Castle Creator Shares Inspiration for Noir Episode, Teases 'Great Moments' for Show's Stars

Tonight at 10/9c, ABC’s Castle takes a trip in time when a modern-day case reveals its roots in the 1940s. In doing so, Castle and Beckett (played by Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic) transform into a gumshoe named Joe and gangster’s moll Vera, while friends and family members also tag along for the retro ride. TVLine spoke with show boss Andrew W. Marlowe about the origin of this “noir” idea and how dipping into the past might affect the character’s futures.

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TVLINE | I’m curious how long you had this episode on the books. Because this season’s 1940s-themed cast photo must have been shot at the end of last summer….
Well, we had wanted to do something different for a while, and I think every show that’s been around for a few seasons wants to do something where they go back in time or have some sort of fun or gives the audience a chance to see their characters as not quite themselves. And part of it was inspiration drawn from thatcast photo. Looking at it, we thought, “Nathan looks so good in that outfit, and Stana looks so great…. Wouldn’t it be something to be able to play with that as a trope?” The challenge for us was finding a way to do it that fit into the storytelling so that it was really organic and not forced, and one of our writers, Terrence Winter, did a really great job with that.

TVLINE | So how do we gain entry into this world?
There’s a current-day murder, but it has a component that is influenced by something that happened back in the 1940s. Castle gets access to this private investigator’s journal, and as he starts reading it he starts imagining himself as the P.I. and Beckett as the gangster’s moll. And our other characters make appearances in the past as well.

TVLINE | Who would say is the biggest deviation from his or her regular character?
Seamus [Dever, Ryan] has a terrific Irish accent in the 1940s, playing a tough who works for the gangster.

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TVLINE | I recently interviewed Mark Pellegrino, who plays the gangster, and he said Nathan was truly in his element.
He was having a good time, yeah. I think he’s going to come across very well in the episode.

TVLINE | And all reports say that Stana is “dressed to kill.”
And she has multiple wardrobe changes. Each time the audience sees her [in the ’40s], she is dressed to kill.

TVLINE | What sort of reactions do you get when you present such a concept to wardrobe, to set design? Do they admittedly get a bit giddy?
Absolutely. Any time people have a great challenge that allows them to exercise their craft at the highest levels, they’re going to get very excited. It’s always a challenge to do it on a TV budget and on a TV time schedule, but when viewers see the finished piece, they’ll see what a good job all of our departments did.

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TVLINE | Sometimes viewers worry that “out of time” episodes such as this won’t have any real impact on the bigger picture of the series, of the season. Will what happens in the ’40s influence our Castle and Beckett?
As much as any other episode. It’s not a deep mythology episode for us, but there are great moments for the two of them to play in this. Some of the stuff in the 1940s reflects where the two of them are in their dance. It’s just that he’s Joe, and she’s Vera.

TVLINE | And there’s a kiss that might excite fans…?
There is a kiss that might excite fans, absolutely. Let’s let them tune in to see if it’s between Joe and Vera, or Castle and Beckett.