Executive Producers Hart Hanson and Stephen Nathan Talk BONES Season 8, the Return of the Pelant Story, the Possibility of a BUFFY or ANGEL Reunion, and More

     November 5, 2012

hart hanson stephen nathan bones

The hit drama series Bones returns to Fox with new episodes, following highly skilled forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz).  While the Jeffersonian team investigates the death of a woman whose body was found mutilated and discarded in a city garbage can, Booth invites Sweets (John Francis Daley) to stay with Brennan, so that Sweets can search for a new apartment.

During this recent interview to promote the new season, executive producers Hart Hanson (also the show’s creator) and Stephen Nathan talked about how things will continue to develop between Booth and Brennan, what it will be like to have Sweets move in with them, that the Pelant storyline will return in January, how they’re hoping to add another intern to the show, what’s to come with the baby, how they’re already shaping the end of the season, and whether they’ve tried to get any former Buffy, Angel or Freaks and Geeks co-stars on the show.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

hart hanson bonesQuestion:  Now that you’ve got Booth (David Boreanaz) and Brennan (Emily Deschanel) together, and then back together, and they have a baby, what are you planning to do to keep the tension between them going?

HART HANSON:  Well, so far, knocking on wood, this has been a very, very rich load for us to mine.  With he two of them living together with a baby, and continuing to live lives and solve crimes, so far we don’t have to do anything big to throw a wrench into that machine anymore.  It’s working just fine.  There are lots of new stories.  I think we have as many stories as we had at the beginning, when there was just actual tension.

STEPHEN NATHAN:  I think what we’ve done this season, hopefully, is give them stories that are overwhelming emotionally, so we see how they react as a couple and we see how their relationship is tested.  We’re doing that by keeping Pelant alive, by adding somebody to their household, which will happen soon, and also really putting themselves in situations that neither of them ever expected themselves to be in.  We have an episode coming up where Brennan has a near death experience, which really causes her to reevaluate her life and see everything a little bit differently.  So, we’re just trying to move them along and have these characters evolve and not stay in the same place.  Hopefully, it will be surprising for everybody.

What can you say about their reaction when Sweets (John Francis Daley) moves in?

HANSON:  It was started out as something that we were going to play out through one episode, when Sweets busts up with Daisy and he lets her have the apartment.  He’s been a bit of a nomad since then and they say, “Come on in and you can stay with us for a few days.”  We were going to do that for one episode, but it was just too much fun.  If Stephen and I have one fault out of many, it is that, if something’s fun, we’re going to stick there for a little while. 

NATHAN:  It’s so rich because you have Sweets, who’s the psychologist, and Brennan, who disdains psychology, now in a house together where Brennan can use psychology against her guest.  She keeps reading his books, which he leaves in the bathroom, and then comes out armed with all this new information, which drives him insane.

How was this season approached, from the standpoint of the reunion and then post-reunion?  Will Brennan’s absence haunt the rest of the season?

HANSON:  It keeps coming up.  In fact, it’s a factor in the episode with Brennan’s near death experience.  I think it’s a lot of fun for us, as storytellers, to keep referring to when someone makes a very rational decision that’s a very smart decision and the right thing to do, but it can still carry bad effects with it and resentment.  This season is them coming to grips with the fact that Brennan up and left with the baby, but it was the right thing to do.  But, there are consequences to everything.

NATHAN:  Also, Pelant is not going anywhere.  They know he’s still there.  They know his threat exists.  So, that’s a cloud that hangs over the entire season.  In a way, all of our people have their own version of PTSD.  They’ve all been completely changed by this war with Pelant, and that won’t go away easily.                                                                            

When will you be getting back to the Pelant story?

NATHAN:  The Pelant story will reappear in January.  Pelant is always going to be hanging over their heads, in all of the episodes, but he comes back, in earnest.  We’re actually shooting the episode now, and it will air in January. 

HANSON:  It’s being directed by Rob Hardy, and it’s one of the biggest episodes we’ve ever shot.  It’s very exciting.  He will probably make two more.  We’re starting to talk about what our season ender will look like, and he may or may not be a part of that.

What can you say to tease the future with Angela (Michaela Conlin)?

HANSON:  We have no plans to move Michaela off the show.  This is Angela’s season to start to think that her life was meant to be bigger than just recreating crimes and living in a life of murder.  She’s feeling antsy.  But, I’m very speedy to say that we have no plans to diminish Michaela’s involvement in the show.

What can you say to tease the ballroom dancing episode? 

