Now Paul is embodying another
Cole can change his visage in the opening episode, he selects his human face and physique off an underwear billboard but otherwise, he has few strange abilities. "Hyperspeed is the only real superhuman power he has," Paul relates. "He is able to travel fast over short distances. The world slightly stops for that one moment while he's in [hyperspeed] and he can do whatever he has to do and comes back out and returns to the normal world. It does deplete his energy he can only do it once a day."
Behind the camera, Paul is demonstrating some superhuman stamina of his own, serving as executive producer with Gil Grant and Dave Fleming, as well as starring in the show. He sounds as if he's been traveling through hyperspeed himself lately, speaking by phone from TRACKER's Toronto location. "I'm working too hard at the moment," Paul acknowledges with a laugh. "Usually, I'm getting four or five hours sleep a night."
HIGHLANDER, especially in its latter
As to how decisions are reached, Paul explains, "We kind of all consult on everything: Dave Fleming is actually the man who put the [TRACKER] package together; co-executive producers are Grant Rosenberg and Peter Lenkov; Kevin Beggs, who's the head of television for Lions Gate, and [Lions Gate president of television and worldwide distribution] Ira Bernstein, who is the one who brought TRACKER to the forefront. I have a very good basic [concept] of what I want, and so does Gil [Grant], so we really discuss a lot of this, and then we bring in other people's opinions and see what the ideas are and how best to serve them. Gil and I came up with a lot of how we want the thing to look and feel. We have one writer up here all the time and we have three or four down in Los Angeles. They've done a good job. We're actually ahead on the scripts right now. We have them rewritten for what we're doing here, and then I get it, and I go, 'Okay, let's look at the relationships and the humor.' Because there's a lot of humor in the show."
The production team concurs about TRACKER's tone. "We are all in agreement that this is a show that has a sci-fi element to it," Paul says, "but it's really about the relationships, which are working very well right now with the characters that we are building. It's a question of [deciding on the character dynamics and the look], first of all, and then waiting for it to be established so that you don't really have to worry about it, just adjust it from episode to episode."
Paul's involvement with TRACKER came out of an overall deal with Lions Gate to direct and star in several films and to create an episodic TV program. "[TRACKER] was one of the scripts that they presented me with, and I decided to go with this one."
Both the show and the character have altered somewhat since TRACKER's inception, Paul says. "It's the same type of feel [as] STARMAN, the 1985 picture an alien comes down to this planet. I wanted to make sure that his development was not fast, as often happens in TV. So a lot of the dialogue was cut we did a lot of things that worked through actions rather than talking. The [language] he assimilates as he goes along. After five or six episodes, he's talking relatively normally, so it's kind of evolved as we've gone."
Unlike a number of
"[Mel is] trying to figure out what she wants to do," Paul continues. "She's always started one job and ended that and started another one, and she's really sort of found something in Cole. She can't explain what, but it gives her some sort of purpose. And he, on the other hand, is really sort of fixed on what his job is, although he's now beginning to feel what it's like to be human. Having turned himself into the human form, he's now beginning to feel what it's like to have I don't want to say 'emotions' or 'feelings,' but the temptations we have as humans. He's learning a lot of that from Mel, this person who he doesn't quite understand yet [but] who is helping him to actually achieve what he is. And so it's an interesting, oddball relationship. It's like a reverse MOONLIGHTING."
Be sure to check back later this week for part two of CINESCAPE's Adrian Paul interview.