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Creator Hart Hanson talks about Bones

by Richard Keller, posted May 17th 2008 2:29PM

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Despite the fact it is tossed around the FOX primetime schedule like a hot potato, Bones remains one of the most popular properties on the network. With its mix of mystery, mayhem, romance, humor, and scientifically big words, the show caters to a broad audience. Some of the success can be attributed to the stars of the show, who have a great on-screen chemistry.

The rest of the drama's success can be placed upon the shoulders of creator Hart Hanson. Hart took the concept of the murder mystery and bent it to his own desires, focusing more on the interactions between the characters rather than the long-dead murder victims. With that, he turned a show that could have been another copy of CSI into something goofy and romantic in nature. Which means something fresh and unique in a world of cookie-cutter series.

With the season finale of Bones coming up on Monday, May 19th (8:00 PM), Hart took time to discuss the ending to the Gormogon saga, what was coming up for next season, and the never ending schedule changes. Highlights of the conversation can be found after the jump.

Gormogon: The season finale will be the end of the Gormogon arc. Hanson decided to end it so soon due to the complexity of the Gormogon character as well as the story. Rather than dragging the whole thing into a new season, he wanted to end it cleanly. There were a few more beats to the story, but they needed to be discarded due to the shortened strike season. Hanson said the culmination of the story is slightly different than what they had in mind, but would still be satisfying.

The Gormogon saga was a tip of the hat to the show's fans: a little extra something to get them to come back week after week. When asked about the origins of Gormogon, Hart said the original idea was to have the serial killer tied into video games. From there, Hart wondered what type of killer would have such a complicated story behind him that he would store everything in a vault. Then, Hart speculated on how the Squints could be involved in the case. Well, Hodgins was the conspiracy freak, so that's where the connections to the Masons and the Gormogon Society came in. The killer's cannibalism was not an original part of the story. That came about from the first tease of the storyline, which featured a skull with teeth marks crashing through a windshield.

Scheduling: Hart is definitely cranky about the schedule changes on a lot of levels, In this upcoming season Bones and House are on separate nights (Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively). Hanson say they have a great pairing with House and he is not happy they are breaking up the team. He would rather be left in one time slot and be allowed to grow. Still, he is glad that the show's audience is following him to every time slot that the show lands. This is the most likely reason why Bones is one of the few shows that came back from the strike and went up in viewers.

Season Four: Hart said that it was time to make a few changes to shake things up creatively. The after effects of the season finale will set up these changes as events that take place will touch some of the main characters. This will setup the influx of new blood coming into the lab.

The two-part season premiere will have Booth and Bones flying to London to solve a murder case. Hanson is just finishing up the script for these episodes and David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel will be flying out to the United Kingdom sometime in June.

Sweets and Zack: John Francis Daley will be returning next season as Dr. Lance Sweets -- as long as he's not Gormogon. As to whether or not Eric Millegan will be return to his role as Zack Addy in season 4, Hanson couldn't really say. He did mention that viewers have not seen the last of Zack.

The Grave Digger: According to Hart, the Grave Digger is definitely coming back for the fourth season. Another victim of the strike, Grave Digger was put to the sidelines in favor of the Gormogon story. That was due to the complexity of Gormogon; the Grave Digger has a much simpler story behind it.

Bones as Romantic Comedy: From the very beginning Bones was going to be an amusing character-driven show, said Hanson. The reason? As the bodies they discovered were, many times, long deceased, there was no emotional connection to the murder victims, like there is in CSI or Law & Order. Thus, there had to be some emotional exchange somewhere in the show.

It didn't become a Romantic Comedy until Boreanaz and Deschanel were hired. Only when he saw them together on-screen, and saw the connection they had, did Hart and his team decide to move towards the romantic comedy angle. According to Hart, David and Emily have that connection that people can't write.

Bones/House Crossover: David Shore (House creator) and Hart have talked about a crossover between the two shows in the past. One idea, which was started via sources on the Internet, was to have Stephen Fry's character of Dr. Gordon Wyatt jump over to Princeton-Plainsboro. This would have been wonderful, since Fry and House star Hugh Laurie teamed up on a number of series in the UK prior to their stints on these two procedurals.

Hanson doesn't know if this will ever happen as Stephen's schedule is quite full. Nevertheless, Shore is definitely interested in keeping the idea and Hart would be very interested in making Fry a full-time cast member on Bones. If not Fry, then there is definitely something intriguing in having House and Bones side-by-side on the same show.

The Return of Temperance's Family: Ryan O'Neal and Loren Dean, who play Temperance's father and brother, will be back next season. There are definitely plans for Ryan and that's why they got him out of prison. According to Hart, every actor on Bones loves him wants to work him him. Hart added there there is something attractive in having Bones interacting with her family.

Booth's Family: Yet another victim of the Writers Strike. Hart mentioned that meeting Seeley's family is definitely on the planning board for the next season. His ideal setting would be James Garner portraying Seeley's grandfather. Hanson wold also like to introduce Booth's brother to the show, but they have yet to cast that role. And, like Brittney Spears on How I Met Your Mother, Hart is not adverse to a little stunt casting.

Daniel Goodman and other favorite guests: Hart was unhappy about the way that Dr. Daniel Goodman, head of the Jeffersonian, was unused, but he really needed someone else who had a better fit with the Squints. Hence, the reason that Cam joined the team. According to Hanson, Cam works better than Goodman.

