MTO – S3 Interview Special – Transcript

SPEAKERS

Cass McPhee, D.J. Sylvis, Leslie Gideon, Everyone, Hazel Stapp, Cole Burkhardt, Shade Oyemakinwa, David S. Dear

D.J. Sylvis  00:00

(As background music fades) Hi, everyone, this is D.J. Sylvis your Moonbase Theta, Out creator and various producey things as well. I just wanted to start out by welcoming you all to this little cast chat that we’re going to have. This is the post season three chat – we’ve done little interviews after each season. First one we did Leeman and I, second one we did Cass and I. This time we wanted to talk to particularly some of the new cast we’ve added this season, we added a lot of people for season three. We went from, what, I think six to 29 cast members? So yeah, and we’ve got a few of these bright and shining stars here to talk to us today. I’d like to start out by giving everyone a chance to introduce themselves and give their pronouns and talk about who they play. So I’ll start out: I am D.J. Sylvis. I am the writer and creator of the show. I also play the Enclave Officer, my pronouns are they / them. So Cass, would you like to jump in?

Cass McPhee  01:02

Sure. I’m Cass McPhee. I’m a co-producer on the show. And I play Michell L’Anglois. My pronouns are he / him, primarily. Why don’t we go down the list here – Shade?

Shade Oyemakinwa  01:13

Hello, I’m Shade Oyemakinwa. Pronouns they / them. I play Monica Parker. Yay! (laughs)

Cass McPhee  01:22

How about Cole?

Cole Burkhardt  01:23

Uh, hi, my name is Cole Burkhardt. My pronouns are he / him, and I play Jaxon.

Cass McPhee  01:29

Leslie?

Leslie Gideon  01:30

Hi, my name is Leslie Gideon, and I play Elena – and my pronouns are she / her.

Cass McPhee  01:35

David?

David S. Dear  01:36

My name is David S. Dear, pronouns he / him, and I play Dr. Edwin Just.

Cass McPhee  01:41

And Hazel.

Hazel Stapp  01:43

Hello, I am Hazel Stapp. My pronouns are she / her and I play Dr. Serano.

D.J. Sylvis  01:49

The first thing that someone asked was, do you have any favorite scenes slash revelations slash plot twists in this season, either involving your character or in general – and I will mention as well this is going to come out after the season. So you can talk about anything up through the finale if you’d like. So any favorite scenes, revelations, plot twists that you wanted to talk about?

Shade Oyemakinwa  02:11

As a general thing for Monica? I really liked how she was semi protective of Reception, Dot? because, um, old dude was creepy. (general laughter) And I’m very glad that Monica was like, I don’t care if it’s a robot. You’re – you’re gross. Don’t do that shit. Oh, are we allowed to curse? I just cursed.

D.J. Sylvis  02:37

We are firmly established at this point as a explicit show. So…

Shade Oyemakinwa  02:41

I could have listened to an to an interview that had cursing an hour ago. And I still would have asked. (laughs) But that – as a general thing, because I love robots. So I was like, I was very glad that Monica and I were on the same page there. And as just a general revelation that she knew where her daughter was the whole damn time! (laughs) Oh! That was – that was delicious?! So much. But yeah, it was those.

Leslie Gideon  03:13

For Elena. When we first get to meet her, we meet her through the eyes of being a love interest character. So we don’t really get to know her as a person. And just in general, throughout the series, getting to playfully banter with people and tease people and be more of a well rounded person was so much fun. Especially the bantering because she does have a you know, a little bit of a kick to her. She is very willing to verbally spar with people. And that was a lot of fun. (general laughter)

D.J. Sylvis  03:44

Yeah, it was really great to flesh her out this season.

David S. Dear  03:46

Mine is not specific to my character that I play necessarily. It’s more to the revival of – the resuscitation of officer L’Anglois. I found that – because it just creates a great kind of a pivot for that character. I just, I was kind of pretty enrapted with that whole, that kind of unlearning and unfolding and the kind of roller coaster that he was going through. (laughs)

Cole Burkhardt  04:18

It adds another layer of drama to everything already going on. Yes. And it was, it was, I think, a great – not like plot twist? But definitely a great implementation.

David S. Dear  04:31

Mm hmm. Yes.

D.J. Sylvis  04:33

Yeah, I know. Cass was a bit nervous about those scenes, so.

Cass McPhee  04:38

I was like, Oh, I have to do real acting, TM, patent pending (general laughter). Oh, no. (laughs) But um, it was it – was actually a lot of fun. And, yeah, I – I’m pretty happy with what – what I did this season and I’m really happy with how that character kind of, you know, like, we’re we’re only still just in the process of turning the corner like as an audience on what that character kind of feels like to us, but I think at least now we’re sort of like okay, well before it was it was grudging – grudging acceptance of the fact that maybe you’re not completely horrible, now it’s like, Oh, fine, you’re just damaged. Ugh. (general laughter)

D.J. Sylvis  05:19

We’ll move on to the next question, which was: would you want to be your character?

Shade Oyemakinwa  05:25

Like, in – in real life?

Cole Burkhardt  05:27

(laughing) IRL?

D.J. Sylvis  05:28

I guess. I guess that’s all – that’s all they said. Um, I guess I’ll start out with Enclave Officer and say definitely not, but feel free to move on from them. (general laughter)

Shade Oyemakinwa  05:39

This is Shade saying, heck no. Monica’s life sounds exhausting. And that’s the way it is with like all these manipulators who like are very comfortable stepping on people as they move forward. It’s like it’s just… so much to juggle.

Cass McPhee  05:57

But she has a mountain though.

Shade Oyemakinwa  05:58

Yeah, and she’s not there! She doesn’t get to enjoy the mountain. Because she also wants – it’s like she wants to have her cake and eat it too. It’s like, she has the mountain but she just – it’s so exhausting. But like as a character. Like this is my favorite type of character. Just these elder women who know exactly what the fuck they’re doing and are very comfortable… like, fucking you up to get what they want.

D.J. Sylvis  06:27

I really want her to wind up there though. I really want her to wind up in like her James Bond-esque mountain hideaway.

Shade Oyemakinwa  06:33

One day, we’ll get to see that mountain. No, I don’t want to be Monica. Her life is exhausting. (general laughter)

Cole Burkhardt  06:39

Maybe we’ll just – get to see “a mountain”, not as Monica just you know, like in general.

Cass McPhee  06:44

Yeah, I don’t – I don’t want to be Michell. But also, I mean, listen, there are certain aspects of him that I wish I could kind of glean without maybe taking the dickish-ness?

Cole Burkhardt  06:57

Without being a cop. (general laughter)

Cass McPhee  07:00

Yeah. I wish I could take his ability to actually kind of fight for what he needs and wants? I’m bad at that, and so I just don’t do it a lot of the time. And he does it too aggressively. But at least there’s some drive there to be like, no, this is what I need, dammit. And it’s like, um, can I have like, just a – just a taste of that, please?

Leslie Gideon  07:23

I will say for Elena, I don’t think we’re too dissimilar in personality to begin with. I think she’s a little bit more extroverted than I am. I think that would be the main difference. So I don’t think I would mind being her. But I think like everyone has said to a certain extent, I do not want her life. I do not want the circumstances in which she is living. Because that seems like a lot.

