Wonderfalls/Wax Lion

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Wax Lion
Wax Lion
Season 1, Episode 1
Airdate March 12, 2004
Production Number 1AHM79
Teleplay by Bryan Fuller
Story by Todd Holland &
Bryan Fuller
Directed by Todd Holland
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Unaired Pilot
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Karma Chameleon
WonderfallsSeason One
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Wax Lion is the first episode of the first season of Wonderfalls.

Starring: Caroline Dhavernas (Jaye Tyler), Katie Finneran (Sharon Tyler), Tyron Leitso (Eric Gotts), Lee Pace (Aaron Tyler), William Sadler (Darrin Tyler), Diana Scarwid (Karen Tyler), Tracie Thoms (Mahandra McGinty)

Guest Starring: Gabriel Hogan (Thomas), Scotch Ellis Loring (Dr. Ron Campbell/Muse Voice/Narrator), Kari Matchett (Beth), Kathryn Greenwood (Ronnie), Chelan Simmons (Gretchen Speck-Horowitz)

Co-Starring: Neil Grayston (Alec), Kim Roberts (Peggy)

With: Curt Wu (Doctor), Steven Taylor (Loitering Boy), Bailey Stocker (Ronnie's Daughter), Lisa Marcos (Attractive Nurse), Jorge Molina (Male Tourist), Morgan Drmaj (Bellman), Anna Starnino (Triage Nurse), Corry Karpf (Heidi), Chantal Purdy (Little Girl), Melissa Grelo (Native Princess), Brandon Oakes (Native Chief), Ted Dykstra (Muse Voice)


Plot Overview


  • "Hello, Ma Baby" by Ida Emerson & Joseph E. Howard: The song that the wax lion sings to annoy Jaye into doing what he says is "Hello, Ma Baby," originally written by Ida Emerson and Joseph E. Howard. The ragtime song is perhaps most famous due to the cartoon "One Froggy Evening," starring Michigan J. Frog. The frog was also the mascot for The WB until 2005, which is incidental because the WB was on the short list of networks producers pitched continuing the series to.
  • "Peace in the Water" by Robynn Ragland: The song that plays when Eric meets Jaye by the fountain is "Peace in the Water" by Midwestern singer/songwriter Robynn Ragland. Her songs have also been used on programs like The Real World and Dawson's Creek.

Arc Advancement





The Show

  • Not Jewel: When Heidi appears in Eric's brief history, she is not played by Jewel Staite as she is in the rest of the series. Instead, she's played by Corry Karpf in both this episode and the unaired pilot. Producers figured that Karpf looked enough like Staite that they didn't need to reshoot the scene with the recast actress.
  • Cut Foreshadowing: The "dirty kids eating Spaghetti-Os out of the can" were worked into several different episodes, but they never appeared due to problems like weather preventing the shoot from taking place.

Behind the Scenes

  • Original Title: This episode was originally titled "The Maid in the Mist," after the legend recounted in the first scene of this episode. This was also the original title for the series before that idea was shot down.
  • Sets Shuffled: During the pilot, the register bank was in the center of the Wonderfalls store because it was a practical location if this were a real souvenir shop. But, the large counters made the space seem very small and restricted blocking too much. When they build the sets, they broke apart the cashiers' tables and placed them against walls to free up that space. Also different between the pilot and the series is the trailer park. Originally the park looked more like a RV campground and it was later changed to be a more typical, film friendly location. Additionally, the Barrel is slightly different, also because of the practical staging of the furniture.
  • Added Scenes: When the pilot was first shot and submitted to the network, the producers were asked to add a scene to explain why Jaye starts hearing these voices on this day in particular. Originally, it went from the nametag scene to the hot wax running through tubes. So, they added the entire choking scene that ended with the quarter being tossed into the fountain. Bryan Fuller mentions on the commentary track that she may have inadvertently made a wish when she threw the quarter and that's why she hears the voices.
  • Extended Scenes: The network requested that the producers add more to the scene with Jaye and Sharon in Jaye's trailer to show more genuine emotion and sisterly bonding. The added part is very noticeable because Caroline Dhavernas suddenly becomes very thin and tan when it cuts from a close-up back to the two-shot. Also added was the scene in the gift shop because the network wanted closure on the Thomas story as well. On the DVD commentary, Fuller commented that he resented having to add the scene and thinks that it's far too contrived and unnecessary. The trailer scene's "button" was resented so much that they removed it entirely for the rebroadcast version of the episode.
  • Cut Scenes: The bit with the message pad showing urgent messages from Jaye to Sharon replaced a scene where Jaye interrupted her sister in court to make her go on this blind date with the delivery man. In the scene, she would have been prosecuting Jesus, Mary and Josef.
  • Lost in Translation: When the series was being translated into French, the "Don't squeeze the Charmin" line was completely mistranslated. Instead of making the line a reference to toilet paper, the translators changed it to something about charm.

Allusions and References

Memorable Moments