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'Supernatural' Showrunner Sera Gamble Talks Monsters, Parenthood and the Impala

by Laura Prudom, posted Aug 12th 2010 6:30PM
Sera GambleIt's a good year to be Sera Gamble. Having been involved with the CW's cult hit 'Supernatural' since its inception, Gamble has confidently ascended the ranks from writer to executive producer to her latest role as showrunner of the stalwart drama, which is now entering its sixth season.

TV Squad caught up with Gamble at the Television Critics Association's press tour to pick her brain on what's in store for Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) in season 6, and just what's become of everyone's favorite classic car.

Spoilers ahead.


Having penned the first episode of season six, Gamble was able to reveal a little more about where our favorite demon-hunting duo will be when we meet the Winchesters again, one year later. "Dean has been retired from hunting; he hung up the gun, he walked off the battlefield," she explained, teasing that Dean will have fully embraced a normal, apple pie life, right down to the car he drives ...

"He's not driving the Impala," she confirmed, much to our horror. "It's under a tarp, and when he needs something from the trunk, he just lifts up the edge -- it's torturous!" We can't argue with that, but why banish something that's as synonymous with Dean as classic rock and a slice of pie, a car that's arguably as beloved a character as Sam and Dean themselves? For precisely that reason, Gamble said. "The Impala represents everything to Dean -- it represents his childhood, and more to the point, it represents hunting and it represents Sam. He's not a hunter anymore and his brother is dead, so it's under a tarp and he's living a different life."

That different life comes with its own baggage, namely a woman and a child who have become inexorably attached to Dean in the year that he's been living with them. So how does Gamble intend to deal with Lisa and Ben once Sam returns, albeit under "mysterious circumstances"?

"We deal with it by dealing with it," she admitted. "Our goal is to have Dean be an adult. He's in his early thirties at this point, and Lisa is a real character with a point of view and a child who's in the mix here -- a child who really loves Dean."

Gamble with Ackles - Comic-Con 2010Gamble reasoned that she was interested in playing out the relationship dynamics between Lisa and the elder Winchester, seeing it as "an opportunity to tell a lot of story about Dean. If you've been in a relationship of any length, it has stakes, to the point where you're living with someone and you're raising their child with them. There's real affection there, so you don't just pack up your sh*t and go, even if you really need to go -- it's a conversation for them both to have."

Gamble wouldn't divulge too much on the "monster problem" that brings Sam and Dean back together, except to say that our favorite angel, Castiel (Misha Collins), will be involved in the ongoing mystery of the season.

"Although we've been saying that this season is much more gritty and down to earth, we didn't completely ignore everything that came before it," she said. "It's about the post-apocalypse in that the concerns of heaven and hell are part of the mythology of the season, and Castiel brings us the news of what's happening in heaven."

But Castiel won't just be sitting on a cloud playing holy news anchor; Gamble pointed out that "he's very attached to Sam and Dean, and wants to be involved in helping them as much as he can. He's being pulled in a lot of directions ..."

While Gamble admitted that he'll remain "a little bit mysterious" in the first part of the season, she promised that what's going on with Castiel will become more central as the season goes on, tying into the larger story arc of the year.

The new showrunner couldn't be tempted into spoiling much when it came to new or recurring guest stars, but did confirm what's already been widely circulated -- that Mitch Pileggi will return in some capacity as Sam and Dean's maternal grandfather, as well as "demons you've seen before," such as Mark Sheppard's Crowley and -- if set reports are to be believed -- Fred Lehne as Azazel, the eponymous Yellow Eyed Demon who set the show's entire mythology in motion.

Gamble also reiterated what we learned at Comic-Con -- that the archangel Raphael will return. "He was not in a good mood when we saw him before, and he's the only one left in heaven, so he has a role to play," she teased.

As for Jensen Ackles' recent directorial debut, Gamble only had praise for the actor: "Every report was glowing, every meeting I had with him was fantastic and professional," she enthused. " He's spent so much time on a set and he has such a strong point-of-view, he understands the show on a level that visiting directors couldn't possibly, and he was set up for success that way."

