle* This is like, you know, one of those small victories that gets you through a day--
32:26 Ken: Yeah but wha--what--What might have happened is, you have to look--look for a cut. Because what might have happened was, um, the director uh, felt that it needed what--what's called a, you know, an approach. So the actor doesn't all of a sudden appear on the set and say "Hi!" *Kyle laughs* So you know, he may have shot it, uh, in a totally different place, you know, ten miles away. *Keith laughs* Just so he, so he had an approach. Because either he--he didn't do it uh, on the day, or... uh, he didn't have time, or uh... whatever reason. That's-that's--uh, that's called, again, called cheating. *laughter*
Eamon: There we have it.
Keith: Yeah. I still think we're gonna argue about this, Kyle. You and I are going to go toe-to-toe every week about this.
Kyle: I, I, I can't wait. *Keith laughs* I'm so excited.
Keith: So Ken! When you are uh... NOT producing, what's a... what's a Ken Gord up to? *Kyle chuckles*
33:13 Ken: Holy shit uh... *Keith laughs* I mean, most of the time you're not producing. Most of the time in this business you're just trying to get a job! You know, um... It's a... it's actually a pretty stressful life, I would not recommend it to anybody...! *laughs*
33:25 Kyle: To-to anybody period?
33:24 Ken: It's very stressful when you're not work-- When you're not working, you're not making money and you're sitting around and you're thinking "I'll never work again!" It's like, you know, it's... it's awful. Oh and when you ARE working, you're making money but it's like, you know, brutal, and pressure, and you know, aggravation, all that kind of stuff. Also very stressful, so... It's hard to get a break! But um, uh... I would say I uh... uh, depending on the time of year I could get into uh, sports. Watching hockey, or baseball. I go to the gym, I would read. There's always some work to do because, you always have to, um... do what's called Spec Work. Because if, um, Sometimes... you know, people are trying to set up a movie or a show... *yawns* but they don't have it like, fully together yet, but they need help like, you know, with scheduling or budgeting, or whatever, so... I do a lot of spec work, because that's how you kind of attach yourself to somethin', and... You know, out of uh, ten things that you're speccing, you know, if one comes through, well that's good. Cuz otherwise, if you just said "Hey. Pay me for this," every time, it just... to me that is uh, you know, smart as... doing a little bit of, you know, work, on your own time, and then being attached to something... So... uh, I keep busy. Yeah, I keep busy.
Kyle: Is that how most of your gigs come through? You get attached to it early and then when... if a studio picks it up or something, you know, your name's on top of the pile?
34:41 Ken: Most of my work used to come from the two big companies in Canada--or, the three, Alliance? But both heads of Production of Alliance who used to hire me died. So uh, that wa--you know, that's gone. Then uh, Fireworks went out of business, and then um, there were some other companies, but, you know, things change. And then there's a lot of like, uh, other companies that are starting up. You don't necessarily know them, so I've had periods where I had to reinvent myself. It's not like a smooth sail all the way. And Highlander... It's interesting because... it's well known all around the world, but in L.A. it was invisible! It was on at like, 2 in the morning. You know, nobody'd ever heard of it! Seriously! It was the one city where it just did not play at all!
Eamon: Wow! That's bizarre! *laughs*
35:23 Ken: I meant--I mean, it played, it just, it wasn't, wasn't noticed. The Highlander--The Highlander fandom is so amazing. Like, I can't believe people are dissecting, you know, scenes from Highlander now like--*Eamon laughs*--what is it, 1998, 2008... What is it, twenty years later, almost? *Keith: Right!* That's unbelievable, right? But it, but...
Eamon: I think it's twenty-five years.
35:39 Ken: ... Jesus! *laughter* But you know, I say that because, if I'm with a... let's say, I uh, I come across a group of ten people... It's always been like this, since then and to this day, like, you know, as early as last week. Out of ten people. You mention "I did Highlander," and six of them will say: "Oh yeah, I kind of heard about it, or maybe not. Was that the movie, or something?" and they're kind of vague about it. And there'll be like three people that were like, "Oh yeah. I--I've watched that." And there's always one out of ten's like: "HOLY FUCK THAT WAS MY FAVORITE SHOW!" *laughter* Like, always ONE guy! *Eamon: Yeah.* Or girl. You know? That's what's good about the fandom; it was like, small but fierce.
Keith: Yeah! I mean, we all--
Kyle: That's what we say about Keith, too!
Eamon: Yeah. Keith is small but fierce.
Keith: Thank you. Small but fierce. That's what I--I'm known by. *Ken laughs* Uh... Yeah. We all grew up watching the show... well, in Philadelphia it aired, like, Saturday afternoons, and we were like, in our early teens, like, twelve to thirteen, when we all started watching it.
