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Christopher Harrington
Christopher Harrington

Supernatural Season 1 - Episode 4



The first sixteen episodes of the season aired on Tuesdays at 9:00 pm ET in the United States, after which the series was rescheduled to Thursdays.[2] Overall, the season averaged about 3.81 million American viewers.[3] The season gained many award nominations, among them two Primetime Emmy Awards for work done on the pilot episode.[4] While some critics did not like the mostly anthology-like format,[5][6] others praised the show for the emotional moments[7] and noted the brotherly chemistry between the lead actors.[8]




Supernatural Season 1 - Episode 4



The season was internationally syndicated, airing in the United Kingdom on ITV,[9] in Canada on Citytv,[10] and in Australia on Network Ten.[11] The first season was released on DVD as a six-disc box set on September 5, 2006, by Warner Home Video in Region 1.[12] Although the season was split into two separate releases in Region 2, the complete set was released on October 2, 2006,[13] and in Region 4 on October 2, 2007.[14] The episodes are also available through digital retailers such as Apple's iTunes Store,[15] Microsoft's Xbox Live Marketplace,[16] and Amazon.com's on-demand TV service.[17]


In this table, the number in the first column refers to the episode's number within the entire series, whereas the number in the second column indicates the episode's number within this particular season. "U.S. viewers in millions" refers to how many Americans watched the episode live or on the day of broadcast.


Although the villain of the episode "Hell House" has supernatural origins, the basis of the story came from a situation writer Trey Callaway had as a child; he and his friends created a fake murder scene in an abandoned barn and then convinced their friends that killings occurred there. The children would often go there to scare each other, with one girl running away and breaking her leg after believing that she saw an attacking ghost.[53] The human antagonists of "The Benders", however, were completely devoid of supernatural elements. Shiban made this decision not only to surprise the audience, but also to have the Winchesters face something they had never encountered before.[54] For "Nightmare", Tucker tried to write the character Max as sympathetic, and thus had difficulties in deciding how to end the episode. The writers eventually decided to have him kill himself to prevent him from doing more harm.[55]


While supernatural and urban legends inspired many episodes, some storyline aspects were influenced by popular culture. The inspiration for the wendigo's appearance in "Wendigo" came from the creature featured in the music video for the Aphex Twin song "Come to Daddy". Human features were added to the design due to the wendigo's human origins, and the creature was given the ability to mimic human voices to create a "creepy effect".[60] However, Kripke was not pleased with the final appearance of the wendigo, deeming him as "Gollum's tall, gangly cousin". Because of this, the creature is not seen throughout most of the episode.[61] For shapeshifting scenes in the episode "Skin", Kripke chose to base the transformation on that of An American Werewolf in London, using prosthetics and makeup rather than computer-generated imagery.[62] The Ring's Samara influenced the titular villain in "Bloody Mary", though Kripke felt that she ended up looking too similar to the character due to her grisly appearance and the use of speed ramping to create a time-manipulation effect. Visual effects supervisor Ivan Hayden, on the other hand, believes it was more of an homage.[63]


The mostly synthesized orchestral score of the season was composed by Christopher Lennertz and Jay Gruska.[72] The pair try to base the music on the visuals of each episode,[73] with about a third of each episode's score being newly written for the supernatural legend.[72] For example, off-angle shots in "Dead in the Water" are accompanied by repetitive and discordant notes. As well, spoken words such as "water" and "die" are followed by a lower pitch because Lennertz felt it created a "gurgly" water sound.[73] An electric cello and woodwinds helped to create a big emotional tone in the episode "Home", with Lennertz feeling that the final cue "became a very cinematic musical moment".[74] To fit in with the episode's ambiance in "Asylum", Gruska made the music very subtle; Lennertz felt that it was "creepy-crawly" like "a snake sneaking along the ground".[75] Conversely, Lennertz matched the theme of traveling evangelists in "Faith" by using a small 76-key piano that was damaged and slightly out of tune. He attached small items such as coins and paper clips to the keys to create a rattling noise, making the piano seem "old and crappy".[76] Lennertz then played "bluesy gospel music" during the sermon scenes involving the Reapers.[72] Because he felt that there was also a "snake-oil salesman vibe" to the episode, he included an Armenian duduk due to its association with snake charming.[76] The score of "Hell House", on the other hand, had a much lighter tone to coincide with the episode's humor. For example, music for the scenes involving the "professional" ghost hunters used percussion instruments to slightly mimic the Mission: Impossible theme.[77]


