|A familiar look down Pennsylvania Ave.|
|The KBHR console.|
Roslyn seems larger than her on-screen character. I’m always impressed with the artistry of cinema photography and the way it adjusts the illusion of size. Maurice’s giant cabin really isn’t that large at all, and the most-used church building is only the size of a small house. The childhood home that Maurice had shipped from Oklahoma is now a chicken coop, and the set-built church has been relocated to a residential block. The Brick is a real bar, but is quite different on the inside. The interior shots were all done on a sound stage. The real Brick has a glass door, where the on-screen variant had two sets of solid doors to help with the transition between interior and exterior shots. All of the main sets including Dr. Fleischman’s office, The Brick, Ruth-Anne’s store, and KBHR are located on the same street, just as in the story.
|A relic outside the theater.|
The event was a reunion for the cast and crew, and we ran into a gaggle of them at The Brick. As a fan, it was a surreal moment to be bellied up to the bar at The Brick with Ed Chigliak and Maurice Minifield. My bride and I both had some apprehension about visiting for fear that some of the mystique of the story would fade for us, but it was the opposite. We put on DVD’s of the show while we unpacked at home and recalled all the spots we’d visited.
We heard plenty of behind-the-scenes stories, like how a streaking incident resulted in the purchase of a new fire truck for Roslyn, an obstinate citizen who ran his chain saw in protest during filming, and all the challenges of shooting in Washington winters. I’m more impressed with the show now that I understand all of the work that went into it. It was certainly an unbelievable amount of work for everyone involved.
It wasn’t until Breaking Bad came along that I enjoyed a TV series as much as NYPD Blue or Northern Exposure. My wife explains the appeal best; the combination of writing, acting and production actually take you to a place you want to be. It’s an escape, and a little time among interesting friends. We will continue to visit both Cicely and Roslyn.