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Van Helsing Showrunner Q&A: Season 1, Episode 8

What's up with those church bells? Neil LaBute dives into the shocks and surprises of Van Helsing Episode 8: "Little Thing."

By Bryan Enk

That vampire birth scene will be in our nightmares for the rest of our lives. And what's up with those creepy church bells? Neil LaBute dives into the shocks and surprises of Van Helsing Episode 8: "Little Thing."

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Rebecca's got her hands in all sorts of gruesome shenanigans. Have we gotten a glimpse at everything or are there more surprises to come?


I think I can say with complete conviction that Rebecca will continue to surprise (and, hopefully, delight) throughout the season. She is a creature driven towards power and she is trying to take it by any means necessary. As an actress, Laura Mennell is effortlessly clever and resourceful and I love what she's done with the character — we tried to write her some fun scenes and she has grabbed all of them by the throat and made them indelibly hers. I really like the strange relationship she has with Sheema and I'm curious to see how the audience feels about both of them as they continue to match wits.

Mohamad just gets cooler with every episode. Are we correct in that there's a hint of romantic longing in the scene where he's looking at the photo of Vanessa?


Mohamad is indeed a pretty cool character and a lot of that credit has to go to Trezzo Mahoro, who brings a lot of that coolness right from his own life and onto the set. He's a fun actor to work with and I think, with time, he's going to turn into a real star. I don't think we've yet tapped half of what he can do physically, and emotionally I think we can still push him much further as well. As for how he feels about Vanessa, that is something that you'll just have to keep an eye on throughout the season. I wouldn't want to spoil anything by revealing too much or suggesting something that wasn't there.

Those church bells can't be anything good. Can you throw us any hints as to what they signify?


Now why would I do something silly like that? What I can tell you is that they don't signify a church or a schoolhouse or anything obvious like that. The good news about the bells is that they will lead a number of my favorite characters back together again and that's exciting — it will take a little while but there's a stand-alone episode connected to the bells that is very fun and weird and surprising and features one of my favorite guest stars. It's worth the wait.

The Farm is a fun set! Any particular inspirations behind its design?


The Farm was a cool idea by the writers — we loved being on the road but I think a bunch of us also loved the claustrophobia that came with the hospital and we longed for that kind of set again. We found it with The Farm and going underground. Our production design team really worked overtime with our director of photography to make those corridors and darkened rooms a place that added a lot of value to the story. It was worth being in a place with no windows for a few days to create such a funky atmosphere for the cast and crew.

Oof. John. JOHN. Oh, John. He never quite came out the other side after his wife died, did he?


John remains one of my favorite characters, hands down. David Cubitt did such good work throughout the season with this guy, making him both likable and a pain in the ass, that I was really proud of his results. He and Hilary Jardine have such a great scene together late in the episode, drinking and singing and flirting with each other, that it's one of my favorites in the entire season.

What's your favorite scene in this episode, and why?


My favorite scene in this episode, hands down, was the always amazing Christopher Heyerdahl (who plays Sam) getting drunk and singing "Big Rock Candy Mountain" to the delight of his fellow survivors. As always, he is authentic and brilliantly detailed in his work and he has made the character of Sam consistently interesting and heartbreaking (and he's just getting started). The fact that we were also able to use the Burl Ives version of that same song at the end of the episode brings a real smile to my face every time I watch it.