Channel Zero Debrief with Executive Producer Nick Antosca: Episode 5

In an exclusive weekly feature, Channel Zero creator Nick Antosca breaks down the latest episode and teases details of future episodes.

This Channel Zero interview contains spoilers.

Now that Eddie has shown he can take over Mike’s daughter Lily, it’s time for the twin takeover in this week’s installment of Channel Zero entitled “Guest of Honor.” This week’s episode depicts the depth and breadth not only of how many kids are affected by Candle Cove but how involved Mrs. Booth is and why. But Eddie’s not finished with Lily yet, nor, it appears, is the Toothchild.

As each episode of Channel Zero airs, we’ll ask creator Nick Antosca the burning questions posed by the current installment and get a glimpse into the process used to create this wholly unique horror experience. Check back next week for the final debrief of the season!


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Den of Geek: If Eddie is the source of Candle Cove as Mrs. Booth believes, did his power spring forth from being bullied a la Carrie or Firestarter? Or was the bullying incidental, perhaps in response to Eddie being different already?

Nick: The implication is that it was a latent power that was unleashed by the trauma of bullying.  Mrs. Booth says that Eddie was always special — and so was Mike.  I think both twins had the same potential psychic energy just waiting to be unleashed.  Eddie’s was unlocked as a child, but Mike’s remained dormant.  That said, as twins, Eddie is stronger when Mike’s around.

Eddie didn’t seem interested in Mrs. Booth until he saw her collapse. Do her seizures have anything to do with her seemingly being the only adult influenced by Candle Cove?

She’s epileptic.  When she had a seizure in front of Eddie, he used his power to stop it.  Then he reached into her head and showed her something — just like he did to Gene right before he made him walk the plank, when he said, “I’m showing him things.  In his head.”  Would Eddie be able to reach into other adults’ minds and show them things?  Probably not.  I think he can do it to Mrs. Booth in that moment because the seizure has reduced her to a moment of complete vulnerability.  But once he’s in, he’s in.

Even if Eddie is indeed responsible for Candle Cove, why did it not influence his contemporaries, through him or otherwise, the same way it is taking over most if not all of the modern Iron Hill children?

Eddie was actually around back then, so he could do things himself.  And Mike was helping him, at least at first.  Now he’s dead, so he’s using the other kids as murder weapons, like puppets.  Also, his power was only just beginning to grow back then.

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Were the puppet strings dreamt up by Mike merely symbolic of his brother’s takeover, or is there a greater puppet master at play?

It’s a nightmare/vision that foreshadows Mrs. Booth’s revelation that his brother is trying to take over his body.  Mike probably senses that something is trying to puppet him.

Eddie’s euphemism for what he did at the Crow’s Nest was that he sent his victims to Candle Cove. Now Lily literally is in Candle Cove! Is she beyond reach?

You will find out in the finale.  Everyone’s going to Candle Cove!

Tell us about some of the minimalistic sounds you use to create unease in Channel Zero: fluorescent lights buzzing and the tooth clicking come to mind. What other sounds have been your go-to, chilling effects this season?

We use a lot of ambient noise and sinister drones.  Sound design is a huge part of the show.  I love working on the mix.  It sucks we only get a couple days to do it!  I could spend a week on every episode.  In episode three, it took forever just to get the perfect mix of sound elements to create the distant sound of Gene’s corpse landing at the bottom of the cliff after he fell.  A horrible little grunt was the perfect final ingredient.____

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There’s only one week remaining to wrap up the Candle Cove story, and it’s anyone’s guess as to what will happen in the finale! Check back next week for the final debrief of season one, and don’t worry, there’s more to come next year. Antosca answered these inquiries from Winnipeg where Channel Zero is currently filming its second season. The series airs on Syfy each Tuesday at 9pm ET.