‘Strange Angel’ Creator & EP on How the New Series Is Like ‘The Aviator’ Meets David Lynch

STRANGE ANGEL - Ernest Donovan -
Elizabeth Lippman/CBS

This is one strange — but worthwhile — ride. Originally developed for AMC, Strange Angel landed on CBS All Access this summer as the first original title not based on a past franchise.

Jack Reynor, Rupert Friend, and Bella Heathcote star in the true story of Jack Parsons, a pioneering 1930s amateur rocketeer who also got involved in Aleister Crowley’s infamous sex cult.

With the addition of the finale on August 16, the drama’s entire season will be streaming, so we got show creator Mark Heyman and executive producer David DiGilio to blast off and plead their case for bingeing.

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I have time to watch one more show. Why should it be yours?

Mark Heyman: This show has the most sex cults for your buck.

David DiGilio: The rocketry is pretty cool too.

Fill in the blank: If you like _____, you’ll like our show.

Heyman: Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Wild Wild Country.

What’s a good alternate title for Strange Angel?

Heyman: It used to be called Marvel, which was Jack Parsons’s real first name and describes him and the show marveling at rocketry and other realms. A fitting title, but it also happened to be the name of the world’s largest entertainment company.

"The Sacrificial Dance" -- Episode 110-- Pictured (l-r): Jack Reynor as Jack Parsons; Rupert Friend as Ernest Donovan of the CBS All Access series STRANGE ANGEL. Photo Cr: Elizabeth Lippman/CBS ©2018 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Jack Reynor as Jack Parsons and Rupert Friend as Ernest Donovan in Strange Angel.

Give us an equation for Strange Angel.

Heyman: The Aviator, if it were directed by David Lynch, plus more sex magic and minus some of Lynch’s obliqueness.

How will your show change the face of television?

DiGilio: We’re hopeful that it helps contribute to the growth of another streaming channel. And CBS seems to be the sort of network that’s really embracing the idea that streaming channels are the wave of the future.

Are there any shows you’d like to do a crossover episode with?

DiGilio: Star Trek: Discovery.

Heyman: Maybe there’s a Strange Angel/Twin Peaks project in our future. [Musing] Parsons plays into the mythology — the backstory that hasn’t been shown onscreen yet. But in one of his home lab experiments, he unleashes the spirit of [Peaks’ Kuiller] Bob!

Strange Angel, Season Finale CBS All Access