Monday, August 11, 2008

Interview: Robert Scorpio Is Back!

The last time we saw the debonair Robert Scorpio, he was at the ceremony for Luke and Laura’s vow renewal, which was almost two years ago. And, as far as Tristan Rogers knows, “He’s still sitting in that park, on that chair. We never did get to see him leave or find out where he went.”

Well, last Tuesday on SOAPnet, fans of “General Hospital” at least got to find out where Scorpio is now — he is the hospital as his daughter, Robin, tries to save his life. In season two of SOAPnet’s breakout summer hit, “General Hospital: Night Shift,” faithful viewers will be treated to the appearance of a number of familiar faces returning to Port Charles.

Tristan explains, Scorpio’s health “will be a singular cementing point in the story line. There are two elements to this story: the father/daughter connection and the father/doctor connections.”

Tristan readily admits that taking orders from his daughter, the doctor, will be hard for Scorpio. “He’s a stubborn person, and he won’t slide into the role of patient that easily — until she gives him a reason, which she does. But it’s a challenge for him; he’s never had to deal with this.”

However, Tristan had no trouble dealing with re-creating his iconic role on the “Night Shift” stage. Tristan tells me: “When you’ve been doing a character this long, you have thorough insight on how this character is going to react, so it comes rather easily.

“It’s been a while since I’ve been on the show,” Tristan continues. “Filming ‘Night Shift’ has been a completely different experience. We film only two days a week — which is such a luxury, getting two days to film one hour of television. We’re in a separate studio with our own separate resources: writers, producers, directors. I think this is a good thing — it’s the same, but different.”

While the experience has been positive for Tristan, it also feels a bit like déjà vu. When he first heard of the “Night Shift” concept, he thought: “Hey, we discussed this back in 1981. I spoke with Gloria Monty (then-executive producer and head writer) about it. It was going to be called ‘The Young Doctors of General Hospital.’ But we were very busy with the current story line, so the idea fell by the wayside.”

Another concept that sets “Night Shift” apart from Scorpio’s appearances on “GH” is his condition. “Robert is coming in as a patient; he’s not here to save the world or to unravel a mystery. Although he still looks sideways at everybody, he knows he needs help.”

Tristan also knows he and the folks at “Night Shift” are onto something special. “This is a different version of ‘General Hospital,’ no question about that. It gets back, in some respects, more to the roots of the show. I wasn’t around when the show first started, but it would certainly seem to touch on a lot of those themes of when the show first originated.

“It has a great entertainment value. Fans basically get to see another version of the show. ‘Night Shift’ is ‘Night Shift’ and ‘General Hospital’ is ‘General Hospital.’ We get to see a lot more of the medical side; we don’t go outside the world of the hospital. While we are in the same building, it definitely is different.”

You can catch Tristan on “General Hospital: Night Shift” Tuesday nights at 11 p.m. ET/PT on SOAPnet.

PHOTO CREDIT: SOAPnet/Craig Sjodin


Anonymous said...

I loved him on GH and am happy to see Robert on Night Shift - love the actor!