BONES Bosses on Embracing the Past, the 'Energizing' Season 11, and the Game-Changing Midseason Finale - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

BONES Bosses on Embracing the Past, the ‘Energizing’ Season 11, and the Game-Changing Midseason Finale

September 30, 2015 by  

Credit: FOX

Credit: FOX

BONES is starting its impressive 11th season with new bosses in charge — but, thankfully, Jonathan Collier and Michael Peterson (the aforementioned showrunners) have been with the show for a bit, and have a vested interest in doing right by it.

“We love the show,” Peterson gushed over the summer. “We’ve been handed the most precious baby in the world, and we want to see her run for a long, long time. We love her. We’re going to do whatever is best for her. We’re not going to do it if it’s not true to the characters, the story. I’d like to see her live as long as THE SIMPSONS lives.”

“We were handed something that was great, so we’re deeply respectful of what [BONES creator] Hart [Hanson] and [longtime BONES showrunner] Stephen [Nathan] have done before us,” Collier pointed out. “The DNA of the show is so good, they managed it so well. The first rule of thumb is do no harm. The second rule is keep it fresh, which was Hart’s advice to us. Everything we’re doing is with Hart and Stephen’s blessing; we love them, we still lean on them for advice.”

The duo also received another important piece of feedback when it was announced they would be taking over showrunning duties.

“[BONES star] David Boreanaz (Booth) came to us and said, ‘Go back and watch season 1. What is this show about? Why are we doing this. And embrace that,'” Peterson recalled.

In crafting the season, it helped that the showrunners had a bit of a clean slate to work with. After the events of season 10 finale (which was crafted as a potential series finale, due to a late renewal), the show will skip six months between seasons.

“It was challenging, but creatively, it’s all for the best,” Collier admitted. “It allowed us to do a reboot; it’s very energizing for what it does for our stories, our characters.”

When season 11 picks up, “Booth [has been] teaching at Quantico, he was out,” Peterson teased. “Brennan has had a child, she’s written book, done a million other things; she’s the Brennan we’ve always loved.”

But the peace doesn’t last for long — Booth vanishes, and Brennan must return to work to figure out what happened to her husband.

“Complacent, happy people aren’t necessarily the most interesting ones to watch,” Collier said. “So we want to shake things up.”

Adding to the complication? Kim Raver’s Agent Miller, who is brought in to investigate Booth’s disappearance.

“We got so lucky, she is so terrific,” Collier gushed. “She stepped in, she got what we wanted, she brought a lot to the role.”

And to get a little bit more intel about what’s in store, I spoke with Peterson before the show’s season premiere to get his take on Booth and Brennan’s arcs in the premiere, the cases to come, and more…

What can you say about the balance to showcase how the Jeffersonian was getting by in Brennan’s absence, without minimizing Brennan’s input or making Arastoo, who has stepped in for her, look terrible?
Michael Peterson: That was tough. We tried to strike that balance. Brennan even says at one point, in five years, maybe he would be ready to run a place like the Jeffersonian…it’s just not today. So, he’s extremely competent, he did as well as anyone could do while Brennan was away. But it’s not Dr. Temperance Brennan. There are some things we allude to, that there were some unsolved cases under his watch. I think that’s some we’re hoping to revisit later on, because we say that’s on her conscious, not Arastoo’s. Those unsettled cases will play into the later parts of the season.

Of course, Brennan is going through her own trauma in these episodes as Booth is missing. What can you say about her arc?
MP: When it first happens, she is a little bit more severe to Arastoo, and, quite frankly, more reminiscent to who she was in the earlier seasons with how tough she was on her interns. She’s been backed into this horrible corner, and she has no idea what has happened to Booth. And she feels betrayed, for a while there, because she doesn’t know. At the end of last season, Booth had started lying because of the gambling. So, I think the pressure was getting to her. But the more she started stepping in and getting in control and resuming her place in the lab where she’s supposed to be, she was able to give Arastoo more of the doubt. But she needs to be in control.

What can you preview to fans about what they’ll see of Booth in these first two episodes?
MP: Booth [has] gone missing and presumed dead in the opener. And, we come to realize he has had to take care of some business which is extremely personal; a family affair. It’s probably the only thing that would have pulled Booth back into harm’s way. By episode 2, we understand even though he is alive, he is very much fighting for his life. And it’s about as dire of a circumstance as we’ve seen him in as some of the early Gravedigger episodes.

