2011 Supernatural Paley Festival Panel ““ Part One
The DVD of the 2006 Supernatural PaleyFest panel is one of my most cherished possessions, so being able to attend the 2011 panel was a dream come true. And it was every bit as great in reality as it was in the dream!
I’m working on writing up the whole experience, which will take a little time to do in full detail. But I’m going to kick off with the events just before we got the panel itself, to give you a taste. The last piece of this little bit has spoilers, because I’m going to share every little detail I can remember from the advance clip they showed from the Western episode, so prepare to shield your eyes at the end of this little post!
The Paley Center itself opened the panel with, as the Center put it, “an appropriate selection from the Paley Center archives.” And boy, was it ever appropriate: to my delight, it was the full-length “See the USA in your Chevrolet!” musical advertisement from the late 1950’s/early 1960’s, something I remember quite vividly from my childhood. Hey, we used to sing along, because we had Chevys!
The panel was hosted by TV Guide Magazine, so editor-in-chief Debra Birnbaum (@TVGMDebra on Twitter) introduced the show. Before handing things over to panel moderator Maureen Ryan (@moryan on Twitter), Debra let slip that she was just at a photo shoot for the April 18th issue of TV Guide featuring the winners of the magazine’s recent “Fan Favorites” contest, and ““ as she put it ““ “A couple of the guys backstage right now were there!”
Rather than give a flowery introduction speech, Mo Ryan observed that she’d found a classic rock song that just seemed to be a blueprint for the show, and quoted some lyrics from Pink Floyd:
So, so you think you can tell
Heaven from Hell,
Blue skies from pain.
Can you tell a green field
From a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?
And did they get you to trade
Your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees? …
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange
A walk on part in the war
For a lead role in a cage?
We’re just two lost souls …
Year after year, …
What have we found?
The same old fears.
Noting the song was most appropriately called “Wish You Were Here,” she concluded ““ they were here, and introduced showrunner Sera Gamble, who in turn introduced a clip that began with a “The Road So Far” montage of scenes from the episodes that already aired this season set to the Four Tops’ “Are You Man Enough,” then segued into some hilarious extended takes of the “bad acting” scene from The French Mistake, plus a few additional outtakes (including Misha laughing in the car in his kidnapping scene), and then, using the classic teasing “Soon,” slid into some selected scenes from the upcoming Western episode directed by Guy Norman Bee (@guynormanbee on Twitter).
Hide your eyes from the next bit if you don’t want any spoilers, because I’m going to recount what I saw as best I can recall it!
The montage opened with a classic shot of a deserted Western town street, seen past a hanging noose. We saw booted feet with spurred heels beneath the swinging tails of duster coats as two men took up the classic positions of gunfighters facing off for a quick-draw duel. One was a classic man in black; the other, sporting a sheriff’s badge, was Dean. He squinted up a the clock on the town’s tallest building, which clicked ominously over to high noon, and then both men pulled and fired “¦ and we cut to a hilarious title card for Supernatural done a la the old opening credits sequence for Bonanza, complete with the burning map, which then shattered apart like the current shattering glass title! The music was also overblown old-style Western.
Following that, we saw the brothers coming downstairs in Bobby’s house, where Bobby and Castiel were waiting for them. Sam was bare-headed, wearing a dude-style cowboy shirt with a decorated front yoke embroidered in yellow, and proceeded to pull his jacket on over the shirt, while Dean was in an outfit topped off with a cowboy hat and a Mexican serape hanging over his shoulders. Sam looked uncomfortable, almost embarrassed, while Dean looked like a boy happily playing cowboys and Indians. Castiel, bemused, asked if it was customary to wear a blanket, and Dean, after beaming that it was a serape, not a blanket, got impatient and asked if they could just go already. Reaching for the duffel bag of their supplies, including his contemporary handgun, he found it also heaped with the watches and gold they’d taken from the dragons’ lair in Like A Virgin, and when he asked Bobby what that was for, Bobby observed dryly that where they were going, they couldn’t exactly use credit cards. Dean looked reluctant to give it up, but then zipped up the duffel. Castiel said he would send them to March 4, saying that should be enough time for them to find the Colt, and then touched their foreheads.
The brothers disappeared from the house and landed on the outskirts of Sunrise, Wyoming. Dean was all, “This is more like it!” eager, while Sam continued to look uncomfortable. Back at the house, Castiel said he had to get back to Heaven, and when Bobby asked about getting the boys back, Castiel told him to pray for him in 24 hours, and he would try to return to bring them back. He disappeared, and Bobby, setting a 24-hour timer, said he’d pray for all of them. Back in the past, Sam set the chronometer on his watch to begin ticking down 24 hours, and asked Dean where they should start looking for Samuel Colt and something called the Phoenix. Dean advocated hitting the local bar and asking the locals, and started walking into town. Moving with him, Sam promptly brought his cowboy boot squishing down into a pretty fresh horse dropping, much to Dean’s amusement and Sam’s irritated dismay. Dean proclaimed it “authenticity” as Sam tried distastefully (and with amusingly limited success!) to shake the stubborn dung off his cowboy boot while he walked.
From the look of it, in the midst of serious plot, it’s going to be a hoot and a half!
I know I’ve missed details, and probably slipped a bit in the order of precisely what we saw when in the clips, but we have a lot to look forward to!
And in the rest of the coming pieces of this write-up, I’ll give you every tidbit I remember of the panel itself, which consisted – as expected – of Eric Kripke, Sera Gamble, Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins, Jim Beaver, and Ben Edlund, who sat in that order from the audience’s left to right, with Mo Ryan sitting beside Eric.
I’ll provide these pieces as fast as I can write them, but cut me a little slack for sleep and airplanes, okay?