SOS Archive Excerpts Mast


Last Updated: 18 October 2000



The Sentinel Con 98 Committee, with the cooperation of Danny Bilson and The Sentinel production office, are pleased to announce Sentinel Con '98.

When: April 3-5, 1998 (Friday night through Sunday noon)

Where: Vancouver, Canada. The Renaissance Hotel, 1133 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6E 3T3.

Who: Expected guests will be Richard Burgi, Garett Maggart, Bruce Young, Danny Bilson, Bill Ferguson, and more (commitments permitting).

Costs: Memberships postmarked before January 10, 1998 will be $60 US. Jan. 11-March 20, 1998 will be $65 US. Hotel room fees are $106 US per double occupancy and reservations must be made through the hotel 1-800 line which will be included in your information packets.

Scheduled events: Q and A's, autographs, panel discussions, charity auction, charity brunch, video rooms, dealers' room, art show.

Charity Auction: The auction will include a Sentinel crew jacket, hats, posters, rare and one-of-a-kind on the set photos, scripts, props, and a very special item being donated by TPTB as a surprise for the lucky winning bid. Planet Hollywood will also be donating items as will other local Vancouver sponsors.


This article comes from TV Guide Online's Sci-Fi News which is updated weekly. The editor has responded to fan enquiries with the news that he is currently organising a similar interview with Garett Maggart to appear in the next few weeks.

RICHARD BURGI AKA: Det. James Ellison on The Sentinel

OK, OK. Enough already with the jokes about an eagle-eyed detective, sniffing out crime. Now in his third season on UPN's The Sentinel (Wednesdays, 9 p.m./ET) as a cop with heightened senses, Richard Burgi has heard them all. Not that he really minds -- after years of soap work and guest-star stints on Seinfeld, Matlock and Empty Nest, Burgi is happy to settle into his own series. He chatted with our Jeanne Wolf from the show's Vancouver set. -- John Walsh


Now that you're in your third season, have you settled into the show? Are you more comfortable than when you started?

Yeah. Like, for example, this morning I was surfing, and I was trying to look at this bird that was about a quarter of a mile away. And I bird-watch, but usually I use binoculars. But this morning, I tried to go into Sentinel mode, and it didn't work. But I tried. See, I'm working when I'm not working. And when I'm working I try not to work too hard. Because, you know, it's something about this kind of character, this kind of thing you can't really push. Because all of a sudden if I do get hit with these senses, then what? Then, you know, then we've really got a problem. Then I'd have to figure out some way to make a living with hyper-senses. And that might be a good thing. But it might also get in the way, you know?

You do a lot of your own stunts. Was your athletic ability a factor in your getting this series?

I have a fortunate amount of genetic programming in my system. But I'm a pretty lazy guy. I've always been active, but all this gets to be annoying sometimes, you know? You gotta run and jump and do this and jump off that, hang off this. And it's crazy. This week I cut myself, wound up with stitches in my hand. I hit my head, I've cracked teeth. I mean, it's nothing major, but I'm very vain. This sort of thing can get to you after a while.

Tell us a secret about this season on The Sentinel. What can we expect to see?

Well, there's a woman who actually comes in between Sandburg [Garett Maggart] and Ellison. And there's that triangle of who's gonna get the girl. She's in charge of the forensics lab in the series. She's a delightful lady, doing her best to wade through the quagmire of The Sentinel, working with me and Garett every day.

C'mon... who's gonna get the girl?

Oh, I'll probably end up stubbing my toe somehow on this one. Sandburg's more the Lothario. I'm just the plodding, ponderous old cop, pushing middle age. I might get a sympathetic thrill now and again, but Sandburg'll probably bed her down. Then again, it could be a nutty ménage, or it could be none of the above. Or maybe there could be a Sandburg/Ellison romance down the road. Who knows? I mean, I'm a man of the '90s. I'm married and I'm feeling comfortable with my sexuality. I'd be willing to explore that sort of thing. You know, if they really wanted me to have a lip-lock with Sandburg, well....

What kind of shows did you watch as a kid? Cops and robbers? Action? Sci-fi?

Oh, yeah! All of the above. Yeah, my brother and I had a detective agency when we were kids. We were really enamored with these kids' novels, the Brains Benton series. They're rather obscure. They were, I guess, a thinking boys' alternative to the Hardy Boys. Not that the Hardy Boys were idiots. But, I mean, these were really wildly constructed stories that these two junior detectives went through. So he and I had fashioned ourselves after Brains Benton and his partner, and had a laboratory and all these Erlenmeyer flasks -- beakers and condensers. And we'd make this and boil that. And we had gunpowder, and we'd light fires in the basement. And it was total insanity. But the final straw, as far as my parents were concerned, was when... well, the house caught on fire one day. It got messy. So we had to retire early.

Does your life differ now from the way you dreamed it would be when you were a kid?

You know, one of the only clear ideas I ever had in my youth was that this is what I'd be doing. And I look at acting as a proletariat type of thing. You know, I don't have any grand plans or anything. I mean, it's a job. It's a great factory type of grunt job.

Do people crack Sentinel jokes when they recognize you in public?

Oh, sure. At an airport once, this guy asked me, "I forgot my glasses. Can you find out what time this plane lands?" And I was in a store with my wife once, picking out perfume. And she'd ask what a certain scent was called, or what was in it, and somebody would say, "Why don't you ask him? He'll know what works with your pheromones."


The Editor, John Walsh has responded to many fan enquiries:

"I'm really pleased with the fan response to our Sentinel coverage. I will be running the full text of my interview with Garett Maggart sometime in the next month or so."

John Walsh
Senior Editor
TV Guide Entertainment Network

Richard BurgiSENTINEL STANDS TALL - December 27 1997

TV WEEK (National TV Magazine) - December 27 '97 - January 2 '98

The Sentinel - Seven/Prime, 9:30pm

Richard Burgi (left) stars as Jim Ellison in the American police series, The Sentinel.

Detective Ellison has hypersensitive senses, meaning he can see, hear, taste and feel better than the average man.

"It's a fantastic role to play," says Richard, who is best known for his daytime soap roles (in Another World, As The World Turns and Days of Our Lives).

Set in the fictional town of Cascade, Washington, The Sentinel is big on special effects. Creator Danny Bilson says: "We were looking to create a series that was in the vein of a Die Hard or Lethal Weapon."

Local fans continue to receive letters from Channel 7 acknowledging that they are giving the series a better publicity push this time round, and we are being treated to a major promo campaign during primetime. In addition, reader's letters sections of every major newspaper for the last month have featured viewer letters praising the show.

Channel 7 reports that The Sentinel is rating strongly for them at the moment, as is supported by the move to the Double episodes.

TUNE IN - December 31 1997

The Daily Telegraph - Wednesday December 31 1997

The Sentinel (Thursday, Seven at 8:30)

"After an army mission to Peru goes wrong, one soldier is left behind in the jungle to fend for himself. While there, something strange happens to his body and he discovers he can see, hear, smell and feel things far better than the average man.

Now back in the Western world, Detective Jim Ellison (Richard Burgi - pictured) uses his new found powers -- and a new friend who wants to study his abilities -- to fight crime.

A great fantasy/drama series, with excellent special effects."
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