Thursday, August 28, 2008

More Adventures at EWTN

(Right: Dale Ahlquist on set for the fifth season of The Apostle of Common Sense. Note the new set piece – the toy theater in the background.)

I had originally posted a neat article about this, but Gilbert Magazine wants to publish it, so for now we'll just let the pictures speak (mostly ) for themselves. I'll link to when the article's published - or you can subscribe to the printed version at

Left: Frank C. Turner and I dramatized a scene from The Ball and the Cross in which I portrayed Professor Lucifer and Frank the monk Michael. Filmed before a green screen, the savvy technicians made us look like we were in a spaceship hovering above London, as the photo of the studio monitor below illustrates.

The next shot shows the segment “Religion Today”. From left to right you’ll spot Dale Ahlquist as host; Frank C. Turner as Dr. Thaddeus Gorgonus of the University of Northern Southern; me as Stanford Nutting, the liberal ex-seminarian; Ashley Ahlquist as the feminist theologian Dr. Wilhemina Fritz; and Eric Johnson as Dr. Kaufmann Walterhosen. As usual before the filming I suggested to Dale that I could play all the parts. “You can’t play the feminist, Kevin,” he replied, “You don’t look enough like a man.”

Below left you see ex-seminarian Stanford Nutting in action in the classroom at the junior college, where he’s an adjunct, and where he teaches his favorite class, Religion in the Modern World.

Season Five will also see another segment of “Ask Mr. Chesterton” …

… in which audience members, portrayed by actors grill our buddy Gilbert. And a new feature, “Chesterton’s Toy Theater”, in which we see one of GKC’s toy theater plays come to life.

We spent the second week of our adventure at Mother Angelica’s shrine in Hanceville filming an episode for my series, The Theater of the Word Incorporated. The episode is a kind of movie version of the Father Brown story “The Honor of Israel Gow”, adapted for the screen by Dale with a little help from me and Michael Masny our producer at EWTN. The pictures below will give the reader a small taste of how good this episode is going to be.

(Left: Frank C. Turner as Israel Gow, the prime suspect.)

(Below right: Dale Ahlquist as Archibald Ogilvie, the victim.)

(Left: Kevin O’Brien as Father Brown; Julian Ahlquist as Flambeau.)

We returned to the studios in Irondale on Friday and filmed an episode of my series in which dozens of people invade Dale’s set to watch The Surprise, to Dale’s annoyance and dismay.

Meanwhile, all you'll have to do to see these shows on EWTN is wait twelve to fourteen months for the editing and post-production to be complete. And another six months after that for the DVDs to be released.

So don't touch that dial!!!


Nancy C. Brown said...

Gosh, a little taste of heaven, I'd say. How wonderful that you were there, and thanks SO MUCH for sharing the experience with us!

Can't wait to see all the shows you all taped.

evercane said...

That was an awesome read, thank you. I really look forward to the 5th season and your new series. Sounds like they'll be great.

Carol said...

Kevin, thank you! Your narrative goes a long way to satisfy our cravings for "the latest" from Chesterton filming, EWTN and all that! I ,too, look forward to the 5th season with huge anticipation... and in the meantime, I'll appease myself by listening and re-listening to your SPECTACULAR Father Brown reading and Dale's equally spectacular reading of "Orthodoxy" !


Carol said...

BTW, Kevin,
I LOVE, I mean LOVE Stanford Nutting's sweater. I told Dale when it first appeared on Season 4's "ASK MR. CHESTERTON" that if I had any notion that I could actually get into it, I would be sorely tempted to come to St. Louis and try to sweet-talk you into giving it to me! As part of my duties as an elementary music specialist, I work with two classes of autistic children, and the pattern of your sweater reminds me of the autistic puzzle ribbon. Besides that, I frequently wear bold, bright colors. And besides THAT, I NEED that SWEATER!


The Unknown Poet said...

When Sanford Nutting goes to that Great Group Hug in the sky, and is quickly sanctified by popular acclaim, his sweater will become a number of popular relics. "They parted my sweater among them ..."

Frank C said...

I might suggest that the American Chesterton Society and Theatre of the Word could raise a lot of money by offering Stanford Nutting's sweater in a silent auction.

Carol said...

Frank, I LOVE your thinking! Come on, Kevin... tell us what size, and if the numbers are right, I'll start the bidding at $50. The Theater and the ACS can split the winning bid.


The Unknown Poet said...


This sweater was purchased about ten years ago at Goodwill, and is clearly one of a kind. It cost me $1.00, but it is obviously priceless. We can't just take the shirt off of Stanford's back!

The ACS will have to wait for Mr. Nutting's demise, but as he wears nothing but this sweater (it's an "inclusive sweater") where ever he goes, he'll probably be buried in it.

Then, we'll have to re-enact the grave digging scene from "Israel Gow", and discover that our hero has no head. Wait, we know that already ...