DBA in Space: Behind the Scenes—Question 9

This is a continuation of my DBA in Space journal.

Episode nine was filmed in the “Mars” exhibit. In this scene, alien Brad is feeling very homesick. Miss Friday starts the scene talking about the Mar Rovers, and alien Brad makes a bad joke about rovers breaking Martian traffic laws. Miss Friday continues the conversation, and then alien Brad’s attention wonders off, with him thinking back about how wonderful it would be to be back on Mars. Then alien Brad makes a big mistake. He takes a meteorite from a display table and takes a deep breath in, smelling it, helping to remind him of Mars. But finally, finally, Miss Friday finally adds 1 plus 1 and realizes that alien Brad is not really Brad, but the alien. It has taken her all this time before she has come to this realization.

So Miss Friday tries to trick up alien Brad by saying “No place like home, eh, Brad?” This catches the attention of alien Brad, who now is beginning to realize for himself that perhaps that Miss Friday has finally caught on to who he really is. As they continue to talk, they begin to stare each one down, with Miss Friday trying to trick alien Brad into incriminating himself on camera, but it doesn’t work.

Nell Mooney and Brad McGehee in DBA in Space.

Alien Brad picks up a meteorite in order to smell it, and remind himself of what it is like to be back home on Mars.

This was a relatively complex scene for me, as there were a lot of lines, and we shot it wide angle, and then with close-ups of both of us. One goal of this scene was to indicate that alien Brad was homesick for Mars. I don’t really think this came across very well, as this requires a lot more acting skill than I have. Another key goal of this scene is that Miss Friday finally realizes that Brad is the alien. It took a long time, but she finally puts all the pieces of the puzzle together. In addition, alien Brad realizes that Miss Friday is on to him. In the next episode, we learn what alien Brad does as a result of being caught in his masquerade.

I want to comment that the Mars “meteorites” on the display table were not really meteorites, just common Earth rocks. The one that I picked up and smelled was the one that I thought looked most like a Mars meteorite. So how come real Mar meteorites weren’t used for the scene? Mainly because they generally cost over $1000 a gram, and large Mars meteorites cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you want to see one of the largest Mars meteorites discovered, check out the British Natural History Museum in London. It is hard to find, but if you check out the minerals room, it is located at the back of the room in a vault, along with a very large lunar meteorite, and other expensive meteorites.


This is the famous Nakhla Mars meteorite. I took this photo at the Natural History Museum while I was in London for the filming. The black outside coating is called fusion crust (created during ablation when entering the Earth’s atmosphere), and inside are chondrules (grains of matter that are made up of the oldest material in our solar system).


In my next installment, I will talk about filming question ten.