The following conversation took place at New York Comic Con at the Lore roundtables…
Today, Amazon Prime’s non-fiction horror anthology series Lore has returned to the streaming platform for a second season, with six new episodes; however, whereas the first season’s batch of episodes were all inspired by stories from creator Aaron Mahnke’s podcast (which the show is adapted from), this time around the series brings two new stories into the mix.
Episodes four and six, “Prague Clock: The Curse of the Orloj” and “Jack Parsons: The Devil and the Divine,” bring the non-podcast stories of two clockmakers who “race against the curse of Orloj,” which has brought much death to Prague with the Black Plague in the 15th century, and rocket engineer Jack Parsons, whose obsession with the occult lead to a love affair with Marjorie Cameron. On this shift in the show’s approach to telling/choosing its stories, Flickering Myth sat down with Mahnke, who, in addition to hosting and producing the podcast also executive produces and narrates the show, and fellow executive producer Howard T. Owens at New York Comic Con to find out more.
Flickering Myth: How do you feel about the decision to break away from the source material of the podcast for two episodes this season?
Aaron Mahnke: It’s fantastic. So what we learn[ed] in season 1 is that there are some podcast episodes that just won’t translate to video. “Echoes” [season 1, episode 2] we kind of cheated on, because “Echoes” is a podcast episode about a building called the Danvers State Hospital and mental health as an industry in the early 1800s. We didn’t do the TV episode on that, we did it on Dr. Walter Freeman… which still connects — he’s a bit part in the podcast, but he’s the character in the TV show. We just learned that some don’t adapt well. There are some stories that are gonna only work in video format, and Jack Parson’s story and the Prague clock are both stories that would not work in the podcast format because they’re so visual. They’re rich in visual elements that help tell the story, and I can’t do that with my voice.
Owens later chimed in with more information about the decision and the general direction the show goes in in season 2.
Howard T. Owens: We started working on season 2 right after season 1. Season 1 was kind of a great adventure for Aaron and I and Gale [Anne Hurd] and the team – no one had ever taken a podcast to TV. We were the first ones, so, in all respect, we didn’t really know what we were doing. So we were figuring it out as we go — we nailed it, but we had ideas on what we wanted to do in season 2, but I’d say watching season 1 play out, Aaron getting this direct consumer feedback from his audience and then us being able to calibrate… and one of the things we realized is that the stories that Aaron can tell, it’s not fair for us to try to do that in the show. Because… there’s 30, 40 names of people in a podcast that Aaron uses, and he does it so deftly that you never lose focus, you’re in it, but remember you have your headphones in, it’s a one on one media experience. In TV… if you have more than four, five, six characters in a TV hour, you’d be like ‘What the hell’s happening,’ so we really learn the strength of focus, making it about a character or characters and their journey, shortening that journey so that there’s a clean beginning, middle and end and then also… strengthen the tone. Where in season 1, episodes were, kind of, quite different I felt — in season 2, yes, the stories are very different, but you always know that you’re watching a Lore [episode] and you feel it, you definitely feel it.
Lore season 2 is available for streaming on Amazon Prime right now, for those looking to get their Halloween season started on the right foot.