Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Talking to Fox: Bones
by Kelly Bedard
In our 4-part series "Talking to Fox" we're sharing the scoop from the sets of Allen Gregory, Raising Hope, New Girl and Bones.
Last, but certainly not least, is the incredibly funny combo of Bones showrunners Hart Hanson and Stephen Nathan. The bantering duo made for the most entertaining call of the lot and the longest installment in our series by far.
So without further ado, here they are:
When asked how the shortened season will play out, the showrunners responded by shining a light on one of FOX’s worst habits: unreliable scheduling and re-ordering of episodes.
S. Nathan: "Well, what we—we have no idea what the scheduling is. We don’t have any idea of what the scheduling will be. They do want to do ultimately, seventeen episodes. How it airs is really up to Fox. We’re kind of at this point, going along with the premise that we’ll do a season of thirteen episodes and the remaining four episodes are still up in the air where they will air, or how they will air. They could air before what we consider our last episode even. So, that’s a long way of saying we have no idea of when those four episodes will play out."
H. Hanson: "It’s a real pickle for us because we don’t quite know where to place these four stories in our universe and it’s tough if they air all in a row, they would be odd because they don’t—they would not contain any meaningful character arts. So, it’s a pickle. We’re hoping we can get some guidance, perhaps after we air for a while and perhaps, after we see how the rest of the Fox show does."
The Bones spinoff Finder lives in the same universe as its hit mother-series and that means one thing: character crossovers! So will any of our favourite squints (and friends) be popping up on the new show?
H. Hanson: "I’m crossing my fingers right now, but we shot a show in which Sweets came down to take part in an investigation and evaluate Walter through the FBI and right now, we’re closing in on having a conspiracy theory episode in which the ideal character, of course, is Jack Hodgins to come down and be dueling conspiracy theorists with Walter. The idea is really funny. We just have to make sure that TJ is available and that it fits into his schedule, but it’s looking pretty good for that, and we want to do one more. We want to do one more. We don’t know what it is yet. By the way, we’re also looking to see if there is a place and a room for Stephen Fry to appear in a Finder episode as Gordon Gordon Wyatt."
Some Things Never Change
Booth and Brennan are together now, which you’d think would completely change the dynamic of the show. Apparently not.
S. Nathan: "I think to us, it was somewhat organic. We just continued to write Booth and Brennan in the same way, which were two completely disparate characters who agreed on very little on the surface. Only now, they’re dealing with a pregnancy and a relationship. So, it really seemed to be a natural extension of the previous six years of Bones"
H. Hanson: "Stephen and I had to talk all of the time. “Well what happens next? What does it look like? What replaces unrequited—sexual tension? What interesting dynamic replaces that?” And it’s a tough one. And we talked about it at great length and then, the Gods intervened and Emily came and said, “I’m pregnant.” At that moment we knew what replaced sexual tension was an actual human being."
The Trouble With Love Is…
S. Nathan: “I think what we really wanted to avoid more than anything was to have two—have a couple madly in love with each other, because it’s to me that’s always going out to dinner with a couple who have just met and make out all through dinner. And you want to kill them and never have dinner with them again. So we wanted to avoid that dinner. And we successfully did. We have a couple who we can invite over every week for dinner and they’re great company.”
Oh TJ Thyne, Adorable.
H. Hanson: "TJ is angling to be the lead of the show. He had so many ideas. You may have seen his—he is a really good writer and director if you check out his work on YouTube. So he has tons of ideas and man, as an actor, he’s up for anything."
On the Hodgins Horizon
S. Nathan: "We’re going to hear a little bit about his grandfather and see him kind of dive-in in episode six with our new resident villain. Kind of dive-in as only Jack Hodgins can, and in adding a bit of conspiracy and a bit of code breaking."
H. Hanson: "And, we have a story in our pocket about TJ—Hodgin’s brother. But, it’s in my mind, and Stephen may talk me out of this, in my mind it’s attached to a piece of casting that I can’t imagine doing it without this piece of casting attached to it or my interest level drops. So, we have to wait and see if that happens and no, I would never admit who it is."
S. Nathan: "But, we will see, you know, there’s a lot of Angela and Hodgins in the first six actually. And so we learn more about them than we ever have before as well. And Billy Gibbons returns."
Banter and the New Guy
H. Hanson: "Stephen you want to—yes, you want to take an opportunity to talk a bit about the new Squintern?"
S. Nathan: "Well, I think everybody’s seen the new Squintern, Finn. Luke Kleintank plays him and he is somebody who will be recurring with us. He’s phenomenal."
