This is a continuation of my DBA in Space journal.
Episode five (the longest of all the episodes) aired on a Friday, so that means it’s time for another task-related question from Miss Friday. I don’t appear in this episode (other than on the cover of my book), but another actor does. I never got his name, but he is a comedy actor based out of London. In this particular episode, Miss Friday, in her Verity Blunt persona, thinks she has captured the alien, who just happens to be the Roddenberry Launch Center’s DBA, the DBA identified during the previous Friday’s episode.
She interrogates him, trying to get the truth out of him. Unfortunately, the DBA is not the alien and he is clueless as to what is going on. Towards the end of the scene, Miss Friday gets an alert from SQL Monitor that she finds a bit embarrassing. The alert tells her that the alien is actually making contact with the servers in his spaceship at that moment, which means that the DBA she was torturing can’t be the alien.
Will (director) wearing black ear phones, and Sam, (first assistant director), in the white ear phones, watch the monitor and listen as Nell tortures the DBA.
Of course, Miss Friday won’t admit she made a mistake of accusing the DBA of being the alien. She runs off to catch the alien, leaving the poor DBA to fend for himself. At the end of the scene, we see that Miss Friday has “jacked” the alien’s computers to prevent the alien from using the spaceship for any nefarious purposes, and she asks for your help to use SQL Monitor to identify what query was being run over and over again. In the follow-up scene, Miss Friday finishes up destroying the computers on the alien ship, and the poor DBA is left in the room, all tied up, with nobody to help him escape.
While I didn’t participate in this scene, I was able to watch all of the takes live from a monitor. The initial scene takes place in a small office. Because of the lack of room, only Nell, the DBA actor, the cameraman, and the sound boom guy could fit in. Because both Nell and the DBA actor are both professionals, they did a huge amount of improvisation, much of which will never be seen. In fact, they were so funny that Will, the director, was cracking up for virtually every take. One of the best examples of this is when Miss Friday puts her foot on a chair with wheels, but the chair begins to slowly move from under her, causing her to nearly do the splits in midair.
Nell, and the DBA actor, between takes.
When the scene starts, you will notice that the DBA looks beat up (all makeup of course), and Will was worried that some viewers might think this was too much for a light-hearted video. But we all told him that we thought the makeup made the scene all that more funny and ludicrous, which I think was the right decision.
This scene also has some of the best dialog in the script. For example:
One more time…what exactly do you do here?
Ha! How long do you got? I’ve been married 18 years, and my wife still doesn’t understand what I do.
I think most DBAs will be able to relate to this scene. I know my wife of 16 years doesn’t really understand what DBAs do.
Ben Reese and Tom Russell (far left) are both from Red Gate, and attended all the filming. Here, they are watching Nell interrogate the DBA.
In my next installment, I talk about filming episode six.