We live in an age of media convergence. Comic books become movies, movies become novels, novels become TV shows, and the dance continues. Now, with podcasts becoming more and more popular, one of the biggest among them – Aaron Mahnke’s Lore – has found its way to its own television series with Amazon, debuting this October. Taking six of the most popular episodes of the podcast, the series promises to offer a retelling of each of the episodes in a televised style that adds a few different approaches to the tales.
Collider was given the opportunity to visit with the cast and creators of Lore on set in Atlanta as they filmed the episode “Echoes,” which followed the life of Dr. Walter Freeman and his “unique” method for treating mental illness. Below are some of key facts about the Lore series, which promises to deliver thrills and chills as it arrives close to the witching season of Halloween.
- The showrunner for Lore is Glen Morgan, writer and producer of some of the scarier episodes of the X-Files, along with many other television shows and movies. A huge fan of the Lore podcast originally, Morgan said he jumped at the chance to act as showrunner for the series.
Aaron Mahnke, the show’s creator, met Morgan in Los Angeles while he was in attempting to get the show made. The two hit it off when Morgan reached out to Mahnke, and the show was sold to Amazon based on their discussions.
- Gale Anne Herd of The Walking Dead and Aliens fame is one of the producers of the series as well, furthering her legacy as a behind-the-scenes horror icon.
- The podcast itself was originally created in Aaron Mahnke’s basement from his house outside of Boston, focusing on a supernatural and/or horrific story from the past and how the tale has changed into “lore” during the present day.
- The series itself will be a hybrid of scripted material (recreations of the scenes by actors such as Colm Feore and Robert Patrick) along with documentary footage), like Unsolved Mysteries.
- Speaking of Unsolved Mysteries, much like Robert Stack was to that series, Aaron Mahnke will retain his role as the narrator during these episodes, making appearances in each one to help explain the horror that audiences are bearing witness to. This was actually a “make or break” deal for Glen Morgan, as he pushed heavily for Aaron’s continued role as narrator.
- Morgan revealed that one of the most important mission statements of his television series was to be sure “this series is made for the podcast fans.”
- Amazon never discouraged the showrunners and creator from making any changes to the source material or the episodes themselves once they were completed, just stating that the show needed to be “scary as hell.” Morgan emphasized this point by stating that rather than jump scares, the series is trying to instill a more creepy feel that will stay with audiences.
- The creators were given 10 podcast episodes to choose from by Amazon, and narrowed down their choices to 6 for this run of episodes.
“Echoes” is the name of the episode we witnessed while visiting the set, which had us witness Colm Feore as Dr. Freeman performing his lobotomy procedure on patients to attempt to “cure mental illness”
- Feore saw his character as a sort of anti-hero, attempting to fix mental illness but in the worst way possible: taking a long metal rod the size of a knitting needle, jamming it behind a patient’s eye into their brain, and “swishing it around” in order to permanently calm them down.
- In real life, the procedure was performed nearly 4,000 times by Freeman alone, and some of the more famous recipients was a daughter of the Kennedy family and the second Academy Award Winner, Warren Baxter.
- The scene we witnessed on set involved a fellow doctor of Freeman’s imploring the “somewhat mad scientist” that there was still more research that needed to be done that verified the de facto brain surgery procedure. Dr. Freeman laughs it off, and then proceeds to perform the operation an unwilling patient in a grisly display (!)
- Freeman charged $25 per “operation” and drove across the country in his “lobotomy mobile,” genuinely believing he was curing mental illness.
- Feore explained that Dr. Freeman was blinded by a search for fame and the loss of his son during a hiking accident, which is why he strove so passionately toward trying to make such a horrible experiment a success.
- While Feore hadn’t heard of Lore prior to his casting, he was drawn to the role of Dr. Freeman and swayed by the response he received from Robert Patrick after his part in the series , and how much fun he had.
- “Echoes” itself will see Dr. Freeman in a black and white motif to elicit the time period, though other episodes — like those about a haunted house, a werewolf, a vampire, and “Robert the Haunted Doll” — will all be presented in a unique style to their stories during the re-enactments.
- “Echoes” is actually Glen Morgan’s favorite episode of the television series and the podcast itself
- Morgan stated that a Season 2 of Lore isn’t out of the realm of possibility but doesn’t want to “catch his chickens before they hatch,” so fingers crossed.
- While Morgan promises the series itself will be a “scary ordeal,” it won’t be too gory. “We’re looking for this to be a more cerebral experience, a lingering story that really sticks with you.”
Lore premieres October 13th on Amazon Prime