Counting His Blessings: Sebastian Spence

With a third season in production and a second finishing transmission across the States, Sebastian Spence looked back on Cade Foster’s progress in fighting the First Wave

Paul Spragg quickly became a believer

See also: Traci Lords interview here

Excerpts selected from Xposé #49

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Cade Foster has had a tough life. Retired from a stint as a top class break-and-entry man, he’d gone straight and moved into the ironic job of selling anti-theft devices. Happily married, his whole life was ahead of him. Until the Gua arrived: the first wave of an alien fleet... Now Cade fights alien infiltration guided by a book of prophecies from Nostradamus, referring to him as the Twice-Blessed Man who will save humanity.

Sebastian Spence, who plays Cade, was in Toronto doing another series when “I heard of this wonderful project that was being headed by Chris Brancato and Francis Ford Coppola. Originally they thought I was too young for the role, and they were going to go a bit older, they wanted somebody who had more life experience to bring to the character. Somehow, my tape got put in the mix and I got it.”

One aspect Spence brings to the table is his love of the genre. “I’ve always been a big fan of sci-fi, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and all those kinds of movies that have a hero character that goes through them. Some of my favorite movies are Blade Runner and those kinds of things. As a kid, I watched Star Trek re-runs and would be as happy as whatever. Spaceballs, which everybody really hated, was right up my alley as a child.”

Later in life, Spence got the chance to appear in sci-fi himself, with roles in, amongst others, The Outer Limits and The X-Files (in one of the show’s most controversial instalments, Home). These appearances stood him in good stead. “It certainly gave me, I guess, a foot in the door when it comes to science fiction,” Spence opines. Also, it was just a joy to work on The X-Files. At the time it was just a huge deal for me as a young actor: (the show) was just smokin’ hot. You get on a good show like that, you feel like you’re slowly but surely starting to get notice taken of you.”

All this eventually led to Spence being cast in First Wave, which is very much led by him. “I think the writers designed it that way,” considers Spence. “They wanted to have a real ‘hero’ show. God knows I bitch about it all the time, about how I need more actors to play off... And then they kind of justify it by saying, ‘Well, it’s a hero show, if you bring lots of other people in, then we don’t get a sense that we’re seeing the story told through your eyes.’” Perhaps the show’s creators are of the opinion that Spence should have thought of the workload when he took the gig… “Yeah, exactly!” he laughs.

Luckily, there are other main characters to take up some of the slack; in the second season both Eddie (Rob LaBelle) and high-ranking alien Joshua (Roger R Cross) have been more prominent. “We’ve come a long way from the first season. There’s a lot more interaction between [Eddie] and Cade Foster, which is great, because there’s a really neat comedy element that comes out of it", says Spence.

“Recently", he adds carefully, refusing to give too much away, "we’ve introduced Traci Lords as a co-star in the third season. We’re not really sure if it’s as a nemesis or a love interest, a bit of both I think. And that’s been very interesting..."

Get Xposé #49 for the full six-page double-interview feature

Photo © Sci-Fi / Pearson Television 2000
Feature © Visual Imagination Ltd 2000. Not for reproduction