The past three decades have seen The Tick taking on many forms, starting off as a comic book series and subsequently transitioning into an animated series and short-lived live-action series, but now, the property has found a new home on Amazon Prime Video. The rebooted, Peter Serafinowicz-led Tick series officially debuted on the streaming service last August (after its pilot debuted in August 2016), and it has been making a splash with both critics and general audiences ever since.
Stars Scott Speiser (Overkill), Brendan Hines (Superian) and Yara Martinez (Miss Lint) and executive producer Barry Josephson answered a few questions about working with Amazon, the on-set environment and more during a New York Comic Con interview with Flickering Myth.
How much improv is allowed on set? Scott, I know you have a [Groundlings] background, so are you allowed to draw upon that in scenes?
Scott Speiser: It took me a while to feel comfortable jumping into that because I didn’t write the script and the script is [already] great. As with anyone making a movie or TV show, you want to get what’s on paper in the can, at least, once, so that the script is [represented]. I found that with Ben, David and Barry, and whoever the director was, I would try some things here and there… I think everyone tried some things, and we weren’t met with much resistance. If it didn’t work, they’d let you know. But especially at the end of scenes, a lot of tags, we’re able to [improv] and if they don’t want to use it they just cut right before it. I was nervous at first, but once I started they were very receptive and seemed to accept it and have fun with it.
Brendan Hines: There were a number of moments where we were free to have that elbow room and have that space to muscle around within the script once we did get the point across. We got the narrative out of the way and then we could joke around in character, which, to be honest, is just how you start to get comfortable in the character. The script is so good that you don’t have to go off script very much, but if you’re able to ad-lib in character and just do some unexpected things that just grounds you in the performance a little bit more.Getty Images for Amazon
Yara, what do you like so much about working with Amazon? You’ve worked with them on Alpha House and I Love Dick, so why is that partnership so special?
Yara Martinez: Now I’m used to hearing about Netflix and Amazon and Hulu [from] other friends who are actors, and it’s known that they give more creative freedom. But I remember when I did Alpha House since it was one of the first Amazon series, and the first thing that I had ever done that even my agents were like ‘We don’t know if you should do this cause what’s this going to turn out to be.’ But it just felt so different from anything I had done in the sense that they hired you and they allowed you to do the job that they hired you to do, without having to dominate and feel like they knew more. It was more of a collaboration and I had never felt that with a network. For me, that’s awesome.Getty Images for Amazon
Where did the decision come from to bring in Wally Pfister (director of Transcendence, cinematographer of The Dark Knight trilogy) to direct the first two episodes of the series?
Barry Josephson: I thought that Ben [Edlund] had such a great vision for the piece. There were nights where I thought to myself maybe Ben should direct [the pilot], but he was too consumed with rewriting and working on production and what would the series be, so it was a matter of finding someone cinematic that could be an extension for him. Wally was perfect because he’s a very good director, he had done comedy and he is a brilliant cinematographer. [When it came to] where to put the camera, how to light, what it should look like and superhero, nobody could be better. [Ben and Wally’s] first meeting was like watching a real partnership come together. We were lucky.Getty Images for Amazon
Other highlights of the general roundtable interview include executive producer David Fury teasing that the show “will continually get a little bit crazier” and possibly get “close to being as surreal as the animated series” in the future. Fury also mentioned that while the show will look to keep things fresh and not rely too heavily on the previous Tick shows for material, don’t rule out appearances from or references to “old favorites.” Fury even expressed his desire to see Chairface Chippendale show up at some point.
In a world where superheroes have been real for decades, an underdog accountant with zero powers comes to realize his city is owned by a global super villain long-thought dead. As he struggles to uncover this conspiracy, he falls in league with a strange blue superhero.
While the first six episodes of The Tick are currently available to stream on Amazon, season 1’s latter six will hit the streaming platform on February 23th, 2018; check out the trailer for part 2 by clicking here. The Tick also stars Griffin Newman, Valorie Curry and Jackie Earle Haley.