CASTLE’s sixth season ended in a way many fans didn’t expect: instead of Castle and Beckett tying the knot, he disappeared on the way to their wedding…and was presumed dead. But since the show is called CASTLE, it’s fairly safe to say the show won’t be going down that tragic path.
To get a little bit of insight into what’s to come, I sat down with CASTLE creator, Andrew Marlowe, and new showrunner, David Amann, to talk about season 7, how Castle’s absence is impacting the people who care about him most, and more…
What can you preview about the premiere?
David Amann: It’s going to be dealing with the aftermath of what happened in the season finale. We have some really intriguing questions that are going to arise from this about what happened to Castle. So we’re going to raise some interesting questions for the next couple of episodes in terms of what happened to Castle and why. It opens us up for some great mythology opportunities for CASTLE that we’ll also be probably revisiting later in the season.
What can you tease about the state Castle will be in when we see him in the premiere?
Andrew Marlowe: In the opening episode, we’re going to be dealing with what happened to Castle, and the ramifications of it are something we’re going to be dealing with through the course of the season.
What we’re hoping to do, and the reason we’re excited — because we know some fans weren’t — by the way we ended last season, is it gave us an opportunity to open up a new mythology element, because we know where we’re going. And if the fans give us a couple of episodes, I think they’ll see that pay off.
In the first couple of episodes, we will be wrestling with the questions of what happened to Castle, and it’s important for us to communicate to the fans that we’re not doing anything to radically alter the trajectory of the Castle/Beckett relationship. These are two people who are very much in love, who are going to be challenged by something here, but we’re not saying this is going to tear them apart or anything. It’s just a new set of circumstances that is going to create a mystery that is going to be part of the upcoming season.
The whole season isn’t going to be filled up with it, though. We’re going to deal with it in the first couple of episodes, we’re going to get back to the kinds of CASTLE episodes that we all know and love and expect, with a relationship that has deeper understanding, and also deeper curiosity to it. And it’ll also take that relationship to a much more interesting place, we feel. And so we know the fans were a little bit like, “What are you guys doing?” We have something planned that we’re kind of excited about, and we hope that people come back and play along.
DA: When we get through episode two, we will resolve some questions of what happened to him, but not all of them. [The open questions] will be hanging out there in ways that can’t be pursued any further [for the meantime]. But our plan is that we will reopen it later on.
AM: Quite possibly in the [mid-season] two-parter.
How is Beckett holding up post-finale? We saw her grief in the immediate aftermath, but will she at least be able to put her head down and try to get to the bottom of everything?
DA: She’s committed to getting to the bottom of what happened with Castle. That’s really her focus and her mission. She’s going to do that, and she’s going to take that as far as she can go to get answers. That’s what she’s focused on.
How are Martha and Alexis dealing with Castle’s absence?
DA: They’ve had a really difficult time. In episode one, there’s a protracted investigation that doesn’t really yield any answers. So there’s several months of not having any answers of exactly what happened. They’re kind of a mess. They’re upset.
I’m curious, I know the dedications in the books Castle has written have often touched on where his relationship stands with Beckett currently on the show — if he’s missing at that point the next one is released, will the book’s dedication touch on his MIA status or what’s going on with him at all?
AM: I think it will be reflected in the acknowledgements, because Castle wasn’t around to write them. [Laughs] I think it’s a nice little Easter egg for fans to go out and buy the book and see certain aspects of that. I think they’ll get a kick out of it.
What fun cases are ahead that you can tease?
AM: We’re still putting stuff together…the first couple are playing off of [the finale resolution]. But we have a great episode coming up where it seems like our killer may be invisible. And, of course, our characters have a field day with that.
Is there any type of genre or pop culture phenomenon you’re really hoping to tackle this season?
DA: We have been talking for the last couple of seasons about wanting to do something that has a Western theme to it. That’s been on our radar for quite some time. It’s a delightful idea for a CASTLE episode, but we haven’t quite figured out what it is yet. It’s one of the things we’d like to land in a good way.
Is your dream cameo still Stephen King, Andrew?
AM: I’d love to get Stephen King.
He did UNDER THE DOME (which, admittedly, was based on a King book), so why not another Monday at 10 PM show?
AM: I know! It’d [also] be fun to get [William] Shatner on the show, wouldn’t it?
Absolutely. And hey, he’s following you on Twitter.
AM: Yeah…Stephen King would be awesome, I think Shatner would be awesome.
But the list of people that David and I want to work with, because we love television and we’re huge fans, there are a number of people I’d love to see on the show. I’d love to get [David] Duchovny on the show, because we have so many people who were X-FILES folks on our show. That would be a lot of fun.
But when you look at the TV landscape, there are so many brilliant people working. We have great people on our show. I know there are people who are jealous of the people who are on our show. You look at the folks out there, and there are lots of people you’d love to play with. We’re in this very rich time of television. We went through the Golden Age, people are calling it the Platinum Age, I think it’s now the Amex Black Card Age.