36:36 Ken: Yeah, see, you were--you were supposed--you were, you were the target demographic. At twelve or thirteen, on a Saturday afternoon, you were the demographic the show was made for, but you know, I don't know if--you guys probably know that the um... the show kind of turned people's heads upside down, because... it was--it was again, made... um... for adolescents. Male adolescents. The demographics, at the end of the day, turned out to be uh, actually, um, just as many women. And just as many um, eighteen to thirty-five, which is like the key demographic. It was strange, and I think, you know, probably... mostly because it was a thinking show, and... and Adrian. So, uh...
Kyle: Yeah, that helped. There's a lot of him doing shirtless kung-fu, and I think that helps move the ball forward.
Eamon: Yeah, hah!
Keith: Yeah. When--when I started watching it, I think it was my mom that watched it first, and cuz SHE thought Adrian Paul--
Ken: See? There you go!
Eamon: Yeah. Ken: See?
Keith: My-m-m-m-my mom really thought Adrian Paul was a beefcake. So...
Ken: Yes! Well he is!
37:29 Ken: I mean, he's an incredibly handsome guy! *Keith laughs* But that's exactly it. It's like, your mom is watching the show and turns you on to the show, right? *Eamon: Yeah.* Which is basically a sword-fighting show with Queen in the background. *Eamon: Yeah.* You know, that is like, you know, a fourteen year old's dream, right?
37:43 Ken: Your mom was turning you on to it. That's why it kind of surprised people. In France, for example, it was a... It was considered a kids' show. *Eamon: Oh!* It was on in the afternoon, just like, uh, in Philadelphia, and uh, I don't think any adult would have been caught dead watching it. *laughter* Strange. Keith: That's interesting!
Kyle: *laughing* That's fascinating! *Ken: Yeah!* Especially since the--it is a show about, like, decapitating people!
Eamon: Yeah, yeah.
Kyle: So like, it's got some, like... it's got some stakes!
Eamon: Well you said they were snobby in France when it came to giving you permits and stuff because you were a TV show. Is that, just ALL TV, or just because you were making... what you were making?
38:13 Ken: Well all TV. Because, you know. F... I mean, Paris is like, you know, an amazing city, I'm not going to dis Paris. It's like, probably one of the three, you know, top cities in the world with uh, London and New York, right? It's like.. it's an extraordinarily beautiful...you know, incredible place. And when they DO stuff, they do it SO well. I mean, you walk down ANY street, and you look in the... shittiest little store window and it's like, uh, it's se--it's set out like a... you know, everything is beautiful and, you know, impeccable. And they really know how to present. Like... they're fantastic at uh, at presentation. So in the same vein, they're kind of you know, artistically a little bit um... you know, elitist, and uh... it's uh, it wasn't just OUR show; it's like, all TV was kind of like, you know, substandard, so... You know, they--they cared about feature films; they cared about, you know, movie stars 'nd, you know, art films 'n stuff, so... There was one lady who used to run the permit office there, and you... Again, you had to deliver your application like a couple of weeks before, and we could never do it, so... we would cheat. So... like, for example when you see the show with um, Nia Peeples? You know, she's walking around and Adrian's showing her, like, um, the Concorde and different places in Paris? The way we got around that is we're shooting on a steadicam. Cuz the rule is if you put your camera on the sidewalk, you need a permit, but, steadicam you just hold it! *laughs*
Kyle: There you go!
39:29 Ken: So... so, you know, we're just walking around with a steadicam and it's like, no permit needed!
Keith: Right! *Eamon laughs*
39:34 Ken: That's why you see so many of the scenes are in chateaus because... they are outside the circle, as opposed to being in the center of the city.
Keith: The... the landscape of TV definitely has changed since Highlander. I mean, like, the production's kind of through the roof, they're... they're almost like movies now. I was gonna ask like...
Ken: Oh! Oh, it's unbelievable!
Keith: Yeah, uh, what're... What're some of your favorite shows to watch, now?
39:52 Ken: Yeah, I mean that's interesting. Because you know, the pilot of Boardwalk Empire, which was like an... amazing show... The pilot, was more than a full cycle--a full season of--twenty-two episodes of Highlander. I mean, just think about that for a second, right?
Kyle: Yeah, it's mind-blowing.
Ken: The PILOT. Of course, you know, Martin Scorsese shot it, so...
Kyle: Yeah, that'll make it expensive!