D.J. Sylvis  07:46

Well, let’s be fair, I haven’t created the most accommodating world for any of these characters. So…

Cole Burkhardt  07:51

I don’t know. I don’t think I’d mind being Jaxon! (laughing) Oh, we’re not like – like Leslie said, we’re not like dissimilar. Jaxon has a lot of the same quirks that I do, although I am a little bit better at talking to people… a little bit. But like I, from what I can tell, besides just the general situation… they have like a good family at home. Or at least a big family? And also they get to do science and bake in space. What – what more do you need? (general laughter)

David S. Dear  08:29

I certainly would not want to be Doctor Just. Doctor Just – he’s just so serious and business and, and I don’t see him taking tremendous joy in what he does? I think he’s very driven. And his focus is really intense. But I – I’m the sort who loves – loves to laugh and loves to play and I just don’t see Just being either – indulging in either of those things. Maybe a contemptuous snort is the best you can get from him. (general laughter)

D.J. Sylvis  09:04

I don’t think that most of the people he’s around every day are folks that he wants to laugh with, so…

David S. Dear  09:09

Right, yeah. And Day being his thorn.

D.J. Sylvis  09:14

Speaking of which – Hazel –

Hazel Stapp  09:15

Yeah.

D.J. Sylvis  09:15

Would you want to be –

Hazel Stapp  09:17

Dr. Serano? No. Dr. Serano is kind of a jerk and awful? (general laughter) Based on the IPM episode, I was not expecting her to be quite so… I guess like a minor villain? So that was a bit of a surprise to me. I enjoyed playing her and it’s interesting playing a character who’s like a minor villain and also comedic relief? So yeah, this is very interesting. I kind of like the comedy bits, but yeah, I would not want to be her. She has some views that I don’t really agree with. So –

D.J. Sylvis  10:05

But you would get unlimited hedgehogs.

Hazel Stapp  10:08

Well, that is true and also bossing people around so I always get the best food isn’t that bad either. (general laughter) But some of the other aspects are not so great. So I think I will pass on being Dr. Serano, as a actual person.

D.J. Sylvis  10:25

That’s fair. And our next question actually sort of ties into that, which is: would you like to hang out with your character? Or if not, which character in the show would you like most to meet and spend time with?

Leslie Gideon  10:36

I’m going to take the obvious answer and say the dogs, I would love time with the dogs. (general laughter and agreement) As for my own character, like I said, Elena and I are pretty similar. So I feel like we would have a really fun day of just like, shopping, going outside, chatting, gossiping, like, we would definitely get along. And it would definitely be a fun time. But I mean, the dogs is the obvious answer.

D.J. Sylvis  10:59

(laughs) We do have one of our smaller sort of throwaway questions at the end was that someone wanted us to ask all of you whether or not Cas and Pol are very good girls, so.

Leslie Gideon  11:10

They are. Spoiler alert: they are very good girls. (laughter)

D.J. Sylvis  11:15

So let’s skip to that. But now – yeah, let’s jump back, um, everyone else would you like to hang out with your character? Is there someone else you would rather hang out with?

Cole Burkhardt  11:22

I want to hang out with Nessa. (laughs)

D.J. Sylvis  11:26

Too soon? (general laughter)

Cole Burkhardt  11:29

RIP. No, but like, even so Nessa just seems like is – is such a delight. Like I love Jaxon, I’ll for sure hang out with Jaxon, we can make chocolate chip cookies and sing off key together. But like, yeah, Nessa’s very easy to find delightful.

Shade Oyemakinwa  11:49

I don’t know if this would be a surprise or not. But I would enjoy spending time with Monica. Because here’s the thing: it would be very simple and very easy. Because she is going to stick to – stick to the social script. It is not going to be difficult for me, I know what to do when I get in there. We’ll get in, do the – whatever the hangout has to be, it’ll be done, and then I’ll get out. Simple, she will not make it difficult for me, we will go through the motions. And there will be – it’s like I may be nervous, but I’ll know exactly what to do. Oh, here’s the part where beverage is offered to me. Here’s the part where we make small talk whatever “small talk” technically counts as. Here’s the part where I leave. Wonderful. Done. (general laughter) People are confusing and Monica would make it less confusing.

David S. Dear  12:47

I might have to say, I uh, two characters actually. One would be Jaxon. Jaxon, as long as you kind of know how to navigate your relationship with Jaxon, I think it would be… I think it’d be interesting and sweet and fun. And the other character actually, oddly enough, Tumnus. (general agreement) I’d like to have a front row seat on that kind of whole self discovery and, and that kind of maniacal swing of that (laughs) as a company that wouldn’t be off putting to me, oddly enough.

Shade Oyemakinwa  13:22

May I also second Tumnus as well? Tumnus rocks. I would love to hang out with Tumnus for a bit.

Hazel Stapp  13:28

Indeed.

Cass McPhee  13:29

Hear hear.

D.J. Sylvis  13:30

Tumnus would be high on my list. I mean, to be fair, Tumnus is also played by one of my best friends in the world. But yeah, or Ashwini for that matter. Although Ashwini I think I would want a very like… delineated time of spending – to be spent together. So I knew when I was getting out.

Shade Oyemakinwa  13:49

Ashwini is to cool for me. (general laughter) Ashwini is one of those people, I’d meet them and I’d be like, I wouldn’t even try ’cause I’m like – this person is way too cool for me. It’s like I’m… I must. I must go away. (laughs)

Cass McPhee  14:01

I would love to drink with Wilder.

Cole Burkhardt  14:04

Yeah. Uh huh. (general laughter)

Cass McPhee  14:05

Like I wouldn’t even need certainly – need to be booze or anything but like, you know, like, I just get the impression that like just hanging out with Wilder. And just like shooting the shit would be pretty fun.

Cole Burkhardt  14:17

I feel like they could drink me under the table and I’m ready to try it. (general agreement and laughter)

Hazel Stapp  14:25

Yeah, I second…. basically everybody’s. Jaxon, Wilder, Tumnus… Nessa definitely. And would I hang out with Dr. Serano? You know, I think that… well, I already said that I wouldn’t want to be her. But I think that we have enough in common that if certain topics didn’t get hit upon, that I would probably enjoy hanging out with them.

D.J. Sylvis  14:56

And unlimited hedgehogs.

Cass McPhee  14:58

But you’re not allowed to pet them if you’re her friend though.

Hazel Stapp  15:00

I mean, I could – I could look at them.

D.J. Sylvis  15:02

I’m, I don’t know, I’m pretty sure that Hazel would be allowed to pet them. (general laughter)

Hazel Stapp  15:07

Well, you know, in – in the name of helping to study them, then you’ll have to –

D.J. Sylvis  15:11

Absolutely. For Science.

Hazel Stapp  15:13

 – measure their bristle strength and everything. And you know, you have to do that by hand. So.

Cole Burkhardt  15:17

Yeah! (general laughter)

D.J. Sylvis  15:20

Cool! … I mean, none of you said Enclave Officer, but that’s fine. (general laughter) Nobody wants to hang out with me.

David S. Dear  15:27

Really?

Shade Oyemakinwa  15:29

I mean, we want to hang out with you just not Enclave officer –

Cole Burkhardt  15:31

Yeah!

Shade Oyemakinwa  15:32

– because we have taste. (general laughter)

Hazel Stapp  15:36

I just want to curl up with a nice big pack of En-SOY-Ment. (general laughter)

D.J. Sylvis  15:39

Who doesn’t? This is specifically for, it says – for anyone who was already in season two. But I think if you were in like, bonus episodes or anything at that point, too, because several of you were in the IPM episode, there were – the scientists were introduced. It says: any thoughts about comparison between your character in two and three, or generally the differences and being involved in the show between those two seasons. And you might have thoughts just from hearing – listening to it too. And what you were expecting coming into season three, and what – the way it actually happens. So.

