Episode 1: Pilot
0:00: The first episode opens with a shot of helicopters flying over
what we are told is "Callan, Ireland." They land near a rustic house.
Armed soldiers rush into the home, as if raiding a terrorist hideout,
only to find a young kid (Walter) who has hacked into the Pentagon.
The opening aerial shot of the helicopters flying over the Irish landscape was faked
via CGI. We don't get a real location until they are on the ground.
They filmed the rustic house scenes (mountains and all) at
Disney's Golden Oak Ranch,
at 19802 Placerita Canyon Road, in Newhall, CA.
Newhall is in the hills north of the San Fernando Valley, about five miles southeast of
Six Flags Magic Mountain, and about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.
The home we see is known as "Olivia's House", and it is located in the
upper northeast section of the ranch. They altered its usual appearance
a little for the shoot, changing tis color from white to gray, removing the
shutters, and adding climbing ivy to its walls, among other things.
Here is a photo of what the house usually looks like:
Here is a Google StreetView of the ranch's main gate.
1:00: Next, we see that genius kid, Walter, all grown up. He's in a diner,
attempting to break up with his girlfriend, but lacks the social skills needed
to do so gracefully. He gives her a flowchart predicting her reactions, and
(to add insult to injury) even schedules their breakup to coincide with
a job he needs to do: fixing the wi-fi at the diner.
While there, Walter spots a 9-year-old boy (Ralph) sitting at the counter, behaving oddly.
His waitress mother (Paige) thinks he is mentally challenged, but Walter
realizes that the kid is another budding super-genius, like himself.
At 15:00, the team returns to the diner, in order to find a reliable
wireless signal during their mission.
This diner becomes one of the central locations on this series, and
the waitress, Paige, becomes a member of the Scorpion team.
This is an actual diner.
It's called Frank's Restaurant, and you'll find it at
916 W. Olive Avenue, in
That's about a mile northeast of the movie studios that made Burbank
famous, including Disney Studios, Warner Bros and NBC.
(This diner was also seen in the Tom Hanks/Julia Roberts movie "Larry Crowne".)
Here is a Google StreetView of the diner.
4:00: Next, we see Walter's car pull up in front of a ratty
He goes inside and meets with his Scorpion team of troubled geniuses:
Sylvester (human calculator), Happy (a "mechanical wiz) and Toby (a shrink).
This is another central location on the series, as the team's headquarters.
It's where Cabe Gallo, a Homeland Security agent, first recruits the team.
This building, used in the pilot episode as their headquarters, is located at
653 S. Anderson Street, in
downtown Los Angeles
(in a warehouse district, on the east side of the L.A. river).
Walter appears to enter through the back of the building, off Jesse
(They added a fake street number, 2270, to the door.)
The interiors, of course, are shot on a set built inside the studio, so the
windows, seen in the screencap above, don't match the exterior.
Here is a matching Google StreetView of the building.
However, in the third episode, they introduced a new building as Scorpion's headquarters,
and they have used that building ever since as the team's home base.
It's supposed to be the same place, but it's a completely different exterior.
You'll find it at 1935 Bay Street, in downtown L.A.
It too is brick and is located in a warehouse district of downtown L.A.,
but this one is on the other (west) side of the L.A. river, about a mile
southwest of the original location (at 653 S. Anderson Street).
This one does, at least, have the benefit of having large multi-paned
windows (similar to those seen on the interior set), but unfortunately,
those windows are on the top floor, while the windows on the interior
set are at ground level. Nor is there to be a large, spinning fan near
the entrance (just the usual small air conditioners).
Here is a matching Google StreetView of the new building.
At 5:00: we see another Scorpion member,
Toby, running under a bridge.
trying to get away from two thugs, who are chasing him.
The shot above was filmed under
the 6th Street bridge,
at 650 Anderson Street,
with the camera looking east.
And here is a Google StreetView from under the 6th Street Bridge.
He runs to the (original) Scorpion headquarters,
where Agent Gallo convinces the thugs to go away.
In the screencap above, he is running south down Anderson Street.
The rounded corner building behind him is at 654 Anderson St.
( It was also featured in the movie "In Time".)
Here is a matching Google StreetView of the scene above.
14:00: The Scorpion team is seen driving to
their first mission, which involves
multiple jet planes being unable to land, due to lack of ground communication.
This is the Harbor (110) Freeway,
in downtown Los Angeles,
looking south/southwest from the 7th Street overpass.
Here is a Google StreetView of the freeway.
24:00: Toby & Happy arrive at a
data center to get a crucial hard disc from LAX,
minutes before a deadline when the vital software will disappear from the servers.
Unfortunately, the center's large doors are locked when they arrive...
forcing Happy to break into a nearby power box (next to a Metro train track) and
create a 500,000 KW surge, causing a brief brown-out, and unlocking the doors.
This place is supposed to be "on Ventura". It's not.
This building (a warehouse, in real life) is actually 300 W. Avenue 33,
in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles.
The big doors they are trying to unlock are up on building's top level.
Here is a Google StreetView of the building.
Here is a Google StreetView of the nearby railroad tracks.
39:00: Walter needs to get across the city, to an airport, in a very short time, to
save the day, so Paige drives him, as fast as she can, through the streets of L.A.
They are supposed to be in West L.A., since the streets Bundy & Barrington
are mentioned. But they're not in West L.A.
See that Felix Chevrolet sign in background? That tells us they are heading east
the 300 block of Jefferson, at Hope, just east of USC & Exposition Park.
(The Felix sign itself is at Figueroa & Jefferson.)
The camera, using a zoom lens, is looking west up Jefferson, from near Grand Avenue.
Here is a matching Google StreetView of that street.
Happy manipulates the street signals along their way to all turn green,
so Paige & Walter won't have to stop at any of the traffic lights.
When Happy says "Now!", and the lights change,
their car is
heading east on
Jefferson Blvd, just west of Hill Street.
The camera is looking east down Jefferson.
Here is a matching Google StreetView of that street.
Along the way, Paige & Walter's car is endangered by a pickup truck
about to hit them in an intersection, so Gallo rams the truck
with his vehicle, causing a nasty wreck.
That car crash was shot at the intersection of Jefferson Blvd & Hill Street.
The camera is looking west up Jefferson.
Here is a matching Google StreetView of that intersection.
42:00: Paige & Walter arrive at
It's supposed to be "Klemmer Air Field".
There, they perform a wild stunt in which a jet airliner flies low enough for
Paige (riding in a Ferrari 458, traveling at 200 MPH) to plug a cable
dangling from the plane, into a laptop (in the car) in order to transfer
the needed software to prevent the air disaster.
It's a preposterous idea, but it makes for an exciting scene.
There is no Klemmer Air Field in L.A.
This is actually Ontario International Airport,
2500 E. Airport Drive, in Ontario, CA.
That's about 40 miles east of downtown L.A., and about 10 miles
Because filming at busy LAX can be tricky, filmakers really like shooting
southeast of the L.A. Fairgrounds in Pomona.
at the less-crowded Ontario Airport, and it turns up often in movies &
TV productions, including the final season of "Dexter" (where it played
the airport from which Dexter & Hannah were trying to escape to Argentina).
Here is a Bing StreetSide view of the airport tower.
More "Scorpion" locations!
The photos on this
page are stills from "Scorpion"
(which you can buy by clicking
here) and are copyright CBS.
The rest of the page
Gary J. Wayne - 2016 / Seeing-Stars.com