Shortly before the Teen Wolf panel at WonderCon, I was able to participate in a roundtable interview with creator/executive producer Jeff Davis discussing the upcoming third season. Davis teased about Danny’s new love interest and Lydia’s increased involvement in the story. He also talked about Stiles and Lydia’s relationship in the coming storyline, and revealed a little more about the mysterious alpha pack that will be threatening Beacon Hills. Season three of MTV’s Teen Wolf premieres Monday, June 3rd. Click here for the Teen Wolf panel recap and hit the jump for the interview.
Davis: Not my first con.
Are you having a good time so far?
Davis: Really ‘cause it’s keeping me away from writing.
Has it been a challenge to write twice as many episodes for season three?
Davis: It’s daunting, but I try to- I’ve split it up in my mind as two sets of 12, so it’s a little easier that way. And I have great people working with me as well. One of my closest people is Christian Taylor, my co-executive producer, and he’s just amazing. He’s the person I call up at four in the morning and I’ll read a scene to him and he’ll say, “What about this line” or “Try this line.” So I’m very lucky in that way to have someone so good with me. But it’s going to be a challenge. I’m on three hours of sleep while I’m trying to finish writing episode 10.
How much are you pulling from the Celtic mythos about werewolves and how much are you making up? Are you pulling from other cultures as well?
Davis: We pull from several different cultures. What I like to do is, I say, embellish on the mythology. But I love it when you can look it up online, when fans can look online and see that these are actual mythologies, and we’re actually hewing pretty close to them in terms of their rules and their deities. I love research, partially because it’s a good form procrastination, but also because there are these tidbits of knowledge that make the scripts- they give it that much more depth.
For season two, you said the theme was “teen wolves.” What is the theme for season three?
Davis: I think season three is all about Alphas and all about having power thrust upon you, having responsibility thrust upon you. There’s a great quote from Twelfth Night that we kind of pull from. It’s played as a joke in the play, but it’s interesting to see this quote taken by business and made a mantra, which is, “some are born great, some become great, some have greatness thrust upon them.” Which, if you look at it, is kind of true in the world. So we’re, in a way, working towards seeing how Scott, and how others around him, accept their power and accept their responsibilities. Like Allison has a redemption story, becoming a hero this season. Lydia is someone who we learn a lot more about, learning to accept her ability, whatever strange thing that may be. And Scott in the way of accepting his responsibility and rising to greatness.
Can you talk about the new additions to the cast this season? Danny’s getting a love interest…
Davis: Well, the Carver twins, Max and Charlie, I think are going to be phenomenal additions to this season. First of all they’re the greatest guys in the world. They’re incredibly nice and incredibly fun to be around, the cast has brought them in and accepted them as if they’d always been there, which is nice to see in a cast. So they’re going to be really fun antagonists. But those characters are going to be sort of on a moral fence; you don’t know if they are going to be good or if they are going to stay evil, or if they’re eventually going to have a turnabout. There are other characters in the Alpha pack, like Gideon Emery plays Deucalion, the leader, whose name is taken from mythology as well, the son of Prometheus, and it’s a significant name. And Gideon’s phenomenal, he’s a voice actor, and has done a lot of voices in video games, so he’s got this great presence and he can do things with his voice that are extraordinary, and he’s also a great guy, too. He plays a very good bad guy. Then there is Felicia Terrell playing Kali, who is a powerful Alpha who uses the claws on her toes to kill. She’s our sort of- I said I wanted a Bond villain, basically, in her, like Famke Janssen in GoldenEye. So she’s going to be great, she’s just so badass in the show; it’s going to be awesome. So we’re really happy with the new characters, and it’s going to be hard to kill some of them off.
Davis: Yes we do, he’s not on the show. [laughs] I think Colton needed to move on, so we’re very happy for him. I know Greg Berlanti, and Greg actually asked me about him. I said he’s a phenomenal actor, I said if you’re going to put him on the show, go for it. I think Colton is moving up to Vancouver to become a regular on the second season, so it looks like it’s going to be really good for him. And I feel like with the second season, we had such a full character arc with Jackson that maybe it is time to bring in new blood. One of the nice things about this show is you can constantly keep bringing in new characters. So long as we remain faithful to the existing characters and make sure we’ve got good arcs for them, we can bring in a lot of new people.
Are Danny and Lydia going to have more of a presence this season?
Can you talk a little bit about their stories?
Davis: I can say that Danny at the beginning of the season is still skirting on the edges of our paranormal world, but Lydia is quite active and we’re really happy with where her character is going this season. We have a lot of fun with her and there is a mystery surrounding her: why certain things happen, why she ends up certain places, and it’s a lot of fun to actually have her within the world now. I think at a certain point with genre shows like this the audience can get frustrated with certain characters never being in the know. It happens on every show. I know it happened on, I think, Roswell, for one. I think at a certain point- in Buffy [the Vampire Slayer], everyone knew in the second season and it made things a lot easier to tell the stories. So we’re gradually bringing people into the fold.
Yesterday MTV Geek was talking about “transmedia”, where they’re combining a lot of projects together with other projects, and they were talking about their upcoming prequels for the new Teen Wolf series. Do you get a lot of input towards those comics as far as the writing goes?
Davis: Yes, David Tishman – who’s a phenomenal writer – writes the comics, sends me all the treatments and I rarely have much to input, because they’re really good. He sent me this Gerard story that’s fantastic, that I think is going to be really fun. I’m actually really looking forward to seeing the artwork on that. I’m a huge comic book fan myself. David’s great, usually the only input I have is, “I love this, keep going.”
Is season three going to pick up right after season two left off or will there be time passed?
Davis: The time passed is four months, actually; what that allows us to do is get a little breathing room. It’s a way for certain things to be mourned; like the loss of Jackson for Lydia, all the strange changes that are happening within our characters, and it’s a way for us to get back into normal. So we can start in the normal world, in that very hero’s journey sense, and then get them into extraordinary adventure.
Are there going to be any new creatures we are going to see from the Bestiary this season?
Davis: You will have to wait and see. We have a lot of secrets. I can tell you that in the 24 episodes, they are broken up into two 12-episode stories that are connected in certain ways, but they each have their own mythologies, they each have their own mysteries. We like to create these seasons as kind of movies, and I feel like we’ve gotten really comfortable with our paradigm after season two. Season two I think was very complex, so one of the things we tried to do was simplify a little, but we always seem to add a lot of twists and turns. I’m not entirely sure we’re successful with that.
You’ve previously compared Stiles to Perseus.
Is there going to be any more along the lines of his using magical items? Is there going to be a hero’s journey for him?
Davis: Well the interesting thing that’s happened this season is he has a new relationship with Lydia, we’re having a lot of fun with that. And they’ve sort of taken on the intellectual side of the story. I call them our “David and Maddie” from Moonlighting, basically, and it’s nice to see that relationship growing and to see these scenes. I talked with Christian about it, and we both think that they are really fun together, they’ve such good chemistry on screen together, and it’s nice to see them now in a platonic relationship where he’s not constantly pining after her, but actually seeing her as a flesh and blood woman who can help and be helpful. So you may have to wait until 3B – what I call it, I call it 3A and 3B – to see Stiles in more of that Perseus role. I don’t want to say too much.
Click here for all our previous Teen Wolf coverage.