Cass McPhee  16:11

I mean, it was a big (laughs) it was a big difference. For me. I came into Season Two as an actor. And then season three, I ran the crowdfunding campaign for it (laughs). So that was a bit different, like just on the production side. But from an acting standpoint, we already touched a little bit on… Michell had, he actually is having a bit of an arc! Aww,  baby’s first arc. (Deej laughs) And that was a lot of fun. But it was also really fun to I mean, not even just looking at Michell, but just – it was great to have people in a room doing rehearsals together. Like, I think that that really helped us to flesh out our characters a lot and, um, and just see like how the dynamic was actually going to come together. Like I read the scripts, I was like, these are good scripts. But like when I heard them, with people’s voices behind them, I was like, Oh, these are gooooood scripts.

D.J. Sylvis  17:03

Yeah, that was definitely a big difference for us, production wise. In Season One, of course, it was just mostly Leeman and I. But in season two, we still – we didn’t really rehearse anything live. I just sent everything to the actors. And we did actually do a rehearsal process like we did for season three, but we – well they, they just did it on their own. Like they just recorded a draft version, sent it to me, and then I revised. So it was interesting. Well, it was definitely interesting schedule-wise (laughs). But it was interesting getting everyone into the same virtual room to read through things for season three. David, Hazel, you were definitely in, like the IPM episode. And Hazel already talked a little about the difference between the character. How did you feel about the way the scientists joined the story in season three?

David S. Dear  17:49

It was really an interesting way to bring them in because you have them… They were so science focused that it really kind of made it – you didn’t have to… you let them rely on them being scientists to kind of introduce their characters and their motivations within the story rather than – it saved having to do a tremendous amount of backstory for listeners to say, Okay, I’m going to accept these new characters in. The other thing, I think helped really kind of build or create them and bring – give them presence in a new season with introducing them is to have already established dynamics. Like even something like the relationship with Dr. Just and Dr. Day is obviously… there’s just an irritant with him and a disregard with her. But you can also look at the relationship with Dr. Just and Dr. Serano. And that’s an interesting relationship because it gives just a little bit more dimension, because obviously, he is not as bristly with her. He’s, they have an established rapport. And of course, he’s – his tolerance is short for everything. But there’s a little more breathing room with Serano. And so when you – when you have those – and you see all those interplays with – with all the scientists and they have their – each their own dynamics. I think it really made it easy for people to go, where’d these guys come from? It wasn’t like, you know, the shows’s gonna jump the shark and all of a sudden they adopted a kid. (Deej laughs) It didn’t feel like that at all. So I thought… I thought it was a great way to bring all the scientists in.

D.J. Sylvis  19:25

Yeah, I think that was part of why we wound up starting with them as the first revivals, because people did know at least a little bit about them. And we were able to bring that – that relationship back. But then it was fun to sort of start seeding things too because those relationships definitely changed a lot over the course of the season. Like Hazel was talking about before with Dr. Serano. Like she becomes a lot more standoffish and a lot more sort of dictatorial over the season. And that causes like Dr. Just to basically like… have to shut her down at the end of the season.

David S. Dear  19:59

Mm hmm.

Hazel Stapp  20:00

Yeah.

D.J. Sylvis  20:01

And of course we all know – again since this will be out after the season, we all know that Dr. Day turns out to have (general laughter) unexpected depths, shall we say! (laughs) One of my favorite things about this season, like personally just to write as characters, was growing this little background relationship between Dr. Ringling and Dr. Semaan.

Hazel Stapp  20:24

Yeah.

D.J. Sylvis  20:25

So I really loved like, slowly like bleeding that in in the background too.

Leslie Gideon  20:31

So for Elena, we meet her very, very briefly before season three through the lens of being one of Nessa’s partners. And when we get to see more of her in season three, we – we see those changes in her because when we first meet her, she is very much playful and fun and carefree. And partly because we just get to see more of her in season three, we get to see more of how that loss affects her. She’s still the same person at her core, we still see her bantering and playing around and caring for the people around her and she cares very deeply. But there are those moments of pain, of hurt, of introspection. We see that a lot when she is naming the flowers. That’s her little tribute to Nessa and I really wanted to take those moments and make them feel a little bit more introspective, a little bit sadder, because that is a heavy pain to carry, especially in the circumstances, where she is now where they’re literally worlds apart. So I think it was just great to explore those different depths of both her circumstances and fleshing out her character as a whole.

D.J. Sylvis  21:46

Yeah, and I definitely – you can definitely feel like the difference in… in how you played her as well. That in season three, she’s… she’s resolute. She’s determined, but she’s gone through so much to make it to where we see her again. Yeah, did anybody else have anything for that question before we move on? Just about – or even just about the differences between Season Two and Three in general? If you had listened to the show before, and then you got cast in season three, you were probably not expecting (laughs) exactly the sort of thing we brought.

Hazel Stapp  22:18

Well, I got cast for the IPM episode. And I had not listened to the show. So (Cole laughs) I was very confused going in about what was going on. (laughs)

D.J. Sylvis  22:32

Yeah that’s not the best place to start from.

Hazel Stapp  22:34

Yeah, but I have listened to the show since then. (laughs) And yeah, I really enjoy it. IPM to three… Like the scientists, all of their personalities, I think carry over very well. It’s just that they get – they get more fleshed out. So we learn more about them. We learn about how, Oh, well. Maybe Dr. Serano is a lot worse than we realize she was in that last time we saw her and it was, like I mentioned earlier is definitely an interesting move between the two because I wasn’t expecting a lot of the things. But um, you know, they certainly make sense. I think everything makes sense with what I remember from Dr. Serano in IPM. I’m not… thinking it over I think that really does fit her character pretty well. But yeah, it was… it was a bit of a surprise finding that out.

Shade Oyemakinwa  23:35

As somebody who was a listener before they got cast, just even in the initial like… what, a cast meeting? I’m just gonna say cast meeting before we even got the scripts, just hearing how the whole season was gonna play out. It felt like going from season two to season three, it felt like it just got so much huger.

Cole Burkhardt  24:02

Mm hmm.

Shade Oyemakinwa  24:03

It’s like the scale redic- like you were saying at the very beginning, like you went from like, like six to like 29 cast members. And the character I’m playing, like, all these main characters we’ve come to love these past few seasons, they are all tangential at best to my character. They’re like, a best like one or two of them are like a direct means to an end. But other than that everyone else is a name. If that. And it’s just – the expan- It’s so expansive! It’s gone so huge and… just going from two to three and I’m like I’m… What’s this gonna look like in Season Four? (general laughter) Is this exponential growth? How much, augh! So it’s just, it’s just you feel it you feel like the size and importance in your bones and I get excited. I got excited about it. (general laughter)

Cole Burkhardt  25:00

I feel a bit bad – I got brought on and had only listened to the first season. So I didn’t know anything that was going on for the first listen through, and then ended up listening to the entire – getting caught up in basically a day. (Deej laughs) And just from one single narrator to now 30 people was… A: very fun to listen to, and B: just kind of awe inspiring of just how big it’s gotten.

D.J. Sylvis  25:29

(laughs) It’s definitely been interesting managing it all. But… But yeah, I mean, we moved from in two to two to three, we moved from, of course, monologues to more dialogue, we moved from more retrospection to immediate action, we moved from, like, talking about the same storyline to all of a sudden, nobody knew what was gonna happen next. And of course, I played into that every episode. (laughs)

Cole Burkhardt  25:56

And it – it plays out well, it like, it expands in a way that feels natural.

D.J. Sylvis  26:01

Well, thank you. I mean, we worked really hard on that. Cass took, like, watched me every second to make sure I didn’t go too far. (Cass laughs) Cass I was gonna ask you as well, before we move on from this. And this is like, I think the last really big question anyway, most of the things after this are a little bit smaller. I was gonna ask you about the difference between season two and season three, as far as bringing Maria into it.

Cass McPhee  26:26

Hmm.

