CBS’ SCORPION, in its second season Mondays at 9, has been renewed for a third series. The series deals with a team of geniuses, headed up by Elyes Gabel’s Walter O’Brien (based on the real person, who founded the real Scorpion consulting company), who help both the government and private clients solve cases that requires special skills.
Nicholas Wootton, one of SCORPION’s executive producers who serves as show runner alongside series creator Nick Santora, tells us what he’s enjoyed so far and what may come up next.
AX: What surprised you and what pleased you most about first season?
NICHOLAS WOOTTON: I think what pleased us most, what’s pleased me most, is the capability of our production team. We have thought up really crazy fun things to do for these characters, and we have never heard the word “No.” And we have done great things, and I think we sort of top ourselves, and we get to see them do amazing stuff, and we’ve had ideas that we were just waiting for somebody to tell you that you cannot hang a Ferrari off the side of a cliff, and then come Episode Twenty-Two, they said, “Okay, this is where we’re going to do it, and this is how we’re going to do it.” And I thought it looked great. So that’s been the greatest surprise.
AX: Did you have a stunt person in there for the wide shots, or was that digitized? Elyes Gabel was saying that when he was actually in the car, it was on a soundstage …
WOOTTON: Yes. When he was in it, it was on a soundstage. There was no car. There was no real car on the side of the cliff, ever, on the location. That was all CG. There were really only a few shots that you see where there’s actually a car at a distance, where you see it. Most of the stuff with Elyes is pretty much close-up, and that was all on stage.
AX: As SCORPION goes forward, do you find that the sorts of things that you and Nick Santora are doing as show runners/executive producers are somewhat different as the show progresses?
WOOTTON: You know, we had divided it up almost equally, and sometimes even in terms of episodes. We do a lot of things together, but there are some cuts [edited versions of episodes] that I will do without him in the room, and there are some cuts that he will do without me in the room, and he will watch [Wootton’s cuts] and say, “Great, goodbye,” and I will watch his and say, “Great, goodbye,” and so we’ve been able to divide the chores pretty evenly down the middle. It’s pretty much like, “What are you doing right now, can you handle this?” “I’ll do this.” We’ll decide in the morning, “Well, I’ll take this, this and this, and you take that,” so we divide it pretty evenly.
AX: And are there any characters who have surprised you in the way they’ve developed since the beginning?
WOOTTON: I think Jadyn Wong’s character Happy surprised me. I loved writing for her, I think that she’s a really fun actress, and surprised me. Some of the things that we’ve given her to do – she’s a great comedian, and I did not know that she could be as funny as she is. Very dry, but really great. Everybody else has lived up to my expectations in a lot of ways in terms of how good they can be. I’ll tell you, the one thing I did not know that Robert Patrick could be as sensitive and have the absolute amazing range that he does. He plays a tough guy, and I thought he was going to be a great tough guy, but he is such great softie, I love writing those moments, because as soon as he takes off those sunglasses, and you see those eyes, he’s just wonderful. So those are a couple of things that I’ve just been bowled over by.
AX: Speaking of Cabe’s emotional moments, will we be seeing Jessica Tuck again as Cabe’s ex-wife Rebecca?
WOOTTON: I don’t know. We’ll see. She was fabulous, and I really liked her a lot, I thought she was wonderful, so we’ll see. We definitely would never close the door on her. She was amazing, I thought.
AX: How did you feel about the arc with Camille Guaty as Walter’s dying sister Megan?
WOOTTON: We love Camille, we thought that relationship was so sweet, and anything that humanizes Walter and gives him pause and gives him the opportunity to be more human than machine is a great, great asset for us.
AX: Is it difficult dealing with Walter having emotions that he is refusing to recognize as emotions?
WOOTTON: That’s sort of what we trade in. He really shows things sometimes, but then he absolutely refuses [to acknowledge] that they’re even there. I think that makes him a really interesting character. He’s in denial about something that everybody else can see. You’re like, “Well, you are …” He’s like, “No, I’m not, I’m just acting that way.” And you’re like, “Was he really? Was he not?” And I think that that’s what we play with as we go forward is, him having these feelings, him realizing these feelings, him accepting them and sort of realizing that having emotions isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because I think he sees it as something that slows him down. It’s inefficient, to him.
AX: During Season 1, when you knew you had Season 2, what did that let you do?
WOOTTON: That’s an interesting question, because we knew really early, we knew it by Episode Fifteen or Sixteen, so we had so much time to really bask in it. I think we just went big. We really were going to end with, “We’re going to do the Ferrari thing [laughs] – we’re going to pitch a Ferrari over a cliff.” Not that we didn’t expect to or want to, were always planning on going big, but I think it made us feel like, “We really can take the best elements of the show, which are big and fun.” We were sort of a little bit more unfettered at that point. But I don’t know. We were like, “Oh, cool.”
AX: Now that we know that SCORPION exists in the same universe as NCIS, are any of your characters going to cross over onto any of the NCIS shows?
WOOTTON: We don’t have plans to, but we would certainly be happy to. I think they have such an amazing character well, such an amazing fan base, I’d be happy to. Any time we could get those guys, we’d be happy to have that.
AX: And what would you most like people to know about the next season of SCORPION?
WOOTTON: Big fun stuff, but I think we’re going to really deepen what we’ve been doing with the characters, a lot more character material, see these guys interact with each other, see big emotional stakes. That’s what’s coming up next.
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