NATHAN:  It’s terrific!  We have Mary Murphy and Tyce Diorio in it.  It’s just a lot of fun.  Our undercover episodes are gifts to the hardcore fans, where we all get goofy.  It’s like doing shots, every time somebody says something.  That’s what our undercover episodes are.  We just have a good time, David and Emily love doing them. and this one’s no exception.  It’s a murder at a ballroom dancing competition, and we find out in this that Booth actually taught ballroom dance when he was in college to make money. 

HANSON:  Well, that’s what he thinks he was doing.

NATHAN:  Yes, Sweets points out that he was probably just a gigolo for old women.  From Brennan’s standpoint, because of her phenomenal knowledge of kinesiology and anatomy, she believes that, as long as she can look at someone dance, she can replicate that exactly.  I can just tell you that’s not true.

HANSON:  I’ll tell you something weird about that episode.  I watched David Boreanaz learn how to rumba in five minutes.  He’s gifted.  He’s a physically gifted guy. 

NATHAN:  We also have populated the episode with tons of winners and runners up from So You Think You Can Dance, so the dancing is really remarkable.

Do you guys have a favorite intern?

NATHAN:  No, we really love them all.

HANSON:  I definitely have a favorite intern.  I would never say because that’s like having a favorite child.  I think right now my favorite intern is Vincent Nigel Murray because he’s gone and we miss him, but we really do love them all and we’re shocked every year that we get to have them again because they always go up for network testing for pilots.  They’re always just an inch from having their own shows, so we’re very lucky to have every single one of them.

Will you be adding another squintern this season, or are you going to push it off another year?

NATHAN:  We’re developing another intern now and that script is being written, so we have to see how that turns out.  But, we definitely do want to add another face on the show.  Then, we also have some people who we haven’t seen in a while, who we might want to bring back.

HANSON:  Pilot season’s coming up and our normal squinterns always have scheduling issues around pilot season, so it’s behooves us to have one more in our quiver.                                                                  

How far towards the end of the season are you guys?  Are you guys already thinking about how you’re going to wrap up the season, or are you not quite there yet?

HANSON:  Yes, we’re thinking about it.  We’re starting to shape it.  We knew the end of the season as we came in, but everything changes as you work through the season.  So, we’re shaping the end of the season.  We’ve got some ideas. 

NATHAN:  Yes, we can tease that it will revolve around the Dharma Initiative, but that’s all we can say, at this point.

What upcoming guest stars can viewers expect? 

NATHAN:  Cyndi Lauper will be coming back.  The nature of Bones is that it doesn’t really provide a lot of big stunt casting because everybody’s dead. 

HANSON:  Yes, everybody’s always dead.  We’re having some fun talking about who might play Booth’s mom and David is very, very interested in that, too.  But I don’t think we have any big stunt casting coming up.

What can you say about what’s to come with the baby?

HANSON:  That poor baby is terrible with dialogue.  We can’t give that baby any dialogue.

NATHAN:  We were told the baby was trained in England, and I think the agent was totally lying to us because we give her these huge emotional scenes between her and Brennan and we just have to cut them out.  It’s like Brennan says something and the baby goes, “Goo, goo, goo,” and it’s just unusable.

HANSON:  We have avoided having the baby be part of a murder investigation.  But, the fact that they have a baby means that we always have to turn to each other and say, “Okay, where’s the baby?  What’s happening now?”  They can’t just stay out all night.  They just can’t do what they used to do.  So, the baby is woven into the fabric of the show.  We don’t have any plans to give the baby a horrible disease, or any of those things.  We’re not using the baby as a source of that kind of plot.  We’re just using the real stuff of raising a child, through our stories.

NATHAN:  Christine will be in the episodes.  Actually, we’re doing one now where Brennan’s a little concerned that maybe she isn’t developing quickly enough.  But, it’s not a serious concern.  It’s more just Brennan being competitive with other parents.

HANSON:  Brennan wants her baby to be a genius, genius, genius baby, and she might take after Booth. 

NATHAN:  It revolves around her ability to enjoy peek-a-boo, so you can tell it’s not that intense.

Have you ever tried to get any of David Boreanaz’s former Angel or Buffy co-stars?

HANSON:  No.  Stuck up on our wall are things like, “What if we got back a bunch of the Freaks and Geeks band to come?  What if we got a bunch of the Buffy people to come?  What if we got a bunch of the Angel people to come?”  But, we just haven’t done that yet.  It’s in the bin on the wall, but it just hasn’t happened yet. 

Bones airs on Monday nights on Fox.