H. Hanson: "I really just want to hear you say, 'Luke Kleintank'."
S. Nathan: "I know. We’ve cast some actors just because of their names this year."
H. Hanson: "Yes, I just want to say starring with Luke’s flying tank."
S. Nathan: "And he is great. We are already writing him in—he’s already returning. And we’ll get into that in the last eleven, but I don’t want to give anything away, but he comes back and it’s quite a nice involvement with the other characters."
Secrecy and Teasers
H. Hanson: "Babies do tend to drag relatives out of the woodwork, so we have some. I think, actually the Booth and his grandfather and his father’s story in the first six is maybe one of the best episodes of Bones ever, certainly one—an amazing performances by David Boreanaz and I’m dying for everyone to see. And that has family attached. And also, Stephen, I don’t know if we should admit too, but we think we have a pretty good idea for who should take care of the baby."
S. Nathan: "Yes, I think that’s something that we can keep to ourselves until the—because that’s after the first six. But it’ll be a lot of fun, yes."
[ed.note: we think they're talking about Brennan's dad, thoughts?]
Accidental Funny Man
Reporter: "Hart, Can you talk about the amnesia aspects within the premiere and how that concept came about?"
H. Hanson: "The amnesia aspects? I’ve totally forgotten what they are."
S. Nathan: "That’s a good joke."
H. Hanson: "I’ve totally forgotten what the amnesia aspect is. I have. I have."
S. Nathan: "The first murder was—the woman had amnesia. We just kind of wanted to—"
H. Hanson: "Oh, okay, I instantly go to our main characters and go 'Who the hell had amnesia?'."
S. Nathan: "The amnesia episode obviously was based on Hart."
H. Hanson: "Ask me which episode of The Finder is shooting behind me right now.
I don’t know"
The Important Things In Life
S. Nathan: "We really wanted to have an episode that would kind of resonate with what Booth and Brennan where going through. What you bring to a new relationship, and how it’s been formed completely by your past and whether you can make remake those memories and what it is to make new memories. So, we were just kind of playing with that concept. And then, we also thought it was a cool murder. I want to make it deeper than that, but a cool murder usually wins out."
H. Hanson: "We always start with a cool murder or a cool corpse, I should say."
The Key to Success- a dedicated writers’ room
S. Nathan: "There’s a group of them. They come in with new equipment that has just been developed and new investigatory techniques. It’s a remarkable group of people, because they will come to us and say, 'Well, you know, this person could have been murdered, actually in another galaxy. It’s totally real at this point and wind up in somebody’s ‘Soup for One’ can.' It’s crazy."
S. Nathan: "I would say that 90% of the stuff that we do in the show is completely real and scientifically accurate. We might stretch or shrink the time as necessary, but the science is correct and usually is mind boggling to us."
H. Hanson: "Yes, and people do send us. I mean, we get links all of the time to journals and new forensic techniques and scientific techniques. I happen to send them immediately up to the writing room. I don’t even read them because it makes my head hurt, but now I just send them up to the writer’s room and they churn those things out. They’re an amazing group of people."
The Perils of a Large, Awesome Ensemble
S. Nathan: "We just had so much to do with Booth and Brennan that it was very, very difficult to service everybody as much as we would like. We keep asking the network—the network will only give us an hour. I don’t know why."
Quote of the Call
H. Hanson: “I don’t think you should say, “Write like the wind”, because the wind blows.”
H. Hanson: "We can give away this—"
H. Hanson: "That when Booth and Brennan will catch most of the killers."
Reporter: "Spoiler alert, spoiler alert."
H. Hanson: "And you know what? You can print that."
Emily Deschanel- Pregnant Badass
S. Nathan: "I just want to say one thing that Emily—we actually scheduled the shooting of episodes five and six so that we were shooting them at the same time. All I can say is Emily was so pregnant that she finished on Monday and had the baby the next day. So, she was working until—she basically was in the good earth. She was unbelievable, but she refused to have stunt people and there’s a scene that you’ll see in I think it’s the second episode, where she just has at some 350 pound man, and that was her."
H. Hanson: "Well, Stephen I was thinking that we hired a stunt double, remember? It was a story point that Booth was concerned about Brennan getting to across some broken ground to a crime scene and we told Emily, 'Well, you know what Brennan would do—she’d run across there, but we’ll have a stunt double for that.' And she said, 'No, I want to do it.' And we had to physically tell her 'No. You’re not going to run across that to get to the body. We’ve got a stunt double for that.' She’s just been totally game."