40:09 Ken: Well, which shows I like... There's so many great shows! I love--I loved Boardwalk Empire. I think The Usual Suspects. I uh, I liked um... you know, Breaking Bad, and Better Call Saul, and... so many good shows. Uh... I can't remember one of them, so...
Keith: One thing we ask everybody, uh, that's been on our show is... We always ask if, uh, you would wanna be immortal? And if you WERE immortal, what kind of job would you want? Uh, you know, Duncan's obviously an antiques dealer... people have, obviously, different trades they do, if they could live forever. So, what would you want?
40:38 Ken: I think I'd love to live forever, that'd be great! I want to live forever, yeah! Um...
Kyle: Yeah, a lot of people say no. I'm always confused.
40:43 Ken: Don't forget I'm a Baby--I'm a, I'm a Baby--I'm actually you know, I'm a Baby Boomer. We actually believe we're gonna live forever. *laughter* You know, um...
Kyle: As the kids of Baby Boomers, we also believe you're gonna live forever, cuz we have to keep paying the Social Security. But--
Keith: Whoa! *laughter* *Ken laughs long*
41:01 Ken: I think um, if I... if I wasn't in the movie business, I would've loved to have been an archeologist.
Kyle: That's a good one!
41:07 Ken: Cuz I like... Yeah. I like travelling around and uh, and digging, in the earth and finding shit. That would just be so much fun, I think.
Eamon: Yeah, hahah!
Kyle: I wanted to be an archeologist when I was growing up, and it was just because I'd had such a warped view of what they did, between like, the triple threat of Stargate, Indiana Jones, and Jurassic Park. *Ken: Yeah!* It's like, I'm g--YEAH! I wanna be an archeologist! Like, archeologists fight Nazis! Right? *Keith: Yeah!* That's what they do? And like, go to space?
41:31 Ken: Yeah, and the reality is probably just, you know, as grueling, you know, hard work where... the chances of finding something maybe... or you have to sort of sit there with a, like a toothbrush and... shave off some thing for like, four hours or... right? *laughter* Like, you know, crumb by crumb? That would probably drive me crazy, so... I'm glad I didn't become an archeologist.
Kyle: Yeah, but then you could have a dinosaur named after you! You'd have like a, the Gordosaurus or something! *laughter*
Keith: That's good!
Ken: *laughing* The Gordosaurus!
Kyle: That'd be pretty solid!
Ken: That's funny!
Keith: So finally: Are there any questions that you WISH you'd been asked, uh, in the past? Or just any stories that you've... never got--gotten to share at a convention or whatever? Or especially since you're on a... explicitly rated podcast. That like anything like completely crazy that you feel like sharing with our listeners?
42:08 Ken: I mean, I do have stories, but I--I think that I probably told them all at conventions because... you know, you said to do my homework, I mean... I used to have um, actually you know, a fear of public speaking, beca--It's a very common fear. But then uh, one year um, during Highlander actually, in Vancouver, um I was asked to uh, to say the uh, graduating speech at the Vancouver Film School. And I just said yes, and I didn't think about it. *laughter* Cuz if I thought about it--if I thought about it, I would have said no. And because I--and because I like the idea of, you know, confronting your fears, because I think that's something we as human beings have to do to get over them.
42:20 So... I wrote out a speech, it was like, I don't know, ten or twelve minutes long, and I... I practiced. I practiced a few times 'n, you know made sure I was uh, fairly um, you know, uh lucid in--in the speech and uh, and uh, and the night came, and I went out on the stage, and there was like two hundred people there. And I still haven't really thought, you know, internally about what I'm doing, I'm just sort of doing it externally. You know: writing the speech; practicing; walking onstage; delivering the speech--which I--I--I was told went okay--and I walked off the stage, and I had a little, like, meltdown. My knees started shaking and I was like, "Holy SHIT I can't believe I just spoke on a stage in front of two hundred people!"
43:15 I really got over it! So I'm o--at the Highlander conventions, I was feeling good now! I'm feeling like, you know, I'm totally confident! I--I've just done it, and I can do it! I'm over the fear! So when I have to go um, to conventions and sort of just be by myself and um, tell stories and stuff, I was looking at it as a, as a fun thing, as opposed to, you know, um, uh, you know, uh, a nightmare or something to be afraid of. And--but I, but I really did my homework. So I've, uh, really sat down and I've thought about every show and I've thought about whether it's some interesting stories, so... I pretty much covered them all at the time and I... I can't think of any story I would--would not have told.
43:49 My favorite story of course is the shooting on the Eiffel Tower story. Probably everybody listening has heard that because they're Highlander fans, so... That's really good story.
