Hyperdrive - Nick Frost

Talk and gossip about the crew of the Camden Lock in this sci-fi comedy which happens to be Nick's first ever lead role.

Postby Zombiesaurus » Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:45 am

Nick has always done that quiet naturalistic thing. It's more likely to be a little impression of Simon Pegg than Ricky Gervais, although they are mates, so I wouldn't put it past Nick to have dripped a little Ricky into the performance. Learn from the best, they say. I prefer the quieter style than blatant mugging. Maybe they are fans of Danny Glover's performance in Predator 2; it's full of him muttering and bitching to himself. Maybe thats the comedy zietgeist. That's why I thought Kev's performace grated slightly, but after I read the character profile on the site I saw where he was coming from.

And the archetypal Frost moment was the video-message to Henderson's Nephew.
"i don't want you lying awake at night thinking about it...because that's when they come...the robots..."

As to Spaced: it took me until ep 3 to get totally in the right frame of mind for the style. Maybe Hyperdrive will be the same.
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Postby Baz » Mon Jan 16, 2006 3:41 pm

It wasn't that great was it. Even on second viewing it still wasn't great. A few laughs, but as most people have pointed, it will probably get better. Remember Red Dwarf was shit for the first couple of series, then that got better. Maybe we are writing it off too soon.
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Postby LaminatedRachel » Mon Jan 16, 2006 3:44 pm

There was a point when I thought it was going to get really, really Red Dwarf with the possibility of everyone being eaten with only a few crew left.
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Postby Toxic » Thu Jan 19, 2006 3:54 am

Well............i thought the 2nd episode was a tiny bit better, not a lot but a little.

I'm really warming to Teal, i think she has good comic timing and delivery and could be the stand out star of the show.

Eldon, although better than last week, was still thousands of miles behind his usual standards.

Nick, unfortunately, was still doing a very bad impression of Mr. Gervais!!.

The SFX were quite good though, although i hat the design of the guns.

The clips of next weeks episode looks like it could be quite good, so fingers crossed!!!
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Postby Baz » Thu Jan 19, 2006 4:01 pm

Toxic wrote:Nick, unfortunately, was still doing a very bad impression of Mr. Gervais!!.


I have to agree with you there. He did seem to do this, specially when they were locked up.

Still not great. The don't have sex with aliens was funny though.
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Postby Munt / » Thu Jan 19, 2006 4:15 pm

I still can't see the Gervais connection myself.
I've worked out what seems odd about the seriese. The direction is incredibly flat and the writing is incredibly simple.
It seems like this is the first thing the writer has written, and the director seems to like tight, flat close-ups on things.

The best shots are done by The Mill.
The space race bit was frankly embarrasing to watch.

Hart and Frost were very, very good in their roles.
The episode two was better than episode one which is a good thing.
Should be cracking by the end of the seriese.

Nicks 'chatting up routine' is actually quite sinister!
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Postby ned-kogar » Fri Jan 20, 2006 5:24 am

Hello. New here. I'd like to bung in my several penneth on Hyperdrive...

I don't think Nick is in anyway impersonating Ricky Gervais.

There's a prevailing trend in TV comedy performances - it actually started with Big Train and Spaced - underplayed, muted performances that get their laughs by the quirky truth of the responses.

Absurdity in mainstream sitcom always used to require the expression of incredulity - but this new 'comedy of exhaustion and awkwardness' meant that characters could simply accommodate what was going on and carry on amongst it. It's one of the primary causes of laughter in these shows - quiet, disappointed or blank responses to incredible events. It's also one of the stated aims of the Hyperdrive writers - to place realistic, low-key characters in big, silly science fiction stories (see BBC site).

This style now occurs all over - Green Wing, The Office and now Hyperdrive. It's no bad thing. It's a style. Not everyone does it, but certain shows do adopt it as their chosen playing style - then they cast accordingly.

