When we last saw forensic anthropologist Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and her FBI-agent husband, Booth (David Boreanaz) on Bones, they were saying goodbye to their jobs and friends to make a fresh start — possibly for good. The episode was intended to double as a series finale, since the show’s renewal came down to the wire.
Now Michael Peterson, who is a new co-showrunner along with Jonathan Collier, has to figure out how to bring Booth and Brennan back.
“The theme that we’re exploring is you can’t escape fate,” says Peterson. Season 11 picks up six months later when a major murder will lure the couple back to the fold. “They’re meant to be doing what they’re doing, and we’re going to embrace that for all of our characters and really get back to the essence of who they are.”
Says Deschanel, “As much as the death and violence and murder can get to somebody, it really seems like this is kind of their purpose in life.”
But there’s more than existential crisis in store. A two-part crossover between the realistic Bones and otherworldly Sleepy Hollow will air Oct. 29. “When I first heard about it, I thought, ‘That’s an odd choice,’ but the more I thought about it, I realized there’s a lot of room for humor with Brennan not believing the time travel aspect of that show,” Deschanel explains.
The episodes will celebrate the differing points of views of both shows. “Our hour will definitely be explained by science, and theirs will take that much more fantastical point of view,” Peterson says, adding that both will center on the undead. Brennan, time to suspend your disbelief …
And the crossover is just one way of mixing things up. After so many seasons, Peterson says there’s still plenty of new material in store — expect the show to bring in new characters and to delve into the new challenges that come with growing older, as examples.
Looking further ahead, Peterson hopes to keep on exploring. “John and I are not going to try and wrap up season 11 and be done,” says Peterson, who applauds the show’s strong characters and greater DNA. “That’s not our goal. Our goal is to play forever.”
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Season 11 of Bones premieres on Thursday, Oct. 1 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.