But when it comes to her own success, Gamble is far more modest, "I feel really spoiled and really fortunate, because Eric [Kripke] is still really involved and he's been very gracious and very active," she said. "And Bob Singer has been co-showrunner from the beginning and is still with the show, and is one of the most experienced executive producers in television, period. He's very much responsible for the success of the show, as much of any of us."

We're excited to see how Gamble handles her new duties and the show's fresh creative direction when 'Supernatural' returns, Fri. Sept. 24 at 9PM ET on the CW.


What do you think of the show's return to its monster hunting roots? How long do you think the Impala will stay under tarp before Dean gets her back on the road? Sound off on your season 6 predictions below!

[Follow Laura on Twitter @LauinLA.]

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marydallas5

WTF people?? Calm down!! The show is gonna be great! have faith in the writers. After all; have they EVER let us down before?? NO!!! Dean is not going to be domestic-Danny very long, ok? he & Sam will reunite pretty quickly...Save your insults & shitty remarks for someone who cares cuz, I don't wanna hear it. The first episode hasn't even aired yet, and you freaks are already bitching! Some of you wouldn't be happy if you were hung by a new rope! Honestly!!

September 12 2010 at 7:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Spok

I like the addition of Lisa and the conflict it will bring to Dean and what he wants. He's never lived for himself -- always for his family -- and now he'll have to make a decision based on what he knows and what he wants. I'm looking forward to seeing Jensen deliver that kind of emotion. As for the Impala, I can understand why he'd put it in storage. It was iconic of who he was. He wasn't a hunter anymore, the reminder would be painful. But I know it's back in the second episode, so Dean returns to being Dean, even tho he may not be all in like before.

I don't know how much I trust what Sera says. She seems to be saying things she thinks fans want to hear but still toying with their hopes for the boys. I'll just wait to see for myself.

August 17 2010 at 12:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jen

Thank you, James! Another angle to consider... how much do we love when Mama Winchester appears in the episodes throughout the seasons? I think the writers will help us get to know Lisa & Ben & we will learn to look forward to seeing them throughout the seasons as well. Dean was never better than when he was protecting the people he loves. That includes Lisa & Ben now. Everyone just needs to chill, just like you said, & trust the writers to do the job we love them to do. Here's to season 6!

August 16 2010 at 3:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Carol

I agree that you have to keep an open mind about things. Its not Lisa who worries me, so much as Ben. If I want to watch 12 year old boys, Ill watch my own. You just know they will have at least one episode where he trails after them and gets into trouble. I want to see adults not kids.

As for how to get rid of them, I think a good idea would be to have them killed off, bu not by a monster. Maybe by a drunk driver or something like that. Then Dean would want revenge just like his dad and Sam, but as the killer was human he wouldnt be able to do anything about it. I think that could bring up some interesting issues. Can you kill a human who has killed people you love.

I am looking forward to the new series. The only reason I want Lisa and Ben gone is because I do not think that Dean would want Ben to be brought up in a family where his 'Dad' could be killed at any time, and also he would not want Ben to have the kind of life he had, so I do not see why he would go back to hunting unless those two are out of the picture.

August 15 2010 at 3:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
James

All of you need to chill out about the whole "We don't like Lisa/Ben thing" seriously. Its not that big a deal and it'll be nice to have something new and interesting to watch, and I seriously doubt it would turn into a daytime soap opera.

Gamble obviously isn't going to make this all lovey-dovey desperate housewife bullsh*t, and does anyone remember that Eric Kripke still overviews the show??

All you supernatural fangirls who are upset that Lisa may be a recurring character deal with it! She'll probably only have like six or seven episode spots anyways in like a twenty-two episode season.

And honestly this whole switching personalities thing, I'm sure we'll see the bro's back to their old selves eventually, but even if we don't there's this thing called "Characterisation" and it actually can be pretty cool and interesting to watch.

Whew, I'm glad I got that out of my system. All you haters of plot and character development can bitch and sulk all you want, but I'm looking forward to season 6!!!!

August 13 2010 at 8:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to James's comment
Shan

Amen James! You said it. It's gonna be awesome! If people want just Sam and Dean and the same stuff they've already done - go watch Season 1 again. This is a new chapter. People do change and grow and everyone wants someone to love and build a family with. Sam wanted that for Dean. Dean did it for Sam. Totally looking forward to the drama!

