A seven-week hiatus can be rather maddening. Given Supernatural’s explosive season four and the mind-boggling material that’s been presented for ten episodes, this long time to reflect has left me with more questions than answers. I’m sure I’m not alone.
Thankfully Sera Gamble, supervising producer and writer for Supernatural, an instrumental player in developing the show’s story lines, was generous enough to answer some questions about season four during the break as well as address a few of my other curiosities. She even opted to tackle a few fan questions I sent her way.
Below is part one of my two-part interview in which Sera gives her thoughts on the introduction of angels to the mythology, the introduction of Castiel, Dean’s faith issues, and Sam and Ruby's strange relationship. Heck, she even talks about the life-sized teddy bear.
This is where I must offer the standard spoiler warning, but I wouldn’t call them heavy spoilers, more like teasers. If you don’t even want hints though, stop right here.
First, congratulations on season four so far. It's been generating some big buzz and the increased ratings are proving that. How happy is everyone about that?
We're happy. Also surprised. Eric [Kripke] emailed us the day after the premiere and I marched into his office holding my bowl of Cheerios like, "You're lying. We did not pick up a million viewers." He just shrugged and said he was a shocked as I was.
You guys went there! Just when everyone had written off the idea of angels appearing, we get not only one but two badass angels in the most spectacular way. When it was pitched in the writers' room that angels would drive story line this season, was it obvious from the start that they would be wrathful, unfeeling, and flawed in their blind obedience, or did that evolve over several episodes?
Angels weren't pitched in the writers' room. Eric started talking to me about them just before hiatus. They'd sorta been in our hip pocket, but I don't think the show was ready for them before now. I've discovered, working on Supernatural, that a lot of good ideas don't work at all until the time is right. And then they just slot magically into place. This was like that.
Our notion of the angels has evolved a bit, yes. Less that they're different in their construction, more that we've become more thorough and creative in developing them as individuals and weaving them into the story. There's an episode coming up that opens in Castiel's point of view. That's a strong indication of how central the character has become this season. It was an organic evolution; we discovered that we were just unexpectedly inspired by these creatures. It was clear to us that when they were in the sandbox, cool stuff happened on the playground. And it's interesting to me, by the way, that you call the angels "unfeeling" and "wrathful," because I don't see them that way. Castiel wrestles hard with his obedience. Turns out it's really hard for angels to walk among humans and not get kinda… involved.
Castiel's character is a gem, and the casting is even more inspired. He's got quite the deep conflict going inside of him since he's gotten to know Dean and it's all told in the eyes. Is everyone there pinching themselves over having an asset like Misha Collins to work with? What direction do you anticipate Castiel taking, especially in his relationship with Dean?
I doubt anyone needs me to point out that Misha is doing a great job. He's very sharp. As for the direction Castiel's going, I don't want to give away too much. In his relationship with Dean… Castiel genuinely likes Dean. And that is going to create difficulties for him.
Where are the sources of inspiration for the story lines coming from? While I love how the show is carving its own mythology and keeping us guessing, my Google search on 'Rising of the Witnesses' came up empty, as did the 66 seals. Are the stories being created on actual legends, or are you having fun with us?