D.J. Sylvis  26:27

Because Maria is only like, barely mentioned at the end of season two. That’s only when we find out she exists. And then all of a sudden, there was the Before the Moon episode, and then all the stuff that happens in season three.

Cass McPhee  26:40

Yeah. I mean, it’s been really cool to watch that character…. you know, kind of take on a life and of course, Cat Blackard just right from the get go on – on that… on the Before the Moon episode kind of knocked it out of the park with like, Oh, we get it. We know who this character is. And she’s ready to fight. (laughs) Yeah, it was really cool to see that, to see that kind of get fleshed out and to – see to see Michell kind of, you know, actually have to wrangle with the fact that like, maybe he has, you know, like, he’s sort of like, No, I don’t need nobody! And then sort of like, actually, I super need this one person, like you don’t understand. It’s really cool, as we’ve kind of slowly peeked into that, that dynamic between them and seeing kind of what Maria is made of, and I think it’s gonna be really nice to see maybe a little bit more?

D.J. Sylvis  27:36

Yeah, I was gonna say we’re going to get a big chunk of that in the first postseason bonus episode as well. So.

Cass McPhee  27:42

Yeah, I just – I finished the dialogue edit on that a few days ago. And it’s really good. I’m so looking forward to people hearing it.

D.J. Sylvis  27:50

The next question I actually added in – I snuck in one of my own, which was… and don’t feel like you have to worry about my writerly opinion on this one. What I wanted to say is, I wanted to ask you is: What do you feel you were able to add to your character as it was written? What do you think that you brought to it that wasn’t there to start with? Because that’s always a huge part for me as a writer and as a director, to leave it open for the actors to put themselves into it and to bring more to it. That’s part of why we rehearse the way we do. And I just like to see what you thought you were able to bring to your – to these people you voiced.

Shade Oyemakinwa  28:26

Okay, so with Monica, the writing for her is very straightforward, which I love. I love the way she talks. Like it’s very straightforward, and I’m gonna be bad with words real quick. Okay. What I think I brought is something I think was technically already there. But I don’t think it would have shown through as just writing, in that… Just the motherly shit? You know, and feelings. (laughs) She’s obviously a person with feelings. She obviously cares about her family. She cares about herself. And her people, like one of my favorite tropes is, I’m evil. I don’t give a crap about any of y’all. Unless you’re one of my people, then I would die for you. And Monica gives off that vibe to me. I don’t know if you put it there, but I sure as hell did. (laughs, Deej laughs) So that’s one of those things. It’s like one of those things. It’s like, um, I think this is what Deej meant? But if it’s not, it’s what Deej means now! (laughs) Um, so that’s essentially that’s with Monica. It’s like, Ooooh, I love a bad bitch with feelings.

Leslie Gideon  29:43

So for Elena and I touched a little bit on this before about her character and her dealing with grief. For people who may not know me or be familiar with my work, grief and loss is a subject that is very personal to me. And that’s also something that I use a lot in my own work and my own writing. So something I wanted to bring to Elena that wasn’t necessarily fully explicit in the writing is how grief changes the way you interact with the world. Even if you’re not actively feeling that pain in the moment, there is a fundamental shift that happens within oneself. That comes from losing someone very close to you. And very special and important to you. As I mentioned with Elena, previously, when we met her for those brief snippets, or the flashback Before the Moon, she is very open and caring, and carefree and fun loving. And while she still is all of those things, I wanted to add a little bit of heaviness to her. Even in those moments where she is playing with the dogs or bantering with friends, there’s still that element of… a part of her has been changed forever by this horrible loss that she has gone through. And that’s something I hope came through in the performance I gave her. But that’s something that was very important to me personally, to make sure that that felt more authentic to loss and the grieving experience.

D.J. Sylvis  31:12

Yeah, I definitely heard the difference there. And I think that, again, to sort of tease the audience a little bit, because this will come out before the bonus episodes… The final bonus episode, the fourth one is going to be going back to Elena and the other folks in the free zone and the work that you did there, I think really brought that out in really, like really big important ways.

Cole Burkhardt  31:32

Deej, you and I had a pretty, a pretty big conversation about exactly who Jaxon was because I came in, and like, the script was like Jaxon whistles a tune or like hums something I’m like, Well, what is – well what does music sound like in this day and age? What, what has influenced Jaxon by like their family or the way music has evolved on –  on earth? Because that would be the things that Jaxon would find comfort in. And we talked a lot about, like, family and things like that. And so I was kind of able to… to what I think was work out what was most important, which is – and I don’t know that anyone else is going to pick it up. But the tune that Jaxon hums is the one that Nessa hums when Nessa’s working and like they’re going through old tapes and stuff. Because if they spent most of their time in the garden and like working with Nessa, of course they’re gonna pick up some habits or songs that… that have been sung, finding comfort in people on the station when Jaxon can’t do that from people at home.

Cass McPhee  32:47

I did not know that. And that is so sweet. (Cole laughs)

Hazel Stapp  32:51

Very nice touch.

D.J. Sylvis  32:53

It actually – there’s a little question at the end too, one of the folks on Discord asked whether the little work to be done thing, that we have Jaxon do a lot, was from a real song. And so you’ve kind of just answered that too.

Cole Burkhardt  33:05

It’s – it’s from a tune that Nessa hums, and – in one of the earlier seasons.

D.J. Sylvis  33:10

And I think that too, it was something that she was just making up on the fly.

Cole Burkhardt  33:14

Mm hmm!

D.J. Sylvis  33:15

I originally went in, and I worked a lot with, with you as an actor, I worked a lot with my sensitivity reader for writing Jaxon, with the idea of singing being one of their particular stims, singing one of their things, and how that would come out and how it would work. And I really think that you added so much to that.

Cole Burkhardt  33:38

Yeah, I mean, that’s what I do… when I’m stressed in real life as well. I’ll like hum to myself, or – or listen to songs on repeat that I find comfort in. So it was very easy to – like I said, Jaxon and I share a lot of the same quirks. So it was very easy to translate that into into them.

David S. Dear  33:59

Interestingly enough, my approach to Dr. Just is a bit different than I think a lot of my, my fellow actors, because I – I really wanted to, I guess my interpretation personally, was that there was a lot of function to his character. And at least it felt like in the writing that he needed to kind of serve as a… as kind of like the, the trajectory for the science bros in a way?

D.J. Sylvis  34:33

 Yeah.

David S. Dear  34:33

So as a result, I didn’t try to make him multi dimensional. I kind of wanted him to serve as… I don’t want to say a foil. I don’t know if that’s the right term, but kind of the same function a foil does, which is to really be the catalyst to – to let all the other actors and all of everything they’re bringing to their roles, kind of to elevate that by just being kind of a grounding post. So that’s – that’s kind of the approach I decided to take because I really wanted to facilitate that. And I should have clarified with you to be honest, but I wanted – but I felt like that’s kind of how he was written. So I wanted to honor that.

D.J. Sylvis  35:15

Yeah, for sure. And I felt like that worked. He’s sort of the, he’s the – he’s the father of the lab, since Ashwini is an absent parent at the best of times. And I feel like especially after the IPM episode, where we had centered so much on him and centered so much on the tardigrade experiments and everything that when we brought the scientists into it as a sort of full comedy team in season three, that he was the… the moral core of that – the center of that. And I feel like, yeah, you would be – really like brought a lot to that. I mean, you are always sort of in the – in the silliest roles you play, you still have this sense of like moral integrity to it that I think makes it even funnier, or makes it even more personable.

David S. Dear  36:03

(laughs – quietly:) Good.