S. Nathan: "She just did absolutely everything. I mean, you know, there were a couple of times that the days were long, and we sent her home. But, honestly, she is built from iron. She is unbelievable."
H. Hanson: "Sadly, she is going to say it’s because she is a vegan, so I’m going to lose that war."
“You Killed Mr. Nigel-Murray, You Bastards”- actual quote from a reporter on the call
S. Nathan: "I—you know, what? That was horrible for us. We hated that. We love him so much and –"
H. Hanson: "The reason he got killed is very simple—someone was going to die this year and we waited until we knew each of our Squinterns, what they were going to be doing the following seasons. And he got a series, 13, on the air, on the SciFi network so he was the one to be killed. Also, I’ve always thought in the back of my mind that should the SciFi series go away, I wish it only ill, that is one of the few characters that you could conceivably bring back as a relative or where you can laughingly say, Vincent Nigel-Murray is dead but Nigel Vincent Murray is still alive. And because he can do a million accents; he is such a chameleon and we actually had a good little weep. I think that’s everyone when he left."
S. Nathan: "Oh, it was terrible. We called the other show and told them he stunk and they shouldn’t hire him. We did everything we possibly could, but they just …."
H. Hanson: "We are doomed with these Squinterns. Every single one of them could go get a recurring new job—a starring job in another series any day."
S. Nathan: "Don’t say that."
H. Hanson: "We have to be prepared for it."
S. Nathan: "You’re just going to encourage them."
H. Hanson: "… to become a huge star now?"
S. Nathan: "I know. I know. It’s a remarkable group. It really is."
Um… Wrong Girl
About Patricia Belcher, who plays prosecutor Caroline Julian
S. Nathan: “David loves working with her, and they’re just a great couple”
On a Reporter’s Malfunctioning Headset
S. Nathan: "No, it actually sounds like you’re in a bathroom, which is a little upsetting."
Worst “last question” Ever! How Awkward is This?
Reporter: "Good, how are you? Question I have—I have a question that a fan has asked. Is there going to be a birthday party for Brennan this year?"
H. Hanson: "I have no idea. I cannot in any way answer that. Stephen, do you have any thoughts on that? We don’t generally do that. I’ll tell you why."
S. Nathan: "No, we never—"
H. Hanson: "To do a birthday party without saying how old someone is, it seems counterproductive and there is not really good reason. It’s not vanity. It’s just why define the age of a character? We do every once in a while, but do you have a thought on that Stephen?"
S. Nathan: "No. I don’t. I never—it never crossed my mind to be honest, to have a birthday party for Brennan."
H. Hanson: "I’m kind of interested in why you ask."
Reporter: "Because apparently—one of our fans asked—because apparently last episode she was ah, didn’t show up for her own birthday party."
H. Hanson: "That, that—she was what? I’m sorry?"
Reporter: "There was an episode where she didn’t show up for her birthday party."
H. Hanson: "She didn’t show up for her birthday party?"
Reporter: "Yes, they were planning a birthday party?"
H. Hanson: "Once again, I have amnesia. I don’t remember that at all. Do you Stephen? You have a better memory than I do."
S. Nathan: "No, no, I just – all I remember about birthdays are cake."
H. Hanson: "I do remember that if there is one thing Emily doesn’t like it’s a surprise party, but that’s Emily, not Brennan."
Reporter: "Right. Okay, this is a—"
H. Hanson: "So if you’re planning to throw Emily a surprise party, don’t."
Reporter: "I got a question from the fan and I thought I would ask it."
H. Hanson: "You know what?"
S. Nathan: "It’s such a—I mean, it’s somebody who obviously is very—"
H. Hanson: "…."
S. Nathan: "Yes, very well."
Reporter: "I’m sorry, I didn’t—you were both talking. I didn’t hear you."
H. Hanson: "Is this what happens when series go for seven years? All of a sudden you can’t remember story lines like that? It doesn’t even ring a bell for me at all."
S. Nathan: "I think it was probably something that occurred within a story and there are 130 … It’s pretty to ah—I can barely—I forgot my own address. Maybe, that’s where the amnesia episode came from."
H. Hanson: "If we find out, we’ll Twitter it."
Reporter: "Okay, thanks."
H. Hanson: "Thank you."