TV news didn’t rest over the weekend — instead, DC Universe, AMC, History, BBC America, and more network shared news with reporters at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Los Angeles on Saturday and Sunday. Read on to find out new intel on Killing Eve, Knightfall, Doom Patrol, and more.
There’s plenty of source material available for the showrunners of Doom Patrol, DC Universe’s second live-action series, to choose from when breaking stories. Showrunner Jeremy Carver said the series dips into several different versions of the characters in the series.
“A great jumping off point is the Grant Morrison run in the ’90s,” Carver told reporters at a Television Critics Association winter press tour panel in Los Angeles over the weekend. “We dip into the Silver Age where we are seeing the Celsius and Lodestone characters. We’re going to see some other characters that have graced over the years, such as Danny the Street. We’re going to see one of my more beloved characters, the Beard Hunter.”
While most of DC’s television properties live on the CW, land of the perma-shirtless, sexy twentysomethings, this cast includes decidedly non-twentysomethings Brendan Fraser, Timothy Dalton, and Alan Tudyk. But fans of DC’s CW series will not be put off by the age-diverse cast of Doom Patrol, which premieres Feb. 15.
“I think DC has made a decision, quite smartly, to separate the feature world and the television world,” executive producer Sarah Schechter explained. “I don’t think there’s been any confusion, and comic books have always had multiple versions of the same character, created by different writers, different artists, with different adventures. I think it’s really fun, I think that the two work really nicely together, and help fans to experience fully the characters that they love.”
New Killing Eve showrunner Emerald Fennell took over for the Emmy-winning series’ second season from creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge (who focused on the second season of her Amazon series, Fleabag, instead). But star Sandra Oh told reporters at the show’s TCA panel that the transition between the two was seamless.
“Emerald and Phoebe are friends and had been friends for a long time,” Oh said. “I feel like they have a kinship — the sensibility, where they come from, their humor, their style. And Emerald has her own voice entirely, but it really moves from one hand to a similar hand.”
When the series comes back to BBC America on April 7, it’ll pick up approximately 30 seconds after the events of the season 1 finale, and Eve (Oh) and Villanelle (Jodie Comer) will be at odds once again. The duo said that their characters’ relationship will definitely evolve in season 2.
“I think what is most interesting about Eve’s stabbing Villanelle at the end of series 1 is Villanelle’s reaction to that, and just how emotionally she perceives that. And I think it both affects them and changes them in a way neither of them are quite expecting,” Comer said.
Added Oh, “And I think you see them vulnerable in slightly different ways. They’ve crossed the line and there’s no going back. I think we have a lot of energy at the beginning of the series, and that pushes both of them into a different place of vulnerability.”
The characters are inextricably linked to one another, much like two other famous literary characters from the past 20 years — Harry Potter and He Who Must Not Be Named, of course, where neither can live while the other survives.
“I kind of like the Harry Potter theory,” Comer said.
Joked Fennell, “So Villanelle’s a Horcrux.”
In all seriousness, though, the characters’ true relationship is still being explored.
“It’s something that we’re also still figuring out and finding the pieces to as we play out scenes on set, which is actually really exciting,” Comer said. “I actually really like the fact that we can’t put our finger on it.”
The Star Wars film saga’s Luke Skywalker, Mark Hamill, joins the second season of History’s Knightfall as Talus, a tough, wise, hardened, and devout master who trains new members of the Knights Templar and who spent 10 years being tortured as a POW during a Crusade. Hamill told reporters at a TCA panel for the show that he never intended taking on a project like Knightfall, but was hooked after watching a few episodes.
“I just thought, ‘I’ve never been offered anything like this before.’ I mean, I’d never done a character quite like this before — a religious zealot, a man of deep convictions, and, yet, such a paradox,” Hamill said. “He’s lecturing the troops and he says, ‘Once you become a Templar knight you shall become God’s executioners.’ How could there be such a thing? I thought, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ But that’s the thing, I was flattered that they would think of me in such a diverse character part, and I thought, ‘Oh, I have to do this. I really do have to do this,’ to be part of a largely British cast and in a period drama like this, which I’d never done before. That’s what I look for: challenges to try not to repeat yourself, and this was certainly a challenge.”
It’s no secret that the Knights Templar inspired another secret order Hamill has been a part of (Star Wars’ Jedi, duh). But the ties between the two actually didn’t occur to him until he’d already said yes.
“I didn’t really think it through, but the truth of the matter is that I’m sure George Lucas came from so many different inspirations of his own, both from the movies and literature,” Hamill said. “He was probably thinking more of King Arthur and the Knights of the Roundtable, because it was more idealized and glamorous, certainly, than the Templar Knights, but there’s no question that his inspiration was rooted, partially, in this mythology.”
Fox’s Batman prequel series, Gotham, is coming to an end this year. But more pre-Batman stories will continue to be told on television in Epix’s Pennyworth, an origin story about the early life of Batman’s butler, Alfred Pennyworth (played by Jack Bannon).
“It’s really the chance to make him the center of a story and explain that journey: How did he get from being a young SAS soldier to being a butler in America? And it also gives us a chance to create a real world around him, a world in England that fits the whole DC universe,” executive producer Bruno Heller said. “It’s surprising to all of us the depth and range that you can go to with this character.”
While the character’s creator, Bob Kane, set the 1930s as Alfred’s origin, but the Epix series is set in the 1960s. Executive producer Danny Cannon said that as someone from London, that seemed like the most dynamic time period to set a show.
“It’s after the war, before things change for good. You could see the change in the air. Things were happening, culturally, artistically, that — it was an inspiring time, I think, that English people always revisit,” Cannon said. “So, to say that that was the foundations of which we were starting with and then making it 13 degrees more DC, 13 degrees darker [is when the series] really came alive for us.”
The people involved in AMC’s new supernatural horror series NOS4A2 know that the title (pronounced like “Nosferatu”) is a little bit out of the ordinary. But the series, which stars Zachary Quinto as a vampire of sorts who feeds on the souls of children, is based on the book of the same name by Joe Hill (who happens to be the son of Stephen King), and series creator Jami O’Brien said the cast and producers are going to do their best to educate the audience about it.
“One of the wonderful things about the book is that there are a lot of word games in it. One of the characters is a Scrabble master and librarian. And I think that the title itself, you know, Manx [played by Quinto] talks about it deeper in the book than where we get in the first season, but it’s a joke. And it’s also a puzzle,” O’Brien said. “And I think both of those things speak to the humor of the book and the humor of the character and is kind of a fun twist on the vampire genre, you know? Charlie Manx is a kind of vampire, but he’s not any kind of vampire that we’ve seen before. He doesn’t suck blood. He sucks souls. So, I think it’s a little irreverent, and I think — I’m glad that we have it because I think it’s a lot of fun.”