A large neon sign sporting the words “Scorpion Explosives” lights up the dark sound stage that’s home to the new CBS procedural, “Scorpion.”
The tale of a gaggle of geniuses has been a smart move for the network, which in January announced would return for a second season.
The cast — Elyes Gabel, Katharine McPhee, Robert Patrick, Ari Stidham, Jadyn Wong and Eddie Kaye Thomas — have gathered on the main sound stage, home for the set of their headquarters.
Here are five things you might not know about the show.
Not all of the cast is as tech savvy as their characters.
Ari Stidham, who plays Sylvester Dodd, has an iPhone 4S with a badly cracked screen. While his fingers are flying on the keyboards in the show, he has to look at the keys when he types in real life. And, he doesn’t know how to Skype.
“There’s an episode in which I spill water all over my stuff. I actually spill water all over all of our stuff. Must have been a lot of money that CBS lost because of actual technological glitch because I’m a butterfingers,” Stidham says.
Every story starts with research.
The producers want to keep the show based in reality so the writers make sure that even if they build in what looks to be an outlandish story element, it’s based in fact. That includes the episode where a boy is kept from drowning by pumping oxygen directly into his blood.
“The really smart geniusy stuff is what they do when they’re on the run and they have nothing. And we have to figure out how to keep a kid underwater breathing when the water goes over his head. And we come up with a really smart way,” Nick Santora, executive producer, says.
Robert Patrick is a father figure on screen, behind the scenes.
Because Patrick is the oldest member of the cast, he feels a responsibility to the young actors.
“I feel responsible for them as actors and their characters. I’m real comfortable with it, and I love working with these guys. It’s really become a tight-knit family. And they’re all equally unique and special and it’s a lot of fun to work with,” Patrick says.
Odds are good Katharine McPhee will sing again on the show.
The producers are not telling the former “American Idol” contestant that she will be put in a situation where she will have to sing but as long as the writers can find an organic way to put it into the show, then it will happen.
“That particular script came in the day we were airing. I was doing a bunch of press that day and they were saying, ‘So, Kat, like, are you going to sing on the show?’ And I just was like, come on, you guys, that’s so silly,” McPhee says. “And literally the next day, the script came in and I was like, really? So you never know.”
Elyes Gabel’s character, Walter O’Brien, can feel emotions.
From the start, Walter was designed as a person so smart that he doesn’t waste time with things like romantic feelings or jealousy. That will change as the series continues and he will be uncomfortable with what he’s feeling.
Executive producer Santora explains, “It starts bothering him because I am now not being the efficient automatron that I thought I was. But as we see Pinocchio turn into a real boy over the seasons, the audience is going to love it. He’s going to hate it. Eventually he’ll come around and realize that it’s not always a bad thing.”