About Brenna Lanigan

Note: this is a character-fiction page and the content is copyright Lara Zielinsky, author of Turning Point and Turn for Home wherein these characters appear. Anything in here that resembles real events or persons, past, present, or future, is purely coincidental.

inspiration for character

Forging a New Path

Background: Brenna Lanigan, (b.1959) is the leader of the crew trying to keep time properly moving forward on the Sci-Fi series Time Trails. The fan-favorite PPTV production is currently (2001) shooting its fifth season.

Related links:
Cassidy Hyland

interview recorded at the Science Fiction in Motion Pictures and Television fan event in Los Angeles in April 2001.

Q: What really made you go to Ryan’s birthday party and why were you so nervous? (Laurie, Tampa, Florida)

A: Steepling her fingers under her cheek, Brenna’s eyes unfocus, drifting back in time…

“You know… it took me a while to recognize what was going on with me back then. She… Cass… was such an enigma. I didn’t want to get to know her. But she… there was… (Bren smiles) a quality. I tried to deal with her as little as possible, you know, in the beginning. But she… she was always… always right there. I resented what she represented… she was so young, so beautiful. Yes, of course I noticed her beauty. It… scared me then. She was so… new to all of this (she gestures wide) and I, well… I was experienced.”

“But she kept reaching out.” (Brenna shakes her head with a smile) “Absolutely stubborn. I found this invitation in my makeup mirror. She’d snuck in at some point and tucked it there. What was I going to do with an invitation to a five year old’s birthday party really? I almost chucked it. Really. But when I heard others talking about it, I looked at it again. Funny thing is, the first thought I had was, “Everyone got one, so it’s nothing special.” Even then, I guess I wanted her to think I was special. It’s absurd to think I’d be the only one to get an invitation to a birthday party, but the conflicting thought was there.”

“I still didn’t RSVP for almost a week, and I called her home number when I knew she was on set to get her answering machine. (sighs) I was an absolute chicken. Told myself all sorts of lines: ‘What if the press got wind of you not going?’ ‘What if the rest of the cast showed and I didn’t, what would they think of me?’ ‘Why the hell do I even care?’. But I did, desperately.”

Brenna shakes her head. “I think I dawdled over my sons that morning just so it would get to be too late and I wouldn’t have to go, but then I found myself driving over there, curious I think more than anything at that exact moment… When I arrived, I was struck by how normal the place looked. That was unexpected. I knew she was dating Cameron [Palassis, an executive with the studio] at the time. I know he loves to party, be part of the Hollywood crowd. I didn’t expect her to be, well, a lot like me, more attached to homebody comforts than the clubs in town. That made it even harder to justify keeping my distance from her. I began to understand a little that I’d been unfair, assuming manipulation on her part, when it was more Victor [Branch, Time Trails’ producer]‘s idea and the writers. I found myself at her front door knocking before I could think any further.”

Q: Looking back at your previous relationships, does falling in love with Cassidy clarifies or muddles [sic] the feelings you had? (Ana, Jacksonville, FL)

A: Brenna leans back and smiles, a lightness in her eyes as she crosses her arms behind her head, tilting her head back into the sun and breathing deeply.

“Oh it clarifies it all right. Like waking up in a world full of vibrant colors after a lifetime of believing gray was the only color in the paint pot. I had grown complacent and resentful, and now I fully understand why. I’m here today realizing that I was settling. I supported my husbands unfailingly. I first got a cheater, and then after years of loneliness, I picked someone because my mother loved him. I liked Kevin, but I didn’t love him. You’ve got to get as much support as you give. Being marriage is the Church telling us to procreate. Well, I’m past procreating. What I need now is a partner emotionally. I actually needed it all along. I was only just able to open my eyes to just how much I needed it with Cassidy.”

Q: So what’s next?

Cass and I are working on what we’ll be doing now that Time Trails is ending. We’re both considering several projects. And we’ve got our family to think about.

Q: You think of yourselves as a family?

Yes, yes, we do.

Author’s note: My thanks to the reader-fans who sent me the questions to ask Brenna for this interview-style character study. LZ