August 13 2010 at 10:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Xina

LOL..James couldn't agree more! My 11 year old watches reruns on TNT (I think that's the channel) all the time. Honestly, I think it's natural for the show to take this route, and I look forward to what's going on.

and for everyone that is 'so stressed out, and worried." As I tell my kids, it's really easy...if you don't like it...turn off the TV.

August 14 2010 at 7:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jess

As long as Sam gets naked and it's Sam and Dean back to BFF's in one episode at the most I shall be a supernatural lover always.

August 13 2010 at 4:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jen

Any of you wankin' it up about this turning into a domesticated series is ridiculous and obviously don't GET the show (or at least the writers, cause they'd never do that. Neither would Kripke). Bets are on that Lisa is out of the picture by the 3rd ep, if even that. I for one, hope they don't kill her; killing off the women is getting a little tiring for me. But jeeeez. Can't Dean have that for once? It's interesting if you really think about it...it's a different dynamic to add, something to mix it up. I, for one, am excited about the "back to basics" idea, some more conflict with the boys and just having the show back for another season. LOVE IT. So excited.

August 13 2010 at 4:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jenn

Dean's "settling down" with a chick he had a weekend-long one-night stand with a decade ago and has seen maybe a week collectively in the last three seasons (never mind the fact that she was thrown in randomly after not seeing her for nearly two years). What a great foundation for a "relationship". And I love that she appears to just wait at home for Dean to show up. It would've been better to have had Dean have to wait for her at least once. None of this screams "real character" to me - just convenient female plot device. That, and I could not care less about "domestic Dean angst". Do not want. That belongs on daytime TV and should stay there, because so far no one's really been able to do it in a non-ridiculous, obvious ratings and trying to get a female demographic ploy on prime time. News flash - the way to get female viewers is NOT to add female characters that are flatter than a dime.

August 13 2010 at 10:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jenn's comment
DeanFan

Agreed. For all I know he could have hooked up with the girl he dated for 6 months, but it just had to be a family. And then all this weird personality swapping between Dean and Sam. I think Dean should stay Dean and Sam... well Sam's personality is doubtfull, but he is the kind of guy that worries.. a lot. The Sam in Season 1 is still my Favorite.
I actually think the show went from Very Good to Nice untill it reached Not so very good anymore. I dont mind a Season 6 as long as they don't turn it into "A picked white fence" series. They were never meant to have Normal so don't give it to them.
I think its better if they stop at their peak, then go on untill it's totally juiced out.

August 13 2010 at 1:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DeanFan

I REALLY don't like the Lisa/Ben stuff. Dean needs to stay single, and always has been. Dean was almost the perfect copy of his father. It was his icon. His beloved impala? Shoved into a corner. His love for Hunting? Gone. I dont think its going to be a Season 6 for me.

August 13 2010 at 8:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
4 replies to DeanFan's comment
Xina

I am with Cassi. Why can't the boys evolve a bit? As Gamble said, Dean is in this thirties, I think it could be a lot of fun/heartbreaking/etc to see Dean trying to adjust to a 'normal' life. IF done right, I think that this could be a great season. Honestly, let's just give it a chance!

August 13 2010 at 7:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Xina's comment
Nicole Martorana

Here here Cassi! Everyone expects the boys to be the same as they were in the beginning but people change and grow with the circumstances they find themselves in and that doesn't exclude Sam and Dean.

Dean is getting old now and (for all you haters of the whole Dean settling down and having a family) if you re-watch even one episode of season 5 thats where the story was headed. You can't expect things to stay the same, things move and shift and change and I'm really excited to find out where the writers and creators are going to take the show this season! And while the character of Lisa will, eventually leave the show (where by the form of a gory death or other means) I have to say I'm looking forward to seeing Dean try to deal with hunting and his relationship in the beginning (like Sam did circa episode 1 season 1 with Jessica).

Of course the brother's dynamic is what drives the show and I'm on the edge of my seat to see how Dean feels about this new Sam and visa versa however there is the rest of the story too...

Anyway thats just me, and while I'm sure there will be many people out there who disagree with what I just said, oh well.

August 13 2010 at 8:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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