The House Between

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The House Between[1] is an online science fiction series created by American author, John Kenneth Muir "for internet and DVD distribution".[2] According to Muir, the show is an independent, low-budget production: "...we steered our own ship, without committee, without interference," he noted in a column called Independent TV in August 2006, "Our production team was sequestered in an empty old house during the shooting schedule. Over the span of seven very, very long days we shot seven original half-hour scripts."[3]

Story[edit]

The House Between tells the mysterious story of five strangers, Astrid, Arlo, Travis, Bill Clark and Theresa, who awaken to find themselves trapped in a strange, empty Victorian house. There is no furniture in the house, and all the exits (doors and windows) are painful to the touch. In short order, the five protagonists begin to reckon not just with each other and their differences, but with the unusual abode, which seems to possess mystical properties, according to the series creator. "Each new room represents a different mind-state, a different manifestation of their inner selves. The house understands their secrets, their guilts, their fears...their dreams...their nightmares"[4]

According to an interview with creator Muir at "The Thunder Child", he was inspired to create the series, at least partially, by Jean-Paul Sartre's play, No Exit. He recounts: "In the existentialist drama, Hell was actually a sort of sitting room. The idea of the play was literally “Hell is other people,” to quote one character; that for eternity you have to cope with someone you don’t like, someone different from yourself. And you can never get away from them.

I got to thinking, “hmmm that’s not just Hell…that’s life on Earth!” People who are religious, people who are scientists, lawyers, psychics: we all share the same speck of dust in space, and must find a way to get along here, lest the human race destroy itself. So that underlying metaphor, the house as Earth, became a sub-text, an important crux of the series."[5]

In the same interview, Muir lists other inspirations including The Twilight Zone, One Step Beyond, and the original The Outer Limits. The House Between has been compared to Doctor Who in its early black and white days, by radio host Howard Margolin on Destinies: The Voice of Science Fiction. In a live radio interview on Friday, February 23, 2007, Margolin noted: "In the tradition of the original Twilight Zone and early Doctor Who...a series that succeeds on the strength of the writing and the characters."[6]

Joseph Maddrey, the producer of The House Between lists further details of the series creation: "He [Muir] said it was partly inspired by his frustration with the ABC series “Lost” – which was continually resorting to flashbacks, rather than dealing with the present dilemma of its characters - and partly inspired by Jean Paul Sartre's play No Exit. I immediately thought of Night of the Living Dead, the brain-child of ten friends who volunteered their time and money to make a film that transcended its minimal production values. To his credit, John understood that minimal production values did not necessarily reduce the scope of storytelling possibilities. He was determined to explore questions of physics, psychic phenomenon, mysticism, religious fundamentalism, politics, greed and good old fashioned personality disorders… on 2% of the budget of the famously low-budget Night of the Living Dead."[7]

The House Between has been called "an entertaining and mysterious series that represents what is possible for future online shows"[8] The series had its premiere in Chesapeake, Virginia July 31, 2006 when a rough cut of the first episode "Arrived" and a series trailer was shown at the convention called Fantasci.[9]

First season[edit]

Seven episodes were created for the first season, and the series began airing on VEOH February 16, 2007.

Episodes[edit]