D.J. Sylvis  36:03

Okay, before we jump out of this – Cass, you don’t have to say anything, but I wanted to just call you out anyway. Because there is no question that the reason why there are people who Michell is one of their favorite characters is you. (Cass laughs)

Cole Burkhardt  36:19

Michell is so good.

D.J. Sylvis  36:20

It is absolutely, it is absolutely not me at least it’s in season two! (laughs)

Cole Burkhardt  36:24

Michell is also one of my favorite characters. (general laughter)

Cass McPhee  36:28

Thank you.

D.J. Sylvis  36:29

And I like him, but so much of that was – I mean, Cass’s portrayal, especially in season two, it’s so easy to take that character too far to one side.

Cass McPhee  36:39

Honestly, didn’t we have a bonus episode? During the remixed thing? I think Leeman recorded a Michell monologue.

D.J. Sylvis  36:48

Yeah.

Cass McPhee  36:48

And I think that shows like how easy it would be to make him just the slimiest… (general laughter) Like, he just, he took him down a more villain path with that read. It was great and totally valid, but like, definitely, I don’t think people would – would have enjoyed, would have liked Michell at all (laughs) If he was more that way. What I tried to bring to Michell was… just vulnerability, which is hard, because that’s one thing that Michell and I have in common. And that’s we don’t like to be vulnerable! I cover it up with making jokes. (awkward laughter) Yeah, so like, just finding that kind of common ground? And and, yeah, just – just trying not to – trying not to be somebody else with it and just trying to be, you know, bring as much of myself to it as I could.

David S. Dear  37:42

I have to applaud the work you did, and do as Michell. Absolutely. I think one of the things too – and Deej, I don’t want to take anything away from you. Because –

D.J. Sylvis  37:52

Nope, nope!

David S. Dear  37:53

– there is, there are aspects that are, that I think, make it – make that character work really well to not be this kind of caricature. I think one of the things that does it is, is where the motivation lies, my personal interpretation is that Michell L’Anglois is so -especially in season two – was just very determined to kind of pull off this, you know, I’ve got this mandate everybody’s sticking to it, I’m gonna do my little subterfuge kind of thing. But interestingly, it’s done in this weird almost like it’s… he’s propelled by the – his, his own reluctance to the fact that this was not a choice. He almost carries it out as almost like this is his life purpose. But he was thrust into the role without any, you know, say over what his assignment was going to be or what he was going to do. So there’s this weird kind of angry resentment that almost gets channeled into that and that I think gives gives him so much more dimension.

Cass McPhee  39:04

I have to agree. I think that… that was a really cool aspect for us to you know, further explore this season, but it got – just to start untangling it in season two was really fun.

D.J. Sylvis  39:15

This was from Claudia – our friend Claudia who runs Starfall, which has just released their cast list today. (general YAY!) And other fun shows, The Beacon – but she asked: on a scale of “science bros” to “science no’s” how much science does the cast actually understand?

Cole Burkhardt  39:33

(laughing) I am enthusiastic about science, but I understand none of it. Please tell me more about the stars and space. I will not understand a goddamn word but I will love to listen to you talk. (general laughter)

Leslie Gideon  39:48

I am in the same boat. I love science. There’s a handful of things that I have vaguely grasped?

Cole Burkhardt  39:55

Mm hmm!

Leslie Gideon  39:57

But… In general, I appreciate science but I I do not understand it. (general laughter)

Shade Oyemakinwa  40:02

I dunno, in terms of Deej’s writing on the show, it’s like – when I hear the scientists, and everybody’s saying science related things, it’s like, Ah, that makes sense. But don’t ask me to do anything with it. It’s like, yeah, I’m following this conversation. But I’m (laughs) don’t put me in that situation, though. (general laughter) That’s pretty much it, yeah.

David S. Dear  40:26

I like science more on aspects of the technology that’s born from it. And the fiction that is born from it, otherwise it It feels a little – it’s a little more dry to me. But those aspects of it I love.

Cole Burkhardt  40:40

Actual science these days, we get shit like Elon Musk, like no, no, give me give me Moonbase Theta! (general laughter) Give me Wolf 359. Let’s do this. I wanna have some fun.

Shade Oyemakinwa  40:53

Elon’s not even the one doing the science! He just pays other people to do the science.

Cole Burkhardt  40:57

I knooowwww! (general laughter)

David S. Dear  40:59

Talk about a science bro!

Shade Oyemakinwa  41:00

We all got hyped up on science in elementary school from Bill Nye. And then they just sucked it out of us in middle school by making it boring. (general laughter and agreement)

Hazel Stapp  41:11

I enjoy science. I know a little bit not anything specific. Don’t know anything about hedgehogs in case you’re wondering. (general laughter) I used to, in… I guess it would be junior high. I used to do organic chemistry diagramming for fun. So yeah, I – I enjoy science. And I don’t really know anything. But I do – I do weird stuff like that, that people  hink is hard. And I’m just like, this is really easy and fun.

Shade Oyemakinwa  41:43

Yeah, it’s like diagramming sentences. It’s like –

Hazel Stapp  41:46

Yeah, I love diagramming sentences.

Shade Oyemakinwa  41:48

Yeah. It’s like if you look at it and you don’t know what you’re doing, it looks ridiculous. But then you take one class in high school, then it’s… Oh, and then it’s just what it is.

D.J. Sylvis  41:57

And to be fair, Dr. Serano’s hedgehog experience – experiments, are probably the ones I fudged the most. (general laughter and agreement) I do huge amounts of research normally just because it like fascinates me. And almost none of it winds up in the script, which annoys me to no end. But (general laughter) But, but Dr. Serano was basically – there had been the throwaway reference in the very first episode, I think, about hedgehogs when Leeman is talking about the experiments being shut down. And so I was like, okay, so I have to put a hedgehog experiment in there somewhere. What could they be testing about hedgehogs? And there is no reason at all –

Hazel Stapp  42:32

Yes, there is –

D.J. Sylvis  42:33

– why anyone would be on the moon testing hedgehog bristle strength? (laughs)

Hazel Stapp  42:38

Yes.

D.J. Sylvis  42:39

It amused me.

Hazel Stapp  42:40

It’s like, what am I doing with these hedgehogs? Nobody really knows. But I am doing some kind of science with these hedgehogs.

D.J. Sylvis  42:46

(laughs) I think you just like them.

Cole Burkhardt  42:48

It’s just a good excuse to have.

Shade Oyemakinwa  42:50

I mean, sometimes you – you’re just passionate about your research, and you learn stuff and it’s up to other people to apply that practically. (Deej laughs) Dr. Serano is just passionate about hedgehogs, that’s all.

Cole Burkhardt  43:01

And sometimes you just want a class pet!

Hazel Stapp  43:03

I kind of – I have some other kind of secret research that I’m doing that nobody knows about. And the hedgehogs are just a cover.

Cole Burkhardt  43:09

Oh no!

D.J. Sylvis  43:10

Because you never do let anybody near that table. So…

Cass McPhee  43:13

Uh oh! We thought it was Dr. day but maybe… (general laughter)

D.J. Sylvis  43:17

I was going to make a joke right there about inserting the Marge Simpson. I just think they’re neat.

Cole Burkhardt  43:22

“I just think they’re neat!”

D.J. Sylvis  43:24

Which leads to the next question, which was someone asked what your favorite memes are – because of course memes are a big, Moonbase thing.

Shade Oyemakinwa  43:30

All memes just left my head as soon as I was asked that question.

Cole Burkhardt  43:34

I know!

D.J. Sylvis  43:34

That’s what happens as soon as a question like that enters the…

Cole Burkhardt  43:37

I have a lot of vines stuck in my head.

Leslie Gideon  43:40

I was going to ask do vines count as memes?

D.J. Sylvis  43:43

I think they do.

