‘Channel Zero‘ is one of the more interesting Syfy experiments since the network has gone back to its genre roots. This has especially been shown in their embrace of the internet phenomenon known as Creepypasta. For those unfamiliar with Creepypastas, they are horror legends that spread online which has been shown through Slenderman but has had many facets over the years. So, when creator Nick Antosca had a chance to bring these ideas to Syfy in an ongoing anthology horror series, he absolutely jumped on it.
The first season is going to take place in a town which was stricken by a curse from the children’s puppet show ‘Candle Cove’. Antosca not only has previously written ‘Teen Wolf’ for MTV but was a producer on one of my personal favorites, ‘Hannibal’. The writers had a single focus with the show and that was to “unsettle audiences” and by going with Candle Cove it looks like they’ll be able to do just that.
First Antosca opens up on how he got attached to the project and it truly sounds like this is a passion project for him:
“When I saw the story was originally optioned, I knew I wanted to get involved. The original idea was for it be one mini-series but there are millions of these stories out there and they have cult fanbases, acting as modern urban legends. Right now, SyFy is going through a ‘changing of the guard’ and working on thinking outside the box, so they understood us when they saw how passionate we were about the pitch and the story itself.”
The story itself actually is broken down into message board posts instead of a straight out story so Nick kept that in mind when transitioning the story:
“Candle Cove is such a unique example of the Creepypasta format, and so what we tried to do with this was bring the mood, the puppets, and the sense of strange, familiar dread bubbling up to the surface with the series. We wanted the series to follow the inspiration laid out by the original online story, and then build a world around that. In a nutshell, we were looking to have the series almost be like a nightmare you’d have after reading the original Creepypasta.”
Now one of the true standouts here are the puppets which are being used. They were from a kid’s show and not a modern one so they have a uniquely creepy look to them:
“It was exciting working with director Chris MacNeill on the creation of all these puppets and we collaborated with Rob Mills, a puppeteer who has worked on Fraggle Rock and with the Henson Company. Rob built and operated the puppets and he’s so talented that I kept having to tell him to make it look shittier to harken back to that time. It took careful calibration in reeling back how creepy Candle Cove could be because if it’s too terrifying it doesn’t work. It needed to have a balance of weird, dark, and scary for it to resonate. To this day, it’s still so amazing to see Pirate Percy brought to life. I would be constantly sending photos of everything to Candle Cove’s creator, Kris Straub, just due to how excited I was.”
Now, we’ve known since the beginning that a second season is already in the works but a third season will depend on both ratings as well as being able to find original authors as:
“We really, really want to do a third season as well and of course more moving into the future. Rather than going with the more popular entries of Creepypasta, we’re thinking of going with slightly lesser known stories. When we were originally thinking of the second season, we had a long list of really cool stories but the trick is we can only adapt stories which we can find the authors of in order to get their approval. Considering the format of Creepypastas, this could be a little tricky.”
With their overgrowing library of new genre content, Syfy is not only committed to bringing us original material but is doing an amazing job at doing just that.
Are you looking forward to seeing how the first season of ‘Channel Zero’ ends up? Do you hope that they’ll be able to keep it going for quite some time? Share your thoughts below!
Stuart Conover is an author, blogger, and all around geek. When not busy being a father and husband he tries to spend as much time as possible immersed in comic books, science fiction, and horror! Would you like to know more? Follow him on Twitter!