Where the heck is Rick Castle?
Unless Nathan Fillion is leaving the show (SPOILER ALERT: he's not), fans can expect that Beckett and the rest of the team will soon find the man who was last seen getting run off a road by a mysterious vehicle.
However, in Castle Season 7 Episode 1, it seems that Castle's disappearance is set to open a new mystery for the long-running series.
Who better to talk more about that than new showrunner David Amann, who also previewed what's next for the Castle/Beckett relationship, as well as where we're heading with the Esposito/Lanie and Alexis. Let's dive in and see what else he had to say about Castle Season 7, shall? Excepts from our exclusive interview are below...
TV Fanatic: I know you’ve been on the show for a while but what was the biggest challenge for you stepping into the role of show runner?
David Amann: I’m very fortunate to have worked with Andrew [Marlowe, creator] and continue to work with him and he’s been a great example and role model of how to run this particular show. But I’ve been very lucky that I’ve been sort of watching how he does it over these years very successfully and if I can do anywhere near as good a job as he does, then I’ll feel pretty good about it.
TVF: As far as the season premiere, you left off in a good spot but how did you approach it from a writer’s standpoint?
DA: I think we did some very deliberate choices at the end of last season, which kind of go back to an episode or two before the season finale where we wrapped up Beckett’s mythology in connection with her mother. And we did that deliberately for a couple of reasons. We felt that in order for Rick and Kate to move forward in their relationship and really be together, that particular cloud had to be lifted over them.
And the second thing was we thought was that in clearing out that part of the story, we saw an opportunity to expand a little bit into some Castle mythology, which we’ve long been hankering to do but hadn’t really had the opportunity because we didn’t want to have two competing mythologies going on.
So, we designed the season finale in such a way…obviously the wedding didn’t come to pass, what does come to pass is the beginning of a mystery that we’re going to be able to play out to some degree over the course of the season.
TVF: Would you say because of this new mystery, that we’re going to maybe see our characters in places we haven’t before?
DA: Yeah. Obviously in the season premiere Beckett has to try to figure out what happened to Castle and as we move forward in the series some of the questions are answered in the short term and a couple of them remain unanswered. If the question is, “Does what happened to Castle derail the Beckett with Castle relationship in some way?” I think that the answer to that is no.
We’re interested in this mythology that we’re exposing in the first couple of episodes of this season, but it isn’t becoming the identity of the show. In other words, we’ve taken these kinds of departures before like, for example, at the beginning of last season where Beckett was out in Washington doing her job and we explored that for a couple of episodes and then we kind of find ourselves moving back into pattern, because that’s where the show lives. So, I wouldn’t want anybody to be thinking that, “Okay. Now, we’re going into the deep underbelly of Castle’s character for the rest of the season. Tonally, the balance of the season is kind of where we are every season.
TVF: Any cases coming up in episodes that you’re excited for fans to see?
DA: Some of the favorite episodes for us internally, and we know the fans have liked as well, are the ones that fell a little bit into the paranormal explanations of what might be going on. We had the zombie episode and the Big Foot episode and in an episode we seem to be dealing with a killer that can’t be seen. So, there’s this wild speculation that’s fun and I think it will be enjoyable for the audience about how that could possibly be and who might be responsible.
TVF: I’m a fan of the Esposito/Lanie pairing. What’s up with them this season?
DA: I think we can say that Esposito and Lanie in response to the crisis revolving around Castle at the end of this past season grow closer together and I think we’ll be seeing more of them as a couple. I would also say that coming up in the first 10 episodes there’s a pretty significant Esposito episode where he finds himself in a very dramatic predicament and has to sort of work his way out of it.
TVF: Now that Alexis is no longer a teenager, is she dealing with more adult issues moving into the new season?
DA: Yeah. I think it’s part of what we’re going to be doing in this episode is redefining her relationship with Castle now that Beckett is in the picture in a more significant way. And I think we can also say that she will have her own particular reaction to what happened to Castle but will actually play out in the first couple of episodes.
TVF: Since we’re talking mythology and mystery a little bit, would you say there is kind of a big bad this season that our team is working against?
DA: I can’t really tell you that. [laughs] But I think that certainly the unanswered questions that might hang over after the first couple episodes are going to be seen as we pickup later on and they are going to be in the very directional sort of way but in terms of revisiting particular characters on the show in connection with the show, that I cannot tell you.
TVF: When you look at using guest stars on the show, do you try and play against type a little bit or try and do something fun with them or is it really just finding the best actor for the role? Or a little bit of both maybe?
DA: It’s a little bit of both. I think that you in a television show you want to have a certain degree of confidence that the person that you’re offering the role to is going to play the version that is best for the show. And so sometimes that means that you’re looking at someone who is kind of not in the same zip code but ultimately we’re always just looking for the best actor we can get on the show. We’ve been very fortunate with out guest cast whether they’re big name people or not. Every time we have a good actor on the show, which happily is often, it really brings up everybody else’s game as actors.
Castle airs Mondays at 10/9c on ABC.
Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.