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Set Tour: 'CSI: Miami'

By Kristine Huntley
Posted at March 19, 2005 - 12:38 AM GMT

See Also: 'Killer Date' Episode Guide

Jonathan Togo is deep in concentration. His focus? A small piece of evidence his character, Ryan Wolfe, has just realized is vital to his case. Togo holds the item in a pair of tweezers and holds it in front of his face. The camera zooms in first on his 'a ha!' expression before changing focus to reveal what's between the prongs of his tweezers. Someone on the set yells "cut!" and without missing a beat, Togo pops the crucial bit of evidence into his mouth.

The scene is part of the twentieth episode of CSI: Miami's third season, which features a crucial case for Ryan and fellow CSI, Calleigh Duquesne (Emily Procter). It's hard to believe Togo is only completing his first season on the show; he's already settled quite comfortably into the lab coat and yes, even those ever-present sweater vests. His character continues to evolve: Ryan is no longer a wide-eyed newbie. Togo teases a few details from the episode: he'll clash with a colleague over the case he's investigating, putting a lab employee's job in jeopardy. Ryan Wolfe has toughened up.

Miami Set Tour Appropriately, our tour begins in the morgue, where Alexx conducts the autopsies of the most unfortunate Miami denizens. Togo gleefully pulls out the sliding bed in one of the body lockers and instructs me to lie down on it. No scalpel is at hand, so he holds a beaker over me while I play dead, Miami-style.

Miami Set Tour

Miami Set Tour Our next destination is a temporary set, constructed for this episode alone. The set is a mock-up of a trendy Miami nightclub where patrons can choose to sit on the pristine white bar stools or on soft white beds with satin covers and curtains around them. In the episode, a young woman is killed in the bar and Calleigh and Ryan must find out wanted her dead (story). The detailed set, with its plus pillows, glittering mirror balls, and diaphanous curtains, won't survive the week. After filming finishes, it will be torn down to make way for another episode-specific set.

Miami Set Tour

Miami Set Tour Outside the club set, Ryan Wolfe's tool case sits on a gurney beside a dummy. Togo delves into the case with glee and retrieves one of the latex gloves the CSIs use when examining crime scenes and evidence. Togo has another use for the glove: he proves that yes, they are indeed inflatable. The kit is filled with plenty of goodies to delight any aspiring CSI: evidence envelopes, fingerprint strips, scissors, swabs.

Miami Set Tour

Miami Set Tour Togo moves on to one of the cameras the CSIs use to snap crime scene photos. The camera is mounted on a tripod, and though it flashes, Togo reveals that there's no film inside.

Our next stop is the lab where Togo shot his earlier scene with the crucial piece of evidence. A duplicate for the one Togo ate lies on the lab table; he picks it up, using the tweezers, and imitates the scene he was just filming with a bit more levity this time around. Behind him are five photos of the victim from the club on the bed where she died.

Miami Set Tour

Miami Set Tour We stroll into Calleigh's layer: ballistics. The room is long, giving Calleigh ample room to fire suspect weaponry. The gun cage is along the wall, along with a handy chart displaying different kinds of bullets. The bullets are real, but Togo reveals that many of the guns are plastic.

Miami Set Tour

Miami Set Tour A stop in the trace lab reveals all sorts of sophisticated equipment: computers and microscopes line the long table that goes down the center of the room. There's a modern staircase in the back of the room with white steps and a metal railing, but in actuality, the staircase leads nowhere.

Miami Set Tour

Togo and I take a break in the hallway where David Caruso's Horatio Caine often consoles the families of the victims whose deaths he investigates.

Miami Set TourThe swanky lobby is just around the corner; I step behind the reception desk to get a quick picture. The computer behind the desk looks like the genuine thing, but the screen is plastic, displaying a static set of data. Across from the desk is the posh elevator Horatio or some other CSI can be seen stepping out of.

Miami Set Tour

Miami Set Tour A stop by the wardrobe department reveals some of the outfits the cast will be sporting in upcoming episodes. Togo delves into his selection and pulls out...a green sweater vest. With amiable good humor, he poses with the vest.

Our tour ends by Togo's trailer, which he's just redecorated. Even though he's clearly settled into the cast and his role, his enthusiasm hasn't waned one bit. He shows me the new photos of his character in the patrol uniform he wore in his first appearance, and gamely draws a sweater vest over it. With his characteristic grin, he hands it to me. There's little doubt: Togo is still the kid in the candy shop, loving every minute of being on Miami.

Miami Set Tour

Special thanks go out to Jonathan Togo, Matt Partney, Corinne Marrinan, Nicole Daddio and Jim Kladis.

Discuss this articles at Talk CSI!

Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.

Kristine Huntley is a freelance writer and reviewer.

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