Wallace Langham and Liz Vassey
What do you get when you cross Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica and CSI? Wallace Langham tells TVGuide.com it's the perfect mix for lab-rat Hodges to get some alone time with longtime crush Wendy (Liz Vassey) at a sci-fi convention. Thursday's CSI (CBS, 9 pm/ET), written by former Star Trek and Battlestar scribes, features not only Hodges and Wendy but also Battlestar's Kate Vernon and creator Ronald D. Moore. Langham talked to us about Hodges' superiority complex, fantasy life, and slight idealization of Wendy's breasts.
TVGuide.com: Hodges notoriously hates the field. But given his partner and location, it seems like he might be kind of happy this time.
Wallace Langham: Yeah, I think this is also a field surprise. It definitely wasn't anything anyone was anticipating. They just happen to be in the right place at the right time.
TVGuide.com: Do you actually recreate a Star Trek-like sequence at one point?
Langham: No, there are these kind of Walter Mitty fantasy sequences that Hodges has that are framed in the construct of a 1970s sci-fi show that he and Wendy are big fans of, so he assumes the role of the commander and Wendy of course assumes the role of [an] alien yeoman crew member.
TVGuide.com: And he gets to explore his feelings for Wendy.
Langham: It's the kind of crush that he really doesn't quite understand or know that he's having until he's having it. But once he's having it, it kind of consumes him, and you'll see that a lot in the episode too.
TVGuide.com: It seems reciprocal.
Langham: Yes, and I believe it is. I get the sense that Wendy is really waiting for Hodges to get the clue, and take some action. But Hodges' first love, of course, is the lab.
TVGuide.com: He's made a lot of comments that border on making a move — they tend to be breast-fixated. Is he just going about it wrong?
Langham: I think Hodges is always kind of going about it wrong, and doesn't clue into the right thing to say. In his fantasy world, I guess Wendy has much larger breasts than she does in real life. As you know from past episodes, when hard-pressed to comment on them, he thinks they're perfectly adequate.
TVGuide.com: So is this the episode where something finally happens between them?
Langham: I think this is the closest it's going to get for awhile. It's definitely the closest it could possibly get without anything actually happening. But in a very sweet and real way.
TVGuide.com: Is this episode close to you? Are you a Star Trek fan?
Langham: Actually, I am. I am only because I'm getting reacquainted with it, and getting reacquainted with all the new episodes for research, and just how fantastic they were. I was always more of a Twilight Zone man myself, but they're just fantastic — and how much all those guys poured their hearts into it.
TVGuide.com: What's your approach to playing Hodges?
Langham: I try to find the humor in the bitterness of Hodges, if I can, and try to infuse it whenever I can into the scenes. I think that does speak to Hodges having a feeling of superiority over people and thinking that he's smarter than everybody else. That helps a lot. But a lot of times clearly his own ego and hubris get the better of him... . I try to tread that line where at least he can be human, and you're going to see a lot of that in this episode. I feel that over the years I've been kind of able to dial Hodges down a little bit from being a social misfit to somebody who at least is making the attempt to relate to people.