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Tim Daly on The Nine Flashbacks

Published October 13, 2006 in Television
By Fred Topel | Image property of ABC.
Tim Daly Tim Daly in The Nine
Here we go with another ongoing drama that answers questions of character backstory in flashbacks every week. But instead of taking each character in their own episode, The Nine centers on a 52 hour incident involving all of its characters. Each week, we learn a little bit about everybody’s experience in the crisis. Star Tim Daly said that, seven episodes into his job so far, there hasn’t been any one flashback that centers on a single character.

Tim Daly Talks The Nine


“What’s interesting about the flashbacks and what makes them difficult to film is that they really pertain to all the characters,” Daly said. “You learn something about everyone in all of these flashbacks. What that does is makes it incredibly hard to film because everybody, every time you look at a character there, there’s a lot going on. They’re in the present moment and they have pre-existing relationships with people that are changing so I wouldn’t single myself out in terms of what’s been going on with me because there’s always something going on with everybody in the flashbacks.”

The stars of Lost complain, jokingly or not, that they often learn information in a flashback script that totally changes their approach to the character. The Nine is specific enough and recent enough in its chronology that this has not concerned Daly.

“The thing about doing a series is that it’s an ongoing saga. The writers have to leave themselves enough leeway to be able to maneuver and see what relationships are working and see what storylines are working really well. Within the structure that they’ve created, I think they’ve left themselves a lot of room. So that being said, things can change when you’re on a series that hopefully goes for a long time.”



But things can change on any long running series, even a sitcom. “I remember when I was on Wings, I think it was our sixth season we got a script and Steven Weber and I who played brothers in the script found out that our father had gone insane and abandoned us as children, and our mother was a drunk or something like that. It was like oh, well, we need to now re-shoot the first five seasons because if we had known this, this is not the way we’d behave.”

The Nine will never flash back to any time before the bank robbery hostage crisis. “We flash back to two and a half days. On Wings it was just like this family history that came at us out of the blue hat pertained to our childhood, so nothing like that has happened yet. I don't think we’re going to. I mean, I don't know. I will never say never but I don’t anticipate that we’ll go that far back on the show.”

In any crisis though, there could be some life altering revelation that doesn’t come until season five. “Perhaps. Perhaps there’ll be something earth shattering but I just don’t know. It depends on how fresh the writers’ imaginations are and what they come up with. Hopefully it won’t be something too outrageous that they’re struggling with.”

The Nine airs Wednesdays on ABC.

Stay tuned for updates.


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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of ABC.
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