SOS Archive Excerpts Mast


Last Updated: 18 October 2000


The following appeared as front page news in the community paper in Crescent Beach, south of Vancouver, which was transformed into the Yucatan to film scenes for Sentinel, Too - Part Two. Spoilers for that episode ahead. Read at your own risk. The "NOW" Community - Oct 21
Crescent Beach
by Doug Alexander


Three-minute sequence takes hours to shoot

The search for the bad guy has led them to a seaside Yucatan village. The four sit on the small cafe patio, a red umbrella shielding them from the harsh Mexican sun.

"Are you telling me you decided to come here without consulting anyone?" Simon Banks barks angrily at the woman across from him. Megan, an Aussie cop who followed the trio to Mexico, defends her actions. But she's interrupted by trouble.

Jim sees tank Detective Jim Ellison (Richard Burgi) a "sentinel" who possesses heightened senses, spots an armoured vehicle tearing along the beach.

"Look out everybody, get down," he shouts.

The four race for cover as bullets spray the patio.

"The characters are attacked by the armoured personnel carrier," says location manager Craig Forrest. "They'll escape in the nick of time."

In reality this is the Semiahmoo Peninsula, not the Yucatan. And this three-minute sequence has taken hours to film at Crescent Beach.

"We only shoot three to four minutes a day of usable footage," Forrest explains.

A crew of 70 from Paramount's The Sentinel TV series converted Crescent Beach into a Yucatan town Monday for Yesterday's shoot. Raf's has become Tio Raf's, disguised by gaudy plastic fringes, pinatas and colourful signs advertising Margaritas, bebidas and pescado. The Charlon Building is the rustic El Mercado Yucatan.

Tropical plants - the pots carefully concealed - line the end of Beecher Street. Giant reflective screens, props and three movie cameras will make this season-opener of The Sentinel's fourth year as convincing as possible.

This episode has the protagonists hunting down an evil "sentinel" - who also has super senses - in Mexico. The film crew was blessed by sunny skies. Work on the set however, still goes on at glacial speed. And even this episode's director, Tony Westman, appears frustrated.

"We're going to be shooting in the dark," he comments to his assistant after a disappointing cut.

The crew has been here since 6 a.m. They expect to finish in the evening. Most of the time is spent setting up and waiting.

"Hurry up and wait," Forrest says. It's like a mantra.

This action sequence involves an armoured vehicle crashing through Raf's patio while fake bullets tear through the crowd. The vehicle charges down Beecher Street, smashing a car and terrorizing everyone in its path.

Some of the scenes can only be shot once: Three cameras shooting different angles ensure they've got something usable. Their biggest blessing has been the weather.

"We are extremely lucky to have the sun, that sells it," Forrest says, adding that they'd have to shoot rain or shine.

"The actors even had lines referring to a great hurricane to make it work."



The Sentinel Convention Supports the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation


Los Angeles, CA, November 23, 1998

Children living with HIV/AIDS will have more to be thankful for this holiday as a result of a benefit featuring the stars of the UPN drama, The Sentinel, which raised more than $50,000 for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

Couver Con '98, a fan convention held last month, in Vancouver, Canada, will donate $52,000 for the Foundation in support of children with AIDS. All three of the show's major stars donated their time for the benefit. Richard Burgi stars in the TV series as Detective James Ellison, a cop with heightened senses. Garett Maggart portrays Blair Sandburg, the anthropology student who helps Ellison, and Bruce A. Young plays Ellison's captain, Simon Banks. This fall, Burgi also headlines the UPN movie, I Married a Monster, and previously starred in the CBS series One West Waikiki.

"The tragedy of AIDS is only heightened when it strikes our children, our most precious gift," said Richard Burgi. "I am very happy that, by appearing at Couver Con '98, I was able to contribute to a wonderful organization which helps sick children, and, at the same time thank our fans for their loyalty and support."

The Sentinel is being held out as a mid-season replacement on UPN, after its near-cancellation last summer was stopped by an international fan campaign. Fans from as far away as Australia, Germany, Austria, the U.K. and the Bahamas attended the Oct. 23-25 benefit.

"I want to thank our fans who traveled so far and donated their hard-earned money for this benefit," said The Sentinel Executive Producer Danny Bilson. "I am also grateful to all the fans of The Sentinel, who showed their support this summer by getting us back into production."

Also appearing at Couver Con were co-star Anna Galvin, noted actress Leigh Taylor Young, who portrays Naomi Sandburg in the series and is currently starring in Beverly Hills 90210, actor Tim Thomerson, known for many sci-fi film roles, Robert Chapin, actor and swordmaster at the famed Inosanto Academy and directors Bruce Bilson and John Connor. Fans were also treated to tours of the set, a stunt demonstration and staged sword-fighting by Chapin and Bruce A. Young.

"The Foundation is thrilled to be the recipient of such a generous gift from this heartwarming benefit, and we thank all of the fans who participated," said Doreen Lane, Sr. Development Officer, Special Events, for the Foundation.

The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation is the leading national non-profit foundation identifying, funding and conducting critical pediatric AIDS research worldwide. More information can be found at

Couver Con '98 was presented by C.C.I., a non-profit organization which hosts fan conventions as benefits for worthy causes. The Sentinel is produced by Pet Fly Productions.
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