I love September, the month that brings us crisp days, beautiful autumn colours, and of course, the season premieres of television shows. Bones will premiere from 8 pm to 10 pm (ET) on Wednesday, September 3, with a special two-part episode set in London, “Yanks In The U.K.” To dish some scoop (but not too much!) on the new season, series star David Boreanaz (Agent Seeley Booth) offered a conference call interview, and I jumped at the chance to chat about season four.
Unsurprisingly, given the shocking events of last year’s season finale, Boreanaz was first asked to comment on team member Zack’s fate. Fledgling forensic anthropologist Zack (Eric Millegan) was revealed to be an apprentice to serial killer and cannibal Gormogan and he is now jailed. Fans have had a divided reaction to the storyline and those fond of Zack will be pleased to know that he will show up in some season four episodes. Asked whether Booth will have some fallout on how he views himself as an agent, considering how well he thought he knew Zack, the actor replied, “No, not really, because I think things will be explained a little bit deeper when Zack comes back for an episode.” He was willing to say that Zack will escape from prison and help solve a case, and this won’t be the only appearance of the character this season. However, he noted that show runner Hart Hanson is the person to ask about the long term plans for Zack.
Boreanaz revealed that personally he had not been a big fan of the Gormogan storyline and he doubted it would make a reappearance this season. However, on the possibility of Bones nemesis The Gravedigger coming back, he was much more enthusiastic, saying, “That show was originally shot as a closed show and then they recut the ending and it’s become a fan favourite. So, we should definitely have a visit from him again.”
Turning to the premiere episode, shot on location in London, the actor said that Booth and partner Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) would be working with two British counterparts in order to solve the high profile murder of a young British heiress. Asked whether the British pair worked differently than the Bones duo, Boreanaz said they had actually played up the similarities. "One of our focuses going into the London show that we worked on specifically was when we were around them, seeing the two of them, we kind of mirrored them. We looked at them and said, 'Wow, that’s really us.'"
And that “us” is of course for many the highlight of the show. Boreanaz is delighted by comparisons to Moonlighting when describing the sexy banter between Booth and Brennan, not only because he loves the character moments between the two, but also because he admires Bruce Willis. He’s also cognizant of the danger with which Moonlighting is also identified: resolved sexual tension can be a show killer.
To a question on how quickly the relationship will move forward, he responded, “I think that the whole point of the show is the give and take. You want to really give back to the audience what they’re asking for, but at the same time, you have to do it smart without tipping your hat too much. I think the beauty of it is that we’re allowed to do that.”
Nevertheless, he did let slip that right from the premiere, there will be focus on the state of Booth and Brennan’s relationship. Boreanaz confirmed that he and co-star Deschanel, who are both co-producers on the show, are able to improvise many of the moments between the two characters. He said, “The beauty of our show is as we work on each episode and we find moments, that’s where it really evolves … I think the job as an actor is to really bring that to the table because when our show writers see that, they get excited about it and they explore that.”
Of course, he notes that creator Hart Hanson has some plans of his own. Trying hard not to be pinned down too far, he said, “I know Hart has some ideas for some fantasy episodes and getting the two of them in bed to some extent." Apparently, we’ll have to wait until at least mid-season before we find out exactly who is fantasizing about whom. Asked to sum up what fuels the pair’s attraction, Boreanaz offers, “I think that there’s that little kid inside Booth that [Brennan] really enjoys because maybe she lost part of that as far as her character is concerned. So for him to kind of shake that up, I think there’s a part of her that enjoys that. It’s also frustrating because it annoys her at times, but she does the same to me. I think that’s the balance.”
Moving on to a question about his want list for Booth this season, the actor responded that he would like to see Booth have more action sequences, as well as more exploration of his past and dark side. He loves the blend of comedy and drama the show offers and thinks there is a lot of potential to continue the slow steady growth the show has had to date. That growth, I have to say, is impressive considering the many different timeslots fans have had to keep track of to find the show. Bones fans are a dedicated lot and Boreanaz is appreciative of their support.
For his own plans, the actor is excited about an opportunity to direct a Bones episode later this season. He hopes eventually to move into new show development and to land some more film roles. For now, though, he’s comfortable where he is. Boreanaz responded to the questions about his future with “I focus primarily [on] what’s happening in the moment. Obviously, I always like to plant seeds.” Hopefully we’ll see the result of some of those seeds as the actor continues to develop his leading man status. In the meantime, I’ll carry on enjoying the witty banter and sharp mysteries as Booth and Brennan deal with changes on the team and their own relationship. Bones will be on at 8 pm (ET) Wednesdays for the fall schedule, changing to Fridays at 8 pm (ET) in January.