Ever After

Wel­come in the new year with a fairy­tale mu­si­cal from the mak­ers of Tan­gled

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If you’ve ever thought The Princess Bride would make a great TV show don’t miss Gala­vant – a high con­cept se­ries cut from the same quirky cloth. Cre­ated by writer Dan Fo­gel­man ( Tan­gled) with com­poser Alan Menken ( Lit­tle

Shop Of Hor­rors) and lyri­cist Glenn Slater ( Tan­gled), Gala­vant charts the ex­ploits of the epony­mous, down- on- his- luck hero ( Joshua Sasse) through song, splen­dour and a whole lot of cheek.

In an ex­clu­sive chat with Red Alert, Fo­gel­man ad­mits that he’s ner­vous to see what au­di­ences make of the eight- episode first sea­son. “I’m ex­cited and in­ter­ested to see what the re­sponse is go­ing to be be­cause this is very dif­fer­ent. It’s prob­a­bly the most dif­fer­ent thing that’s been at­tempted in a net­work half- hour space in a long time.

“But with that be­ing said,” Fo­gel­man con­tin­ues, “It’s very strong. Alan has writ­ten 30 songs and it’s all set in a fairy­tale land­scape. There’s a lot of fairy­tale in it, a lot of the Dis­ney/ Pixar movies, and el­e­ments of The Princess Bride and Monty Python. It’s mix­ing a lot of gen­res but it feels like its own thing and doesn’t feel as crazy when you watch it. When you see it, you go, ‘ Wow this is great and so dif­fer­ent,’ but you don’t go, ‘ This is bat- shit crazy!’” he laughs.

Shot on lo­ca­tion in the UK, Gala­vant looks like a tra­di­tional fairy­tale, but is driven by some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent. “I did Tan­gled and two mu­si­cal episodes of The Neigh­bors, but I’m not a mu­si­cal the­atre junkie what­so­ever,” Fo­gel­man con­fesses. “I’ve prob­a­bly seen two mu­si­cals in my life so we leaned heav­ily on Alan and Glen which is what I think makes [ the show] unique.”

Fo­gel­man adds that the cast also man­ages to ground their per­for­mances in re­al­ity which makes the po­ten­tially con­flict­ing gen­res work. “I’m a Game Of Thrones ad­dict and so you watch them and re­alise when you are try­ing to cre­ate some­thing you have to own it,” he ex­plains. “You have to live inside this place

“It’s prob­a­bly the most dif­fer­ent net­work halfhour in a long time”

in your head where you have a vi­sion of the world and as long as the rules are fol­lowed and you take ev­ery­thing se­ri­ously then you’re good.”

Asked how much magic will de­fine Gala­vant’s world, Fo­gel­man says, “We don’t have a ton of magic just yet, although it’s some­thing we’re talk­ing about in­tro­duc­ing more if we make a sec­ond sea­son. We are talk­ing about adding bits and pieces as we con­tinue but we are try­ing to let peo­ple fall into the show a lit­tle bit be­fore we take all of the re­straints off.”

But that doesn’t mean Fo­gel­man hasn’t at­tracted a lot of fa­mil­iar genre faces. The likes of An­thony Head ( Buffy), Ti­mothy Omund­son ( Xena) and even the leg­endary Rut­ger Hauer ( Lady­hawke) have been brought in to pop­u­late the se­ries.

“With Rut­ger, we ac­tu­ally shot an homage to Blade Run­ner which we prob­a­bly won’t put into the show but it’s re­ally crazy,” Fo­gel­man teases. “Rut­ger was awe­some as a to­tal bad guy. He’s such an ec­cen­tric, odd guy and it works re­ally well on the show. He has a big part where he comes into the last three episodes to end our sea­son. We also have Weird Al Yankovic who plays a monk in an a cap­pella group of monks and it’s very funny. Tony Head was awe­some and plays Gala­vant’s fa­ther in a flash­back and has a big song and that was in­cred­i­ble. We also have Hugh Bon­neville and John Sta­mos all squished into eight episodes.”

Gala­vant airs on ABC in the US from Sun­day 4 Jan­uary. A UK chan­nel has yet to be an­nounced.

Joshua Sasse al­lows the sun to wit­ness the side of his mag­nif­i­cent face.

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