Writer Andrew Marshall takes us behind the scenes of Strange.
The scripts for the last two episodes were the least altered before production, encompassing as they do the completion of the series one story arc. That kicks off this week with an episode that leads us, finally, towards the climax.
Remember in the Pilot when John said that, "they're amongst us in human form"? Well he wasn't prepared for the progression that occurs here, showing that non-human living entities can also host demons... or, as we call this episode, 'A Tree Did It'.
The Dubik (please do not accept the incorrect spelling that has crept its way into some sources) was constructed by Neill Gorton to occupy the large House Set built at Ealing Studios.
Towering over the human figures beneath it, it was operated from above by a team of people, with the exception of its "branches" which were required to reach out and try to grab Strange and Jude and propel them towards its mouth. They were operated by men wearing green-screen coloured stretchy outfits, masks, gloves and shoes. Some people thought they were scarier looking than the demon itself.
The embarrassing costumes, however, enabled the figures to be rendered invisible at a later stage by Alan Marques. He also added the forest seen in the background when the Baltic Church door opens earlier in the story using yet more green screen- as the Church was in Bushey, I think, which despite its name, wasn't bushy at all.
Joe was very pleased with the shot of the Dubik attacking Rev Capstick (Phillip Franks), and finally revealed under pressure that it was obtained by waving two old cassocks around in front of a lamp. That's one of the few effects you can safely try at home, provided you can get the cassocks.
Sam once again drew the short straw, and had to hack through the Dubick's roots releasing gallons of sticky demon-sap all over herself, and then get changed into a fresh costume and repeat the whole thing for every take. We were all slightly worried about how expert she was with the axe...
© Andrew Marshall.