Every week, Emerald City EPs David Schulner and Shaun Cassidy will bring EW behind the scenes and explain the ins-and-outs of the new NBC dark fantasy series inspired by the Land of Oz books. Here, Cassidy spills on episode 4, “Science and Magic.”
A new man. This is what the mysterious Jane claims to have made Jack. But Jack’s heart was lost long before Jane replaced it. Jack’s heart was lost when he lost Tip.
As boys growing up, Jack would often make secret pilgrimages to Tip’s barred window, sharing tales of the outside world and regaling Tip with stories of magical lands like Emerald City and The Kingdom of Ev. These are places Tip could only dream of visiting because Mombi, the witch who held him prisoner, had convinced Tip he would die without Mombi’s “medicine.”
As those who have read L. Frank Baum’s “The Marvelous Land of Oz” will recall, Mombi’s potion wasn’t keeping Tip alive, it was keeping him a boy. Having changed back to his original form, Tip is desperate to be a boy again, so he makes a deal with West. Tip will give West his service if West will give Tip her magic. But will West keep this deal? And what kind of “service” is Tip willing to provide?
Meanwhile, Jack finds himself in the company of an “interesting strange” princess obsessed with masks. The girl’s name is Langwidere (featured in Baum’s third Oz book, Ozma of Oz) and she claims to own Jack. But what could a princess possibly want with a tin man?
Finally, there is Dorothy and Lucas. Along their treacherous yellow brick road, they have seemingly adopted a witch girl, while Eamonn, the Wizard’s right-hand man, has recognized Lucas and called him Roan (being my youngest son’s name, this made me very popular at home).
The title of this episode is “Science and Magic” and though the war between the two is a central theme in our series, I felt it had special resonance in this story because it also applies to everyone’s head and heart. Many of our characters are falling for each other here, and by the end, it’s hard not to get swept away by the romance of it all. So surrender, Dorothy. Keep your head, but share your heart, and know that Jack, and both Roans, will appreciate it.
Emerald City airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on NBC.