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EMAIL THIS STORY
Spike In Space
Fri, Jun 15, 2001 05:45 PM PDT

by Kate O'Hare


LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) - "It doesn't look exactly like Spike hair," says Robert Hewitt Wolfe, the executive producer of the syndicated sci fi series "Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda." "It's a little more relaxed, the hair ... we got his shirt off, though."

"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" regular James Marsters, who recently received a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor in a TV Series for his role as British vampire Spike, just wrapped production in Vancouver, Canada, on "Into the Labyrinth," an "Andromeda" episode set to air in late November.

Marsters plays the foppish, decadent, but dangerous Archduke Charlemange Bolivar, a character introduced off-screen in an earlier "Andromeda" episode called "The Honey Offering." Bolivar is a Nietzschean, part of a race of genetically engineered super-humans along with Tyr Anasazi (Keith Hamilton Cobb), a member of the crew of the futuristic starship Andromeda.

Those who thought that all Nietzscheans were very tall and bulkily muscular -- like Cobb -- will get to see a different side of the race, and Marsters.

While Spike's signature bleached-blond hair is still somewhat there, Wolfe promises a new look at the actor for his devoted fans, and a new sound.

"It's not completely different," he says, "in that it's a guy with an edge, a bit of a deceptive exterior, but it's a decidedly different character. It will be fun for the 'Buffy' fans to see him do other things."

"He has a very moderate accent. It has a vaguely upper-class feel to it, but it's not specifically British."

"The character is Nietzschean, but he's not a big, steroid case like some of them. He's still a genetically engineered person, but he's been genetically engineered for different things than Tyr."

"There's a scene between him and Tyr where he basically says that Tyr's pride of Nietzscheans took this whole physical perfection thing way too far, and they really should have been breeding themselves for cunning, diplomacy and table manners, which is what he's been bred for, clearly. His table manners are impeccable."

"He's definitely decadent, but still a very cunning and tricky character."

Wolfe reveals that the role was originally written for Bruce Campbell, who worked with "Andromeda" star Kevin Sorbo on "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys," but Campbell was busy on a book tour for his autobiography, "If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor."

Also considered for the role, says Wolfe, was former "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" star Alexander Siddig, but he was busy in Ireland on the feature film "Reign of Fire."

"When you've got three names like that for the part," says Wolfe, "it's like, 'Well, Bruce, Sid or James Marsters ...,' you should have so many problems."

"Andromeda" plans to have 10 episodes for the new season in the can by the end of June (the cutoff date for a possible actors' strike). Other guest stars include William B. Davis, who played the Cigarette Smoking Man on "The X-Files"; "Lone Gunmen" star Bruce Harwood; and "First Wave" co-star Roger Cross.


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