Colm Meaney panel at MCM Birmingham Comic Con

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“It’s a pleasure to be here,” said Colm Meaney during his panel at the MCM Birmingham Comic Con, where he discussed his current show Hell On Wheels as well as the wide range of characters he has played over the years.

“Hell On Wheels is set in the Civil War,” Colm said, describing the show. “It deals with a lot of fictional characters. I for instance play Thomas Durant who was a businessman and investor in the First Transcontinental Railroad. He’s obsessed with getting his fortune and will do anything to acheive it… Literally anything.”

The show is soon to be on it’s fifth and final season and Colm promised that it will be an explosive glorious finale.

When asked what it is like to film a western drama on television, Colm replied, “As for a lot of films and television dramas I’ve worked on, the set design is fantastic. John Blackie the production designer for our show does extraordinary things.”

Colm_Meaney_MCM_Birmingham_7057Colm then recalled standing in his office one day last year and “Both doors were open and the details on the hinges was extraordinary. It’s probably never seen on the screen but just to have it there certainly does help to create a sense of reality.”

Colm was then asked with this amount of detail put into the production, if he has ever got lost in the reality of the show.

“Not yet,” Colm joked. “We keep our feet on the ground, but there’s still a season to go so it may happen.”

It was then time for the fans to ask their questions. Asked if popular Star Trek character Miles Edward “Chief” O’Brien could possibly return to television screens, Colm admitted that he doubted it. “I think we’ve moved on to a new generation of Star Fleet officers,” he said.

When asked about his experience on the British comedy Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, Colm said that “It was a lot of fun. Steve Coogan is a terrific actor. With the nature of the material, we improvised a lot.”

Colm then discussed the change in technology when it comes to filming with digital cameras.

Colm_Meaney_MCM_Birmingham_7059“Previously you rehearsed the scene until you knew exactly what you were doing, and then you’d stop filming. That’s completely changed now because with digital cameras, you can shoot for over one hundred years and it won’t cost you anything. Great directors like Steven Frears never shot more than they needed, they knew what shots they wanted and they would just shoot what they needed. Now you can have two hours of material for a three page scene.”

Colm was then asked which of the two ways of filming he prefers. “I’m a bit of a dinosaur,” he admitted. “I like to work in a structured way, I like to rehearse and then start filming. The idea now of just going in and shooting anything now is slightly irritating.”

A fan then wanted to know what Colm enjoyed most about filming Stargate Atlantis, where he played the character of Cowen. Colm said that while it was a brief experience, it was still an enjoyable one.

Finally, Colm was asked what his favourite episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation was.

“I always enjoyed the wedding episode,” he said, referring to the episode Data’s Day, when Miles marries botanist Keiko (played by Rosalind Chao). “It made everyone go ‘Aw, they got married.’ Getting married in space. I have to say that episode, otherwise Rosalind would kill me.”

And with that, the panel came to a close as Colm thanked the fans for their questions.

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