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'Reginald the Vampire' creator and Jacob Batalon talk confidantes and cameos in 'The Hunger'
Star Jacob Batalon and the creator of 'Reginald the Vampire' go inside Episode 2 of the new SYFY series, "The Hunger."
In the sophomore episode of SYFY's new series Reginald the Vampire, "The Hunger," our fledgling Reg (Jacob Batalon) is still trying to figure out his vamp powers, and he's really, really trying not to feed on the people he actually cares about. Flailing mightily, Reg gets some major assists from his small circle of those "in the know" about his new status, including neighbor Claire (Thailey Roberge) and Reggie's sire, Maurice (Mandela Van Peebles).
In the latest of SYFY WIRE's exclusive weekly post mortems, we talk to Batalon and creator/showrunner Harley Peyton about the importance of these burgeoning relationships in his life, and learn more about those who serve as very outside-the-box mentors for our hero.
As a keen observer of her environment, Claire quickly surmises something's up with Reg and gets him to admit that he's a vampire... with a feeding problem. In the weirdest tough-love move of the episode, Claire actually volunteers Slushie Shack manager Todd (Aren Buchholz) to be his regular take out dinner. Strange enabling, for sure, but its a relationship that Batalon says will continue to grow throughout the season.
"We say this in the show, but I'm sort of like her surrogate big brother," Batalon says of their dynamic. "We're very much sibling relationship and I think it's great. It sucks because her story is pretty sad. But they're both these sad souls coming together and forming a bond that's very much sibling-like which is such a sweet thing to convey. Thailey is great and think people will be genuinely taken with her throughout the rest of the show."
Reg's other helper in the episode is Maurice, who can't ignore the sire bond and who sees how Reginald is wasting away trying not to feed from people. "That was another trope that was very important to me: the sire bond," showrunner Harley Peyton says of how the two vampires who are now immortally intertwined. In showing how they are called to one another in times of need, Peyton says audiences get to see the "rules" of that connection within this series.
"It's about a certain kind of communication at times and about a kind of connection," Peyton explains. "For someone like Maurice, who really doesn't want connection, that was something he never really was planning on. It's in that swing set scene that he agrees to help Reginald learn to be this impossible thing. There's all kinds of relationships in the show that I love, but that's really the central one. They go through so much together along the way. "
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The whole nighttime mentoring sequence also helped explore a bit more of what Reg is capable of now as a vampire.
"You start to figure out what are the things they can do? And what are the things that we can afford to show them doing?" Peyton says of the scene. "The impact of sunlight, stakes to the hearts, are all those things that we've remained true to because those are very important. And then one of the fun things you do is you have really interesting special effects people going, "Here's how it's gonna look when someone dissolves." You try to figure out what's an interesting and fun way to do that."
Peyton adds that the introduction of super-speed is something he and his writers are having a lot of fun with.
"I love that concept, in particular for Reginald who's trying to figure it out. Like when he tries to feed at the park, he's chasing that jogger and he just can't quite figure it out," he laughs. "And by the way, the jogger, that's my daughter. She made her first appearance in the show."
New episodes of Reginald the Vampire gush on to SYFY every Wednesday at 10 p.m. Eastern.