Friday: Ricky Manning

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After an introduction by Adam, one of the owners of Creation Entertainment, Ricky Manning (a.k.a. Froonium Ricky) popped onto the stage looking extremely dapper in a gorgeous suit and tie. Problem was, nobody recognized him! The suit didn’t last long, though. He wasn’t on the stage for 3 seconds before he exchanged the jacket and tie for one of his soothing Mambo shirts.

When he came out on the stage he said that he had an announcement for us. He explained that he wasn’t the only executive producer of Farscape, he’s one of several, and he thought that either Rockne O’Bannon or David Kemper should be “doing this”, but Rockne wasn’t going to be there until the following day and David was still in rehab… Unfortunately, the only announcement was that there was no announcement. “Please don’t freak out; right now there is no news.” He said that the fans had hung in for more than a year and to hang in a little longer. “You may think it will kill you, but it won’t. It’ll make you stronger and it’ll build character.” He hoped there would be good news “very, very, very soon.”

He asked how many were there at their first Farscape convention and there were enough who raised their hands to get a huge “WOW” from Ricky. He praised the fans for the quantity, quality and variety of things they did as part of the Save Farscape movement and said that they did a lot more than he ever would have thought of doing. The number one thing anybody can do to help the show is to get somebody else hooked on it. “Spread the word…the more people who watch the show, the longer life-expectancy it’s going to have. And I know you all want that almost as much as we do.”

He asked a question of himself: What was it like to work on the show with all these crazy people? There was something especially wonderful about Farscape, he said. It was such a collaboration. It was a very creative effort among so many people. For example, Dave Elsey, the head of the Creature Shop, would come up and say that he had this wonderful idea for a really extraordinary creature and the writers and producers would find a way to use it. Ricky used the example of Scorpy’s cooling rod, which wasn’t scripted but came out of the imaginations of Andrew Prowse (Executive Producer & Director) and Dave Elsey. The rest of TPTB didn’t even know about it until they were watching the daily reviews. What’s that do? Andrew said he didn’t know, it just looked nice so they figured out something to do with it. This is a very different system than most shows use. Ordinarily, if it wasn’t thought of by the creators, it doesn’t get done.

In the writers’ room they’d have “…wonderful creative battles constantly.” David Kemper is like a “…Gatling gun of ideas…He’s like a radio DJ; he can’t stand silence.” He has a million ideas. 90% of them are garbage but some of them work out. Justin Monjo has a really extraordinary way of thinking. On any other show, he’d be told, “Justin, you can’t do that. That’s ridiculous!” Not on Farscape. That lovely scene where Scorpy munches on Crichton’s brain tissue that’s stuck to the neural clone – that was Justin Monjo.

Ricky told us all to have a good time and he was gone for the moment. However, he was around for most of the weekend, asking questions of the fans and moderating the Farscape on the Net panel, so there’ll be more from him soon.



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