Let’s face it, I love science fiction and space films. Not that I’d ever want to go since I like keeping my feet firmly planted on the earth but that doesn’t stop me from getting a space fix now and then. Yes, I will stop and watch DUNE every dang time it comes on the television and I have been a STAR WARS fan from the day it opened in San Diego at the Mission Valley Circle theatre that is no longer there.

Coming soon and ready to give that that space fix is the film SPACE COMMAND, a new and original science fiction franchise brought to us by writer/director Marc Scott Zicree of the film SLIDERS. It is the adventures of the United Planet’s Space Command that comprise of scientists, soldiers and explorers. Going through space they explore the solar system together.

The cast also includes Robert Picardo, Mira Furlan and along with Doug Jones is the very memorable Bill Mumy!

So given the chance to speak with the one and only Doug Jones about his role in the new film SPACE COMMAND, yes, I geeked out. This amazing individual has been in over 25 films, multiple television series and over 90 commercials. Mainly unseen under prosthetics, he has come out from under it all to delight fans.

Now, here’s the incomparable Mr. Doug Jones to talk SPACE COMMAND and everything else we could get in to an interview!

Hi Doug, how are you?

Oh I’m as happy as a clam today, how are you?

I don’t know how happy clams are but I’m good.

Probably not so much huh? {laughing}

Not so much I’m thinking {laughing}

I have to wonder where that expression came from then?

Not from a clam so I’m pretty sure we can rule that out! I’m looking forward to seeing you at Comic Con.

I’ve been covering it for such a long, long time.

I know how exhausted I am at the end of it and you do so much running around, how is that for you?

It is energizing and exhausting all at the same time. It’s a weird combo platter for me. The energy I expend introducing and meeting people but the love you get back from people is immeasurable. I can’t walk five feet on the floor without ‘Doug! Love ya man! Doug Jones, woohoooo!’ That’s amazing.

Did you ever think that you’d walk through a place that has half a million people at any give time and hear your name shouted out with such adoration?

Of course when you are a young actor you dream about having that notoriety but when it happens you think that can’t be for real? They can’t be calling me?

It’s like ‘is there another Doug Jones in here?’

Right! Then I think wow that is so great.

I was reading about SPACE COMMAND, tell me about it.

I came to be in it because I was at the Saturn Awards giving an award and writer director Marc Zicree who was picking up an award that night for a book he’d written. We were on the red carpet together that night and because I wear steam punk at red carpet events he noticed and said, ‘that’s a fantastic jacket you have on!’ and that’s how we met. He was complimenting my clothes. He’s looking at this tall lanky person dressed different from everyone else at the event. It turns out that we both know and have worked with Guillermo Del Toro so he was kind of our connector. At the time I had been in four of his films, now five, and Marc had been commissioned to do Guillermo’s book “The Cabinet of Curiosities” which just came out recently. It’s a visual expose of Guillermo’s notebook that he carries around with him all the time. We were connecting that way and Marc suggested we get together and talk some time. He is interesting and super intelligent having written for every science fiction show imaginable. He is just a decorated writer. Over lunch weeks later we were talking about working together. He had SPACE COMMAND in mind which is a series of movies that takes place over centuries. The character he had in mind for me was an android, I would have a longer life span of course so he’d be a continuing character in these movies. SPACE COMMAND REDEMPTION is the first one he is making and my part is already completed.

What drew you to the script?

It’s such a heart felt piece. It’s not like any other show you’ve seen. It takes place with science fiction very much in place, space travel, each crew member is smart and have their own function and personality. The way Marc writers, and he collaborated this with his wife Elaine who also co-directed, they are amazing together. As an actor you want to hear one voice but this was a symbiotic thing to watch on set. It was done with such compassion for every character in the film. My character and what drew me is that he’s a robotic machine that was built in this futuristic world to do the odd jobs that human of that era would be above doing. I was a man-servant, I was created to be a butler and tend to the needs of the elite. I am very refined, a tall, thin, well-dressed robot. That was inspired by Marc seeing me at the Saturn Awards. He created this elegant character!

Can you tell us your characters back story?

My character’s name is Dorn Neven and I develop a personality and a mind of my own with feelings. That wasn’t something they weren’t expecting this machine to do. I’m so technologically advanced and that wasn’t something they bargained for. There is an emotional base there that is very, very human. So it’s kind of a story that anybody can relate to if you feel enslaved to a task or a world or a job or relationship – you ask is there freedom from that? So you see him break free in his quest for freedom. I end up being the bad guy of the story hijacking one of the ships keeping the people on it. I in essence become what they are fighting against. But Yusef Sekander, played by Robert Picardo, is the one human that gets me and relates to this freedom quest that I’m on. Throughout the first movie one character at a time sees what I’m trying to do and can relate to it. It’s a good faction of people on this ship and they are helping Dorn find his way. It reflects a lot of human and a lot of stories throughout history. It’s how they seek and find their freedom and the story is beautifully written.

Wow, that’s intense. I’m going to geek out on you for a second so anything you do I’m there!

You know, geekery is not a bad thing. Isn’t it wonderful of the word geek is now a badge of honor and not a put down?

And it’s worn proudly. You go to Comic Con and anyone that has a lanyard that isn’t filled with all the goodies – you don’t want to know them!

Right? And a bag over your shoulder with things collected and bought. It’s amazing how that happens. But it’s amazing how much people just love Comic Con.

