WonderCon 2019: A Look Back At Into The Badlands During The Final Season

by Gary Catig

AMC drama, Into the Badlands, is in the middle of its final season. During WonderCon, the television show held a panel to hype up the last season and to take a look back at some of the cast and crew’s favorite moments. On stage were executive producers, Al Gough and Miles Millar, and stars Daniel Wu, Aramis Knight, Ally Ioannides, Orla Brady, Sherman Augustus and Lewis Tan.

Badlands is described as a martial arts, steampunk and superhero mash up and it’s those fight scenes that help distinguish the show from anything else on television. The scenes are highly influenced by Japanese samurai films and Hong Kong cinema. There is a whole entire unit dedicated to the fights and they spend as much time shooting the scenes compared to the non-fighting sequences. Fans are in for a special treat this season as some of the of the fights are specially shot in 3-D.

Some of the panelists favorite scenes involved intricate fight choreography. Millar thought the rain fight from season one was perfect. Wu enjoyed the RV fight because it was closely integrated with the story setting a new tone for Sunny and also because it didn’t involve any wire work. Ioannides was overcome with emotion when Tilda fought the Widow one on one and had so much fun shooting the scene.

Augustus, who has a martial arts background, stuck mostly to dramatic roles during his career. It wasn’t until this show he came back to those roots. He liked his mortuary fight because it allowed him to run the gambit of many different emotions. The newest cast member, Tan recalled his fight with Castor because it was his first with sword choreography and his first for the show so he wanted to make a good impression.

It takes a lot of hard work for the impressive fight scenes and they hold camps to train at the start of each season. Even those who don’t have fights, like Brady, still attend for camaraderie and to learn. Ioannides only previous experience with choreography was through ballet so she also spent time between seasons training to hone her craft.

Another big aspect of the show is its inclusion. There is a diverse cast that allows both the men and women to stand out dramatically and in the fights. When production moved to Ireland after the first season, there was difficulty finding extras of all races to be in the background but they made a concerted effort to keep the diversity.

It’s not all about fisticuffs for the cast and crew. Gough’s favorite scene was Quinn’s speech to his boys because it revealed the true cult of personality under his regime and was the embodiment of toxic masculinity. Knight recounted his scene confronting Sunny for the first time after learning he killed MK’s mother. There was so much emotion in the air. Brady’s favorite was riding into battle on a horse to save Lydia’s love, Augustus’ Moon. It was more because of how much fun she had learning to ride a horse.

Watch the final episodes on Monday nights at 10:00 pm ET/ 9:00 pm CT on AMC.

Gary Catig

Gary Catig is west coast raised, east coast educated, and has a touch of southern charm. He has spent most of his adult life making science fiction a reality as an engineer conducting research in the military, microprocessor, and biotechnology fields. While currently living in San Diego, he enjoys all facets of pop culture including but not limited to comics, TV, movies, and music.

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