Comic Con 2016 Report: Frequency


My final panel of the day on Day Three of Comic Con 2016 was for the new series Frequency that will debut on The CW. The pilot episode was first screened on preview night and was also screened prior to the short moderated panel this past Saturday evening.

As you can guess, the show is based on the 2000 box office film of the same name that starred Dennis Quaid and Jim Caviezel as father and son who somehow connected across 30 years via an accidental cross-time radio link where the son attempts to save his father’s life only to have to deal and fix the consequences of changing the timeline.

This basic premise is the same in the small screen version, but with a twist: it is the daughter who communicates with her father and attempts to save his life. The cast members in attendance on the panel included Peyton List, Riley Smith and Mekhi Phifer. They were joined by executive producers Jeremy Carver and Jennifer Gwartz.

When asked how the project came about, Jeremy shared that he was a big fan of the movie and a fan of the central family relationship. Jennifer then chimed in that she joined the project because it was “a chance to work with Jeremy” and she loves the idea of “second chances…do overs. I like that type of story.”

While the show has a high concept idea, Jeremy shared that “the rest of the season will have a strong emotionality…with plenty of family drama (that the characters) will meet head on.” He also shared that the show is filled with “ordinary but relatable characters.”

Just like the film, the pilot episode features scenes of Peyton’s and Riley’s characters exchanging conversations through the lightning-powered ham radio only they are separated by 20 years. When asked what it was like filming those scenes, the actors shared that they have known each other for a decade, but have never worked together on screen. Riley said their knowing each other for that time “really helped” with those scenes. In fact, they both talked about helping each other out during those scenes by “hiding in corners off-screen” in order to add the right amount of emotion to the scenes.

Mekhi was then asked what it was like filming scenes with his co-stars, as he knows them both in different time periods. He shared it was an “interesting journey (as) he is the conduit to both of them (and) my character changes their dynamic depending on (which) time frame (we are in).” He also shared that it was his first time working with “old age makeup” and further explained that “the joy of acting (is you) get to play with wardrobe and makeup.”

Jeremy then shared that the show will not play into the “daddy’s little girl troupe”. In fact, he clearly stated “this relationship is anything but that.” He said the father/daughter relationship is “very dynamic,” but he also shared that “it’s a learning process for them.” He went on to explain that “as a writer it was much more of a challenge” to flip the story to father and daughter (rather than father and son) and the “payoff is the special dynamic between father and daughter.” He is “very excited to have that play out.”

The executive producers both agreed that the “goal is to give (the audience) something soulful and provocative (to watch)”. Jeremy and Jennifer also shared that the show will feature “unusual situations every week, but we don’t want to over-simplify (the story). (We want the show to be) tense, taut and (an) emotional ride (for the viewers).

Each of the cast were then asked what is the best part about playing their respective characters:

• Peyton – “I enjoy playing tough women. It makes me feel cooler. Raimy (her character) has tons of flaws and I relate to her.”
• Riley – “I was looking for a flawed human being (to play). (Someone who is) somewhat of a hero, but (someone) who has to earn the audiences’ trust. This role has so many layers…is so complex. It’s a dream role.”
• Mekhi – “I love exploring the unknown. The experience (of) going through the unknown with the audience, that’s a fun thing.”

The series premiere of ‘Frequency will air on The CW on October 5.