The timelessness of the show
“It requires a tremendous amount of effort to take away human beings’ ability to abstract. One of the biggest arguments that we had in the beginning that I had with the director who shot the pilot was that he wanted to do it in black and white. I was like I’m not going to do it. That’s why that ceiling is in there. That’s why — I know people think it’s symbolic — but there’s a moment in the pilot where my hero lays down and looks at this light fixture and there’s a fly in there. People said, ‘he’s trapped like the fly, he can’t solve his problem.’ That had never occurred to me. I wanted to show that that fly is not period. There are still flies trapped in the light.
“The other part that I thought would have nothing to do with time travel was to focus my attention on this tiny shit which is the most important stuff in my life — and I think in anybody’s life. We made a season out of the experience of something as small as somebody being slighted. The revelation of Don’s identity, which is dramatic because it’s so big, is greeted with ‘who cares’? Because that’s reality. I always try to keep things within that scope. And I think that’s the part where you think ‘I don’t even know what year it is or what time it is.'”
Photo credit: Michael J. Palma