iF: Speaking of work you did awhile ago, do you have any recollections of working on FOREVER KNIGHT?
CASSAR: Oh, absolutely. It was one of my first shows as a director. Up to that point, I was a camera operator. In fact, I was a camera operator on FOREVER KNIGHT for the first season, and Episode Thirteen was my very first directing gig. So yeah, I remember very well. I did as well as I thought I was going to do. They loved me right away. The problem was that they promised me all these other episodes in the second year, but then if you remember this –we were late-night, ‘Crime Time After Prime Time’ [the title of the programming block], and then Letterman came over to CBS. From first year to second year, almost like what happened this year with the strike. It was a year. So I had to go back to camera operating, and then came back and when the second year came, I went and did three episodes in the second year. And then did the third year. Geraint Wyn Davies [who played vampire lead Nick Knight] is also a very good friend of mine. Actually, I talked to him today.
iF: Do you in any way feel like you’ve come full circle, because Nick certainly committed a lot of violence, felt terrible, was really depressed – does he remind you of, say, Jack Bauer?
CASSAR: Yeah, there are a lot of similarities there. There really are. A lot of regret. It’s kind of the same character, in a very strange way, but somehow related. You know Geraint Davies was on 24. It was fun to have him on the show. Nigel Bennett [who played LaCroix] is next. We’ve got to get him on. We actually wanted him years ago, but he didn’t have his [U.S. work permit].
iF: FOREVER KNIGHT was relatively low-budget for a weekly TV series …
CASSAR: Oh, very small [budgets]. We did some pretty interesting shows with a very, very small budget [laughs]. And it was also one of the first American [produced] shows to be placed in Toronto and it [acknowledged it] was Toronto, which was very, very rare. I worked on DUE SOUTH, and we were pretending to be Chicago and other shows were pretending to be other cities, but it was actually an American show, set in Toronto, shot in Toronto. So you can see the CN Tower.
iF: Do you ever miss the low-budget production ethos?
CASSAR: No. Because you could ask anybody and anybody’ll tell you they’re low-budget. Even though [on 24] we have probably, I would hazard to say, four times more money than we had on FOREVER KNIGHT, we’re still trying to do things that are so ambitious that you’re still working in a low-budget kind of way. We can’t do the CGI, we can’t do the big scenes that a feature film can do, yet we’re known for that and we have to land a plane on a freeway and we have to figure out how to do that, so you have to do that in a low-budget way. I mean, you can’t do that with the expense of a feature film.