Hart would love Jonathan Adams (the man who played Goodman) back when he is available. There is also a very initial plan to have some of the favorite actors from all seasons come back for an episode. The idea: an episode that occurs in an alternate reality where some of these characters live the life that many fans think they should be leading. I'll give you two guesses on which characters they would most like to see different in that alternate reality.

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Molly

I was very sad when they got rid of Zack. He was the best character. I don't really think it was so neccesary and m and my friends cried for roughly a month. I hope that he comes back quite alot. He was the best character by far.

June 10 2008 at 4:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sadie

Hart Hanson sucks!

May 29 2008 at 11:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Sadie's comment
Molly

Hart Hanson doesn't suck, because without him there would be no Bones. But it truly does suck that he got rid of Zack. I'm sure that everyone is sad to see Eric leaving.
=(

June 10 2008 at 4:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sherrilina

The Gormagon storyline a gift to the fans? Yeah, some gift--it totally ruined the show once and for all by making Zack the killer! I watch the show for the CHARACTERS, not the mysteries--clearly you don't realize that if you think you can wantonly get rid of core and key characters kike Zack in a way that ruins them....

As far as I'm concerned the AU epp already happened--it was called the season finale....that would make more sense than what actually happened!

May 21 2008 at 5:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
suzanne

Sad and pained. If Zack had to go you did NOT have to make him a killer. It colors the show backwards for a true fan. Sloppy, sloppy, wrap up. Very let down and upset to see Eric go.

May 20 2008 at 6:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
metz

I've tried to read the Kathy Reichs novels also. THey just don't hang together for me. The lead character is way too introspective and emotional.

I think the Gorgamon story is going to get the short shift. I hate the way they let Booth's dad out of jail and I will not be happy if either Sweets or Zach is Gorgamon. Some of the best scenes this year have been Booth/Bones playing with Sweets like cats toying with a mouse. Zach as a serial killer? That's way too much of a reach.

May 19 2008 at 2:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
leah

I'm gonna be very mad if zach or any of the squints is gorgamon, especially zach, I love zach. How awesome was it when he busted out in song last week!?

May 19 2008 at 12:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jimmy

I have to admit I was not a fan of this series when it first aired, mostly because I tried to read the Kathy Reich's novels upon which it is based, but during a boring summer between season 1 and 2 I got hooked. I really enjoy the chemistry between David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel -- Deschanel more so than Boreanaz since I've always seen him as a very one-note, one-type actor. What really makes this show, however, is the whole ensemble cast. The interaction between all the squints is phenominal. It'll be a shame if Eric Millegan doesn't return.

As for a House/Bones crossover, can anything be more exciting than seeing Tempy and House together? I don't think so.

May 18 2008 at 2:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Oreo

Zack doesn't die, unless he is a ghost for next season. They wanted to shake the cast up a little (I don't know why), so that's why Zack goes boom. It would have been smarter if they blew him up last season when he was in Iraq, but whatever.

My problem is that Gormogon was a gift to the fans. If it wasn't for that the show wouldn't have any arches. They need to have an overlaying story arc besides personal issues. I hope they reveal Gormogon but then can still have several more stories dealing with others like him.

Plus they can always deal with Sweets being a baddie next season. Is there anyone who actually thinks that Sweets isn't a bad guy?

May 18 2008 at 2:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bruce

Definitely ditch the alternate reality shark-jump. Horrible idea. Just horrible.

I'm really concerned that tomorrow's finale will be crammed with about a half dozen story arcs - Booth having been shot by Fat Pam (of course Booth will live, though), the conclusion of Gormogon, and dealing with Dr. Sweets being revealed as Gormogon, resolution of Angela's husband/marriage issue, Zack Addy being blown up and killed off (does Eric Milligan want/need to leave the show? If not, why would they get rid of Zack Addy, a great and beloved character?), and maybe some of the repercussions of Barry Lyndon's acquittal (due in no small part to Bones' actions at the trial.

As for Season 4, I'd love to see Doctors Goodman and Wyatt back on the show. Dr. Goodman was a good administrative/boss character, and we can have both him and Cam at the same time, no reason it has to be one or the other. If you watch the pre-Cam episodes, there was always a question about who did all the tissue and organ examinations of bodies. Not every episode dealt solely with skeletal remains.

I was really hoping for several episodes over the course of a (full) season dealing with Gormogon. Resolving it tomorrow is just too quick to do it justice. Sucks. I'm disappointed about this - it won't have a satisfying ending, and I will find it unfathomable that Dr. Sweets is Gormogon. I was dreading that conclusion from the outset, and now it's all but guaranteed. That will be such a stupid "surprise" I will lose a great deal of respect for Bones as a show. Watch every scene w/ Sweets over the course of this whole season and ask yourself if he coould in any plausible way be Gormogon. It's just not a viable option. As a squint would say, it's not congruent with a realistic character motivaion.

May 18 2008 at 2:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Zoti Bemba

"According to Hanson, Cam works better than Goodman." I appreciate the way you qualified this statement. According to almost everyone else Cam should have been gone after six episodes.

And an alternate reality episode? Sounds like *Moonlighting*-level shark jumping to me. Which I guess would be appropriate given that *Bones* has taken to copying everything else it possibly can from *Moonlighting*, sadly.

May 17 2008 at 8:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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