Being Dr. Helen Magnus' right-hand man isn’t really good for your love life. Just ask Will Zimmerman, who takes another hit for the team in "Fugue," the much-anticipated musical episode of "Sanctuary" airing at 9 p.m. Nov. 25 on Syfy.
As you can see in the video sneak above—and the exclusive sneak peek I showed last week—Will's love, FBI agent Abby Corigan (Pascale Hutton), has come under the control of an abnormal who understands only musical frequencies. In this scene, Helen (Amanda Tapping) explains to Will (Robin Dunne) that he has to sing to her to communicate—something he is reluctant to do.
I remember Dunne saying at San Diego Comic-Con in July that doing the episode "like being a rock star for a week."
Don't quit your day job, my friend.
I kid! I kid! Singing is just the latest musical challenge presented to Dunne by writer Damian Kindler, who last year made the actor dance a Bollywood dance in "Kali, Part 2." (Kindler also directed "Fugue," while Martin Wood directed “Kali.”)
“The Bollywood episode helped me in no way whatsoever,” Dunne said during a conference call at the beginning of the season, jokingly explaining that the earlier experience did not make singing on “Fugue” any easier.
“It was pretty cool, not to mention terrifying, to actually walk into a recording studio, especially not being used to doing something like that at all, and think, ‘I guess I’m going to have to sing…’
“I walk around the set singing silly songs at the top of my lungs, which probably isn’t the greatest thing for everyone around me, but that’s very different from doing it in front of a camera.”
I'm sure it is. Much respect for his effort, but I'm guessing Dunne didn't have to work to hard to find Will's determination to not sing to Abby. He admirably goes for it, but he's probably the least successful of the cast members who sing. (Don't hate! I'm a critic, right?) I will say this without spoiling: Dunne and Hutton share a non-musical scene in the episode that I think is one of the most emotionally rich moments ever in “Sanctuary.” (So there, I’m not dissing Dunne!)
Hutton is terrific throughout “Fugue.” She engages emotionally with both her singing and acting. I really do love her take as Abby, and think she’s a great addition to the series.
Jim Byrnes, as Helen’s father Gregory Magnus, blew me away with his song. (Apparently he’s an accomplished blues singer.) Ryan Robbins, as Henry of course, has a quiet tune that’s nicely done as well, and Tapping and Robert Lawrenson (Declan) show yet another talent they possess.
As for the episode itself, it takes a little getting used to the singing, but ultimately it works. I think the whole idea of an abnormal who communicates through different sound frequencies—thus the singing—is an incredibly interesting concept from Kindler. The part of the brain Helen and Will discuss in the clip—the superior temporal sulcus—actually does perform a common function for social and speech perception and might be involved in certain types of autism.
Way to do your research, Mr. Kindler!
Most of the seven or so songs, created by Kindler and “Sanctuary” musical composer Andrew Lockington, fit seemlessly into the storyline involving Abby’s musical “issue.” There are a few that don’t seem to fit, because the singers are not trying to communicate with Abby at the time.
But I quibble. Halfway into its fourth season, “Sanctuary” still is pushing limits and trying new ideas—challenging its cast, crew and fans in the process. You gotta love a show for that.
'Sanctuary' preview: Will sings for love in 'Fugue'
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