Keep on Keepin’ on
The Winchesters go back to basics for Supernatural’s 12th season…
When Eric Kripke created Supernatural, pitting brothers Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) against various otherworldly beasts, the story was only supposed to last five seasons. A few years on from that, the show now boasts 241 hours of produced stories as Supernatural returns for its 12th season in the US this month with the very appropriately titled episode “Keep Calm And Carry On”.
Someone who has been with the series since season one is executive producer, writer, director and now co-showrunner Robert Singer. He tells Red Alert that the show is going back to basics with its storytelling this year. “It’s more standalones and a smaller canvas for this year’s mythology,” Singer reveals. “It’s not the apocalypse, it’s not God, it’s not Amara [Emily Swallow]. It’s very much about Sam and Dean. It’s about bringing mom back [Mary Winchester played by Samantha Smith] and the hunt for Lucifer is very personal, especially for Cas [Misha Collins]. Everyone has an agenda that will be turned upside down later in the season as the Men of Letters become more prevalent in the storyline, as well as their view of things, as opposed to our guys’ view on things.”
Singer reveals that the show will also refocus on the memorable monster stories that have long been a hallmark of the show. “We always feel that one of our strengths is we make these monsters interesting,” he explains. “Not so much creating new monsters, but giving personality to the monsters that we have. I think it’s one thing that has kept us on the air for a while and sets us apart from some other shows like this. The Alpha vampire [in season six] was a really interesting character. Kate the werewolf [in season eight] was a really interesting character. Eric Kripke used to say that every villain is the hero of his own story and that’s something we’ve really lived by. We try to make their stories as interesting as our guys’ stories if we can, so we’re getting back to interesting villains with their own stories.”
In particular, Singer is excited about an upcoming standalone about necromancers. “I think the biggest swing we’re taking this year is a story with the Thule, or German necromancers. It’s a pretty big swing,” he laughs. Otherwise, Singer says fans can look forward to Mary’s unexpected return, via the handiwork of Amara in the season 11 finale, to the mortal coil, really shaking up the Winchester family dynamic to its core. With the family matriarch dead and buried for 30 years, there’s a whole lot of weirdness to confront as the season begins.
“The way we portray heaven is you go to your own private heaven and it’s your best memories,” Singer explains. “Mary’s best memories are of a baby in a crib and a four or five-year-old boy. Now Sam and Dean are grown and she doesn’t know them. And they are doing something she never would have picked for them to do. She’s probably pissed off at John Winchester [previously played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan] but he’s not around to say anything to. She’s a fish out of water. It’s a tough transition and I don’t think Amara factored any of that when she brought her back. And the boys have always needed this mother figure but they also have a 30-year gap. Where that goes over the course of the season, it will evolve. In the beginning, it’s tough on everyone concerned.” Business as usual for the Winchesters, then...
Supernatural season 12 will air on E4 in 2017.