Kyle: Well we've got a lot of listeners that are, that are younger, that haven't necessarily... been able to attend a lot of those Highlander conventions. So if that's your favorite one, by all means uh, sock it to us! I'm sure a lot of our listeners would love to hear it!
44:07 Ken: Okay! Well you know, the Eiffel Tower is like, the Holy Grail of, you know, worldwide locations, right? So the first year I get to uh Paris--uh, Year Two--and I'm like, to production people: "Okay. Let's start planning to do a sword fight on the Eiffel Tower." *Eamon laughs* There's huge silence and they're all looking at me like I'm FUCKING insane--*Kyle leads the laughter*--and there's... and they're just saying, "Oh. It's impossible." And I said: "Impossible n'est pas français." Which is something Napoleon said to his troops, which is, you know: "Impossible isn't French" right? So I kind of like put their... put their shame on.
44:39 I don't know--I don't know if it was the next year... or two years later, cuz it was basically the same crew every year. I can't remember which year it was, I think maybe... maybe two years later... We got a permit to do not just a SWORDFIGHT on the Eiffel Tower, but a Tango, right? A Tango. Now who's done a TANGO on the Eiffel Tower? *eagerly* Okay, but that's not actually the story! *laughter*
44:57 So the story is--*clears throat* That was just a little boast. So the story is I um... we did the Quickening. We shot the lights going off the Eiffel Tower from the top to the bottom during the Quickening. I wrote in a--at that time it was like faxes--I faxed them a note to um... Panzer? and Abramowitz. And I said, "You're not gonna believe what I just did! I just got them to turn the lights OFF on the Eiffel Tower for our Quickening, going from the top to the bottom!" The lights just went off, again just grad--in a, in a row? Just like phshhh you know, from top to bottom? And of course early the next day they're like, writing back to say, "Oh my God, that's unbelievable! Oh, fuck you're--you're unbelievable! Wow, we can't believe it!" 'n stuff.
45:36 So what I didn't tell them was: that every night at eleven o'clock... the lights go off in the Eiffel Tower--*Eamon's wheeze leads the laughter*--so, I just... I just put a... I put a camera there at one minute to eleven, you know, he turned it--he turned it on and he shot, and he turned the camera off at one minute after eleven! And we had the lights going off in the Eiffel Tower!
Kyle: Did they--did they ever find you out? When did they uh, get wise to the scheme?
45:56 Ken: Uh, I don't exactly remember when, but you know, it didn't last too long, but it was fun. *laughter*
Kyle: That's good shit.
46:02 Ken: There's also the um, the culotte story. D'you know what culottes are?
Eamon: Are they like sh--a short-pant? Or--
46:07 Ken: Well like a skirt, but they're like shorts... at the same time?
46:11 Ken: They're really like awful, right? *agreeing laughter* So, we had that scene where uh... we had that scene where Ssss... uh--I can't remember her first name--I don't remember... her last name was Shelley, and uh, she was jumping off uh, one of the bridges in Paris, into the water, (Rachel Shelley played Sophie Baines, Episode: "Avatar") Um... So, I was having a meeting with the costume designer, and I'm saying "Okay, look: You know, put her in a skirt, cuz we want to, uh, see the skirt flutter up. But whatever you do like, NO culottes!" *snickers* And... and she looked at me and she's like, really like, a little bit horrified. And I, I don't under--I don't understand her reaction, but she's like, "Ooookay... Okay."
46:42 And uh... I went, uh, home and uh... My wife at the time, uh, I was sitting, talking to her, and I said, "You know, the strangest thing cuz I, You know, I told this um, costume designer 'no culottes' and she had this like, really weird reaction." And she's like, my wife said, "But don't you know--you don't know what culottes means in French?" And I was like, "No." And she says, "Panties." *laughter*
Eamon: Oh, my God.
Keith: That's amazing!
Kyle: Wow. That's... *laughing*
Kyle: ... that's really funny!
47:06 Ken: So-so-so, I was able to straighten that out the next day!
Kyle: *laughing* Yeah, I bet! Yeah--Who IS this guy?! This--this perv?
Ken: Yeah, really! Yeah, that was kind of, yeah that was nasty!
Eamon: *funny voice* Doesn't he know he's working on a TV show? *Keith laughs*
Kyle: We're in France, but EUGH!
47:23 Ken: I was gonna say: The French costume designers, they... you know, costume designers are supposed to dress people according to their character, and um... The first year we had um, Stacey... She was playing an FBI agent. She was uh, over a few episodes. I don't remember if Stacey was her first name or last name, but... really nice girl, really good actress, uh... blonde girl?
Keith: Agent Delaney, I think.