One aspect of The Office that people tend to forget is that the reason this playing style could now be demonstrated in a prime-time slots was that The Office is a mocumentary - it's characters draw their lead from docusoaps and the fact that they - particularly David Brent - are rendered self-concious and at their worst by the presence of cameras. Gervais' resulting stature means that he's been able to push on in the same manner in a show that didn't contain an external eye - Extras. He did not set the template - he just joined in on a 'trend'. No-one's copying anyone else - creative decisions like this are made in pre-production, when the show's being cast.

The comparisons to Gervais are silly and undermine the really quite lovely work that Frost is doing on this admittedly underwritten show - inventive, playful and very engaging. None of the stuff he's doing is glib or ripped-off. Take that sequence where he's on the phone to Jeffers while in prison - fading from swaggering confidence to petulant anger. Ace. He's a very skilled performer. These comparisons must be making him miserable.
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Postby Thomas » Fri Jan 20, 2006 5:45 am

Well, if you put it that way...

I did quite like the communicator part.
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Postby Toxic » Fri Jan 20, 2006 6:53 am

ned-kogar wrote:
One aspect of The Office that people tend to forget is that the reason this playing style could now be demonstrated in a prime-time slots was that The Office is a mocumentary - it's characters draw their lead from docusoaps and the fact that they - particularly David Brent - are rendered self-concious and at their worst by the presence of cameras.


I'll say it again, i'm not referring to "The Office", i'm referring to Gervais character in "Extras" where it isn't a mockumentary and the character isn't playing up for any camera's

ned-kogar wrote:The comparisons to Gervais are silly and undermine the really quite lovely work that Frost is doing on this admittedly underwritten show -


The comparisons are not silly, they are accurate. Yes understated comedy is more in vogue at the minute, i have watched several of these understated comedies, including "Green Wing" that you mentioned, and not once has any performance screamed of another actor.

If Nick isn't deliberately trying to do a Gervais impression then someone needs to tell him how it's coming across.

I agree Nick is a skilled performer, i really rate him in "Spaced" and "Shaun" but in "Hyperdrive" he isn't cutting it.

Again the material isn't brilliant so he shouldn't shoulder all the blame but as the main character and the way he is playing it he deserves some blame
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Postby Thomas » Fri Jan 20, 2006 6:58 am

So is this whole thing even a problem? Are you offended by Nick impersonating Ricky Gervais?

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery -- is this a bad thing?

Why would he deliberately try and impersonate someone? Nick has said in the Danger! DVD commentary that he implements a bit of Pegg acting at times, I guess he is impersonating Simon Pegg too. Why aren't people calling him out on that?
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Postby Toxic » Fri Jan 20, 2006 7:52 am

Problem: NO
Offended: NO
Disappointed: Yes.

Maybe it's my own fault for having too higher hopes for Nick. I genuinely thought he'd create his take on a character from scratch which he doesn't seem to be doing.

I haven't "called him out" (am i challenging him to a fight now?) on putting bits of Pegg in his style because i honestly haven't noticed this

"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" - very true,incorporating a bit of any decent actor is a good thing here and there but to basicaly copy someone for half an hour straight is a bit much.

Are you affended by my pointing it out Thomas??

This is a thread about Hyperdrive on a Nick Frost site.

Surely then, there is no better place to talk about Nick's acting style in the programme.
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Postby LaminatedRachel » Fri Jan 20, 2006 10:39 am

Don't the writers and director of Hyperdrive contribute to the acting style of characters as well though?
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Postby Munt / » Fri Jan 20, 2006 2:13 pm

Hello Ned,

ned-kogar wrote:I don't think Nick is in anyway impersonating Ricky Gervais.


I know, i can't see it either. i've even tried looking for 'Gervaisisms (smirking, looking self-ssatisfied, openly holding himself in higher esteem than the people he is acting with) and i can't see any of that.

ned-kogar wrote:There's a prevailing trend in TV comedy performances - it actually started with Big Train and Spaced - underplayed, muted performances that get their laughs by the quirky truth of the responses.


