Sci Fi's newest hit, Sanctuary — which was just picked up for a second season — is headed to a dangerous place: The Bermuda Triangle. In an intense and dramatic episode that airs on Friday (10 pm/ET), Dr. Helen Magnus (Amanda Tapping) and her colleague Dr. Will Zimmerman (Robin Dunne) get trapped in a submarine while investigating a deadly parasite attack on creatures living in the triangle. TVGuide.com spoke with Tapping, who is also executive producer, about the genesis of the episode, what it was like to film with Dunne 24/7, and what's next for the Sanctuary crew this season.
TVGuide.com: Did you have a good feeling about getting your pickup? How did you get the news?
Amanda Tapping: Well, we felt good, and the numbers were good, the response was good ... but until you're on set drinking a cup of tea with the crew, it's not real. I was actually on vacation with my family when the call came in, at a roadside stand. [The phone rang] and it was like, "Hello, conference call with Sci Fi," and then "What? What?" It was very exciting.
TVGuide.com: Let's talk about "Requiem." Who came up with the idea to have you and Robin in a submarine for an entire episode?
Tapping: Damian [Kindler, the creator and exec producer], so we blame him mostly (laughs). Damian wrote the plane crash episode "Kush" and we had these practical sets that we built and used, and they were quite expensive sets to build. The crew hated shooting in it; it was such a nightmare shooting in such a small room with blowing snow. So, the joke was, we should repurpose this and save money because we're dealing with such a finite budget. And Damian says, "A Marine Show!" And so "Requiem" was born — and also to give our visual effects team a break as well.
TVGuide.com: How did you feel about the story once it was fleshed out?
Tapping: Damian came up with such a great concept for a show — a cool two-hander to get to know the characters even better, where they can solidify their relationship more and a cool psychological journey to go on. But, when I got the script I was so daunted by it!
TVGuide.com: How hard was it for you to just act with one person the entire episode?
Tapping: I have a huge amount of respect for him (Robin), and after shooting "Requiem," I turned to him and said, "I've never felt so brave or so safe." [It's special] when you have an acting partner who you're not afraid to do something stupid [around] ... but it was really a three-parter because [director] Martin Wood was with us every step of the way. Martin and I got into great arguments about "Why is Helen doing it this way, and why didn't you choose this?" He just questioned everything, which is his job as a director, which was great. Consequently, he pushed Robin and I harder than we were pushing ourselves, and we were pushing ourselves! The end result is a show where I think we all pushed beyond our limits.
TVGuide.com: We loved seeing Will sort of embrace his position on the team in this episode.
Tapping: Absolutely, it solidifies his place on that team so succinctly.
TVGuide.com: The episode really reminded me of early X-Files: with just two characters stuck in a bad situation and the tension keeps rising...
Tapping: ...I love the way we start the show and the way that Damian wrote it. He writes amazing dialogue, I mean, he really is one of the best. You just don't know in the beginning — has Will gone bad? Who is Will? Is he really killing Helen?
TVGuide.com: What's coming up next on Sanctuary?
Tapping: We have a really cool episode called "Instinct," which is sort of a Cloverfield-type episode. It's shot very differently with a cameraman and we run into a news crew, and it's us chasing something ... and the tension throughout the whole episode is so heightened.
Be sure to check out past episodes of Sanctuary with our Online Video Guide.