“Scorpion,” inspired by a true story, is a high-octane drama series about eccentric genius Walter O’Brien (played by Elyes Gabel) and his team of brilliant misfits who comprise the last line of defense against complex, high-tech threats of the modern age. As Homeland Security’s new think tank, O’Brien’s “Scorpion” team includes Toby Curtis (played by Eddie Kaye Thomas), an expert behaviorist who can read anyone; Happy Quinn (played by Jadyn Wong), a mechanical prodigy; and Sylvester Dodd (played by Ari Stidham), a statistics guru. Pooling their extensive technological knowledge to solve mind-boggling predicaments amazes federal agent Cabe Gallo (played by Robert Patrick), who shares a harrowing history with O’Brien.
However, while this socially awkward group is comfortable with each other’s humor and quirks, life outside their circle confounds them, so they rely on Paige Dineen (played by Katharine McPhee), who has a young, gifted son, to translate the world for them. At last, these quirky masterminds have found the perfect job: a place where they can apply their exceptional brainpower to solve the nation’s crises, while also helping each other learn how to fit in with society. The second season of “Scorpion” premiered on CBS on Sept. 21, 2015. Here is what Gabel and McPhee when they did this roundtable interview with me and other journalists at 2015 Comic-Con International in San Diego.
What was the thing that attracted you most to your role in “Scorpion”?
Gabel: I like the fact that in order to free up his mind, he has to do these insane, adrenaline-fueled activities. I like playing a leading character on a TV show where you’re not supposed to be able to feel emotion.
What can we expect in the second season of “Scorpion”?
McPhee: There’ll be more back story on how they all came together.
Gabel: I really wanted to see something like that. We actually had a dinner where we ate and we laughed about it. A back story or inception story or whatever you want to call them, they’re really interesting.
There’s a lot of things in “Scorpion” that people think don’t exist in real life, but they do exist. Was there anything that you found out that surprised you?
Gabel: Yes. In the pilot [first episode of the series], Walter [O’Brien, one of the executive producers of “Scorpion”] took me his wing as a mentor, and he told me about some stuff that happened in the government. I can’t say much more than that.
Katharine, are there any stunts you’ve done on the show that have been one of your favorites?
McPhee: There’s one where I go down a cylinder. I really like adventure.
Gabel: She’s being modest. She’s incredibly gifted at doing different stunts.
McPhee: You’re like that too. I’m not really afraid of stunts. I like to do my own stunts. Unfortunately, I have a stunt double.
Gabel: I have a stunt double who’s fantastic. Jim Vickers is our stunt coordinator. I have a great stunt double. His name is Shaun Vickers. I do a lot of stunts on the show. We want to get a really nice shot when we have these wide vistas.
“Scorpion” was an instant hit in the first season. Why do you think it connected with people right away?
McPhee: When fans do come up to us, they say they love the show, but I always forget to say, “What is the thing that you like most?
Gabel: What they say is that what they see in the characters is the heroes that they see themselves at but also what they see themselves to be. The nice thing about the show is that we’re heroes but we also have limitations.
We still save the world; we have great powers. I play the leader. We have people who have different parts, and they can relate to that. They can also relate to their present situation and think they could be a hero as well.
For more info: “Scorpion” website