A meteor crash in the New Mexico desert brings unexpected and supernatural gifts to a group of strangers in the pilot for the CW’s new show, The Messengers. The stars and creators sat down with us after their panel to talk about what makes this show worth watching and what distinguishes it from other apocalypse-based shows currently on the air.
During our round table interview, we discussed everything from the original concept of the storyline to what drew the actors to the script, and learned a thing or two about the characters they are playing. Hit the jump to read more about what to expect when the show premieres on April 17th.
Creator, Eoghan O’Donnell, drew inspiration for the show from his interest on apocalyptic stories. “I wanted a way to do that, that drew a wide range of characters into those extraordinary events.” Growing up in Arkansas also had a lot of influence in his interest for religious underpinnings and scientific beliefs. O’Donnell said it was important for him to have characters that reflected different points of view on the show.
- While some might argue that the apocalypse theme might been overdone, writer Trey Callaway believes it’s a part of our every day lives and it’s at the core of many of the religions of the world. “This show reflects that, in that it’s a search for meaning. It’s an opportunity for five strangers to work together and find the greater meaning and greater purpose in life.”
- How much of the mythology will be present in the show? For starters, the angels—while having wings—will not be representing a certain heavenly entity but instead be normal humans with angel powers. “They are regular people,” said Callaway, “That’s something that’s really important to us. And you’ll find that some of the villains are regular people who have their own destinies that might be darker in origin than our messengers.” While the show is based on biblical mythology, ultimately, story is drawn from the crises the characters face in their life and the choices they need to make.
The pilot only introduces us to five messengers but according to Callaway, at the end of the season, there will ultimately be seven. And they found it a challenge to figure out who the last two messengers were going to be and how they would be inserted into the group.
- While other shows only focus on the ugly side of humanity in a post-apocalyptic world, The Messengers will draw a lot from the concept of hope and the good side of humanity. “This is a unique interpretation of an end-day scenario. It’s as if a higher power is saying, this is going to be a little bit different, the world isn’t an ugly place like you see on the news and other shows but you have choices to make a difference.”
- The take on Lucifer in this show will be quite different from the sinister, evil character that’s usually portrayed in fiction. According to Diogo Morgado, who portrays the character, “He’s going to be playing different roles in the same role and being around the corner waiting for them to fail.” The character won’t be in-your-face evil but instead make the audience question his motives and even relate to him in some level. “In terms of my character, there are no good and evil, there are only circumstances. That’s what the show is about all the time.”
- Joel Courtney explains that his character, Peter, has had a very rough upbringing. Being gifted with strength will be a struggle for him, especially after a fateful incident that occurs in the pilot. “Peter is looking for control over something that he has none.
He did something that will follow him the rest of his life,” says Courtney, “He finds through the stability of the messengers to gain control.” As for the character of Joshua, a televangelist who has been gifted with the ability to receive visions, Jon Fletcher says things will get a lot darker for him throughout the season. “It’s an immediate shattering of his beliefs. He reawakens having seen the face of God and it’s just a very different God than what he’s been told. He feels like he’s been cheated.”
- The mystery of Vera’s gift will be revealed in the episodes following the pilot. Shantel VanSanten explained that her gift was a secret even to her because the writers had two choices for her in mind. “It really plays on the fact that Vera is a scientist. She is an atheist and approaches things from the standpoint of, what is the answer? Theorize. I’m going to test until I can prove. The gift she’s given will challenge her belief system more than anything in her life,” she teased. According to VanSanten, her character’s kidnapped son will be her driving force throughout the whole season.
- Craig Frank, who plays Alan, a non-gifted human and Vera’s partner in crime, says his character will find the whole concept of angels more awesome than confusing. “I’m going to be a part of the group in conjunction to her,” he added.
Anna Diop, who plays Rose, teased that her character will be a sort of leader to the messengers. “For now she’s the wildcard, you’ll have to see what happens with her and why she’s so important to the devil,” she said, remaining tightlipped about her character. JD Pardo on the other hand, was able to share a little more about who he’ll be playing. “Raul can hear negative thoughts. These gifts kind of happen as they’re needed. It’s not something he can just turn on,” he explained. According to Pardo, this will create confusion and an interesting dynamic between all the characters.
- Diop believes the audience will have a character on the show they can relate to and that’s what will keep them tuning in. “It deals with the supernatural aspect but it also deals with their personal lives. It’s different from what we see a lot, it’s not super cliche, it doesn’t just fight bad guys,” she explained. Pardo thinks there’s a deeper level to the show, “You get to see in these moments how different people are and how we believe in different things. They have to respect each other in order to fight together. I think there’s something for everybody.”