Working with Bill Mumy, the LOST IN SPACE kid? Wow!

He and I are roughly the same age but imagine of him was no a black and white television in the 60’s with LOST IN SPACE. He has not really changed much either. I’m not kidding, you know him immediately. He still has the shock of red hair! Bill Mummy plays my creator and the head of the corporation that makes the robots. When you see him in the film it’s a flashback of him presenting me to the crowd of people for the first time. I’m on a stage having a conversation with him with a crowd of people in awe.

Isn’t that sort of bizarre in a way having Will Robinson presenting you as a new version of a robot?

I know, I have to say ‘danger Will Robinson!’ right? How could I not do that to a guy whose hear that all his life.

Maybe we will come up with a tag line for you that will go to the next generation.

Bill was in BABYLON FIVE and so was Mira Furlan so this was a nice reunion.

The SCiFi people are going to go nuts!

I hope so, I really do. The casting for this was so extensive for this, Ethan McDowell is our handsome dashing Captain. He is such a good guy. You can’t hate anyone in the film, that’s what I love. The forces are such that you have to say ‘can’t they all just get along?’ There is also Sara Maraffino as Captain Essex, and is the counterpart to Ethan’s role. There might be a little love spark there, I mean they would make such pretty babies. Then there is Bryan McClure at Lt. Bradbury who is the kids who can’t wait to get into the action.

I’m looking forward to seeing some of it soon!

I’m going to be at the panel at Comic Con July 25th. I’ll be busy because I’m also doing FALLING SKIES.

We are going to get into that!

Oh good! It’s going to by busy and I’m in a web series called NOBILITY which is a comical look at the space genre mixed with THE OFFICE. It’s about misfits in outer space really. They have a confessional cam like on reality shows. On NOBILITY I play the ships psychiatrist and I need therapy more than anyone on the ship. It’s fun playing that role. That has another cast of people that are fantastic to work with like Adrian Wilkinson who plays the character that’s very Vulcan like. We have Walter Koenig from the original STAR TREK who is a hilarious and funny man. He acts circles around the rest of us playing the mumbling engineer of the ship who is always in a grumpy mood. He comes to see me because no one else does. So I just stick my nose in other peoples business because I want something to do. So NOBILITY is going to be fun.

Next year you’ll be running more because of THE STRAIN. How creepy awesome is it?

I just saw the opener last night. The original plan was for me to be in the opening episode and Guillermo thinks of me for everything bless his heart.

I love Guillermo because he is the only person who can use the “F” word…

Like poetry right?

Yes!

I was meant to start out with THE STRAIN but I am in the middle of FALLING SKIES. I couldn’t believe the schedule conflict! They held off and left my character for the season finale. I am so excited with my character and I can’t tell you who I am or what I am. I’ll be introduced then and you’ll have a quiet moment where you will just say, “ohhhhhhhhhhhh!”

And then they leave us dangling!

Of course they have to dangle you!

Television has become so much fun hasn’t it?

Absolutely! We have become a binge watching generation because television now has those through lines that continue with a story that build to major arcs rather than go one episode at a time. I think it’s a great an cinematic era we are in with television. Budgets are better with special effects and make up.

They are not afraid to kill characters off anymore either.

They certainly are NOT afraid to kill of characters which is so cool.

People are dropping like flies and it’s awesome.

More death!

No one is safe. You have been the go-to guy when they want to slap tons of makeup on.

Seems to be that way.

Do you mind?

Not at all, having a niche and something you can be cast as is a blessing which means you will always work. At 54 years old I am busier now than I have ever been my entire life with projects. There is so much I have to turn things down because of conflict yet that’s a beautiful problem to have, it really is. I can pick and chose now and when it comes to roles that have heavy makeup I can wait for the ones that offer really great story and interaction with other actors and heart. Roles with heart will always appeal to me. In the last six years I’ve been using my own face more than ever before. I’ve been cast in some many things where Doug Jones gets to show his own face. SPACE COMMAND is like that, I’m wearing a metallic helmet but it’s my real face and a beautiful costume. I’ve been very happy with the opportunities I’ve been given lately. A lot of directors, writers and producers come after me to take that chance. It’s become a novelty to show my face and I’ve enjoyed it very much.

Do you have any project you can talk about that are coming up?

I just finished a film with Guillermo called CRIMSON PEAK. It comes out in theatres next October, 2015, and I can’t tell you a lot. But I can say it’s a cast of brilliant actors including Tom Hiddelston, Jessica Chastain, Charlie Hunnam and our lead actress Mia Wasikowska. This is a cast of Victorian era beautiful young people and another cast member is the haunted house and this all takes place in England. It’s very much a signature Del Toro piece but it’s also different than what he’s done before. I’m glad that he picked that era and time period with a classic tale of a haunted house. What’s haunting the house you will find sympathetic and you are going to have some understanding. I told Guillermo that I was doing press this summer and wanted to know what I could say about CRIMSON PEAK and he said (doing his best Del Toro accent), “Tell them it’s a haunted house story and what the **** do they think you’re going to play?”

That was a brilliant impression! That’s exactly how he would say it too! I appreciate you taking the time Doug. Now gang, you know you’re going to hit him up next week but first take a moment to hear what he and the cast has to say about SPACE COMMAND.

I had so much fun and can’t wait to come by and say hello at Comic Con!

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About the Author

Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.