1.1 "Arrived" (February 16, 2007)
Astrid awakes in a mysterious, empty house where all the exits and windows are frozen. She meets Arlo in the kitchen, then Bill and Travis, two other denizens. They argue about how to escape the house, only to learn that the walls aren't what they seem. The episode ends with the arrival of a fifth person.
1.2 "Settled" (March 3, 2007)
Theresa, the new arrival in the house, claims to be a "psychic astronaut." Meanwhile, Bill is confronted with the diary of his daughter Samantha, which keeps re-appearing. At the same time, Astrid is haunted by a song she once wrote (called The House Between), and forced to relive her suicide attempt.
1.3 "Positioned" (March 16, 2007)
Travis takes over Arlo's kitchen, demanding "services" in exchange for food. While the others try to get him out of the kitchen, Arlo relates a story about his childhood that reveals a new element about the house.
1.4 "Visited" (April 1, 2008)
A scouting party from the malovelent race called "The Outdwellers" infiltrate the house and try to take the wounded Bill's body.
1.5 "Mirrored" (April 15, 2007)
With the hermetically sealed house running low on supplies, Theresa organizes a seance to communicate with their invisible wardens. The seance has unexpected results, however, when a mirror causes "imperfect" reflections of the denizens to act out.
1.6 "Trashed" (April 29, 2007)
A sinister telepath named Sange, an old friend of Theresa's, shows up in the house after a faulty quantum transition and attempts to complete his mission to kill the mysterious "Draftsman."
1.7 "Departed?" (May 13, 2007)
Astrid, Arlo, Bill, Travis and Theresa attempt to make contact with Vitality, the intelligence inside the house. They are soon offered a choice about whether to leave the house or to remain.

Main cast[edit]

Kim Breeding as Astrid
Jim Blanton as Arlo
Lee Hansen as Travis Crabtree
Tony Mercer as Bill T. Clark
Alicia A. Wood as Theresa.

Guest cast[edit]

Florent Christol as Sange
Kathryn Muir as Samantha Clark

Crew[edit]

Producer - Joseph Maddrey
Director of Photography - Rick Coulter
Stunt Coordinator/Special Effects Director - Rob Floyd
Lighting Co-Directors - Kevin M. Flanagan and Bobby Schweizer
Original music - Cesar Gallegos & Mateo Latosa
Executive Producers - Joseph Maddrey and Kathryn Muir
Make-up - Rob & Phyllis Floyd
Writer and Director - John Kenneth Muir

Second season[edit]

Eight episodes were created for the second season, and the series began airing on VEOH and GOOGLE VIDEO on January 25, 2008.

Episodes[edit]

2.1 "Returned," (January 25, 2008)
The former denizens of the house at the end of the universe are reunited under odd circumstances and with startling gaps in their memories. The House itself is in hibernation mode.
2.2 "Separated," (February 1, 2008) Written by John Kenneth Muir from a story by Jim Blanton
Arlo is trapped in a frightening alternate quantum reality that is a dark reflection of the house at the end of the universe.
2.3 "Reunited," (February 8, 2008) Directed by Richard Coulter
Bill's morally ambiguous brother, Sam Clark arrives in the house at the end of the universe proposing a dangerous military operation. He and Astrid clash over matters both personal and related to the operation.
2.4 "Estranged," (February 15, 2008)
Outdwellers are loose in the house at the end of the universe, and the denizens are separated. As one group prepares for battle, Astrid and Theresa attempt to solve the riddle of the group's collective amnesia.
2.5 "Populated," February 29, 2008)
Tempers flare and the temperature rises in the House. Bill and Travis are in conflict, strangers have appeared in the house, and a mysterious visitor has a message for Arlo. Worse, it is now 118 degrees in the house...and getting hotter.
2.6 "Distressed," (March 7, 2008)
Ghosts migrate into the zone of blackness around the house at the end of the universe. Travis has an unwelcome visitor from his past.
2.7 "Caged" (March 14, 2008) Written by Joseph Maddrey
A mysterious infection strikes down Vitality, the smart house Lar, precipitating an examination of each of the denizens' belief systems during a long and particularly sleepless night at the end of the universe.
2.8 "Ruined." (March 21, 2008)
Dark matter consumes the house at the end of the universe, and Astrid is forced to make a difficult decision.

Main cast[edit]

Kim Breeding as Astrid
Jim Blanton as Arlo
Lee Hansen as Travis Crabtree
Tony Mercer as Bill T. Clark
Alicia A. Wood as Theresa.