However, recurring characters often have certain musical themes attached to them. For the pilot episode, Lennertz used a piano solo with discordant notes and reverberations to create a "really nasty"-sounding echo effect for the scenes involving Mary and Jessica's deaths at the hands of the demon Azazel.[78] Lennertz returns to this in "Nightmare", including it when Sam realizes the connection he shares with the demon and Max.[79] The episode "Dead in the Water" was the first to use what Kripke feels is the "Winchester emotion", which involves sorrowful and reverberating piano notes on top of strings. It plays when the brothers make connections with other characters.[73] As well, there are variants of a guitar line used as the "humorous brothers' theme" in many episodes, including "Pilot" and "Hell House", when the brothers are having fun.[77] With Gruska writing Meg Masters' theme for "Scarecrow", Lennertz reused the music in "Shadow" but "took the scary up a notch" to imply to the viewers that she is both "more important and more devilish" than the other creatures in the episode.[80] For the penultimate episode "Salvation", Lennertz incorporated musical elements used throughout the season.[81]


To depict the supernatural aspects of the show, the series makes use of visual, special, and make-up effects, as well as stuntwork. While various companies were contracted for the Los Angeles-based production of the pilot episode, subsequent episodes being filmed in Vancouver required a new crew to be hired.[84] The company Entity FX performed the visual effects for the pilot episode,[85] with Ivan Hayden taking over as visual effects supervisor for the rest of the season.[86] The crew was required to design all of the external airplane shots in "Phantom Traveler" from scratch using computer-generated imagery (CGI).[87] As well, they created a time-manipulation effect for the titular villain in "Bloody Mary" by altering the capture frame rate of the camera.[63] Randy Shymkiw acted as special effects supervisor,[88] and the department found the episode "Asylum" to be quite a challenge because one scene has the vengeful spirit collapse into dust. They made casts of the character's torso and hands, and had to find the perfect mixture in order to have the casts remain solid but disintegrate when needed.[89]


The visual and special effects departments often overlap, such as in Mary Winchester's death scene in the pilot episode. Because the character is pinned to the ceiling and burned to death, actress Samantha Smith was required to lie on a floor with two propane pipes spouting fire approximately five feet away from her on either side. For the actual burning of the character, a papier-mâché body was ignited on a fake ceiling.[90] When the burning of the titular creature in the episode "Wendigo" was not sufficient using special effects, a wire-frame mannequin wrapped in steel wool was then burned, with the scene being composited into the original footage to draw out the wendigo's death.[66] To make it appear that the Hook Man is invisible as he scrapes his hook along the wall for one of the scenes in "Hook Man", a wire was placed inside plaster walls and then pulled out; the wire later was digitally removed in post-production.[88] In the episode "Bugs", the cast had to be sealed in a small area with hundreds of bees, and were stung despite wearing special costumes with cuffs sewn into their sleeves and pants.[91] However, the bees did not show up well on camera, so most of them that appear in the final version were added with CGI.[92]


In addition to the digital effects, the series also features stuntwork. Lou Bollo took over as stunt coordinator after the pilot episode,[93] and big scenes often involved the actors, though stunt doubles were used for certain moments. For the final lake scene in "Dead in the Water", in which Dean must save a boy after he is pulled underwater by a vengeful spirit, Jensen Ackles had to hold onto the young actor as they were pulled down ten feet into the water by divers.[94] The actor portraying the vengeful spirit had to wear a wetsuit under his costume due to the extended period of time he was required to spend in the lake.[95] Ackles and Jared Padalecki performed most of the fight scene featured in "Skin", and only took four hours to learn the fight choreography. However, stunt doubles were brought in for the scenes in which they are thrown into bookshelves and through a coffee table.[96] For the episode "Shadow", rather than filming at the exterior location for the scene of Meg Masters being thrown out of a window to the street below, it was decided to not depict the impact, instead having the Winchesters look down at her body after the landing. Thus, filming of it was allowed to take place in the studio using a body double.[97] 041b061a72


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