Superbly put. Those programmes presented their characters in absurd or unlikely situations and had them act as naturally as possible. It was important for both the seriese that the characters shouldn't mug, or guffaw for the cameras. Even if the characters were behaving in an unnaturalistic way (the childish show jumpers and the firemen sketch is a great example) there was still a reason or a basis to it (absurdity of the situation came from having, basically a group of excited six year olds in adult bodies wearing riding gear).

From a generation that is suspicious of entertainment that doesn't represent it's own experiences in some way it was a natural route to take. obviouse to most of us now becuase it's been done, but none the less pioneering at the time.

ned-kogar wrote:Absurdity in mainstream sitcom always used to require the expression of incredulity - but this new 'comedy of exhaustion and awkwardness' meant that characters could simply accommodate what was going on and carry on amongst it. It's one of the primary causes of laughter in these shows - quiet, disappointed or blank responses to incredible events. It's also one of the stated aims of the Hyperdrive writers - to place realistic, low-key characters in big, silly science fiction stories (see BBC site).


And that's where I think the shows potential lies. As more and more sci-fi short hand is introduced the show will take off. Mwaaa... Mwaa haaa... it will go stellar. With an all-star cast. And I'll be over the moon.

ned-kogar wrote:One aspect of The Office that people tend to forget is that the reason this playing style could now be demonstrated in a prime-time slots was that The Office is a mocumentary - it's characters draw their lead from docusoaps and the fact that they - particularly David Brent - are rendered self-concious and at their worst by the presence of cameras. Gervais' resulting stature means that he's been able to push on in the same manner in a show that didn't contain an external eye - Extras. He did not set the template - he just joined in on a 'trend'. No-one's copying anyone else - creative decisions like this are made in pre-production, when the show's being cast.


I think Dick gets more credit than he's worth. in many many ways. I know that's not your point, but as The office really crossed over into the main stream it's ripe for lazy comparisons from people who might not have thought about where the characters come from in too much depth.

ned-kogar wrote:The comparisons to Gervais are silly and undermine the really quite lovely work that Frost is doing on this admittedly underwritten show - inventive, playful and very engaging. None of the stuff he's doing is glib or ripped-off. Take that sequence where he's on the phone to Jeffers while in prison - fading from swaggering confidence to petulant anger. Ace. He's a very skilled performer. These comparisons must be making him miserable.


I agree. Frost managed to get ape-like monkeying, raw sexual passion and a genuine sense of vulnerability into one episode.

Also his "pissed off boss" face when he got back to the ship was an overlooked work of acting 'fried gold'.

The episodes so far have been a bit thin on plot but the worst thing that could happen to the show is for it to dissapear up it's own arse in heavy, convoluted plot lines that are trying to set too much out at once.

Quality post there ned-kogar.
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Postby thirtyhelens » Fri Jan 20, 2006 3:19 pm

Munt / wrote:Quality post there ned-kogar.


Indeed. Careful, Neddy, you're setting the bar dangerously high there. ;D Welcome!

I ought not to comment having only seen one episode so far, but I thought I'd just pitch in one thing. Comparisons, frequently, are pointless; invevitably, and you see this in fan reactions on boards right on up to the lazier forms of professional criticisms, they're also an easy way to get one's gut instincts and reactions across. To say "this person's performance reminded me of so-and-so's performance in something else" is a quick 'n' dirty form of judgement which, while doing the performer in question no favors in terms of rating their skill, is easily relatable to someone else.

That said, accusing someone of doing an "impression" of another person - short of having actually asked that person "By the way, are you doing an impression of so-and-so?" and receiving the answer "Why, yes! How observant of you, you scamp!" - is patently unfair. At least, I think so, and I think a few of us would agree. ;)

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Postby heyfrogs » Sat Jan 21, 2006 2:03 am

Best part...

"Try this one...they are very good for crushing."

Getting better, can't wait for the next episode.
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