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World of 'Banshee' Goes Beyond the TV Episodes

24 Jul, 2013 By: Angelique Flores

(L-R): “Banshee” cast members Ivana Milicevic, Antony Starr, Lili Simmons and Hoon Lee.

SAN DIEGO — For only one season in, “Banshee” already has a rich world with deeply developed characters and a mountain of extras that extend the fictional town and its people beyond the television screen.

“I’m just a TV fan, and TV is no longer just a box in your house,” said Jonathan Tropper, the co-creator, co-writer and executive producer of the new Cinemax series, promoting the show at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International.

Tropper and executive producer Greg Yaitanes said they wanted this series to live beyond the episodes with a world of extras online.

“I expect everybody to participate in this stuff,” Yaitanes said in reference to his cast working on the extras.

Some of those extras include 13 prequel videos, a Banshee: Origins comic book and a changing opening sequence for each episode that features different photos and a different combination for the safe. The sets of safe dial numbers unlock information about a different character.

These extras and more can be found on the July 30 DVD ($39.98) and Blu-ray ($49.99) releases from HBO Home Entertainment.

In addition to those prequel videos, the DVD comes with audio commentaries, deleted scenes, episode recaps and the featurettes “NYC Bus Crash,” “Town of Secrets,” and “Zooming In: Episodes 7 & 8.”

The Blu-ray comes with all those extras plus featurettes on the title sequence and the comic book.

The series focuses on a master thief (Antony Starr) who moves to the town of Banshee, where his former criminal partner and girlfriend (Ivana Milicevic) is living as a normal housewife named Carrie. He takes on the identity of the new sheriff, Lucas, and everyone’s lives are changed in Banshee, where outlaws, outcasts, Amish, gangsters, Native Americans and a sassy transvestite computer hacker collide.

“We wanted very rich stories, expansive stories,” Yaitanes said.

Indeed, that is what they have created. And nothing is ever simple and straightforward.

“He can’t just be a bad guy; he has to be an albino,” Tropper said.

Like other Cinemax shows, “Banshee” has its share of violence and nudity.

“We have it topped with a whipped cream of over-the-top action, fight scenes and sex,” Milicevic said.

It’s that mix of drama that really appeals to Starr.

“We get to do everything, dramatic scenes, funny scenes, violent scenes,” Starr said. “It’s very diverse.”

Starr also noted Tropper and the writers are very collaborative with the cast.

“It’s very creative,” he said. “I’m allowed to express myself. If you’re input and creativity is not as valued, you’re not as committed.”

For season two, the cast and crew said fans can expect more backstories, guest characters as well as more extras for fans to sink their teeth into.

“The value of those things is massive,” Starr said.

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