Cole Burkhardt  43:44

This is relevant particularly for today, since I just gave a talk about monsters but there’s that one vine of the dude Adam who’s like, “like and subscribe if you think being haunted is kind of hot.” (general laughter) And that just loops in my head every single day.

David S. Dear  44:03

I love the references and callbacks to Futurama. (general laughter and agreement) Those are my favourites. They just tickle me, like Welcome to the World of Tomorrow!

Cole Burkhardt  44:13

“Good news, everyone!”

D.J. Sylvis  44:14

And “welcome to the world of tomorrow” is in season three as a joke!

Leslie Gideon  44:18

I cannot think of like a meme of the classic early 2000s meme format. But my favorite vine is – it, this is hard to explain because it’s very visual but it’s the three guys in a car and one of them has a Kermit Muppet –

Cole Burkhardt  44:34

Yes!

Leslie Gideon  44:35

I don’t know what the song is called –

Cole Burkhardt  44:36

(singing) “Shortie I know!”

Shade Oyemakinwa  44:37

Heck yeah. Just every Kermit meme. (general laughter) Kermit drinking Lipton tea from that commercial.

Leslie Gideon  44:45

That’s a good one. (general agreement)

Shade Oyemakinwa  44:46

 Kermit and his evil doppelganger. Just every Kermit meme. Yes.

Leslie Gideon  44:52

And more – more recently, more recently was when that sea shanty was floating around, on TikTok, One did. Someone did one with Kermit –

Cole Burkhardt  45:03

Oh no!

Leslie Gideon  45:04

– doing the accompaniment and that was perfect. (general laughter)

Cass McPhee  45:08

(singing as Kermit) Soon may the Wellerman come…

Leslie Gideon  45:09

 Anything with Kermit? Really?

Shade Oyemakinwa  45:10

Yes. Okay, I just remembered mine. Okay. I remember ’cause it’s literally the only meme I’ve ever constructed myself. I think it was, What year is it? Last year or the year before last. Time is a lie. The Joust podcast came out. I freakin love the Joust podcast, they use tarot cards to figure out what happens throughout the month. And it’s like it was this whole Joust tournament with four like jousters – anyway, first episode, they were talking shit about one of the four characters? (laughs) And they’re saying, you know, we don’t – we’re not gonna say who wins? It’s like it’s up to the cards. We’re gonna be objective. And so I used the meme from what’s that? That show? I forget the name of that show with the lady who is the mom in Archer.

Cole Burkhardt  45:59

That’s Oh – Arrested Development! (general agreement)

Shade Oyemakinwa  46:00

Arrested Development. Yes, Arrested Development, she’s like, Are you saying I play favorites? I love All My Children equally, and then a few – like half an hour earlier. I don’t care for blank. And so I did that with I did that with them in their very first episode. And that’s like my favorite meme. (general laughter)

Cass McPhee  46:20

I just love the – I’m gonna go to a classic. I’m gonna go for the classic which is a name drop for something that everybody should get excited about, which is All Your Base! (general agreement) I love the meme. I love the implementation of the – the wonderfully bad translation of that video game and I just – you know, and I just love that very silly old ancient video for the –

Cole Burkhardt  46:44

Do you remember the song that they that that got made with it?

Cass McPhee  46:48

Wasn’t it just like “All your base, your base, base, base” (general laughter) – it was just like, a techno track.

Cole Burkhardt  46:56

That’s like – one of the first memes!

Cass McPhee  47:00

Somebody was like, haha, and I’m just putting that phrase into, we’re just badly photoshopping it into all sorts of pictures. I was like, why is this funny? I’m not sure. But it was.

Cole Burkhardt  47:10

But it is.

D.J. Sylvis  47:13

And now it’s gonna be on Moonbase.

Cass McPhee  47:14

All your base! (general laughter)

D.J. Sylvis  47:17

Well, I do have one question left. And this is going to sound like I snuck it in as well. But I swear I didn’t. (Shade laughs) One of our friends on Discord asked: what do you personally most love slash appreciate about Moonbase Theta, Out?

Cole Burkhardt  47:30

(laughs) God, the – the depth and diversity of all the characters. There’s all these like, smaller storline – not small, but like mini storylines that interweave in this – this big one. And everything flows in a way that feels natural. And all of the characters, love them or hate them are, are well written and well rounded.

Shade Oyemakinwa  47:59

Mmm.

Leslie Gideon  48:00

Yeah, I would like to piggyback off of that, and say that, Moonbase Theta, Out, for all its fantastical elements or the fact that we all joke around about “it’s on the moon!” But ultimately, what I like about Moonbase Theta, Out is that it’s ultimately a story about people. No one is 100% good. No one is 100% bad. But they all interconnect with each other in really interesting and nuanced ways.

Cole Burkhardt  48:27

Mm hmm.

Leslie Gideon  48:27

There is no single one word summarization of any of the relationships in Moonbase Theta, Out. And there is a nuance that I think has been implemented wonderfully as the cast has grown and expanded so much. And as Cole was saying, you really get to know these people and you get to see who they are, you get to watch them grow and change through all of these circumstances. And I – I just think that’s incredible.

Shade Oyemakinwa  48:56

I would have to say like, go back to something I’ve said probably like two, three times throughout this interview. Like one of the things I love about the show is just the way it’s grown. Specifically, like going from season one, single narrator and Season Two telling that same story, just letting all those people tell the story themselves and seeing it grow. And like getting to go through the heartbreak (laughs) of the same tragedies happening a second time. And then but because of getting to see more of that story, just having a you know, just a little bit more of that desperation. Sprinkled with hope for a little spice, you know. And then season three just because of that hope and that desperation that we’ve gotten in season three, just the bigness of it just feeling that so much more, because we – you took the time to go through the story twice in that way, and expand in that way. And just literally, the word “unfolding” works so well here, because it just feels like it’s this big, huge thing that’s been so compact, and now getting to see it unfold throughout the season.

David S. Dear  50:20

And to speak to that, I think the thing I really, really appreciate this about the show, and of course, it’s from a producer perspective, is the risk that you take from season to season. The first season, have the monologues and that – to me the great risk in that was it being told in reverse and doing kind of a countdown style, where the beginning the end is the beginning. That was a great risk that paid off very well. And then you took another risk by retelling the story from different perspectives. And the risk there is – is that okay? You know, people may say, Well, you’re telling the same story, but it’s still works, because you could do it from different perspectives and make it interesting, fresh and new. And then the third risk of doing full casts where you’ve moved into complete dialogue. It – doing something different with each season is a risk. And I think it’s beautiful to see those risks taken. And I think the payoffs are always huge when they work – and they do work really well from season to season –

David S. Dear  51:26

– so, that I’m – hats off. I applaud. You know, French chefs kiss, chef’s French kiss, whatever you want to say – (general laughter)

Shade Oyemakinwa  51:27

Yes, agreed.

Cole Burkhardt  51:28

Mm hmm.

Leslie Gideon  51:30

Oh you don’t – you don’t wanna mix those two up –

Cole Burkhardt  51:39

Oh, my!

D.J. Sylvis  51:42

I mean, right now on Ninth World Journal, David and I are engaged in certain… activities. (general laughter)

Cole Burkhardt  51:49

It’s – it’s the best crossover.

D.J. Sylvis  51:51

(laughs) Well, I will definitely say that my answer to that question would be that my – the thing I love most about the show is getting to work with so many amazing people (general AWWWs) and seeing it branch out and like getting to know each of you better and getting to write for you. And it’s just honestly my favorite part about this at all. I did theater for 30 years practically and then moved into this. And I’ve never had a more direct connection with actors than I have on the show. And it’s –

David S. Dear  52:23

Would you mind? I don’t know if you feel this is the space for this. Would you mind talking about creating for audio drama, versus live theater?