The show is also diving a bit into politics this year. What can you share about that storyline?
MP: We’re in day two of shooting 11×06, which is very much a political episode, with the death of a senator. It was just an opportunity to [acknowledge] we’re a D.C.-based show, and we haven’t gone into that since almost the pilot. We have an election year coming up. So it was just a fun opportunity to jump into the political world.

And it was also something we wanted to do as far as Aubrey’s ambition. In the first couple of episodes, we hint that Aubrey is an up-and-coming agent. He has aspirations. We even see him in Booth’s office when we start off the season. He’s a young, hot gun for the FBI. His aspirations go beyond the FBI. That’s something we’ll see in [11×06], and it’ll play a major factor in 11×10, and moving on forward from there.

What other cases are in store this season?
MP: We have the SLEEPY crossover, which is big.

We have magic, which I’m excited to be going into — everyone has a very different, interesting point of view.

We have an undercover episode coming up. What I will say there is it will be unlike any one we’ve ever done before. We’re playing a different dynamic than we’ve seen before. Usually Booth and Brennan go undercover together. It’s not going to be quite the same this time. It’s going to tell a lot about where their relationship is at, in this undercover episode. We’re excited, it’s going to be written by Karine Rosenthal who was with our show for 7 or 8 years. [Editor’s note: Rosenthal last popped back to BONES to write the fantastic wedding episode in 2013.] We’re delighted she came back, and was willing to guest write an episode. That one is going to be fantastic.

And then our episode 10, originally, it was one of the episodes we were considering for our season opener. It’s a very big episode, and it’s a big enough case that you could have brought Booth and Brennan back into their jobs with this case. But in the end, the story is going to be more Angela/Hodgins based, and [for the premiere] we wanted to make the focus on Booth and Brennan. But episode 10, which will be our midseason finale, it’s a huge, huge episode, and it’s a game-changer for Angela and Hodgins’ relationship…it’s big enough to be our midseason, and it was big enough to be our opener. It’s an episode that’s going to have ramifications for Aubrey, Angela, Hodgins, really everyone in our crew. But those three at the focus.

BONES returns Thursday, October 1st at 8 PM on Fox.


BONES: ‘The Donor in the Drink’ Photos
BONES Season 11 Promo: Booth is Missing
BONES Season 11 Premiere: ‘The Loyalty in the Lie’ You Ask, I Answer
BONES: Season 11 Cast Photos
BONES Season 11 Premiere Photos: ‘The Loyalty in the Lie’
BONES’ Tamara Taylor Teases Booth’s Premiere Disappearance: ‘It’s Not Looking Good’

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3 Responses to “BONES Bosses on Embracing the Past, the ‘Energizing’ Season 11, and the Game-Changing Midseason Finale”

  1. Athena on October 1st, 2015 3:44 am

    The advise David Boreanaz gave to the new showrunners is the best advise they could have gotten. That is exactly what the long-term fans talk about all the time — recapturing the magic of seasons 1,2 and 3. Oh, if the new showrunners could do that, this could not possibly be the last season of Bones!!! We love the show and its premise, but the true heart of the show is the special magic which David and Emily create on screen. They are super actors and their synergy is something so very, very special — the heart of Bones!

  2. Sal on October 1st, 2015 10:59 am

    I’m really glad DB told them to rewatch season 1. And I hope the new showrunners especially pay attention to how Brennan acted in seasons 1-3 as well. I’d love to see the sassy Brennan of the early years and the snappy electric dialogues between Booth & Brennan again, not the stiff robotic Brennan and annoyed Booth that Stephen Nathan turned them into.

  3. Ryan on October 3rd, 2015 6:24 pm

    Bones has been an incredible show for me to have the pleasure to watch. Obviously the first couple seasons were the best, but season 10 ruined it for me. It’s like since hart Hanson left the series it’s changed. Sweets died which is just the beginning of my woes with the show. It seems so stale and generic. The characters seem so one dimensional and static not the dynamic ever developing interactive story they once were. Every killer in season 10 “oh sorry didn’t mean to” fake sob story and on top of that they bring in Aubrey who looks like a nerd but acts like he’s some tough guy or like he’s been with the cast for years or somethin. The dialogue dried up and got super stale in s10 the only exciting episode was the gambling one. Please stay working on other projects Nathan and bring hart Hanson back!