The Sneaky Bastard…

As you may or may not know, I am a huge fan of the TV series Leverage. I recently bought seasons 1 and 2 on DVD and started watching from the beginning. I’ve seen all the episodes already, but sitting down and really watching them is almost as good as seeing them all for the first time.

And as you can probably guess, being a computer geek, my favorite character is Hardison. Normally the type of Hollywood hacking portrayed on TV bothers me to no end (*glares at the likes of CSI et al*) but the Leverage cast and crew pulls it off marvelously. Unrealistic? Sure. Fun to watch Hardison (and later Wil Wheaton) spread the nerd love? Hell yea.

Now one of the things I do that tends to annoy people is to point out the inaccuracies in tech scenes. Yea, I’m that guy, though I try not to be obnoxious about it. Anyway, while watching Leverage I always like to focus in on the scripts that Hardison runs. Usually they scroll by too fast, but I am used to a command-line interface so I can catch glimpses here and there.

Overall I’m impressed. While he does tend to use a flashy interface, most of his solid work is done in a terminal. This got me thinking. Since I own the DVD now, I can slow down and actually read what’s going on!

As I would expect, a lot of it is made to look cool. It sure as hell looks like real output though. I started doing this on The Mile High Job from season 1. At the 37 minute mark, Parker is looking at a control system in the cargo bank. I paused as soon as the screen came into focus, then stepped frame by frame reading each line.

Then I saw it.

“/Users/tomslattery/Documents/” yadda yadda yadda

My Google Fu brought me to this page. Sure enough, he’s listed as a Visual Effects Designer for Leverage! As far as I know, nobody else in the public realm has caught this. I’m impressed, not only because it looks like he knows his stuff, but because he left that little gem there for someone to find.

It gets better.

The text he uses in that scene (or possibly one earlier, can’t remember) is actually found in a deleted scene from The Miracle Job where Hardison has a flashback to his Finland bank hack. He has a program called “The Encryptor” running that appears to be the same script the attackers use to try and take down the plane!

Now if I can be “that guy” for a minute, I’d like to point something else out about the deleted Miracle Job scene. At the 31 second mark, Hardison has his script running (since God doesn’t outlaw crazy dancin’) and the output includes references to code that would not have existed when Hardison was a teenager. Specifically, I saw libssl 0.9.7 which I believe was first released as an alpha in 2004.

My eyes are on you, Tom…


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