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23Jan
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Season 1 Episode 2: Pre-Production

Episode Two was a slightly easier set-up than the first one. I spent a bit of time looking for a new actress to play the Angel role – I talked seriously to a couple but settled very quickly on the wonderful Anastasiya, who I felt had a great look and was also clearly very nice. Anastasiya is literally from Siberia and this being ‘Next GLOBAL Crisis’ I was very pleased to avoid having only Brits involved (not always easy). Although having said that, I made the faux pas of giving the character a Ukrainian surname, something that Anastasiya called me out on during the shoot. The reason I chose Nemanikhin is because it means ‘trustworthy’, which – as anybody who has watched the whole of season will tell you – is an interesting choice.

I was able to get an affordable location in my hometown just outside London. We actually used it a few times, but different rooms each time. Episode Two is really the pre-cursor to the ‘Training Room’ series – essentially Angel is a trainee, and we pitted her against a mechanical drone for storyline reasons. The format seemed popular, so some nine months later we were doing it over and over.

Costume-wise I went with a grey catsuit that was shop/eBay-bought but works rather well, and I had the cape made professionally. I didn’t really want to spend what I had on the Powerstar one until we were seeing more money coming in, but I was very pleased with the ensemble. We used stilettos, but as was proved to us afterwards these tend to kill ankles pretty quickly – hence the flat style we adopt now. If we just needed heroines to stand around looking pretty, then fine, but this is an action project and I’ve got to protect my team and make things comfortable, lest I be a fiend.

The idea was to put Angel through her paces with a series of tests that mimicked SAS training. I’m sure it’s far from accurate, but the idea was that she would feel safe when in fact she wasn’t. It was a much easier ride than before. Details on the shoot itself to follow.

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