Cole Burkhardt  52:33

Yeah.

D.J. Sylvis  52:34

Sure, I can try to (laughs) think about that for a moment. I think that… Well, there are a few things. First of all, you don’t have to think at all about whether the – what the audience can see for sure. You don’t have to think about the audience getting restless, because you know that you’ve – that you’re working in a format where they can pause if they need to, or they can take a break if they need to. One of the things we talked about when we were working on the last few episodes where some pretty big emotional stuff happens, and people might need to take a break is one of the good things about this format, as opposed to theater, is you can talk about PTSD, or you can talk about huge loss. And if people – if that’s too much for people, they can stop for a minute, they can absorb it, they can come back. And so that was a big thing for me, was being able to write stories and know that I didn’t have to slap the audience in the face with everything. The way you kind of have to in theater, you have no choice but the immediacy. Again, being able to edit is such a huge thing. I remember when I first started editing Leeman’s monologues for Season One it was the first time I’d ever done any of it. And I was teaching myself, and just the idea that you can adjust a pause until it feels right to you (laughs). It’s such a huge thing. But I feel like in the end, it’s a lot more… And it might be because it’s a – the way we’re doing it as younger art form. Of course, like audio drama has been around for decades. But the way we’re doing it now is a lot younger. And I feel like there are a lot more opportunities for collaboration, there are a lot more opportunities for new ideas. And you have an audience that’s more willing to accept them. So I don’t know if it’s as big a change in formats, although other than like I said like writing for audio instead of for visual. But I feel like it’s a form that right now is very open to exploration in ways that theater I feel like has sort of lost. And again, serial – this is the first time I had ever written anything serial, anything that was longer than like a one hour play, an hour and a half play. And so the idea that I could keep expanding the story and keep telling new aspects of it was a huge thing too. And I think – I feel like that’s something that audio drama does in a different way than other serial art forms as well than like comic books or TV or things like that. There isn’t as much established structure already out there for the way the story has to be told.

Cole Burkhardt  55:07

Mmm! Mm-hmm.

D.J. Sylvis  55:09

And so I feel like there are a lot more chances to experiment, like I certainly – if I were doing this as a TV show, they would never have let me like do a second – second season that was just retelling the first season. (laughs)

David S. Dear  55:18

Right.

Cole Burkhardt  55:20

It kind of… listening through the, I guess the evolution of Moonbase Theta was kind of very reminiscent of like, listening to podcasts throughout, like history and how they shaped and altered. I mean, like a back with, when we had like the black tapes or the bright sessions, and it was just listening to someone talking through a recorder, or monologuing. And then as we moved on to, like, the bigger – to more shows and more people figuring out the ways to tell podcasts, we could hear it. We did hear Moonbase Theta growing along with it. And now these days, you don’t really see too many podcasts with like, with that same, I guess restrictive narrative, but now we see bigger shows and bigger casts and everything is getting bigger and more well done and evolving. And it was – it was very fun to to listen to as it grew.

David S. Dear  56:18

Did it – doesn’t it seem that in the early days of podcasting, the producers were – and creators were afraid to create a fourth wall?

Cole Burkhardt  56:26

Yeah!

David S. Dear  56:27

It had to feel like there was a mechanic of a conduit, which would be a found – found tapes kind of idea.

Cole Burkhardt  56:32

Yes. Like we had to be a “podcast”, but like a self referential Oh, someone is listening to this. (general agreement)

D.J. Sylvis  56:43

And to be fair, it’s only been like this season that we broke out of that. (general laughter)

Cole Burkhardt  56:47

Yes, but – but also. (laughs)

Cass McPhee  56:50

There’s still the chimes that say, you know, “bee-doop!” we’re listening to people now, but it’s like – (Deej laughs)

Cole Burkhardt  56:55

Yeah. (laughs)

Shade Oyemakinwa  56:58

I love when people do that, so I’m not even gonna (general laughter). It’s one of my favorite things! Please tell me why I’m listening to this. I’m listening to somebody’s… Audio Diary? How invasive! Please let me cringe. Thank you! (general laughter)

Cole Burkhardt  57:14

Uh huh. I want to listen to someone’s terrible diary. Let’s do this. (general laughter)

Shade Oyemakinwa  57:19

These are government… stuff? Oh, please, I love – I love to snoop. Thank you!

Cole Burkhardt  57:23

Even better! (general laughter)

D.J. Sylvis  57:26

That just led me to an interesting thought. And I might ask your opinion on a thing before we start closing things down. One of the ways that we did change this year that was actually fairly unexpected, was in putting sort of an outside framework around the show, when we joined Fable and Folly network and had to start fitting in ads and trying to separate those so people knew they were ads. And so we added this outside framework where we have an announcer who is like sort of giving, like these are archival recordings of moon bases and stuff like that. And I’m just interested in your opinion on how you feel like that changes the narrative. Because I go back and forth on it. It’s something that was necessary. It’s something that I don’t, I don’t feel like it’s… like ruined the show or anything making that decision. But it definitely changed it this year. And I’d just be interested in getting your opinion as people who were involved with the show and who didn’t get to make that decision. Like a lot of you are creators of your own work as well. And might have the chance to make that decision. At some point.

Cole Burkhardt  58:26

It – it definitely felt adaptive. As in, ’cause, no one – no one likes ads, but sometimes you have to put them in! And I think the way that you’ve done it felt very like, smooth but at the same time, it also added an extra sense of Oh, the story continues even after we stopped listening to it. There is someone who’s going back and archiving these tapes. So does that make us someone who is listening back to this like 100 years after? Or is it a couple of weeks? Or what happens after the story is done to lead us as listeners to hear it.

D.J. Sylvis  59:06

Yeah, it kind of gives away, to a small point, the fact that like I don’t get to end this all with like the earth in flames. (general laughter)

Cass McPhee  59:14

Just make the last broadcast – like we get Evan in – Evan Tess Murray, of course, doing the announcer voice and amazing at it – get Evan in to do a last broadcast. It’s like “I got into the booth one last time, I just wanted to say goodbye.” (explosion sound effect) (general laughter) There you go!

Cole Burkhardt  59:33

The story needs to be heard!

David S. Dear  59:36

I just having to do that, understanding that it is part of the network. I can see how it would be pretty challenging to to serve two masters in the way that you are injecting ads you – they’re, they’re meant to sound organic and part of the series and still try to honor the… the sponsor. By making sure that they realize that you’re talking about something present day that, you know, you’re hawking the wares for essentially. That you’re saying, okay, here’s something that I’m introducing to you that I want you to spend your money on, where now… Now I’m going to bring you back into the future. So I, it seems like a tricky balance, and I don’t envy you trying to pull that off.

Cole Burkhardt  1:00:24

Mm hmm.

Leslie Gideon  1:00:25

Yeah, and I definitely want to piggyback off of that, because, in general, as was kind of mentioned before, as podcasts, they kind of have to go together. But I’ve always been of the opinion that if you can’t hide it, feature it. And I always love when ads are adaptive, immersive, they feel like they’re part of the story. Because I think there is a difference from a listener perspective of one of the actors is taking a complete cold break from the story to read ad copy, versus an in universe character entity, integrating that object into the story and into the universe, while still making it clear it’s not. It’s a balancing act. But I find that most listeners enjoy that a lot more if it’s, you know, main character or zany best friend who is talking about whatever product happens to be featured. And it also, and this is just me being a little bit of a nerd about old school radio dramas and old school television is that it harkens back to the old days where it would be the main actor of the – the soap opera or the TV show in general, that would be the one presenting the ads. So it had that feeling of a trusted voice that you listen to regularly telling you about a product. So there’s nothing new under the sun. It’s all been done before. So I feel like having that… that ad be, you know, a little bit more fun. Essentially. It’s a balancing act. But I think if it’s done well, it can be part of the listening experience and not something that the listener has to put up with.

