DBA in Space: Behind the Scenes—Questions 2 & 3

Question three occurs in the “History of Computing Exhibition” museum at the Roddenberry Launch Center. This is the first time you have seen Brad since the alien craft crash-landed. As you may have noticed, Brad doesn’t seem to be himself. And that’s because, as you probably now know from watching later episodes, that you are really not seeing the real Brad at all, but the alien, who has taken the form of Brad’s human body.

Because the alien has just taken over Brad’s human form, it doesn’t know how to properly control its body. It can’t speak, it moves oddly, the skin color is a little off, and there seems to be a bit of slime around the neck. Apparently the alien had some difficulty creating the duplicate body, but apparently it is not conscious of the fact that it looks a little odd. In fact, Miss Friday (aka Verity Blunt), isn’t exactly sure what is happening. She is just thinking that Brad is acting just a little bit odder than normal, but she has no idea she is standing next to the alien.

As you might imagine, this scene was fun to do, especially as I did not have to remember many lines. My first few attempts at speaking sounded more like I was grunting and burping (some sound effects were added). Later, when alien Brad hears Miss Friday mention Jar Jar, I am able to utter Jarr-Jarr, but this is only the alien repeating what it is hearing, not because it knows who Jar Jar is. The same thing happens later when Miss Friday tells us that Steve Jones will be asking the questions, as certainly alien Brad is not up to the task. My “Steeeevvveee” line was an improvisation I added during our rehearsals that Will, the director liked, so it was added to the script.

Steve asked the question from his home studio where he does his regular podcasts. That is why the quality of the scene is not as high as the other scenes which use high-end hi-definition studio cameras.

Steve Jones

The microphone you see here actually belongs to Steve Jones.

In the scene you may also notice that Miss Friday lies about what really happened to Jar Jar. This is because she doesn’t realize Brad is
the alien, and she doesn’t want to upset Brad with the bad news about Jar Jar’s demise.

As with my scene in episode one, we first shot this scene with a wide angle shot, then shot the scene twice more, each with close-ups of Nell and myself. Since this scene was fairly easy, we only needed a couple of takes for each different shot. This scene is also the first one where I begin to wear a lot of makeup, and as time progresses over the episodes, I wear more and more makeup as the fake human Brad body isn’t up to the task of hosting an alien, and the human Brad body begins to deteriorate.

The two mainframe tape drives in the “History of Computing Exhibition” were fakes made out of wood, but in the far right hand side of the screen you can see an Apple IIe in full working order. There were a lot more classic computers in exhibit, but they ended up being excluded from the scene.

Brad McGehee and Nell Mooney in DBA in Space

The fake mainframe tape drives drove the sound men crazy as they made so much noise when they were running.


In my next installment, I talk about filming questions two and three.