Warning: The following contains spoilers from Tuesday’s The Winchesters premiere. Proceed at your own risk!
John and Mary certainly have their work cut out for them after The Winchesters‘ series premiere, which told a much different story about how Dean and Sam’s parents met from the one viewers heard on Supernatural.
Over the course of the episode, John returned from the Vietnam War and literally bumped into Mary outside of a movie theater showing Slaughterhouse-Five. It wasn’t long before a letter from his MIA dad led him to the abandoned Men of Letters bunker and a run-in with Mary, who informed him of the existence of demons. But it’s the presence of a monster called the Akrida that is far more troubling for our new Scooby gang. Described as a malevolent force not of this world, the Akrida have been trying to invade for centuries and want to wipe out everyone, including demons and monsters, from our world. And Mary’s dad went missing while searching for a box that can kill the Akrida.
“What they didn’t know was that the Akrida weren’t just a threat to Earth, but to all of existence,” Dean writes in a journal at the end of the pilot. “Like I told you, there’s going to be some surprises. Hell, I’m still trying to find all the puzzle pieces myself. But I’ll explain everything. And until then, I’ll keep picking the music.”
Below, showrunner Robbie Thompson answers our burning questions about Dean’s mysterious whereabouts, what the episode’s Supernatural nods mean and just how much we’ll be seeing executive producer/narrator Jensen Ackles.
TVLINE | We see, at the end of the pilot, Dean writing in his journal, and he’s driving off in his car. Where is he in terms of the Supernatural timeline? Is this before he died?
Where Dean is is a mystery for now. We’ve provided some clues in some of the visuals that I think some fans have already picked up on and have some theories on where he is. But we will definitely resolve where that handsome young man is in relation to the final seasons of Supernatural.
TVLINE | I was also thinking there’s a chance that he might be writing this from Heaven, possibly.
These are all wonderful theories I can neither confirm nor deny. But we will be resolving that in our first 13 episodes, 100 percent.
TVLINE | They introduced, basically, a Supernatural multiverse in the show’s later seasons. We found out there are other Earths with other Sams and Deans, which made me want to confirm this is the John and Mary that we know from our Earth.
[Laughs] I’m trying to be very politically correct here… That is a wonderful question. I think what I would say to both your readers and you and everybody watching is that everything, as far as people’s theories are on the table, I’m neither going to confirm nor deny any theories, but I will say that we will resolve everybody’s questions and concerns by the end of the first 13 [episodes].
It’s not just to be coy and cagey and things like that. I’m a big fan of just stories being able to unfold on their own. I understand that there are people that are concerned and want to make sure that we’re not stepping on continuity, and I 100 percent understand that concern, and all I can say is that we will not be undoing anything and not be deleting anything or changing anything, frankly, if we’ve done our jobs right. But the way in which we do that will be a mystery for now. I promise we will resolve any and all questions, but for now, it’s just about going on the journey with us and seeing where we go.
TVLINE | Is Jensen narrating in every episode?
You will be hearing the incredible voice of one Dean Winchester in every episode.
TVLINE | I’m guessing we won’t see him in every episode, though.
We won’t be able to see him in every episode. Jensen is quite [busy]. But we will be hearing him. It’s one of the really wonderful perks of this job is when we’re getting to that part of a script, you can say like, “I wonder what Dean would say?” and then I can just text Dean Winchester and talk to him. Jensen is a wonderful partner because he’s able to both play the history and think about the future. We go over [the voiceovers] word by word, letter by letter, and really shape them together. I’m just really excited for people to hear that voice again. I know, for me, it was like, “Holy smokes!” We needed a temp piece to figure out what we were cutting to, and we were shooting, and he sent it to me, and it was a recording — I still have it on my phone — of him doing an early version of one of the voiceovers, and it was the voice, you know? [Laughs] It was Dean Winchester in my earbuds in that moment, and it was like one of those real “pinch me” moments. Like, “Wow, this is really happening. We’re doing this.”
TVLINE | Speaking of voices, is that Gil McKinney that we heard reading Henry’s letter?
Yes, that is 100 percent Gil McKinney. Gil is a wonderful person [and] a terrific actor, and one of the fun things about working in this world was figuring out who we might be able to work with again. He was just a great partner and came in and recorded that for us. He was terrific.
TVLINE | Are there any other Supernatural actors/guest stars coming in from the original series?
Absolutely. We will see some Supernatural faces. I’m not at liberty to say who just yet, but in the back part of our first 13 episodes, you will definitely see some familiar faces, which I’m super, super excited about.
TVLINE | Can you talk a little bit about what you were going for in terms of the Big Bad, and what we can expect as the season progresses?
We were really looking for something to differentiate from Supernatural, something we hadn’t seen before. Obviously, there’s some demons in the pilot, and we’ve dealt a lot with demons on Supernatural. But we really were excited about trying to find a new monster, a new Big Bad, and even within the course of episodes, trying to find some new monsters for our heroes to be fighting. Honestly, a big part of it was just, how do we differentiate ourselves from the mothership, give our heroes something to fight against that was more personal to their story and to this new group outside of just Mary and John to tackle for the season?
TVLINE | What should we be reading into the movie marquee displaying Slaughterhouse-Five?
[Laughs] That we did our homework. I know that this has also been a source of some theories, as well. Again, I can neither confirm or deny, but obviously, that was the story that Dean relates to his mom [on Supernatural] to prove he knows a thing or two about her. I think that was in Season 12. It was just to kind of evoke that, and it was one of those moments we hear about it on the mothership, but then we never see it, and to see it… Glen Winter, who shot the pilot, did a beautiful job of of revealing it visually. We were shooting up in a little town called Amite, just about an hour away from New Orleans, and the whole street is decked out like 1972, and the camera comes up for that reveal, and it was really, really exciting. It was like you were stepping into history, in a way, and I was literally wearing a Slaughterhouse-Five t-shirt that I brought with me for the occasion. [Laughs]
What did you think of The Winchesters? Grade the premiere below, then hit the comments!