2019’s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance landed as an ambitious success for Netflix with an overall positive audience response, even if that response fixated upon a gross mystery. Aside from the complex weaving of the world of Thra and those lovable Podlings, the series was a master class in craftsmanship, largely down to those puppets. In the case of the Skeksis, those creations weighed hundreds of pounds, and as it turns out, they almost went up in flames during production.
As revealed in an interview with Syfy, co-creators Will Matthews and Jeff Addiss revealed how the set caught fire on the Jim Henson Company Lot. Before untold damage could be done to the puppets, they were saved after director Louis Leterrier drew up a quick map for first responders. As Matthews revealed, Leterrier’s directions pointed them towards “two football-field-sized warehouses, full of stages,” but he didn’t tell them what was inside. The rescue mission reportedly then hit another hurdle because the firefighters sure were “spooked”:
The firefighters rushed in with their hose to spray the burning set — and then ran back out almost immediately, spooked by all the eyes they found staring back at them. (The Skeksis didn’t help.) At this point, Leterrier realized that he would have to help save the puppets himself, so he rushed in.
Co-executive producer Javier Grillo Marxuach describes what Leterrier did as “death-defying heroism.” That might be a slight exaggeration, since risking one’s life to save puppets is arguably an unwise risk, but fortunately, everything turned out alright. As for the future, Netflix hasn’t officially announced a second season yet, and the show may be too cost-prohibitive to continue. However, Aldiss and Matthews recently told IndieWire that they’ve got “a concrete document” ready to roll if they’re called into action once more.