Guest cast[edit]

John Kenneth Muir as Sam Clark
Craig Eckrich as Sgt. Dexter Brick
Craig T. Adams as Future Arlo
Bobby Schweizer as "Pod"-Dave
Kevin M. Flanagan as "Pod"-Frank
Kathryn Muir as Samantha Clark

Crew[edit]

Producer - Joseph Maddrey
Director of Photography - Rick Coulter
Stunt Coordinator/Special Effects Director - Rob Floyd
Lighting Co-Directors - Kevin M. Flanagan and Bobby Schweizer
Original music composed & performed by - Cesar Gallegos & Mateo Latosa
Executive Producers - Joseph Maddrey and Kathryn Muir
Make-up - Rob & Phyllis Floyd
Writer and Director - John Kenneth Muir, except where noted.

Third season[edit]

Six episodes were filmed for the third season, and episodes began airing on VEOH and GOOGLE VIDEO on January 30, 2009.

Episodes[edit]

3.1 "Devoured," (January 30, 2009)
After the dark matter attack on Vitality, the denizens of the house find themselves in a collapsing quantum universe. Their only hope is to shift into another quantum reality—a dark place already inhabited by a malevolent force.
3.2 "Addicted," (February 13, 2009)
Bill is trapped in a 'Quantum Mirage', a closed universe constructed from his own deepest wishes. What remains of the smart house is feeding off what's left of Bill lifeforce to keep itself alive and so, in order to keep Bill within it, has made his fantasy a (quantum) reality.
3.3 "Scared," (February 27, 2009)
The denizens are under attack from the Lar of their new smart house, an old and malevolent entity named Cronus. A nightmare figure from Arlo's past is ripped from his nightmares and made flesh.
3.4 "Switched," (March 13, 2009) Written by John Kenneth Muir from a story by Mateo Latosa
When the denizens launch a multi-prong attack on Cronus, the angry Lar retaliates by scrambling their bodies. At the same time, Discarnates overrun the smart house.
3.5 "Exposed," (March 27, 2009)
Sam returns and tries to convince the denizens to join him (or take them by force) to add their DNA to the genetic make up of the outdwellers. Astrid learns the truth about the nature of her existence.
3.6 "Resolved," (April 10, 2009)
The finale of the season and the series in which the denizens find that their smart-house is the last independent one in the known universe, still free of the lobotomizing mind-control of the government's "loop". They realize that for humanity and lars to remain free—the Loop must be destroyed.

Main cast[edit]

Kim Breeding as Astrid
Jim Blanton as Arlo
Lee Hansen as Travis Crabtree
Tony Mercer as Bill T. Clark
Alicia A. Wood as Theresa
Craig Eckrich as Sgt. Dexter Brick

Guest cast[edit]

John Kenneth Muir as Sam Clark
Rob Floyd as Vinnie Coto
Alison Velasco as Nora Pearce

Crew[edit]

Producer - Joseph Maddrey
Director of Photography - Rick Coulter
Stunt Coordinator/Special Effects Director - Rob Floyd
Lighting Director - Bobby Schweizer
Original music composed & performed by - Cesar Gallegos & Mateo Latosa
Executive Producers - Joseph Maddrey and Kathryn Muir
Make-up - Rob & Phyllis Floyd
Writer and Director - John Kenneth Muir

Soundtrack Release[edit]

An Original Internet Television Soundtrack for THE HOUSE BETWEEN, in the form of an MP3 CD, was released in April 2010 on Powys Media's music label, SOIL. It features 132 cues from the series. Initial copies came with a souvenir bag and medallion. In addition to the full score composed and recorded by Cesar Gallegos and Mateo Latosa (better known as TKU: Tecamachalco Underground), the CD also includes "The House Between (Astrid's Song)"--source music composed and sung by Kim Breeding.

Both composers were interviewed [by Howard Margolin], and selections from the soundtrack were featured, on the August 6th, 2010 Destinies: The Voice of Science Fiction (WUSB).

On the CineRadio Top 20 Airplay report for August 2010, the soundtrack for THE HOUSE BETWEEN charted at #11 for music played on soundtrack music specialty shows.

References[edit]

External links[edit]