47:42 Ken: That's right! Exactly. She comes to me on set and she's like, "Ken, I really... This is... I don't know how to handle this, but this is really awful. Um... like look what--look what they want me to wear for, um, for my coat." And she shows me her coat, and it's like, one of these like, print-shawls, that like wraps around about four times that you'd... wear like, you know, walking down the Champs-Élysées. *snickers* And she's like, "You know, I'm supposed to be like, an FBI agent, you know, and I gotta pull out a gun and all this stuff and it's like, I can't even move my arm!" *laughter* So, you have to sort of watch everything because sh--the costume designer's thinking: "Oh, she looks so nice in that!" you know? And she's not thinking: "Um, yeah. FBI, y'know? American, y'know? Gun."
48:20 And she once had an... We had a homeless person, uh... The show with the vampire. We're in that underground garage? And uh, Jeremy Brudenell is like walking around and uh, stalking um... Adrian, I think? And uh, Dennis Berry and I originally uh, wanted to have like a homeless woman just like there, just like, you know, to react 'n stuff 'n, this homeless person showed up on set, and she was wearing like, you know, Devonchi or something, and it's like, "Uh, no." *laughter*
48:45 Ken: "Let's just... let's just send her home." *laughter* *Keith: Right!* Stuff like that you gotta watch.
Keith: Yeah. Those French are stylish. *Eamon laughs*
Keith: So, Ken--
Ken: Yeah, they are!
Keith: Ken Gord, thank you so much for joining us! *Ken: Alright.* This has been a real treat to talk to you and hear your stories--And I know we're all gonna be on the lookout for the uh... Across the River and Into the Trees film. Uh, is there any sort of tentative release for that?
Ken: Uh, probably, uh... 2018. But I don't where or when.
Ken: Cuz there's no guarantee... no guarantee now movies get theatricals, right? So--
Keith: Yeah, that's true!
Ken: --so it could end up on Netflix or, you don't... yeah, you don't know.
Keith: Well we'll be uh--keeping our ears to the ground for that. And we'll be sharing the trailer, I'm sure, when it drops. *Ken: Cool!* Uh, so, again, Ken, thank you so much for joining us!
49:24 Ken: Thanks a lot, I had a really good time! I really enjoyed this because it's... it was a great show and it's great memories for me, so I appreciate you having me on.
Eamon: Thank you, Ken!
Keith: No problem, Ken! And you--
Kyle: Yeah! It was our pleasure!
Keith: --enjoy the rest of the time on your shoot, and enjoy Venice! So--
Eamon: Yeah! Have fun!
Ken: Thank you Eamon and Kyle and Keith! Okay!
Kyle: Are there a lot of merchants there? *chuckles*
Alright! We've been your Rewatchers! I'm Keith!
This is Kyle!
This is Eamon!
Kyle: See you!
50:02 Keith: So we are joined today by the Gordita himself--*Kyle chuckles*--Ken Gord!
Kyle: The Spicy Gordita-Crunch?
Keith: Everyone do "We're joined by a-" pun!
Eamon: Today we're joined by a... Ken Gordie-laForge to uh... help us out here on the Starship Enterpriiiise... No, that's wrong.
Kyle: He's a decorative Gord!
Kyle: Flash Gord? Hahahah.
Keith: Flash Gord?
Eamon: Flash Gord! Ken Flashgord...en!
Kyle: Ken Flashgord...o! Uh...
Eamon: I'm going to Gord the river! Fjord? Is that a thing?
Kyle: Yeah, so you Gord the river? I like it!
Eamon: Yeah! Gord the river!
Kyle: See, but you never want to fjord the river in Oregon Trail. You always wanna caulk that boat.
Eamon: I really liked, uh, the TV show produced by Dick Wolf, Law and Gorder? That was really good. *wheezelaugh* Law and Gorder Special Victims Unit was really good too, though.
Kyle: Goes to some dark places, though.
Keith: What's a Gorder? A goiter? Wait, what's a goiter?
Kyle: It's like a growth in your throat.
Eamon: A goiter's like a big... yeah.
Keith: There we go! Ugh!
Kyle: *chuckling* A Gorder?
Eamon: *Ice-T voice* "We got a body in the alleyway with a Gorder!"
Kyle: *laughs* Was that an Ice-T impression?
Eamon: *Ice-T* That was my Ice-T.
Keith: That's not bad!
Eamon: *Ice-T* It's okay. Me and Coco, we're gonna... return to my chalet. Have some TLC.
Keith: *amused* Very good.
Kyle: Ice does love Coco.
Eamon: He does!
Kyle: And Gordo! *laughs*
Eamon: Ice loves Gordo! *laughter* Uhhhhh...
Kyle: This is absurd!