David S. Dear  1:02:01

Yeah, I think that’s that is how it comes across in in this show.

Cole Burkhardt  1:02:05

Yeah.

D.J. Sylvis  1:02:05

Yeah, we definitely tried a lot. I mean, there are certain ads that we just do host read, which is meaning – which means Cass or I just read them as ourselves. Because they’re things that I don’t really feel fit very well into the Mooniverse, which I’m not allowed to use anymore, because I found out that’s used for something else, but um –

Cass McPhee  1:02:21

Dangit! (general laughter)

D.J. Sylvis  1:02:22

I know. But But, but the stuff that we write that is in universe, I try really hard to make sure that it fits the characters that it fits the story we’ve already told. One of the Dipsea ads, I think it’s run by now, that Jen does – that Jen reads as Tumnus takes us to some places with Tumnus that haven’t been explored before. And that actually wound up feeding into the bonus episode that I wrote for her that – that comes at the end after the season. So like, there are things that have like intertwined back and forth between the ad reads. So that’s really been interesting, too. But it was still definitely like a choice, a big choice we had to make to put this entire outside framework on the show that pulls you out of it for a minute or two, to read an ad.

Cass McPhee  1:03:03

I think the choice to make it the voice of the – the Enclave announcer definitely helps. Because – I guess it helps us ride that line between we’re a show that’s very much… has a bit of an anti corporate kind of like situation going on. So how do you sell ads within that? Well, you just kind of give the corporation a very friendly voice you put – you make it Evan’s voices what you do. (laughs)

Cole Burkhardt  1:03:30

Mm hmm. Hundred percent.

Cass McPhee  1:03:32

Exactly. And then – and then it’s sort of like, Oh, well, okay, but this is – this is, you know, more palatable. And then I tried to, I guess – I do a lot of the ad, like editing and stuff. So I always try to make it obvious that it’s an ad, try to make it you know, a pleasant experience, as much as possible. I try to always put music behind ads, because it’s something we just generally don’t like, other than, you know, diegetic music in the show, we don’t have a lot of music just randomly playing. So that helps to kind of be like, Hey, we’re just taking you a little bit out. But we want to still, you know, situate it within something that makes sense for you to be hearing on this feed from the consortium or whatever. So, anyway, it’s been kind of fun to try to figure out how to how to do that. And yeah, it led me to, to developing a different static sound, which is the consortium that’s cutting in (Deej laughs) and going, Hey, hey, you’re listening to something else now, or, you know, closing out the broadcast, just so that, you know, just a little bit of a like, if you hear that, it’s like, aha, we’re – we’re cutting away now.

Cole Burkhardt  1:04:31

You’re listening to an ad.

D.J. Sylvis  1:04:33

Exactly. And to be fair, the Fable and Folly folks, and I mean, Sean, in particular, have been really good about not only like working with all the shows that they’ve brought into the network, but allowing us to have final call on things as well. I mean, obviously, when we write an ad, we have to run it by the advertisers. But as far as like who we decide to run ads for, it’s always been our call. There have definitely been things that we didn’t feel quite comfortable with or didn’t feel like really appeal to our audience that we said no to. And there’s never been any pushback on that.

Cass McPhee  1:05:05

Mm hmm.

D.J. Sylvis  1:05:05

And so I think that they’ve really, like worked with us to make it fit the show as well. And (laughs) I didn’t intend for that to be like a fifteen minute diversion at the end of the interview, but there it is. I don’t want to keep the rest of you for too long. Were there any final thoughts? Anything that you wanted to fit in that we haven’t talked about yet?

Cass McPhee  1:05:27

Get out your soapbox. (general laughter)

Shade Oyemakinwa  1:05:30

On a – question that probably a lot of people have been asking, are you… when, but when are we working on season four?

Cole Burkhardt  1:05:36

Yeah, heyyyy season four?

D.J. Sylvis  1:05:38

Season four, which at the moment is expected to be the final season of Moonbase Theta, Out… Season Four is not even a twinkle in my eye yet. It is – there is –

Cass McPhee  1:05:50

It’s a twinkle.

D.J. Sylvis  1:05:50

There is probably two pages of random notes that – just some things that have come up while writing season three, and I was like, Okay, we have to resolve that, we have to resolve that… But right now, we’re finishing up production work on the postseason bonus episodes. We’re starting work on the miniseries All Your Base, which we talked about a little bit ago, and I have two of the eight scripts written for those. So I’ve got a lot of writing still to do on that. (laughs) What I’m hoping is by July or August at the latest, I’ll be able to start sitting down and just spending time plotting season four out and writing season – season four. But I also expect that to be a very long process. So because it is going to be huge. If that is going to be the last season as planned, it is going to have a lot to tie up in one season. So.

Shade Oyemakinwa  1:06:40

Yeah, I just wanted to make sure to ask, ’cause I was like there’s gonna be a bunch of people are going to be istening just to know the answer to that question. So…

D.J. Sylvis  1:06:47

There – there definitely is a season four. As far as I know, all of you, in this chat, have a place in that.

Cole Burkhardt  1:06:56

We don’t like die off screen mysteriously.

D.J. Sylvis  1:06:58

I don’t think – yeah, I don’t think any of you have disappeared by that point. So yeah, it is definitely in the plans and it is going to be massive. (laughs) I’m hoping not add too many more actors. But there’s going to be a few. Any other questions, final thoughts, final messages to our folks out there?

David S. Dear  1:07:15

I just want to say it’s been – it’s been a lot of fun. Season Three, the – the dynamics with the science bros. Of course, there’s more than just science bros here in this, in this conversation. But the extra layer on Earth, too, has been – has been really, really fun to see kind of the – how the world has unfolded. So both of those things have been really, really… really, it’s been fun to play in it. And it’s been fun to listen to.

Cole Burkhardt  1:07:39

It’s been a great journey.

D.J. Sylvis  1:07:40

(laughs) I honestly don’t think it was until the first scene where I sat down and like, acted back and forth with Shade until the Enclave officer really came together.

Shade Oyemakinwa  1:07:52

Yeah!

D.J. Sylvis  1:07:53

Like I had done bits in season two, and then I did a Before the Moon with Cass, but I think the character didn’t really come together until Shade and I were like… jabbing back and forth in that first scene.

Shade Oyemakinwa  1:08:02

Nice. I loved it. Loved it so much. (general laughter – background music fades in)

D.J. Sylvis  1:08:08

Well, if everyone else is good, Cass, I’m going to ask you to say a little farewell message to our audience.

Cass McPhee  1:08:13

I can do that! Thank you so much everybody for coming out. And just to remind everybody who you’ve been listening to you have been listening to Shade, Cole, Leslie, David, Hazel, and of course, Deej and myself, the co-producers of this lovely show. And we really appreciate all of your support through season three. It has been a wild ride and we cannot wait to bring you more. So keep your eyes on the moon!

D.J. Sylvis  1:08:42

(laughs) You can’t say it that way. It’s keep watching the moon!

Cass McPhee  1:08:46

No! I wanna change –

D.J. Sylvis  1:08:47

I write – I write a catchphrase, and –

Cass McPhee  1:08:49

You gotta – you gotta change it up sometimes, also Evan’s gonna say it. (general laughter)

D.J. Sylvis  1:08:55

Thank you very much, folks! Thank you very much actors.

Everyone  1:08:58

(variously) Bye! Thank you!

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