Behind the Scenes

Here, former SHINING TIME STATION cast and crew share behind-the-scenes glimpses of the sets and taping locations. 

Once Upon a Time
Courtesy of Rick Parker

Both Rick Parker and his horse, Hilda were in the SHINING TIME STATION Family Special: Once Upon a Time. As Rick explains below...
I doubled  Ed Begley in western gear  racing along side the train on my chesnut quarter horse mare Hilda. I proceeded to jump on the train and she continued running. This took place in Tottenham , Ont.
She is now 33 years of age. Enjoying retired life on the farm.
Rick Parker
Rick Parker, Ed Begley Jr. & "Hilda"
BTS of the SHINING TIME STATION Family Special: Once upon a Time 
left to right : assistant wrangler; Brian Roworth , actor Ed Begley jr.  stunt double  Rick Parker, horse Hilda (owner Rick Parker). Picture taken in Tottenham , Ont. in 1994.
Photo courtesy Rick Parker (with our thanks).


One of the Family /Queen for a Day
Courtesy of Bentley Miller

Bentley Miller's work with SHINING TIME STATION began as a Gaffer in Seasons 2-3, then as a Lighting Designer for the Family Specials and Mr. Conductor's Thomas Tales. Bentley shares photos he had taken behind-the-scenes during the taping of  the Family Specials: One of the Family, and Queen for a Day. Many thanks, Bentley, for sharing these with us for all fans to see!

Shining Time Station set: Queen for a Day
SHINING TIME STATION set during the taping of Queen for a Day (1995)
photo courtesy of Bentley Miller

click image to see slideshow...

click image to see slideshow...

What's behind the station wall?


Where and how the characters entered the station from the 'platform' has always been a bit of a mystery. Bentley provides us with an idea of what lay beyond our line of sight. In his own words...
"As far as the BTS of the platform it was very uncomplicated. I will describe it here (ed. refer to drawing below). The wings of the set extended another 10' beyond what you could  see on camera. There were simple steps that allowed the actors to enter/exit. As the set mostly filled the studio there was very little additional space for characters. So, they waited in place off-stage for their entrance or exited off stage and waited for cut to be called. Behind the window on the platform we constructed a Zoetrope."

set detail for "platform"


"A Zoetrope is basically a slotted wheel mounted on a stand. We shone a light through the Zoetrope to indicate trains coming and going into the station. The Zoetrope was hand operated by a stage hand and the light was controlled from our lighting console."
"The Zoetrope was about 2' across. The shape of the light came from the angle of the light source. It was situated slightly below the bottom of the window. Speed, direction and rotation were determined by the script and the operator. The pickets were uniform, about 4" across 8 " high. At the time we gave  this effect a lot of thought to get it right. But now, so many years down to road it is difficult to remember with clarity what we said. We did get it right though, mostly. No one is perfect!"

Train lighting effect created by Zoetrope

"The light was slightly below to create the skewing effect of the train movement. The Zoetrope was affixed to an axle of sorts so that it spun on axis. I can't remember exactly the axle construction , but it was simple. Simple is best theory. Less like to fail during a take. This was mounted on a base so that it performed like a turntable. "

"The window pane shadows that you  see on the wall and on the floor were gobos (steel patterns projected from an ellipsoidal projector) of window patterns. There were used to create interest by breaking up the surface texture of the wall, indicating that there was light coming from an unknown/unexplained source.We were trying to create the illusion of light from a source that the audience never saw."


The Juke Box Puppet Band
Courtesy of Craig Marin

Craig Marin and his Flexitoon artisans worked their magic to present us with musical performances by the Juke Box Puppet Band. Here, Craig shares a few behind-the-scenes photos where you can finally appreciate the people whose names appeared in the SHINING TIME STATION end credits. (All photos courtesy Craig Marin with our many thanks! posted 2013-08-18

The voices behind the Juke Box Puppet Band
The FLEXITOON voice talent behind the JUKE BOX PUPPET BAND
From left to right: - Peter Baird (GRACE), Alan Semok (TEX), Craig Marin (REX, J.J. SILVERS), Ken Miele (GRACE) and Jonathan Freeman (TITO). Photo taken at BEND-EMS toy launch @1993.
Alan Semok, Jonathan Freeman, Craig Marin
Alan (TEX) Semok (L) Jonathan (TITO) Freeman (C) and Craig Marin (R) working on the band's performance of Michael Row the Boat Ashore
Craig and Jonathan
Craig and Jonathan setting up a green screen scene for the band's performance of Jesse James
Craig directing the Juke Box Band
Craig directing the Juke Box Band
From the taping of the Lullaby Special
From the taping of the Lullaby home video special: Alan Semok holds the Boy Brothers; Jonathan Freeman readies Tito; Craig (in the hole) directs; as producer Rick Siggelkow checks the shot.

Olga  Felgemacher & Peter Baird ready GRACE
Olga ("Didi") Felgemacher & Peter Baird ready GRACE

a shocked Tito and Jonathan Freeman (R)
Tito and his voice - Jonathan Freeman (R)
Click image to see larger version of FLEXITEAM!
THE ENTIRE JUKE BOX BAND FLEXITEAM with Producers Britt Allcroft and Rick Siggelkow (click image to see larger version)