In a follow-up to David Boreanaz talking Bones, Fox held a conference call this afternoon with real-life Temperance Brennan inspiration and show producer Kathy Reichs, in order to promote next week’s episode, “The Witch in the Wardrobe”. This will mark her first time writing an episode for the series that was based off of her life and successful book series.
During the course of the conference call, Reichs talks about the future of the series, the development of the shows characters, the impact of Twitter, how O.J. kicked off the whole forensic television craze and so much more.
Check out some of the highlights below. (I know it’s long, but Kathy Reichs is incredibly engrossing and almost everything she said could be considered a highlight.)
Oh, and Bones fans… In case you’re wondering, this is entirely SPOILER-FREE.
On what it was like to write the episode:
“I loved working in the writer’s room. That was, to me, like having some kind of brain trust and we’re all bouncing all these ideas off of each other and building on ideas. That was just really fun for me.”
On the difference between writing a TV episode compared to a book:
“It’s really different from writing a novel. For one thing, when I write a novel, I do it alone. I give the idea to my editors and then I go and write the book and send it to them. That’s not how a TV show works. First, you have to have an idea approved… Then, when that’s approved through all the hierarchical levels, you go break the story. It’s a collective experience – you do it with the other writers, which is very different for me. Breaking a story can take from one to three weeks and we finished in about two and a half days.”
“Then you pitch it – to Hart [Hanson], in this case. He liked it and made a few suggestions and then it got sent back and I wrote it.”
“…then they change a lot of it, which is also a shock to me. It was a very positive experience, but a very different experience from writing a novel.”
On the difference between TV Brennan and book Brennan:
“I think of TV Tempe as an earlier point in book Tempe’s life. She’s 30-something rather than 40-something. She’s unmarried, living in Washington – which I find very appropriate because that’s where I started my career, at the Smithsonian.”
On the similarities and differences between herself and Brennan:
“Obviously, professionally, we do the same thing. I work in the crime lab, I go to crime scenes. I work in North Carolina and the Canuck province in Canada a lot, but I do cases all over the country – here and there. Tempe is tied a little more to the Jeffersonian, but she gets out into the field as well. She’s gone to New Orleans and the Pacific Northwest, I think.”
“In terms of personality, I think we’re different. One way we’re similar is sense of humor. I think we have a similar sense of Humor. That was important in creating the show. That was one thing Hart Hanson, Barry Josephson and I were on the same page about from the get-go.”
“But, as far as her social awkwardness and her inability to form close relationships, I think we’re different in that way.”
On handling the character development in the series:
“When I agreed to do the series and met with Be Hart, they convinced me that they would handle the character development and the story development in a way that was compatible with me and that they would leave the science ends of it to me. That has been our working relationship and I trust what they’ve done and people have grown to love these characters. So, who am I to question what he does with their future relationship.”
“I’ve got some interesting plot developments with some of the other characters [in my episode], but not specifically Booth and Brennan. Angela and Hodgins are getting along pretty well lately. I’m not going to give away any spoilers about who it involves – we’ve got Sweets and Daisy, Angela and Hodgins, Booth and Brennan and Cam has started dating.”
On whether or not Brennan and Booth should get together:
“I just think once you do that – do the deed – you’re done. If you look at other shows like X-Files or Moonlighting, to me, that speaks the beginning of the end. And, they play so well with their chemistry. Just from the very beginning, when Emily auditioned, the chemistry between them has been so good that I think it’s just better to keep that simmering.”
On the longevity of show:
“I think we should go to 1,000 episodes. Everything I hear is that we’re going strong – we’ve been picked up for a 6th season, of course, and then hopefully we can go several more beyond that.”
On what real-life case she’s had stick out in her mind:
“I’ve got some that a little more frustrating than the others. I’ve got a few that have yet to be solved. For example, I’ve got a child’s skeleton in my lab up in Montreal that I’ve had since 1989 that’s never been ID’d. Although, I think we may finally get this little guy identified. So, those are always the must frustrating and stick in my mind more than others.”
“Probably the most difficult working situation was ground zero. Working at the [World] Trade Center -that was both physically and psychology demanding. But, each case brings something to the table – literally to the table.”
On whether or not there are aspects of the television show that she wished she would have thought of for her book:
“A lot of the science and technology they use on there is really pretty good. I’m sometimes amazed at how they dig out some of the ideas for the different stories. So, every now and then I’ll then think “Well, why didn’t think of that?” Like the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame arena or the urban spelunking arena …When I see that I think that I need to be more creative in my settings.”
On whether having the TV show different from the book is problematic:
“In season one I got quite a few emails saying, ‘Wait a minute. This isn’t Tempe. This is different.’ Initially, I was resistant, but I love it, I love both. It’s like two manifestations of this character that I love so much. I do think there was some negative reaction initially, but I don’t think that’s true anymore. We’ve got younger Tempe – a 30-something Tempe – on TV and a 40-something… in the book. They understand that that’s an older part of the character.”
On the switch in popularity from police dramas to forensic dramas:
“We did our work in our lab for years and nobody paid any attention to us. Then, somewhere in the mid-to-late 90s there was this swell of interest in forensics. My colleagues and I were totally baffled – we didn’t know why all of a sudden we became hot and sexy.”
“…Which [was] not long after the O.J. trial and I think that’s where this whole interest came from. People listened to that stuff 24/7 and heard about blood spatter patterns, DNA and angled stab wound trajectory.”
On how Twitter has impacted the show:
“I just started Tweeting, inspired largely by Hart Hanson – who is a great Tweeter. I’m amazed at how I really didn’t understand the power of it, but I’m amazed that if I Tweet something it gets Re-Tweeted and Re-Tweeted. So, it really does reach a huge number of people.”
On whether she’ll be making any more guest appearances on the show:
“Every time I’m out there, Hart and I talk about it and I had a whole lot of fun doing it. I was initially reluctant to appear on camera and Hart said that he’ll write the part and if you don’t want to do it, we’ll cast it. I was still fairly reluctant and then he told me that David Duchovny was directing. So I said, “Oh Yes! I am on board!” and I turned out having a real good time.”
“So, yeah, I would like to do another one. I think they may have created a monster when they let me go in front of the camera.”
So, there you have it. An amazing look into the world of the real-life Temperance Brennan. While I initially thought her saying the O.J Simpson trial was the turning point in forensic television was a bit off, I now find myself completely agreeing with her.
Also, I love the fact that she has the same sense of humor as Brennan. I wonder if she also messes up common sayings.
With only a few more weeks before the season finale, I can’t wait to see where the series takes us. After Reichs’ episode, we’ve got the return of a “familiar face” and Billy Gibbons takes a break from ZZ Top to reprise his role as Angela’s father.
Hmmm… I wonder why he would need to return. Is someone getting married? Don’t worry, this isn’t a spoiler as I have no idea what’s going to happen in the season finale, but I wouldn’t be fan if I didn’t speculate… and giggle while doing it.
What did you think of Kathy Reichs talking about Bones? Find anything interesting? Are you still angry about her joining the band-wagon of not wanting Booth and Brennan together?
You can catch Kathy Reich’s episode of Bones next Thursday, on Fox.
Follow me on Twitter @anthonyocasio