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Now in our eighth calendar year!
PCR # 381  (Vol. 8, No. 28)  This edition is for the week of July 9--15, 2007.

It Came From The PO Box
THIS INSTALLMENT:   Inside Section One  |  Back to the CF Homepage
Re-introduction. IT'S BACK! Many years ago, I started It Came From The PO Box as a place to review media that genuinely arrived in my P.O.Box intended for my perusal and consideration. Over time, it also became a catch-all column for the odd artifact didn't have any particular place to go in PCR, as well as other stuff that was just sorta handed to me on the street. While these things had no specific time-frame to work in ("just like your opinion of this..."), I tried my level best to get everything done in a timely manner. Easier said than done and I didn't do very well with that. Eventually, as PCR took on new designs and new generic pages were invented to solve the problem of where to put infrequent contributions, the PO BOX column was abandoned (but not the box itself). As my work schedule changed and priorities shifted, things were still coming into the PO BOX --- things I intended to get to and publish in PCR, but never did. I'm ashamed to admit some projects slipped through the cracks and I ran horribly behind.
   The return of this column is my attempt to right this wrong, catch up on these reviews, and set straight my mission to finish the work that has literally waited months for publication (some other, lower priority, or off-the-wall ones have waited years, and I'm digging through them again).
   The spring and summer months have consistenly been my periods for radical change and this year is no different. Despite a "day-job" workload and increased video production taking more of my time, I want to get back to my commitment of sharing my thoughts with the readers who send great stuff to The PO BOX! It's back, baby!     CRAZED FANBOY, PO BOX 13991, Tampa, FL, 33681-3991.
Inside Section One
Inside Section One:
Creating and Producing TV's La Femme Nikita

by Christopher Heyn
Introduction by Peta Wilson

I first met author Chris Heyn when he was a teenager and he'd come visit me at my bookstore in Tampa during the '80s. He went to school in the area, I watched him grow up (including attending his Eagle Scout ceremony), then sadly had to say goodbye when he and his family moved out of town soon after he graduated high school.

It would be nearly 15 years before I'd hear from him again. When I did I learned he was now living in California and had occupied his time working for a TV production company. Oh, there's more....

I knew he was a smart cookie with high ambitions, but even I was taken aback when this immense tome, weighing several pounds (yes, you heard me right) arrived at my PO BOX for consideration for review. This is an enormous book, encyclopedic in scope, and features an exclusive behind-the-scenes of the ahead-of-its-time (as it turned out) spy drama La Femme Nikita as told by an insider who was very, very there: the one and only Christopher Heyn.

For those who may only be slightly aware of what we're talking about here, let me quote some promotional copy:

Before Alias ever hit the airwaves, the creators of Fox Network's Emmy® award-winning TV series 24 had already reinvented the modern spy drama with La Femme Nikita. Based on the internationally-acclaimed Luc Besson film, La Femme Nikita burst onto the scene as the highest-rated drama on basic cable, and put the USA Network on the map as a home for edgy TV series like Monk and The Dead Zone.

INSIDE SECTION ONE: Creating and Producing TV's La Femme Nikita takes readers on the series' six-year journey from art-house action movie to hit TV drama, then breaks down the production process in a uniquely informative and entertaining way. Much more than a "viewers guide," INSIDE SECTION ONE is a comprehensive exploration of the development and production of a single TV series, using La Femme Nikita as a case study.

"Comprehensive", while accurate is, if anything, an understatement. Inside Section One is an exhaustive examination, but an intriguing one, and if you're fans of the TV show, obviously there's a lot to like here. But it's much more than that.

Even though the book is aimed at La Femme Nikita fans, it is not just for them. Inside Section One is also very much of interest to people who have never seen the show but would like to know how a TV show is produced from scratch. It answers many questions as to how a one-hour drama gets made from week to week. If the reader knows nothing about Nikita, Chris explains it to them as he goes along.

The heart and soul of this book are the interviews. In his position as assistant to the executive consultants, Chris Heyn was brought into contact with everyone who had anything to do with the series, from the writers, to the actors, to the studio execs and everyone in between. There are 60 full-length in-depth interviews featuring all the major players and then some.

Of course, there is an episode guide included in the book, and it's really something all by itself. Besides the synopsis of who and what happened in each episode, it features personal recollections, "errata" (bloopers, so to speak), and interesting little behind the scenes tidbits into what went into the episode.

A special introduction written for the book is by Peta Wilson, Nikita herself, the show's star.

One contributor from the show is almost conspicuous by his absence and that is Christopher himself! It is to his credit that, outside of his introduction and guides to the book, and a teeny-weenie "About The Author" on the very last page, he does not focus on himself at all. He said in his intro he felt it was "not important" and that the point is to bring the story of the show to light. Well, some fans may beg to differ about Chris not being important, but I'll tell you this. Chris, in my humble opinion, is a BIG part of the book because you can hear his voice in every word on every page and feel the TLC in every carefully-placed photograph.

Five years of work went into this. At 400 pages and with rather small print, it is an intimidating venture. But you'll come away with a feeling that this is what they mean by a definitive study!


The promotional copy I received from Chris back in January is a large-sized non-hard-back, I think it's referred to as "perfect bound" in publishing lingo. I think it retails for about $40 via mail-order.

The online store to purchase Inside Section One is POVPress at http://www.povpress.com/STOREpov.htm

Chris Heyn closed his previous online forum, but has re-opened one at POV for those who'd like to communicate with him and other La Femme Nikita fans and/or insiders.

A Star Is Found
Our Adventures Casting Some of Hollywood's Biggest Movies
by Janet Hirshenson and Jane Jenkins with Rachel Kranz


"It Came From The P.O. Box" is ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2007, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.