Episode 9: The Pretender – Craig Van Sickle and Steven Long Mitchell

Steven Long Mitchell and Craig Van Sickle are the creators of acclaimed television series ‘The Pretender’ starring Michael Weiss.  There’s something they managed to do with the original show run that is worth noting, not only did they have a popular show, but it also ended up being a cult phenomenon too and attracts legions of fans around the globe.  That’s pretty rare and pretty special and it’s something that very few people achieve.  The Pretender ran originally from 1996 to the year 2000 and followed the exploits of Jarod, an almost super-human savant on the run from Miss Parker and ‘The Centre’ a shadowy unexplained corporation that took Jarod as a young boy and raised him as a tool for their own clandestine work.   Jarod could instantly adopt the skills and abilities of people whom he cam into contact with (thus being ‘The Pretender’) and worked to try and uncover his past, information about his parents and continue staying one step ahead of his captors.  In over a decade since the show ended fans have had two live action movies to continue the story, but have also had questions that they want answered.  Now Steven and Craig are returning to give them those answers in a wide variety of media formats.  They have begun in earnest with two prose novels – the newest, ‘The Pretender: Saving Luke’ is out now – and are following up with graphic novels, potentially interactive media and most importantly, interactions with fans.  Towards the end of the show we really start to understand how much The Pretender fans have been a part of the comeback of this fabulous fantasy world.  Craig and Steven reached out to their fan community and the community reached back, shortly after posting a fictional note on their website, a picture came through that would change the way even they understood their fans, shortly after that… another one… and the rest as they say, is… well the future.  Craig and Steven are friends of the show now and I’m looking forward to the next time they stop by to tell us what they’re up to – maybe it will be on camera! :)

Show Notes:

Buy the BOOK! :) (The Pretender Saving Luke) 

Steven and Craig’s Facebook Page 

The Pretender Lives Website

The Pretender Wikia (For all completists!) 

The Pretender Centre


Notes: Thanks to Kimberly for noticing my mistake, I corrected it!


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Author: Note

Elias Note is an English writer and interviewer. He grew up playing jazz and classical music and studying Musical Orchestration. He is a children's author and an app designer creating things that make life a little easier and a little more productive for everyone who uses them. He loves music, movies, books, comics and talking to skilled and talented artists about their work.

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  1. Oh wow , its gonna be like the first saga. Totally cool. I can’t believe they almost lost the rights or whatever crazy story. I bet it was amazing to hear the good news.

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    • I know, that was the thing I couldn’t stop thinking about, I can’t imagine what that felt like. Thanks for listening Joseph! :)

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      • Josh, this is an excellent set of interviews! I’ve been a Pretender fan for almost as long as it’s been around and have followed every piece of news and I still learned some new things from your show. Is this podcast available for download? Thanks for sharing The Pretender goodness.

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        • Hey Christian!

          First of all thank you so much, it means a lot to hear people like this stuff, I love doing it but it’s always nice to have feedback like that. The guys were great, I can’t wait to have them on again, I think next time I’ll have to have Craig on for longer too, I didn’t realise Steven would have so much great stuff to say re. you guys, their supporters so I was happy it unexpectedly went on, both great gents. You can get it on iTunes if you click the link on the right, as for downloading it separately let me get back to you, I’ll ask our editor Aaron what the score is/how to do that. Thank you again and here’s wishing you a great day from England. :)


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  2. Great Interview! It is so exciting that the Pretender is back and that Craig and Steve are being so fabulous about everything. This was one of the best interviews i have heard and was extremely happy to hear it. Hope they come back for another one for Saving Luke!

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    • Thank you Jacci! I’m really glad you like it and yeah I’m looking forward to them coming back too, and hopefully The Pretender coming back even more! :)

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  3. Excited to hear about the show but have to ask… Did you misspell “the pretender”‘s name? I recall it being JarOd not JarEd. If so, don’t tell my son who was born 6/99 because we told him that is where we got his name. Lol

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    • Excellent point haha! Of course! Thank you Kimberly! :)

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  4. The Pretender was big in the 2000s, this show really captivated me and Michael T. Weiss was brilliant and unequivocally hot as Jarod. Great podcast!!

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  5. This was my brother’s favorite series in the late 90’s, he never missed a single episode. I wasn’t very keen on it but now I kind of miss those moments when he wouldn’t allow me to change the channel and I had to watch it with him.

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