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Intersecting a paranormal cop drama with a scientific procedural seems like a crazy idea, but the executive producers and teams behind Sleepy Hollow and Bones found a way to make it work during Thursday’s Halloween crossover event.
The body of British Gen. Howe, who died during the American Revolution, unites the two casts as the Bones team tries to figure out how a modern-day med student ended up next to the general’s corpse and Sleepy Hollow’s Ichabod (Tom Mison) and Abbie (Nicole Beharie) need the skeleton to find the key to Pandora’s (Shannyn Sossamon) reason for being in town.
Here, Bones showrunner Jonathan Collier and Sleepy Hollow executive producer Clifton Campbell talk with The Hollywood Reporter about what happens next after the crossover.
What are the ramifications of the events in this crossover going forward for each show?
Campbell: The ramifications are somewhat more personal for Crane this season. Howe was somebody that he at one point greatly admired. For all the right reasons, he was a noble man and loyal to his duty. He was a general and that is someone that Crane always did and continues to have nothing but admiration for. At a certain point he sold his soul to the devil and became part of a darker mythology on our show and it was important for that character to reveal that side of him in the way that we do in our hour so Crane can really confront that demon. The repercussions of that really play into the Pandora, the big bad for this season, and her plans. Her world opens up a bit more and we find out that a lot of this has to do with a tablet that was revealed between seasons two and three that really open up the mythology for our show. It continues in that regard. I hope our relationship with Booth (David Boreanaz), Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and the Jeffersonian can continue. I hope at some point we find the right storyline, and the stars line up so that we can do this again.
Collier: We are very open to doing it again. I’d love to get into something happening 200 years ago. That works very well for us. We don’t do that too often.
As weird as the idea may have been to some people, the crossover worked pretty seamlessly. Has it opened up the possibility of continuing these relationships?
Campbell: Now that we’ve gone through this, and there were some late-night hours trying to figure out how to make it all work, I think it did give us all a lot of clay that we dug up and can mold for another version of this. The more you think about it, the connective tissue of [Abbie] being a federal agent and then becoming an FBI agent this season makes it much more doable.
If future crossovers happen would you consider letting Booth and Brennan in on the supernatural findings of the Sleepy Hollow world?
Collier: I would say that Brennan has to explain everything in terms of science. That’s the reality of our world. We opened up an issue that would really be fun to explore more. I think she would be open to having things she couldn’t explain immediately but knowing there’s an answer scientifically.
Campbell: What I found in Jon’s answer that would one day, hopefully, be fun to explore again is in the final moment when Crane brings something to her because [they] need to bring the body back to Sleepy Hollow — she doesn’t concede her point of view. She clearly is able to access all that she knows about such things and is willing to accept [Ichabod’s] explanation. If there isn’t a logical explanation than the next logical thing is the explanation.
Bones makes a comment during the first hour about Ichabod making his relationship with Abbie romantic. That’s something that Sleepy Hollow fans have been clamoring for. Was that a joke or might he take that seriously?
Campbell: That’s a wink to the audience, certainly to the ‘shippers — the ones who would like to see something like that happen. It’s fun to see that Booth and Brennan at one point had a similar professional relationship. There was a similar chemistry that was sort of undeniable. I don’t recall how long it took themselves to realize that internally in the show, but it seems to me 10 seasons later that it’s worked out pretty well. [The line] is just a look into the potential future of this show in terms of their relationship. It’s not something we are actively pursuing. That’s a fun time line that any show has fun exploring and teasing the audience and giving them a little bit of what they want.
Bones definitely shows the benefit of a slow burn relationship.
Collier: I think the reason [Bones] is in season 11 is because we took a long time to get to it.
Campbell: Having done shows like this before, you don’t know when you’re starting out what timeline is the right one for a relationship like this. You have to feel your way through it episode by episode and season by season. The slow burn is actually the one that people, despite the fact they want it to happen now, is the one that’s much more satisfying over the long haul.
What did you think of the Bones/Sleepy Hollow crossover? Should they do it again? Hit the comments with your thoughts.
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