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Witched Out

WITCHBLADE executive producer Ralph Hemecker chats about season two

By Jennifer H. Tomooka     August 26, 2002

At the end of WITCHBLADE's rookie season, audiences were left gasping for breath as they came to the incredible realization that all of the events that transpired over eleven episodes really didn't happen. At least that was what viewers were led to believe.


This season, audiences have been given the rare treat of going back in time to experience an alternate and parallel universe with season one. Relationship dynamics have changed a bit. There is an incredible sense of déjà vu that permeates many episodes. The lead character of Sara is more accepting of the blade. And she falls in love not once, but twice. WITCHBLADE's sophomore season was anything but predictable. As it gears up for its season finale tonight, executive producer Ralph Hemecker reflects on the season with CINESCAPE and discusses the show's future.


"Television is

Yancy Butler on WITCHBLADE

always a wild ride in my experience," admits Hemecker. "This season was definitely a wild ride. I think it came out pretty well. We tried different things. We learned some lessons. I think all in all it was a pretty cool season."


In the season finale, Sara once again loses control of the Witchblade. However, Hemecker insists that she will react to its loss differently than her losing it the first season as Sara has a very different relationship with the magical gauntlet this season. But, don't expect the show to tie up the situation in a neat little package


"You know, being that this is the WITCHBLADE world, there [are] always new things being revealed about the Witchblade," says Hemecker. "We'll learn something about Sarah and her relationship with the Witchblade in the finale episode. At first she's very upset and she wants it back. So, in terms of her specific reaction, its what you'd expect. [But] there's other things going on that you definitely would not expect."


One of the most enjoyable elements of the season has been the creation of the parallel universe that exists between the world of the first season and the world of the second. Characters and situations from season one returned and Sara's reaction to those situations certainly kept viewers on their proverbial toes.


"It was really fun to create parallel universes and its kind of cool to get to revisit some of the same characters and some of the same situations and play them out differently," admits Hemecker. "So, from a creative standpoint, it was a lot of fun. In terms of how we decided which events would appear déjà vu-ish, it just depended on the specific story. Some stories revisited certain characters from last year. And any episodes that had characters from last year definitely had elements of déjà vu in them."


While Sara has maintained her tough as nails exterior and biting criticism, one element of her personality that has undergone some changes is her demeanor. Instead of being cloaked in sadness and desperation, she laughs quite a bit and enjoys her life much more this season.


"She certainly

David Chockachi and Yancy Butler in WITCHBLADE

lightens up a bit," explains Hemecker. "And that's partially brought about by her interaction with the Witchblade. Without sounding esoteric, she is gaining more mastery over the Witchblade and lets herself enjoy more. Her sense of humor is definitely raised a level or two this year. She wasn't dealing with [the character of Danny's] death the whole time. Last year, everybody she cared about got killed. This year, because of the Witchblade, some of those people didn't' get killed. So, indirectly because of the Witchblade she's overall in a better mood."


One element that has most certainly placed Sara in a better mood is the relationships that she has developed with the other characters in the show. Hemecker couldn't be happier with this dynamic.


"I think all of the characters have evolved quite a bit," admits Hemecker. "The relationships have evolved and you really see it on screen. Sarah, Danny, and Jake really have a good banter going. Certainly Sarah [and] Gabriel have bonded and have become closer. The Irons [and] Sarah relationship has shifted for now since he's in the spirit realm. And I think Nottingham is still feeling very conflicted about a lot of things. All the characters have evolved quite a bit."


Perhaps the most shocking moment of the season came with the "death" of Kenneth Irons early in the season. His existence as a spirit makes him even more potent as an adversary than his existence as a mortal. But, Hemecker definitely questions his state of being.


"Is Kenneth Irons really dead?" asks Hemecker. "Can someone who has actually wielded the Witchblade, albeit just for a moment, actually be terminated by the Witchblade? That's a terrain that will be explored in the finale episode."


Sara's nemesis for the final episode is a character named Lucrezia Borgia, who is a former blade wielder herself. And just in case you were wondering, she is based on the same character in history who was the daughter of Pope Alexander VI and sister to Cesare Borgia, who supposedly is the model for Machiavelli's THE PRINCE. Don't think that this is just a coincidence.


"Lucrezia is

The live action versions of Detectives Sarah Pezzini and Jake McCartey.

part of an alternate line of blade wielders, evil blade wielders who have the ability to sometimes get control of the Witchblade," explains Hemecker. "[She's] definitely based on the historical Lucrezia. It just seemed like a really apparent choice. Lucrezia is one of the worst bad girls in history."


Since last season's finale was such a roller coaster ride, it seems that the show's writers definitely have their work cut out for them in creating a finale that is on par with the creative gauntlet that has been thrown. Nevertheless, Hemecker feels that the show will deliver and once again blow the minds of its viewers.


"I think we've concocted a really cool, really unexpected finale," says Hemecker. "I think it's going to be a finale that is really going to appeal to Witchblade fans because we deal with a lot of the lore and a lot of the key players. And there's definitely some surprises so although it is different from last year, we aren't going to rewind time, I think it's going to be pretty cool."


Although it remains to be seen if the show will be picked up for a third season, Hemecker has definite feelings on where he would like to see the show going.


"We will find out sometime in September if we get picked up and we'd go back into production around February," says Hemecker. "We definitely explore more about the mystery behind the Witchblade and how it ties into ancient history. That's the direction we'll be going in next year, probing deeper into the mysteries of the Witchblade."

Questions? Comments? Let us know what you think at feedback@cinescape.com.

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